The Best Red Lipstick for Your Skin Color

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The Best Red Lipstick for your Skin color


When we think of red lipsticks, one of the first women to come to mind is probably the iconic Marilyn Monroe, with her perfect blond hair, sexy red lips, and gorgeous white dress. It might be a little hard to imagine yourself being able to pull off red lipstick as confidently as she does, but it’s definitely possible. It all depends on  whether you are able to choose a shade of red that flatters your skin tone 

Warm or Cool Skin Tone

The most important step to finding that perfect shade is to determine whether you have a warm or cool skin tone. Women with warm skin tone tend to have a golden undertone in their complexions. An interesting side note is that gold jewelries also flatter warm skin tones. On the other hand, the complexions of people with cool skin tone have a pink undertone. In terms of jewelry, silver items suit cool-toned women the best.

If you can’t identify whether your skin tone is cool or warm, or if you’re one of those tricky in-betweens, Kelsium of Persephone Magazine proposes a little test that you can try. She suggests that you hold a piece of white paper beneath your face in front of a mirror, while standing in natural light. You then close your eyes for a few seconds. If the first thing you see when you open your eyes is your face, then that means you are cool-toned (because your skin is apparently paler than paper). And if you see the paper first instead, that means you’re warm-toned. It’s a pretty neat trick and you don’t have to deal with make-up consultants who might tell you your skin tone and proceed to try to sell you a ton of products.

If you have warmer skin tone, lipsticks with a brown and burgundy undertone would be more likely to look flattering on you. We love NARS Lipstick in Autumn Leaves.

Shop it:

NARS Lipstick – Autumn Leaves, $26 at

NARS Lipstick Autumn Leaves

For those with a cooler skin tone, try a blue and coral undertone lipstick first because they will just pop against your skin. We love OCC Matte Lip Tar in NSFW.

Shop it:

OCC Matte Lip Tar – NSFW, $18.00 at



Fair, Medium, or Dark Skin

You can also choose lipsticks based on whether you are fair, medium, or dark. Fair skin tends to be cool-toned and the same logic applies — blue-based red is usually the go-to color and it works beautifully for women like Dita Von Teese. For those with medium skin, you can actually switch between reds that have brown and earthier undertones or those that are more blue-based. You can basically get the best of both worlds! Women with dark skin can try colors that are darker, like purple and burgundy.

…blue-based red is usually the go-to color and it works beautifully for women like Dita Von Teese.

arrives at the Launch of Kimberly Snyder's "The Beauty Detox Foods"'

You shouldn’t take this as the only rule for choosing that perfect red for yourself, though. There are definitely exceptions and you should try colors that you like regardless of these “rules,” which are really more like guidelines anyway! The exceptions might just might work for you!


Although red lipsticks can make a statement and turn heads, you definitely don’t want to be making the wrong statements with lipstick stain on your pearly white teeth. One way to avoid that problem is to apply your lipstick, blot it off, and then reapply. Your lipstick will stay on a lot better because it has something to hold on to — think of it as a lipstick primer if you will.

To keep your red lipstick from bleeding out of the edges, use a lip liner. Choose a lip liner that’s the same shade (or one shade darker at most to keep yourself from looking like you came out of a 90s teen movie) and keep close to your natural lip line (unless you want to exaggerate the size of your mouth — in that case, I advise you to draw very carefully). You have to try It Cosmetics YLBB Your Lips But Better Waterproof Lip Liner Stain in Perfect Red. It acts as a hydrating primer, and long-wear stain that doesn t dry out lips and keeps your favorite lip product in place!

Shop it:

IT COSMETICS YLBB Your Lips But Better Waterproof Lip Liner Stain -Perfect Red, $20 at

It Cosmetics YLBB Your Lips But Better Waterproof Lip Liner Stain, Perfect Red

Wear your red matte, glossy, or whichever way you want! Just find a shade that makes you look and feel confident and beautiful.

Best red lipsticks to choose from:

What kind of tips or experiences do you have about finding your perfect red lipstick? Join the convo, leave a comment below.


About the author / 

Ana Sanchez-Tan

Ana has always been passionate about Beauty and Fashion. After graduating from Miriam College with a degree in Communication Arts, she pursued her long-time dream to become a make-up artist. Ana completed Hi-Def (HD) Beauty & Fashion Makeup and Hi-Def Pro Airbursh Makeup training at HD Makeup Studio & Academy. With her background in PR and Marketing, Ana is also a Social Media Maven. Offline, Ana loves traveling, reading books, cooking, and anything related to beauty, fashion, technology, cars and entertainment.

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