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6 Ways to Give Your Red Lipstick a Trendy, TikTok Viral Upgrade

Dial up your makeup look with a single swipe of this power color.

September 01, 2023

When your mind drifts to the topic of timeless beauty and iconic makeup looks, winged eyeliner or red lipstick are a couple that probably come to mind. Red lipstick is like the little black dress of makeup — it’s a classic that makes a gorgeous statement for any occasion and there are many ways to wear it and make it feel special. 

Whether it’s a part of your everyday makeup routine or something you reach for to elevate your look for a special occasion, the right shade of red lipstick is a necessity in every makeup bag. Ahead, learn six ways to upgrade your go-to red lips, plus the best shades of red lipstick for every skin tone.

What Is the Best Red Color Lipstick?

The best color of red lipstick is subjective because your skin tone is going to play a huge factor in what looks best on you. The shades of red that tend to gain the most popularity for their timeless beauty and universally flattering finish is a tie between a classic, candy apple red shade, like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Satin Lipstick in Volcanic and a blue-toned red shade, like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick in Le Rouge Avant Garde

Opt for the candy apple shade if you have a pale or olive skin tone. Wear a blue-red shade if you have a medium or deep skin tone. Blue-toned red lipstick is also a good option if you're looking for a shade of lipstick that can make your teeth look whiter.

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Who Makes the Best True Red Lipstick?

A true red lipstick is a vibrant shade of red with a hint of pink that doesn’t have noticeable orange or burgundy undertones. There is no shortage of red lipstick, whether it be from the drugstore or high-end brands, so it’s understandable that deciding on the best one can be a little tricky. One of our favorite true red lipsticks is the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Reds Of Worth Satin Lipstick With Saturated Color in Successful Red

The Reds of Worth collection includes six shades so there’s a shade to suit every skin tone. These lipsticks are loved for their rich pigment and a creamy, smudge-proof finish that glides over your lips and won’t make them feel dry while you wear them.

If you prefer a matte lipstick option, try a liquid lipstick formula in a true red shade. We recommend the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Resistance Liquid Lipstick in French Kiss, which paints lips a vivid pink-red and lasts up to 16 hours. Its formula is infused with hyaluronic acid to help lips feel soft while the color saturates it with pigment.

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What Skin Tone Looks Good With Red Lipstick?

Red lipstick looks good on everyone — it’s just about finding the right shade for your skin tone. Here are a few tips to help you find the best shade of red for your skin tone. 

The Best Lipstick Shade for Fair and Light Skin Tones

If you have fair or light skin, go for a cherry-red shade, like the L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Satin Lipstick Limited Edition, Red My Lips that can pop against your alabaster complexion. True, blue-red shades of lipstick are also popular for you as the cool-toned color pops against the light complexion of your skin. True, blue-red shades of lipstick like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Resistance Liquid Lipstick in Le Rouge Paris offer a bold color payoff that lasts all day with the long-wear formula and powdery finish that feels light on the lips.

The Best Lipstick Shade for Medium Skin 

Medium skin has its pick with virtually any shade of red because medium skin tends to have both, warm and cool undertones. With that said, red-orange shades, like the L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Satin Lipstick in British Red are especially beautiful on medium skin with warm undertones. Swipe a medium-toned red like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick in Le Rouge Determination on your lips to match your skin tone for a powerful red lip. 

The Best Lipstick Shade for Olive Skin

Olive skin can have fun with shades of red that have orange and pink undertones, like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Satin Lipstick in Fresh As A Rose. Stay away from cool-toned colors because they can look dull and gray on your skin.

The Best Lipstick Shade for Dark Skin

For dark skin tones, look for vivid shades of red and crimson with blue undertones. Deep berry and rich wine shades, like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Satin Lipstick in Spice also look super stunning on those with dark and deep skin. 

Which Red Lipstick Is Best for Yellow Teeth?

The best red lipstick to make your teeth look whiter is blue-toned red lipstick. Because blue and yellow sit across from each other on the color wheel, the blue will help to neutralize the yellow tones on your teeth. If you don’t know what blue-toned red lipstick looks like, think of a classic, deep red shade that doesn’t have yellow or orange tones, like the previously mentioned  L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Resistance Liquid Lipstick in Le Rouge Paris (which also happens to be a favorite of L’Oréal Paris’ new Global Ambassador, Kendall Jenner).  

