How to choose your perfect Red Lipstick?

When it comes to red lipstick, there are plenty of options in the market. There is no hard and fast rule for choosing the right shade and anyone can wear whichever red they like, period! However, with unlimited options available, it can be a little daunting to pick the shade that suits your skin tone the best. This is where we beauty editors and makeup enthusiasts can help! Red lipstick has that elusive quality that makes you look polished in a matter of seconds. It is that little black dress of the makeup world that does the trick every single time. Even though you may not like to wear red on a day-to-day basis, red lipstick in your kit is essential.

Give a woman the right lipstick and she can conquer the world...

Red lipstick adds sophistication to any look. It has that power element that makes you look like a #bossbabe. For men, all red lipstick may look alike but ask a woman and she can show you the rainbow within reds. There are certain hues that work best for each skin tones and there are also some lovely options that surprisingly work for every complexion.

Top tips for choosing your perfect red

  • Understanding your undertones – If the veins on your wrist appear more purple-ish, you have cool undertones. If they look more green, you have warm undertones.
  • If you’re afraid of bright reds, try to go for low key red by gently blotting instead of swiping your red lipstick. This will give a lip stain or a sheer red look.
  • Experiment, swatch and try different reds to see which one looks best on you.
  • Understand the lipstick’s texture – Matte, Satin or Gloss can change the way a red looks on you.

Best reds for fair skin

Bright reds, as well as deeper red tones like berries with blue undertones (think cranberry), look fabulous on people with fair skin. These tones add a bold pop of colour against fair complexions. Light and fair skin should look for cool hues with blue and purple undertones that compliment the pink flush of skin for a flattering finish. Rimmel Lasting Finish – Dark Red is a lovely pick!

YSL Rouge Pur Couture - ROuge Rouxane
YSL Rouge Pur Couture - Rouge Roxane swatch
Warm tone red on medium skin tone

Best reds for medium skin

Medium skin tones have that advantage of choosing warm or cool hues. Pure Red from Nyx Cosmetics is a hot tomato or warm toned dark orange shade that pops on medium skin tones. The good thing is that it is inexpensive so you don’t have to spend a lot of money to find your perfect shade. If luxurious formulations attract you more, YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in Le Orange is another warm toned red.

True red on medium skin tone

Best reds for Olive skin

Orange tone reds look lovely on Olive skin and warm undertones. Rimmel lasting finish lipstick in Alarm is a fab option for a true orange-red. This has a satin finish that looks sophisticated and chic. Rimmel Lasting Finish By Kate lipstick costs as little as a coffee but brightens up warm complexions and will get you compliments. Another universal orange-y red is Revlon’s super lustrous lipstick in Fire & Ice which flatters all skin tones especially olive complexions. L’oreal color riche matte lipstick in Devil’s matte vocate (formerly Blake’s Red) or you may go for Haute Rouge shade from the same range.

Charlotte Tilbury Opium Noir Lipstick Swatch - Ms Tantrum blog
Wine shade for medium and deeper skin tones

Best reds for deeper skin

Intense color like deep reds and reds with blue undertones look amazing on deeper skin tones. Wines, berries, and brick reds complement deeper complexions unlike any other. Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color, Romance is a lovely bold red with velvety matte finish that brightens up deeper complexions in just one swipe.

A winner for all skin tones

Maybelline Color Sensational Made for All – Red for Me is a blue-toned red with a satin finish that looks absolutely stunning on any complexion. Ruby for Me from the same line has a blue undertone and is a winner! Just one swipe of this creamy, dreamy drugstore lippy is as good as any high-end option! Gosh Lumi Lips in the shade LOL is a fab gloss option with a slight shimmer. It is a sheer brick red that flatters all skin tones.

Until next time, Ashh xo

*Sponsored Post. Opinions are my own and unbiased.


Multi Awards Finalist & Brides Magazine Contributor with a strong love for high-end Beauty & Fragrance and also a soft spot for highstreet finds here and there. Full-time Digital Content Creator & Product Photographer living in Buckinghamshire, UK. Top Influencer for Atelier Cologne - Mar'19, Liberty - Feb'19 & Net-a-Porter – July’18 | Fohr Verified


  1. Thanks for sharing these tips!!

    Curated By Jennifer

  2. Lizzie says:

    These are great tips!! I have cooler undertones so I always go for a blue-red!


  3. You picked so many beautiful shades! I think I prefer the dark reds, but I’m open to trying a bright red too!

  4. I always look for red lippies with blue undertones! Great tips!
    xo Amanda | Affordable by Amanda

  5. Red lipstick is such a classic statement. I cannot wait for the days when we don’t need masks and can wear all of the gorgeous red lips!

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