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Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Red Lipsticks for Your Skin Tone

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Choosing the perfect red lipstick can be as exhilarating as finding your soulmate, and just like a romantic connection, it's all about compatibility. We're on a mission to match you with the best red lipstick tailored to your unique skin tone, because let's face it, not all reds are created equal. Whether you're a fiery warm undertone, a cool and collected neutral, or a deep, sultry cool undertone, there's a red out there waiting to complement your complexion and unleash your inner siren.

Get ready to paint the town red and embody a bold look that suits you to perfection. From classic Hollywood glam to modern-day chic, we've curated notable makeup tips and a list of red lip shades that will make your heart skip a beat. Hold on to your lip gloss, lipstick lovers, as we dive headfirst into the vibrant universe of reds.

How to Find Your Perfect Shade of Red

First things first, consider your skin’s undertone—are you warm, neutral, or cool? Warm undertones can rock fiery orange-reds, while cool undertones can slay in blue-based crimson hues. Neutrals, you lucky ducks, can practically pull off any shade with just a little finesse.

Now, let's talk intensity—are you looking to achieve a bold or subtle look? If you're feeling fearless, go for those deep, rich burgundies that command attention. For a softer approach, opt for sheer reds or buildable tints. And don't forget the finish—matte for a sultry look, glossy for a juicy pout, or satin for the best of both worlds.

The Best Red Lipstick for Deep Skin Tones

Alright, melanin beauties, let's talk about pairing a striking red on your darker tone. For richer complexions, the key is to go bold or go home! Say hello to PAT MCGRATH LABS MatteTrance Lipstick in the shade Vendetta—a velvety, creamy-matte deep cherry red that screams confidence. This shade not only enhances the richness of your skin but also guarantees you'll steal the spotlight wherever you go. Feeling a bit adventurous? Dive into BOBBI BROWN’s Crushed Lip Color in the shade 'Ruby' or TK, a sultry, brown-based red that adds warmth and intensity.

The Best Red Lipstick for Brown Skin

Calling all the beautiful bronzed babes! It's time to spice up your makeup routine with the perfect red lip that complements your glowing skin tone. First up, reach for DOSE OF COLORS in the shade Brick Red—a stunning warm brick-red shade that adds richness to your already gorgeous complexion. This lipstick shade is like the secret ingredient in your beauty routine.

If you're in the mood for something a bit sassier, meet BARE MINERALS in the shade Courage—a bold, spicy red that’s moisturizing and adds a pop of vibrancy to your everyday look. And of course, we can't forget SMASHBOX’s Miss Conduct—a deep, chocolate-infused red that exudes sophistication and pairs nicely against a golden-brown skin tone. This lipstick is your go-to for those moments when you want to channel your inner boss babe. So, to my brown-skinned beauties, let your lips be the canvas, and these reds be the masterpiece that completes your stunning look. 

The Best Red Lipstick for Olive Skin

An olive skin tone typically bears a warmer undertone and pairs perfectly with an orange or coral-based red lipstick. For those of you with a sun-kissed, golden glow, NARS Cosmetics in the shade Heatwave is your go-to shade—a vibrant, orange-based red that mimics the warmth of a summer sunset. This orangey shade is like a tropical vacation for your lips, bringing out the radiance in your tan and giving off major beach vibes. If you're looking to turn up the heat a bit, try out LIVE TINTED in the shade Rise—a fiery, terracotta red lip crayon that complements your tan complexion.

The Best Red Lipstick for Medium Skin

To all the beauties with a medium skin tone, your red lippies can stand to have some versatility. Both cool and warm reds pair seamlessly against neutral skin. Picture this: HAUS LABS Le Monster Lip Crayon in the shade Currant Matte– a soft, warm-toned red that's perfect for everyday wear. This lip crayon is the perfect match if you’re looking for a subtly warm pop of color.

Now, if you're in the mood for a little mystery and allure, ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS Matte & Satin Lipstick in the shade Royal Red is here to take center stage. This deep, classic red with a slightly cool undertone adds a touch of drama that perfectly suits your medium skin tone.

The Best Red Lipstick for Fair Skin

The best lipstick for fair skin is one that adds a bold pop of color to the pink undertone that your light skin already exudes. First up, STILA’s Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in the shade Beso, a liquid lipstick that's not just a burst of red but also a hydrating potion for your lips. The magic? It's a pigmented dream that adds a pop of color without overpowering your fair complexion.

For those moments when you're craving a sheer yet buildable pigment, FLESH’s Fleshy Lips in the shade Chew is your secret weapon. It's the right red lipstick for a classic, sophisticated look that complements your fair skin effortlessly. With its nourishing formula, this lipstick feels like silk on your lips, leaving you with a finish that's both bold and delicate. And last but certainly not least, HUDA BEAUTY’s Liquid Matte Lipstick in the shade Miss America, another liquid lipstick that's not only richly pigmented but also a hydrating delight. This shade’s nourishing formula ensures your lips stay pampered and ready for whatever the day throws your way.

Best Red Lipstick for All Skin Tones

Let’s not forget the classic MAC COSMETICS' Retro Matte Lipstick in the shade Ruby Woo—a timeless, true cool-toned red that compliments every skin tone like a match made in makeup heaven. Mac’s ruby woo is a true red and embodies blue undertones that complements all skin tones and undertones. Reach for this blue-based red on those days when you want to make a statement without uttering a word, plus, the matte gem glides on so effortlessly. Ultimately, the key to rocking the right red lipstick is to embrace the depth and richness of each red shade, so pucker up and let your lips serve as your best accessory.

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About the author
Chelsea Hall
Chelsea Hall
Chelsea is an NYC-based fashion and beauty writer with over 7 years experience. She has held roles at publications such as Harper's Bazaar, WWD, InStyle, and Marie Claire. Her writing has also appeared on ELLE.com and POPSUGAR.com.
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Article Last Updated January 9, 2024 12:00 AM