Coral Lipsticks: Shades, Swatches, Tips!
Coral is that hybrid shade that is not quite orange, not quite red. Some even have a shot of pink and peach thrown in. Read down further for brands and details of the swatches listed!
It can be a hard shade to wear if you don’t take care to even out your skin tone with a good base or concealer first (it can make blotchy skin blotchier) or a little matching blush on the cheeks (it can make medium to dark skins sallow-looking).
But get your base covered and coral is its own statement and does not need much eye makeup accompanying it. (Interestingly, all the beautiful looks I found featuring coral lips had MINIMAL eye makeup.)
P.S. Thanks to all of you for chipping in with your favorite corals! More, more! We need to know where all the good stuff is!
Here are some options for shades:
1. The Intense Coral: The baddest and strongest coral is one that is equal parts scarlet, and equal parts acidic orange. A shade like this needs to be very opaque and intense, and some of the best ones are matte or semi-matte and totally take over as the focal point of your face. The Queen of Corals for me is MAC Lady Danger. And who doesn’t love a name like that? A worthy contender for the badass throne is NYX’s Indie Flick matte lipstick, followed by Revlon matte lipstick in Strawberry Suede (unfortunately discontinued).
2. The Retro Coral
The retro coral is a richer tomato-sauce red that’s slightly less bright than the red corals listed above, with slight orange-brown undertones that stop it from being a true scarlet. In the 40’s and 50’s this type of shade was called a “Clear Red”, as opposed to “Blue Red” and “Rose Red”. This is usually one of the easier corals to wear if you have very dark skin or very brown-pigmented lips.
If you’re channeling your inner pin-up or just aren’t used to too much orange, go for a shade like Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Ravish Me Red. (It looks less orange in the swatch image above, but does go on like a ripe tomato - or tomato sauce - in real life.)
3. True coral - Think Emmy Rossum. This is the slightly softer coral that is close to but not quite orange. It isn’t as red as the retro coral or as neon as the intense coral, and if you have very fair yellow-based skin, this type of shade is great, anything more deep or intense will usually just end up looking red. Revlon has a beautiful shade in their Super Lustrous line called Kiss Me Coral, which works beautifully on fairer skins. If you have darker or caramel skin, you can still wear it but remember this shade will look more orange/peach-based on you.
Barry M Lip Paint in Sunset #151 is another gorgeous coral that is a glossier and sheerer.
4. The Sheer/Pink Coral - NYX has a FABULOUS color in the round lipstick line called Haute Melon. It’s semi-sheer, a little glossier appearing, and also pretty bright in the camera. If you are very pale or very dark, and opaque lip colors look a little stark on you, this is a better option. Most sheer corals do allow your own lip color to show through, so they tend to wear a little less orange and appear more “pink” than the opaque corals.
If you’re a complete wuss, you can also grab Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Coral Reef. It’s slightly pink, and won’t look as harsh.
2 Recommended Starter Corals:
If you’re just starting out and looking for your first coral, I would suggest you try Revlon Super Lustrous lipsticks in Kiss Me Coral and Ravish Me Red first. Kiss Me Coral is more of a true warm coral, and if it’s too orange on you or you have very dark skin and the color doesn’t pop, Ravish Me Red is the alternative.
Both are affordable, available in most countries around the world, aren’t too crazy bright, and come in a nicely pigmented creme texture (not matte or gloopy) that most people are ok with.