Shades of Red Lipstick: How to Find Your Perfect Color

by | Jan 30, 2017 | 0 comments

First and foremost, let’s make this clear. A red lip is flattering on everyone! You just need to experiment with different shades of red lipstick to find the perfect color for you.

A red lip is one of the most classic and elegant makeup trends you can wear; always has been. It portrays elegance, confidence, and most of all an automatic glammed-up appearance.

However, it also seems to be one of the most feared makeup trends.  As a makeup artist, I hear from so many of my clients, “I can’t wear bright lipstick, especially red! It’s too bold for my face.”

But of course, that is NOT the case!

I can assure you that a red lip has always been and will always will be in style. As a result, it is one of the fiercest makeup trends seen on the runways, in television and movies, and at award shows.

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Since the celebrities know how to rock a red lip, why can’t we?!

Read on to find the perfect shades of red lipstick for you!

Everyone can wear a red lip. But it is all about finding the shades of red lipstick that will compliment your skin tone.

A close up of a woman applying the shades of red lipstick

Warm Skin Tones

If you are like me and have a warm and golden skin tone; with brown or hazel eyes; and golden or reddish hair tones: then the shades of red lipstick best for you would be Wine Reds.

(For instance, Charlize Thereon fits this category and wears this shade amazingly well.)


Fair Skin Tones

On the other hand, if you have fair skin or often describe yourself as being pale: then you too would also choose a Wine Red lipstick.

(Nicole Kidman is the perfect celebrity for example.)


Cool Skin Tones

If you have a cool skin tone with rosy or olive skin; blue, green, brown or hazel eyes; and your hair does not have any golden or red tones: the shades of red lipstick that would look best are Blue-Based Reds.

(Angelina Jolie is the perfect celebrity that wears a Blue-Based Red.)


Olive Skin Tones

Next, if you have olive skin: then your perfect shade of red is a Coral Red.

(Celebrities that are in this group are Kim Kardashian and Penelope Cruz.)


Medium Skin Tones

If you have a medium skin tone: then your choice of red is a Scarlet Red.

(Both Jessica Alba and Paris Hilton have medium skin tone.)


Darker Skin Tones

Finally, if you have a darker complexion: Burgundy Shades and Bright Reds look great.

(Jennifer Hudson is a celebrity that wears both these colors very well.)

Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick. ~Gwyneth Paltrow Click To Tweet

When In Doubt:

Ultimately, if you’re not sure what skin tone you have (or what color to truly go with) a go-to red shade of lipstick that looks great on everyone is a Brick shade of red.


A Few Helpful Tips:

First – to prevent bleeding:

  1. If you like using liner, you can line your lips. However, use a color that is lighter than the red you’re using. It’s best to choose a color close to your natural lip color.
  2. Otherwise if a liner is not for you, use concealer around the edge of your mouth. This will act as a border, helping to keep the color in place.
  3. Another option is to purchase a product that specifically helps prevent bleeding. My favorite is the Lip-Lock Pencil by e.l.f. I use it every time I apply any shade of lipstick.

Second – to help color last longer:

  1. Prime your lips by coloring them in with a liner (make sure to choose the right color – reminder from first tip above).
  2. Strangely enough, you can actually dust your lips with a loose translucent powder.
    • First, prime your lips with a specific lip primer, or simply a small amount of lip balm.
    • Next, you will apply your lipstick.
    • Finally, lightly dust translucent powder over your lips. This helps set the color to your lips and prevent it from fading.

MLH TIP: priming your lips is always a good idea, whether you are going to use a lip liner or a powder. As a result, it will give your lips a little moisture, helping keep the lipstick in place.


Third – don’t play up your eyes:

  1. You really only want one bold look on your face at a time. So if you’re going to wear red lipstick, keep your eyes simple.
  2. Therefore, only apply some mascara and a shimmery nude sweep of eye shadow.  And you’re all set to go!
woman lips close up with the perfect shades of red lipstick. beautiful model girl manicure with nail polish

Anyone can wear red lipstick (yes, even you!).

Don’t be afraid to start adding it to your nightly (or daily!) routine. Lipstick is nothing to be shy about.

Furthermore, the more you wear it, the more comfortable you will be wearing it. Once I started wearing red lips and bold bright colors, I fell in love instantly with how I looked. And I now think I look odd without any lip color!

So in conclusion, if wearing red lips is something you’ve been wanting to try – go for it! I promise, you will get compliments.

Let me know what shade of red you try, and send us some pictures!

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Tracie Rosales
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