Everyone needs a signature red lipstick. It’s as iconic as the little black dress. But, how, oh how, do you find the perfect red lip for your lips? Some reds can look gorgeous, while others… not so much.
What’s the deal? We’ll let you in on a secret: it all comes down to your skin tone.
Read on to find the perfect red lip for you!
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How to find the best shade of red based on your skin tone
To discover your perfect red lipstick, you need to look not at your lips, but at the rest of your face. Knowing your skin tone is the secret to finding the best red lipstick.
Fair skin tone
If you have fair skin, your face already has a lovely flush of pink, so choose a lipstick that compliments that. Stay away from orange, and head towards cool reds with blue, pink, or purple as their base.
Makeup matches: Nicole Kidman, Emma Stone, Cate Blanchett
Light skin tone
If you have light skin, you want a red lipstick with a cool blue undertone. Look for lipstick shades that scream raspberry or cranberry. A red with a little bit of orange works, too.
Makeup matches: Gwen Stefani, Anne Hathaway, Lily Collins
Medium skin tone
Red lipsticks with orange undertones are where it’s at for medium skin tones. Both cool and warm undertones will look good on you, but stay away from corals that wash you out.
Makeup matches: Selena Gomez, Jessica Alba, Priyanka Chopra
Olive skin tone
If you have olive skin, look for earthy, rust, and brick undertones in red lipsticks. Think fire! You want undertones of yellow or orange, but not blue.
Makeup matches: Kim Kardashian, Dua Lipa, Jennifer Lopez
Caramel skin tone
Caramel skin may have the most red lipsticks to choose from, because everything looks great on you. For a safe bet, stick to cool shades and let Goldilocks be your guide: nothing too dark, nothing too light, but something right in the middle. For something bold, go with a cherry red.
Makeup matches: Zendaya, Beyonce, Zoe Saldana
Deep skin tone
Deep skin beauties deserve a deep shade of red, and brick reds with blue undertones. Think wine, with notes of merlot, deep berry, and cherry red.
Makeup matches: Viola Davis, Lupita Nyong’o, Serena Williams
A red lipstick for all skin tones
True reds look great on everybody. These lipsticks have an equal mix of blue and orange undertones.
Pro tips for a perfect red lip
Red is the biggest and boldest of all the colors. To really make your lips pop, try these insider beauty secrets:
Start with a balm. Smooth out your lips with a thin application of your favorite lip balm or chapstick.
Use lip liner. Something about wearing red lipstick transports us back to kindergarten: it’s all about coloring inside the lines. Get a lip liner that matches your lipstick, or use a clear lip liner that you can wear with anything. Trace just outside your lips for a perfectly kissable pout.
Try a lip brush. While you can always apply your lipstick directly, using a lip brush can give you more control.
Give yourself a kiss! Set the color by pressing your lips together in a smooch. Then blot with a tissue between your lips.
Draw attention to your pout. Wear a pair of red earrings, or paint your nails in a matching shade of red. Or add some shine with a lip gloss.
Ready to meet your match?
If we can give you one last tip for finding your perfect red, it’s to be patient. You may have to experiment with a few shades before you find your match! And that’s okay. In fact, it’s part of the fun!
To speed up the process, sign up for a product sampling program like BzzAgent.
BzzAgent partners with the top beauty brands who are looking for product testers to review their red lipsticks and other products. It’s totally free to join, and you get to try free makeup samples from brands like Lancome, Fenty Beauty, L’Oreal, NARS, and more! Sign up today.