There’s nothing more iconic than a red lip. From Marilyn Monroe to Madonna, the perfect red lip has been the epitome of glamour for decades. But how do you choose a red lipstick that suits you? From skin tone to hair colour, in this blog we discuss everything you need to know when getting the perfect pout.
So whether you’re more of an orangey-red or a bluey-crimson, let’s find your perfect red lipstick.
How to find the right shade of red lipstick
When looking for red lipstick, it’s important to consider a few factors. You’ll first want to think about any red lipsticks you’ve used in the past, focusing on why you felt they didn’t work for you. This will help to give you an initial idea of what shades you might want to avoid. You can always come back to these shades later once you feel a bit more confident in your new red lip.
You’ll then want to look at your skin tone and hair colour as these will have a huge impact on the red shades that will suit you. We’ll come back to this a bit later to give you a better idea of where to start.
Finding the right shade for your skin tone takes time, so don’t worry if you have to try a few lipsticks on before you find the perfect colour. The right colour is out there for you, and our guide to the best red lipsticks for different skin tones and hair colours can help.
What's my skin tone?
Skin tones generally come under 3 different types, cool, neutral, and warm. But how do you know which skin tone is yours? Well, if you tend to burn easily, or suit silver jewellery more than gold, it’s likely that you have a cool skin tone. Alternatively, if you tan easily and love to rock a bit of gold bling, then you probably have a warm skin tone.
Finally, if you’re able to wear both gold and silver jewellery, then you have a neutral skin tone. This basically means that you can wear any statement lip and still look absolutely fantastic!
Which red lipstick is right for my skin tone?
Now you’ve sussed out your skin tone, you can start to find the red lipsticks that will be best suited to your skin colour and tone. Whether you’re cool, warm, dark, or something in between, the right shade is waiting for you.
The best red lipsticks for cool skin tones
If you do have a cool skin tone, then blue-based red lipsticks or those with purple undertones like Lisa Armstrong’s SATINcredible Lipstick in Cam Can will suit you beautifully. Be sure to stay clear of more orangey reds, as these will leave you looking washed out.
A matte lip can be troublesome if you’re prone to dry skin, as some cool skin tones can be, so we’d recommend opting for a matte lip colour that also includes a moisturising element. Exfoliating and moisturising your lips regularly will also help combat this. Flight attendants are experts in this field, and they often recommend using a tinted lip balm.
The best red lipsticks for warm skin tones
For those of you with warm and olive skin tones, you’ll suit bright, rosy reds or red lipsticks with orangey undertones. These will complement the golden tones of your skin - great for a glamorous evening look.
If you’re looking for the best matte red lipstick for olive skin, it’s a good idea to stick with more rosy and coral shades.
The best red lipstick for dusky skin tones
Dusky skin tones, much like darker skin tones, are perfectly matched with dark cherry reds or true candy-apple reds. Rich, pigmented colours work beautifully with more tanned skin, adding a bright pop to any outfit.
The best red lipsticks for darker skin tones
Blessed with a stunning, darker skin tone and looking for the best dark red lipstick for dark skin? Luckily for you, your skin can handle the more dramatic, deeper reds such as berry-red and wine-red. Red lips on dark skin are a match made in heaven, especially when paired with a statement outfit for a night out.
The best red lipsticks for blondes
The red lipstick has always been a classic for blondes – hello, Marilyn! Dark red lipstick for blondes is usually a no-go but it’s always worth trying as your skin complexion and shade can make a difference too.
As a rule, blondes should always veer towards more muted reds, with peachy, pink, and coral undertones. However, if you’re looking for red lipstick for fair skin and blonde hair, it’s best to stick to a classic red lipstick with blue undertones.
The best red lipsticks for brunettes
Beautiful brunettes are lucky, as they tend to get away with most shades of red. For something more flattering though, we’d always recommend choosing the deeper, berry and burgundy reds. If you have a dark complexion and burgundy hair, your red lipstick can be dark too, complementing your look.
The best red lipsticks for redheads
As many redheads have pale skin, the best red lipsticks for you tend to have blue undertones. This can be quite a dramatic look, though, so for a softer, more daytime shade why not try a red lippy with pink berry tones?
How to apply lipstick properly
When it comes to perfectly applying your red lipstick, there are 5 simple steps you need to follow.
Step 1: Start by priming your lips with a hydrating lip balm.
Step 2: Gently apply your foundation over your lips. This neutral base will add staying power and help to keep your red lip looking vivid.
Step 3: Line your lips with a matching lip liner.
Step 4: Using an angled brush, use small strokes to slowly apply your lippy.
Step 5: Step 5: To finish, gently dust a powder over the top to set your colour.
Should I wear matte, sheer, or glossy red lipstick?
This completely depends on your style and preference. A matte lipstick paired with minimal eye make-up can be a bold day-to-night look. Alternatively, a glossy vampy red oozes glamour and would be perfect for an evening out.
Ready to rock your perfect red lipstick? From discovering your skin tone to matching your hair colour with your pout, we hope our guide has helped you to find your perfect shade and dream red lip. You can learn more about how to apply your lipstick like a professional here.