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We happen to believe that every woman should have a red lipstick in her makeup bag. Red lips are a classic after all and the color pairs well with just about everything. Whether you want to jazz up a LBD or jeans and a T-shirt, red lipstick should be your go-to makeup product. But which shade of red is the right one for you? The answer: Let your skin tone be the guide and play around with different finishes until you find one you like best. Follow our tips below to help make your decision easier!
It’s all about determining your undertones. If you have pink or cool undertones, reach for a blue-based red. Meanwhile, if you have warmer undertones, opt for a red lipstick with orange undertones. An easy way to tell what undertones your skin has is by looking at the inside of your wrists. If your veins are blue, you have cool undertones, while if your veins are green, you have warm undertones. If you can’t tell you very well may have neutral undertones, in which case both orange and blue-based reds will look beautiful on you.
When it comes to what finish of red lipstick to choose, take your personal preference into account—whether you pick something that’s matte, shimmery, or shiny is totally up to you.
Ready to add the perfect red lipstick to your makeup repertoire? To get you started, here are a handful of gorgeous options—from bright red to burgundy—for every skin tone.
If you have fair skin, you may be hesitant to reach for a red lipstick. Don’t worry, we have you covered with the perfect shades to complement your skin!
L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick Lipcolour in British Red: This blue-based red lipstick is perfect for those with cool undertones. You’ll be rocking a traditional, bright red lip. The creamy formula also contains nourishing ingredients like omega-3, vitamin E, and argan oil to give your lips intense hydration.
L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick Matte Lipstick in Doesn't Matte-r: Want to rock a bold red lipstick without toning things down or sticking to a true red hue? Try wearing a burgundy shade instead. The darker color, which suits those with cool undertones, is perfect for slightly more formal events. This is the way to embrace red lips at your office party without going overboard—holiday parties here you come!
L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick Lipcolour in Volcanic: Warm undertones, we’re looking at you! This orange-based bright red hue is the perfect shade for those who want to wear a classic red lip.
If you have light skin, you may be wary about a red lipstick being too harsh against your skin tone. Never fear—your perfect red lipstick match is here!
L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick Lipcolour in Classic Wine: Try a slightly deeper red lip with this wine-inspired hue. The hydrating formula will nourish your lips while giving you luxuriously rich color. This deep red shade complements those with cool undertones.
L’Oréal Paris Infallible Paints/Lip in DIY Red: This bright red lip color, which looks amazing on anyone with cool undertones, will give your pout the classic red you crave. The formula provides vibrant, full-coverage color and comfortable wear.
L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick Lipcolour in Raspberry Rush: This pink-red lipstick will coat your lips in a bright red hue worthy of your next Instagram selfie. The orange-based red will look stunning on those with warm undertones.
If you have a medium skin tone, you’re in luck! There are a variety of red hues you can rock. Here are some of our favorites:
L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick Lipcolour in True Red: This rich, classic red lip is ideal for those who have warm undertones. The bright hue will contrast beautifully against your medium skin tone while the conditioning formula will help keep your lips hydrated.
L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick Lipcolour in Ruby Flame: This bright red lip has blue undertones that make it the perfect shade for those who have coordinating cool undertones. The formula provides luxurious color while conditioning your lips.
If you have olive skin, you can venture into more daring hues. Here are some of our favorite red lipsticks for olive skin tones:
L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick Matte Lipstick in Matte at Bat: Think you can’t quite pull off red lips? Think again! Give classic red lipstick another chance with this orange-tinted red, which looks amazing when paired with warm undertones.
L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick Matte Lipstick in Devil’s Matte-vocate Red: This rich red with blue undertones is just slightly darker than a classic red. Your lips will be coated in rich matte color while getting intense hydration.
L’Oréal Paris L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick Lipcolour in Blazing Lava: Don’t want to wear a matte lip? No problem! This red lip has a satin finish and comes in a slightly darker hue with blue undertones—perfect for all our gals with cool undertones to match.
Have a deep skin tone? Lucky you! Your deep skin will be flattered by just about any red hue, whether you opt for a candy red or a sultry maroon.
L’Oréal Paris Infallible PAINTS/LIPS Matte in Cinna-bomb: If you prefer a red that’s more on the maroon side of the spectrum, this is the color for you. This deep red lip color has a blue-base that will complement those with cool undertones. The matte formula provides high impact color, full coverage, and comfortable wear.
L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick Shine Lipstick in Enamel Red: This bright, orange-based red lipstick will flatter those with warm undertones. The ultra-rich formula provides comfortable wear and rich color pay-off with a glossy finish to top things off.
L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick Lipcolour in Divine Wine: This dark, purple-red color will look seriously gorgeous against your deep skin tone. The blue-based lipstick is perfect for those with cool undertones and will give your lips ultra-hydrating color.
While picking a lipstick based on your skin tone is a great way to find a color that is sure to look stunning, there are a few shades of red that are universally flattering. Consider adding one (or all) of them to your makeup collection!
L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lipstick in Matte-ly In Love: If you’re in love with classic true reds and old school swivel lipsticks, make sure to get your hands on this eye-catching hue. The rich pigment glides on smoothly to create a gorgeous lip look that will last through your morning coffee and after-work drinks.
L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick in Stirred: Hey, true reds aren’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get in on this go-to look. Instead of rocking a bright, candy apple red lipstick, consider trying this dustier color, which blends red, nude, and brick hues together for a more muted red lip.
L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick in Matador: Love a good matte lip? Who doesn’t? Pair a lipstick with a matte finish with a red hue and you’ll have yourself a picture-perfect pout just in time for the holidays.
Determining which red lipstick will complement your skin tone best—and finding it in your favorite finish—is only half the battle. How you apply your red lipstick is an important part of the process too. Here’s how to do it right:
Putting lipstick onto dry, flaky lips? Don’t think so! Use a lip scrub to exfoliate dead skin cell buildup from the surface of your lips first.
Use an invisible lip liner as a primer, filling in your lips and then tracing along your natural lip line. This can help to prevent bleeding and help your lipstick stay put all day.
It’s go time, so get to work! Pick up your red lipstick and apply it to your heart’s content.
Red lips are a total statement-maker, so keep the rest of your face simple, fresh, and dewy. To get the look, use a lightweight, glowing foundation, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Glow Foundation. It has a dewy finish that looks fresh off the runway. For best results, apply it with a makeup blender, like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender. Place a small amount of foundation on the pointed tip of the blender, then use dabbing and rolling motions to blend the foundation onto your skin using the bottom of the sponge. Top off your look with a coat of volumizing mascara, like the L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise Washable Mascara, and you’re done. Seriously, that’s it! When you wear red lipstick, it does all the work—so minimal makeup is all you need.
Think your makeup bag may be missing the perfect pink lipstick? Say no more! Find your perfect shade in our article, How to Find the Best Pink Lipstick for Your Skin Tone.