Choosing the Perfect Shade of Red Lipstick for your Skin Tone

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A while back, I wrote a post about picking the perfect nude lipstick for your skin tone. Since then, a few people have emailed to request a similar post, but about red lipstick.

Christy Turlington wears Revlon Red

Red lipstick can be really intimidating if you don't know your basics. What shade to choose? What if it doesn't look good? Is it too bold a look for me?

This guide is to help you narrow down your options to find the perfect shade for your skin colour. I've grouped it into 4 different skin types - fair, medium, olive, and dark.

Fair skin


Get Anne Hathaway's red lip by first applying Benefit's Benetint to stain the lips, and then dot Dior's Addict Lipstick in Positive Red onto the center of your lips and blend well.

For fair skin, choose a red with blue undertones. These are usually strong reds, which look great on those with pale skin. Also, the blue base cancels out the yellow undertones in your skin, which adds to a more striking look, not to mention whiter teeth.

Try these shades:

Clinique Long Last Soft Shine Lipstick in Red Red Red

Clinique Butter Shine Lipstick in Parisian Red (my personal favourite!)

MAC lipstick in Ruby Woo

NARS Matte Lipstick in Jungle Red

Medium Skin

Kim Kardashian wears MAC's Limited Edition lipstick in Ruffian Red

For medium skin, try deep red colours, with brown or tawny undertones. These deeper colours pop against your skin colour as opposed to others that might make you look washed out.

Try these lipsticks:

Kat Von D Painted Love Lipstick in Hellbent

NYX Round Lipstick in Snow White

MAC Lipstick Cremesheen in Dare You

Lancome Color Fever Lipstick in Sensual Java

Revlon Matte Lipstick in In the Red

Olive skin




Olive skinned girls look amazing in fire-engine red. Think bright, fiery red.

Try these lipstick shades:

Revlon Matte Lipstick in Really Red

Revlon Fire and Ice lipstick

Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Hollywood Red

Illamasqua Lipstick in Ignite

Femme Rouge Velvet Crème Lipstick in Raven

Dark Skin




For dark skinned-girls, a cherry-red that is bold enough to stand out should be worn.

Here are a few suggestions:

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Pure Colour Satiny Radiance in Le Rouge



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