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6 Ways to Modernize Your Red Lip 

A red lip is forever a classic, but here are six ways to give it a modern remix.

1. Try a Red Glitter Lip 

First, pick up a matte lip liner — like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lip Liner in Matte in Manhattan — and line your lips following their natural shape. Then, apply a hydrating lip balm to give your lips a little bit of moisture. The stickier, the better because the glitter needs something to adhere to. 

Taking your glitter (make sure to use a makeup-grade variety that’s safe for the face), use a cotton swab and lightly dab it onto your lips. Your pout is going to be instantly sparkly and the centerpiece of your makeup look.  

2. Create an Ombré Lip

Just as we have no plans to stop our support of ombré hair, we’re pretty sure we’re forever fans of ombré lips. For a look guaranteed to get a lot of love, pair a classic red lipstick, like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Reds Of Worth Satin Lipstick With Saturated Color in Lovely Red, with a pretty pink, like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Satin Lipstick in Ballerina Shoes to create an ombré lip look. 

Start by lining the perimeter of your lips, shading in the corners for dimension, with a lip liner that matches your red lipstick, like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner in Always Red. Next, use a flat lip brush to apply the pink lipstick to the center of your lips. Then, apply the red on top where you lined your lips. To finish, blend any harsh edges with the brush and blot for a seamless ombré effect. Try to avoid pressing your lips together immediately after blending with the brush to keep the ombré gradient intact.

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3. Try a Hue You Don’t Normally Wear

When you think of red lips, your mind likely goes straight to shades that resemble fire trucks and candy apples, but those aren’t your only options. To mix things up, opt for a darker, burgundy shade of lipstick like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick in Le Plum Dominant. Not only is a vampy hue great for the winter months but it’s especially flattering on deep skin tones. 

Try the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick in Stirred or the L'Oréal Paris Les Nus by Colour Riche Intense Nude Lipstick in Nu Extreme. Both shades feature a rich, oxblood hue that adds instant drama to your makeup look.

Alternatively, if you’re someone who tends to sport vampy shades, switch it up with a red-pink shade, like the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Makeup Luminous Hydrating Lipstick + Nourishing Serum in Perfect Burgundy or a red-orange shade, like the L’Oréal Paris Satin Lipstick in Maison Morais.

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4. Embrace Shine With a Glossy Lip

Matte red lips are timeless, especially for a Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day celebration, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only finish for your crimson pout. A glossy red lip, courtesy of the L'Oréal Paris Brilliant Signature Shiny Lip Stain Lipstick in Be Brilliant, is a great way to don red lips with a trendy, high-shine finish. 

Another option is the L'Oréal Paris Infallible 8 Hour Pro Lip Gloss, Hydrating Finish in Red Fatale, a metallic lip gloss that nourishes your pout with a vivid pigment and lustrous shine. 

5. Go the Subtle Route With Lip Balm

Switch up the typical notion of a red lip and opt for a subtle red lip balm. They say a little goes a long way, and that’s certainly the case when wearing a sheer coat of red on your pout. The L'Oréal Paris Glow Paradise Lip Balm-in-Gloss Pomegranate Extract in Angelic Daydream adds just the right amount of orange-red color and leaves your pout feeling kissably smooth thanks to hyaluronic acid

6. Kiss-Proof Your Pout 

To ensure your red lipstick stays in place all night — even if you want to steal a kiss or two — all you need is a little translucent powder. Follow with your lipstick as per usual, opt for one with a long-wearing formula, like the aforementioned L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick in Le Rouge Avant Garde.

Once you’re finished carefully applying your lipstick, it’s time to set your lip look. First, place a tissue over your lips. Then, dip a fluffy makeup brush into a loose translucent face powder and through the tissue, press the powder onto your lips. After that, you’re free to pucker up, sip a drink or wear a face mask without lipstick transfer.

Next: How to Identify Your Lip Shape

Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Digital Tech: Erik Dalzen, Photo Assistant: Sam Kang, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Mirna Jose, Hair Assistant: Keila Rivera, Wardrobe Stylist: Alexis Badiyi, Wardrobe Assistant: Jazmine Alzado, Model: Omega

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