Red lipstick can be a fickle friend: it can make or break a look. However, that is not to say that it can’t be professional.
A red lip is one of make-up’s most classic and universally loved looks, though it is easy to get wrong. There is no reason why red lipstick can’t be professional, but it must be done with care.
The key to success lies not just in the shade, but also in the rest of the look.
What Shade Of Red Is Most Professional?
There is no universal shade of red that can be deemed the most appropriate for work, as there is a different red out there for everyone. It depends entirely on your own skin tone, as well as your hair and eye colour.
One of the most general rules that people adhere to when choosing their perfect red is the belief that the lighter the skin tone, the lighter the shade of red. This may be a good rule to follow in professional situations, as you are ensuring that the red lip you choose to sport in the office isn’t too distractingly bold, as it will better compliment the complexion of your face.
The supposed ‘professionalism’ of the red lip may also depend on the finish of the lipstick: is it matte, or glossy? A glossy red may be perfect for the office as it may need less precision when re-applying than a matte lip. However, too glossy and it may look like more of a ‘night-time’ lip look.
To find your perfect red lip, it’s important to test some samples in a range of shades and finishes.
How To Make A Red Lip Work For Work
For an office environment, the best rule of thumb for wearing a red lip would be to keep the rest of the make up simple. A red lip is a bold statement, no matter how casual it can be made to look, and so pairing it with heavy eye make-up may make the look too bold for a day at the office.
If you’re braving the red lip for work, make it the focus of your look. Keep eyeshadow neutral, in skin-coloured shades or light bronzes and golds. This doesn’t mean you have to shy away from shimmer, if that’s your style, as long as you keep it lowkey.
It also doesn’t mean that you have to shy away from eyeliner. If you choose black, keep the lines neat and fine and the flicks small and understated, whilst eyeliner in gold or bronze tones may be even more subtle still.
For the skin, keep the base light, natural, and fresh. A pop of highlight, bronzer or blush may really bring the whole look together, whilst not taking too much attention away from the star attraction: your red lip.
Finally, you can even create an impact in the way that you apply the lipstick. A red lip can be notoriously high maintenance, so it’s best that you use the right products.
If you want to go for an immaculately applied red lip, a lip liner in the same shade as your lipstick is a must: it will help you create a defined outline for the look, whilst not adding too much extra pigment or colour contrast. Also, products such as Lipcote is perfect for a professional red lip look, as it keeps your original look intact for longer, meaning fewer re-applications at work.
If a defined red-lip look is too much for you, consider a more muted shade of red, or perhaps even a shade of red that is more pink or orange (depending on your skin tone), and smudging it on your lips like a lip balm. To make it even more understated, lip tints such as this Benetint from Benefit may be the perfect product, as it doesn’t have a particularly glossy or matte finish, but simply adds a pop of colour to your natural lip surface.
There are a whole host of ways that you can make a red lip work for you in the office, the secret is just finding the right product and applying it in the way that makes you feel the most comfortable.