Red Lipstick Is For Everyone (Sort Of)

By Leia Ostermann

If you Google “picking the right red lipstick,” you’ll come up with a few million results.  You know what each of those articles say?  Something totally different. But I steadfastly read all the opinions and dreamed about the day I would rock red lipstick.

Spoiler Alert: I can’t rock red lipstick.

A year ago I purchased a vibrant, cherry red lip from Target, going for that classic Rita Hayworth look, and was immediately sent back to my room by my roommate who said “Honey, please no. Don’t do that to us.” For the next year, I couldn’t even wear the color red.

But a few weeks ago I engaged in a heated argument with a friend over how to dress up a pair of jeans. She swore that “anyone could wear red lipstick” and that I was “made to wear red lipstick” with this dirty blonde hair.

We rounded up the absolute best reds, berries and dark cherry hues and decided to try all of them on until we found the “right” one. I was pretty excited to dramatically prove her wrong.

I thought I won the battle immediately with Hollywood Glamor red:

Leia Lipstick experiment

While staring sadly in the mirror, we were visited by a perfectly lip-stained makeup artist/fairy who laid out the lipstick rules for our lipstick adventure:

Orange-Red Tone: Good for darker skin tones to add warmth. On light skin in makes you look “clowny” (see above).

Blue-red Tone:  Better for fairer skin tones. No reason why.

Whether or not these were science facts, we kept those guidelines in mind and started trying on berry-flavors:

To be honest, I’m not sure any of those count as red. And they still look pretty horrible.

Then I found this one:

leia Winning lipstick


The truth is no good makeup artist would call this red. This is berry.  But maybe because it’s called “Rebel,” maybe because I wiped 90 percent of it off, or maybe because I just wanted to make a choice, this was the one that came home with me.

I think it’s still clear I can’t wear that classic “red” shade I dream about (I win!). But hey, I recently wore this “berry” lip on date-night and it worked wonders.

 If you’re like me and you don’t think you can wear red lipstick, it’s possible you cannot. Try berry, it worked for me.


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