Red Lipstick: How Do I Choose The Right One For Me?
Red lipsticks come in a wide array of shades like brick red, bright scarlet and vampy dark red. This shade has always been popular because it’s the easiest way to dress yourself up. Even if you’re wearing jeans and a plain shirt, red is an attention-grabbing shade that’s guaranteed to turn heads. The right colour will make your face look fresher and your teeth much whiter.
There are a few celebrities known to wear a red lip all the time, like Dita Von Teese, Taylor Swift, and Lupita Nyong’o. The trick to finding a signature red just like them is to check your skin tone. As a general rule, you should check what colour your veins look like on your wrist. If your veins look bluish, you have a cool undertone. If they’re more green, you have a warm undertone.
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Warm undertones look best with orangey reds, while cool undertones are flattered by blue-based red lipsticks. There are some shades, however, which are considered ‘true’ or universal reds that have no strong undertone of their own to clash against your skin, so they look good on all skin tones.
One last consideration? You may want to brighten up your smile, so if your teeth are a bit yellow, some vivid bluish reds will make them look much whiter. While these tests are not foolproof, they’re a great starting point to see which red lipstick looks good on you. Check out our top six recommendations below; many of them are universal reds, but some are particularly flattering depending on your skin tone!
The 6 Best Red Lipsticks
6. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Cherries In The Snow
This Winter Bright Lip Is A Colour For All Seasons
Cost: $AUD22.95 here.
A drugstore favourite, this bright pinky-red tends to pull redder on fair skin. It’s a good transition shade for pink lipstick devotees who want to try on a red lip, and the vivid, cherry colour is especially flattering against pale skin and blonde hair. It’s not as long-lasting as some of the other lipsticks on this list, but this classic bullet formula doesn’t dry out your lips and leaves a light, flattering stain.
Review: “A very flattering color without being flashy, it brightens you up! It's also the only lipstick that I don't have to use a lip liner with. It's moisturizing but not too glossy for you matte girls, long lasting, and leaves a slight tint on your lips when it's gone.” - triste3030, Makeupalley.com reviewer
5. Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint In Uncensored
A Universal Red That’s Fast Becoming A Cult Fave
Cost: $AUD36 here.
Uncensored is a godsend for women with olive skin or dark skin who struggle to find the perfect red, as it’s a true neutral red that doesn’t have a strong undertone. This Sephora best-seller is known for its staying power and weightlessness on the lips. No cracking, drying, or need to touch this up once it’s on! Some beauty editors have hailed it as ‘a new classic’.
Review: “It does everything you want it to do: makes your teeth look whiter, it conditions and does not dry on, goes on with full opacity, and makes your smile look perfect. I love it! I still can’t believe how good it looks and feels.” -kekkonsha1595, Sephora.com reviewer
4. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick In Beso
A Liquid Lip That’s Virtually Kiss-Proof
Cost: $AUD34 here.
The Stila Stay All Day lipsticks are known for lasting up to ten hours with minimal fading, even after meals! Be careful about applying this liquid lip with the doe-foot applicator. The small brush makes even and precise coating easy, and the shade stays vibrant so you won’t need any makeup touch-ups!
Review: “Applies just fine, and is easy to get evenly in the lines and it stays in the lines, which many reds tend to feather out and bleed. This one stays put. Not sticky or tacky at all. Pretty much you don't even feel it on!” - SmokeySings, Makeupalley.com reviewer
3. NARS Semi-Matte Lipstick in Jungle Red
This Timeless Shade Is An Homage To A 1950s Hue
Cost: $AUD43 here.
Inspired by the movie The Women, Jungle Red is good beginner’s red for those who are wary of brighter shades. Slightly warm and muted, the low orange undertones give all types of skin a vibrant boost. This red velvet lipstick is also full of antioxidants to nourish your lips all day!
Review: “This is my first NARS Semi Matte lipstick, and I absolutely love the formula. Though it is matte, I don't find it drying, and it lasts around 4-5 hours. The lipstick doesn't have much slip and is very lightweight, feeling like it really melds with your lips.” -hisquiggle, Makeupalley.com reviewer
2. Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour in Pirate
Add A Glamorous Finish With This Satin All-Day Red
Cost: $AUD53 here.
Formulated to look exactly like Coco Chanel’s favourite red lipstick, this long-lasting and moisturising lipstick is still a makeup artist favourite all these decades later. Hydrating, perfect on all skin tones, and packed with jojoba oil, your lips will be nourished and line-free with this classic product.
Review: “#99 Pirate is the perfect shade of red. Goes on so easily and stays put. Very pigmented and extremely smooth. No other makeup necessary for a bold look. My new go to lipstick while getting ready in the morning!” - Sarah C., Influenster.com reviewer
A Shade That Everyone Can Wear
Cost: $AUD36 here.
The red that launched a hundred imitators; this makeup must-have used to be considered the best red lipstick you can purchase. The semi-matte formula has excellent staying power, and while it can be a bit drying on the lips, it’s nothing a quick dab of lip balm can’t fix!
Review: “The opaque color has blue undertones that flatter every skin tone and make your teeth sparkle, as if a drop of coffee has never passed your lips.” - Elizabeth Siegel, Deputy Beauty Director at Allure