The Edit

What’s my red?

How to find the perfect red lipstick for you…

The red lipstick has been an iconic beauty staple since Ancient Egyptians were using precious stones and bugs to Queen Elizabeth I to Marilyn Monroe. Women (and on occasions, men) have worn the crimson lip shade since make-up began, so why is it so hard to find that perfect red?! It’s all down to finding the perfect red lipstick for YOU, not everyone can wear that dark, dreamy blood red or a bubbly bright, bold red but never fear, Illamasqua is here.

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Before we begin the flowchart, you need to get your head around one thing:

What undertone am I?

Now, don’t panic if you have never heard of the term ‘undertone’ – If you think of your skin as two layers, this is the layer underneath the top skin. You are either a cool (pink), neutral or warm (yellow) undertone . Luckily you don’t need to guess which tone you are as there are ways of telling which you have;

The Jewellery test – If you prefer the way silver looks against your skin, you’re more likely a cool undertone but if you’re better in gold, you could be a warm tone. If you’re inclined to wear both and they suit you – you might have a neutral undertone.

Clothes test – Which colours can you wear best? If you’re better in blues, greens and bluey-reds then you are more likely a cool undertone and if you are better in yellow or orangey-reds than those then you have a warm undertone

Veins test – If your veins (in your wrist) look blue then you have a cool undertone and if you have more greeny veins then you would be a warm undertone. If you cannot tell then you’re in the neutral group.

Tan test – If you tend to tan under the sun and not burn, then you may be a warm undertone and if you don’t tan, you just burn then you have a cool undertone. Those who swing both ways, could be neutral.

This however, is just a guide and sometimes your answers might clash, eventually you will discover through trial and error what your undertone is, alternatively you could ask for assistance at one of our counters where our teams can determine this with you.

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NOW, on to the pressing matter of finding the perfect red lipstick for you! Take our test below and find your red…


What did you get? Want a little more information?

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 12.33.12Orange reds: Hey there warm undertone group, you tend to lean towards the more orange and yellow toned reds as it sits better on you than reds that contain blue tones. Shop our satin finish Glamore Lipstick in Soaked or our Matte Lipstick in Liable. Go for a gloss such as Intense Lipgloss in Temper. Line your lips with Lip Colouring Pencil in Spell and wear with a flick of black liner for a simple eye against this bright lip. Want to go the extra mile? Try Nail Varnish in Marquise too!

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Blue reds: Cool as a cucumber – you fall into the cool undertone family. Go for reds with blue in the mix, not sure which reds are blue-reds? Our satin finish Lipstick in Virgin or Matte Lipstick in Box will look amazing on you! You could use Lip Colouring Pencil in Feisty for your liner and Intense Gloss in Succubus. Looking for a nail match made in heaven? Nail Varnish in Throb should be your new favourite!

Glossy redScreen Shot 2015-02-26 at 12.37.43s: Our highly pigmented Intense Lipglosses are a wonderful alternative to lipstick for those who want a high-gloss finish and to create a fuller looking lip. It will look like you’re wearing a Lipstick and a gloss, without the fuss! Try Intense Lipgloss in Temper or. If you would prefer a satin lipstick instead then go for Lipstick in Soaked (warm undertones) or Lipstick in Virgin (cool undertones). Pump up the red tones with Nail Varnish in Alarm as a bonus accessory to your look.


Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 12.41.54Subtle reds: When we say subtle, we mean that you might not want a bold red or bright red lip but something with a hint of red. Not everyone suits a red so this is a great way to get involved without looking washed out or overdone. Try Lipstick in Salacious or Shard for a more berry red. You could go for a pinky red or just a red gloss such as our shade Touch. To get your nails to match, try Nail Varnish in Scarab, its a deep ruby red that suits most!

Other reds you should check out; Lipstick in Maneater or Sangers (great for neutral tones), Lipstick in Howl (great for deep skin tones), Intense Lipgloss in Hermetic (a deep wine red gloss)

We hope we have either inspired, helped or at least entertained you with our guide to the perfect red!

What flowchart would YOU like to see next? Comment below and we will oblige!

Lots of Illamasqua Love,



Govinder Rayt

Govinder Rayt

Writer and expert