Skip to main content

The Best Red Lipstick For Every Skin Tone

The Best Red Lipstick For Every Skin Tone
Emily Cotton
Beauty Editor4 years ago
View Emily Cotton's profile

Berry or orange-based, matte or sheer, a swipe of rouge across your lips can dress up the most pared-back of aesthetics and instantly update your look. You just need to find the best red lipstick shade for you.

One thing’s for sure, once you’ve found your signature red, you won’t go back. The red that suits you is the one that makes your skin glow! We’ve searched for some of the most coveted lipsticks on the market in search of a complementary colour for every skin tone.


How To Find The Best Red Lipstick For You

Find Your Undertone 

Most of us don’t know our undertone, but it’s a makeup basic. To find your undertone start by thinking of your skin as two layers. It's easy enough to work out whether your complexion is fair, medium (including olive and tanned complexions) or dark, but the layer of skin underneath has its own tone too. And this could be either cool, neutral or warm. 

One simple way of working out which skin tone you have is to have a look at your wrist, and more specifically your veins. If the veins on your wrist are a purple-blue colour, then you have a cool undertone. If they are more bluey-green, then your undertone is neutral. Or, if they are very green, then you have a warm undertone. If the veins on your wrists are a mix of green, purple and blue, this is more than likely another indicator of a neutral undertone.

Complement your complexion 

For a subtle look, you’ll want to find lipstick shades that have the same undertones as you do. However, for a look that seriously pops, you’ll want ones with the opposite tones to your skin for that added contrast. 

Fair complexion 

Cool undertone 

The best red lipsticks for a fair complexion will brighten your skin tone. If you're pale with cool undertones, stick to blue-pink based red lipsticks. We recommend raspberry and cranberry hues to contrast, complement and warm your skin tone. 

Neutral or warm undertone 

If your fair skin’s undertone is more neutral or warm, fiery orange-reds are a great matchKeep the rest of your makeup subtle to allow a lipstick in this shade to really stand out. 

Medium complexion 

Cool undertone 

If you have a medium complexion, you’re in luck as you can get away with most shades of red – both darker and brighter red lipsticks look great! Medium skin tones with cool undertones are a rare thing, but if this is you, opt for lipsticks with a blue-based red colour.

Neutral or warm undertone 

Most medium skin tones come with warm undertones, which can be complemented by a whole host of red shades. Why not try a bold red for a daring evening look, burgundy for a sophisticated look, or bright orangey-red for a slightly different take? 

Darker complexions 

Any undertone

For darker complexions, a true red colour is a gorgeous look. To achieve this look, choose a lipstick that looks a little darker (and a little coolerwhile in its tube. Softer red shades on darker complexions are also stunning and create a sophisticated look.

Subscribe To GLOSSYBOX

If you love beauty and want to try out five different makeup, skincare and haircare products each month, we suggest you subscribe and become a Glossy! Along with a monthly surprise delivery, you'll also get priority access and exclusive discounts on our Limited Edition boxes!

Emily Cotton
Beauty Editor
View Emily Cotton's profile
I'm someone who loves getting glammed up, but I feel like I never have enough time. Frequently running between work, the gym and seeing friends means my makeup routine is quick and often touched up on the go. Therefore, beauty products that serve as multi-purpose are perfect for me - a blush that works for cheeks and lips is a must in my makeup bag!