Online Extra: Choosing the Right Shade of Red

Studio 5 Beauty and Style Contributor Holly Stone says it’s all in the balance!

The most emotionally intense color, red stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing. Red is in the top three of most popular food colors. Red is often used in restaurant decorating schemes because it is an appetite stimulant. Red cars are popular targets for thieves and are ticketed more frequently than any other color of car. It is also the color of love. Red is the symbol of life (blood) and, for this reason, it’s the color worn by brides in China. If you’re feeling powerful, wearing red lets everyone know you’re a force to be reckoned with. If you’re feeling just so-so, wearing it can transform your attitude. But can you be comfortable in so rash a color? And how do you wear this color? It’s all in the balance!

Choosing the Right Shade

There are 2 different undertones in the color red: blue and orange. Blue-red is morecool and orange-red is more warm. A general visual: Cool colors are those you would see at Easter time, warm colors are seen at Thanksgiving. To identify which color temperature would look the best on you, examine your personal coloring. Your personal coloring is made up of your hair color, your skin tone, and your eye color. If 2 of those 3 traits are dominant towards warm/cool, that color temperature will be most flattering on you. If you are still unsure of which red to wear, hold both a blue-red and an orange-red up to your face and go with the one YOU are most comfortable wearing.

If you feel a solid display of red (blue-red is considered “true” red), try wearing red as an accent: a scarf, shoes, a purse, jewelry, hair jewelry, a belt or a shirt/sweater. Also break away from the traditional paring of red and black. Try wearing red with chocolate, navy, and camel.

Too much red can be intimidating. Red can also appear confrontational – think of matadors – so avoid red when carrying out negotiations, as it may work against you. It can also make the wearer appear heavier. To soften the look of a dominant red, add another neutral:

• Your best metallic

• White, ivory, or pearls

• For business, charcoal gray or camel

Can Redheads wear Red?

You CAN wear red! In most cases (though not all) “red” hair is more orange than red and these two colors (red and orange) work beautifully together. It will not clash if you follow your personal coloring to determine if you can wear cool red or warm red. Different shades of red can be complimentary and add interest.

Red lipstick can look great on a redhead; the trick is to get one with the same tone as your hair. If you have orangey red hair, go with the same lipstick; if you have darker red hair, go with the blue based red. You can tell the difference by comparing different reds, side by side.

A redhead can look stunning in the right shade of red! So if you’re a redhead and you love red, wear it with conviction and expect to be noticed.

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