How To Wear Red Lipstick: The Ultimate Guide To Red Lipsticks For Your Skin Tone

Red lipstick is the most iconic shade of all time that looks great on all women and across all skin tones.  A subtle red lip stain is perfect for the daytime and an opaque classic red is perfect for a glam evening out. 

Every lady should own the perfect red lipstick that will emphasize the beauty of her natural complexion. MAC's Retro Matte Lipstick in the iconic shade Ruby Woo is a universally flattering shade that makeup artist agree is the one shade that fits all - when in doubt, make sure to give this blue based bold red a try! Of course, at first glance, all red lipsticks look very similar but they are all different. Red lipstick can be cool or warm toned, dark or light and that's where the real struggle lies in hunting down the perfect shade!


Here is our ultimate guide in finding the perfect shade of red lipstick that will flatter your skin tone.


Bright Red Orange

Alabaster or fair skin tones have naturally pink undertones. Cool toned red lipsticks with hints of blue and purple will brighten the complexion as well as your smile! Blue based red lipstick is cool toned and warm tones would be yellow based which is what you don't want if you have a fair complexion. A few celebs with porcelain complexion are Dita Von Teese, Nicole Kidman and Emma Stone.

Retro Glam

Classic Red

Deep Red


A Touch of Red

Ivory skin tones tend to have a lot of different undertones that could be yellow, pink and even a bit of blue - understanding what your undertone is will help you choose a flattering shade. If you're pale and are looking to add a bit of warmth to your complexion, muted earthy and ashy shades of red like terracotta, brick red, redwood and Indian red are your BFF.  Kirsten Dunst, Kirsten Stewart and Kate Bosworth are a few celebrities with an ivory complexion.

Muted Cordovan Red

Medium Red


Very deep and intense shades also look great on light ivory skin. Try to stay away from very light, blushing shades of red - they can make you look ill.

Terracotta Red

Chocolate Merlot

Wine Lips



Girls with olive skin tend to have yellow undertones. Warm toned red lipstick with a yellow base are ideal for this complexion. Orange will literally make the olive complexion glow! If you're looking for something a bit more modest, try out subtle red lipsticks, they are incredible trendy this season. Subtle reds aren't too bright, but have a beautiful soft hint of red color to them. Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens and Mila Kunis all have olive complexions.

If you have a medium skin tone, you're one of the lucky gals as you can carry off a wide range of colors! That means you can pull off any shade of red lipstick and look incredible. JLo, Gina Rodriguez and Eva Mendez are a few celebs with gorgeous medium skin tones.

The best red lipstick shades for girls with warm golden skin are berry shades. Vivid raspberry, deep grape and juicy blackberry: all these shades make the beautiful golden glow of you skin stand out even more.

Pretty Plum




Glossy Red

Caramel skin tone has the rich, buttery brown shade of caramel nougat. Think LaLa, Zendaya, Jessica Alba just to name a few celebrities. The girl with this skin tone tend to look especially flattering while wearing orange and yellow based reds. 

Warm Red

Red Orange

Warmer colors, like apple red, flame red and scarlet, will bring out the warmness in your skin tone.

Anyone with deep to dark skin tones will appreciate blue-based red lipstick. Blue-based red shades, like true red and ruby red make the teeth appear whiter. Bright, neon red is another shade that looks bold and daring on dark skin complexions, so don't be afraid to give this shade of red a try.

A more casual shade of red for dark skin would be blush red. It is very cute and fits everyday occasions. For an intense look, go for chocolate red, dark burgundy and deep brown. Jennifer Hudson, Naomi Campbell and Lupita Nyong'o are a few celebs with deep to dark complexions.

Classic Red Lip

Red Orange

Holiday Glam

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