Even if you have nary a penny left to pick up some new duds this holiday season, you can still dress up for those parties, with a few swipes of some gorgeous, dramatic red lipstick.


Almost everyone looks great with red lips — the tricky part is just finding the right shade. You might need a more orangey color (warm skin tones), a purpley-red (cooler skin tones) or something with a pinker hue (paler and more neutral skin tones). Whatever color works for you, it will make your eyes sparklier and your teeth look whiter (the real secret behind red lips).  


I'm not going to suggest some kind of wacky system for figuring out what skin tone you are. The simplest, and best way to find out what reds might work on you is to try a bunch of them on. You'll be able to see which red lipsticks bring out your best features and brighten your face, but it will take a bit of experimentation. (A good way to do this is to go ask for advice at a makeup counter and have the makeup artists there tell you what works for you; don't buy anything, but take the information with you). You can actually go into an Origins store (one of the brands mentioned below) and try their colors out. 


When you have sorted out what tone works best for you, check out the natural cosmetic companies below for those keeper tubes.


Origins Flower Fusion lipstick is my go-to. It goes on creamy as can be, and the color sticks around (but not in a lip stain kind of way). I always need extra moisture in the winter, and this lipstick delivers. "In this patent-pending technology, a well-spring of floral waxes including Jasmine, Lavender, Rose, Raspberry, Violet and Orange Blossom blended with other botanical waxes create a creamy cushion of color that glides on with ease to pamper, protect and perfect your pout."


Dr. Hauschka's skin products are a beloved among the Hollywood set and a bit of a splurge for the rest of us, but actually worth the price you pay. Their lipstick is superrich, both in color and texture and it all comes from plants. Ingredients are all biodynamic, organic or wild-harvested, and the company has won awards from beauty editors to natural health advocacy organizations, and also supports deserving charity partners. 


Primitive Natural lipstick touts itself as a competitor to MAC, but is made from totally natural ingredients, like shea butter and jojoba oil. The rich raspberry color linked here is a color that works on almost everyone.

Starre Vartan ( @ecochickie ) covers conscious consumption, health and science as she travels the world exploring new cultures and ideas.

Go bright for the holidays: 3 beautifully natural red lipsticks
Have a little fun with your lips this winter!