SPAR Women's Challenge 2019

What shade of red suits you?

Cherry, crimson, scarlet or rose: tips to help choose the perfect lipstick colour

Image: Pexels

Cherry, crimson, scarlet or rose – what shade of red lipstick is right for YOU?

The 2019 SPAR Women’s Challenge race T-shirt is cool grey with splashes of colour so read on for some tips on rocking your red lippy on race day.

First of all, find out what your skin tone is as, even in a single ethnic group, there are several different shades.

There are several ways to check but one of the simplest is the white-paper test. With no make-up on, in clear natural light, hold a plain A4 sheet of white paper next to your face and look into a mirror.

  • If you see a hue of yellow, blue-red or rose pink, you have a warm skin tone.
  • If your skin appears grey, blueish-red, yellow-green (olive), then you have a cool skin tone.
  • If you land somewhere in the middle, your skin tone is neutral

Undertones are key when picking a red lipstick.


If your skin tone is cooler – in other words you have pink, red or blue undertones – then move towards the blue side of the colour spectrum. Think deep cranberry, poppy, cherry or burgundy shades and crimson.


If your skin tone is warmer and has yellow or golden undertones, opt for reds in the orange spectrum.

Think salmon, coral, burnt sienna, scarlet, auburn-like shades of copper, rust and brick-red.

If you are not sure what skin tone you have, you are most likely neutral and then have the joy of being able to wear most shades of red.

A clear true red is easy to spot when you see it between the cool and warm shades.

Once you have your colour, there are also general guidelines for wearing red lipstick:

  • You can pull off a deep red if you have strong colouring but don’t also go all-out on the eye make-up, it is one or the other.
  • Be precise – a smudgy red mouth can look like a clown.
  • You can use a lip liner to lock the lipstick in place and prevent “bleeding” but preferably go for a neutral shade to avoid that “overdrawn” look.
  • If you have thin lips, avoid deep reds as it will make them look even thinner.
  • Feeling a bit shy? Try tapping the colour on your lips with your finger for a sheerer, diffused effect.

The oldest myth for wearing red lipstick is that it is a glamour shade for use only at night – yes, it’s a bold look because it’s a statement colour but we know you’re up for the challenge.

As fun, flirtatious and confident women, we’ll see you on the starting line on Saturday May 4 rocking your favourite shade of red!



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