How to Pick the Best Red Lipstick for Your Skin Tone

A classic red lip never gets old! Red lipstick is like the little black dress or perfect strand of pearls, bringing sophistication or sultriness to an evening look. It’s definitely one of the sexiest, if not the sexiest lipstick shade. 

Red Hot
Red lipstick has been known to make a woman feel more confident. According to color psychology, the color red is a warm and positive color. It is an energizing color, giving confidence, especially to those who are shy or need a boost of boldness. It’s also stimulates intimacy and passion. It is a color of sexuality, desire and lust (which explains the male attraction to the lip color.)

Is Red the Sexiest Lip Color?
Red is also apparently a lipstick shade that men find attractive. A 2010 study conducted by scientists at Manchester University tracked the eye movements of 50 men and showed that men fixated on a woman’s lips longer when she is wearing lipstick. Their eyes lingered even longer on women with full lips, wearing red lipstick.

The Right Shade of Red
The right shade of lipstick can brighten a face, while the wrong red could overpower a makeup look or make one look tawdry.

With so many variations in skin tone and undertones in women of color, the right shade of red can depend on a slew of factors, even the color of clothing. Don't be afraid to experiment to find the shade of red that you love.

In general, these shades tend to work:

Pale/fair and light olive skin tends to look better in cool reds, berry reds like cranberry, with blue undertones. While medium skin tones look great in brownish-reds. Olive skin looks best in yellow or orange-based reds. Dark skin can handle more intense color, like deep reds and reds with blue undertones. Fabulous wines, berries and brick reds look great.

You don’t have to toss a red that is too bright or too dark. A too light red can be deepened with a brown or wine-colored shade. You can give a dull or too dark red a little pizzazz with a pop of gold gloss or lighten dark red with pink or beige. Also note that a lipstick’s texture, cream, matte or gloss, could have an effect on the way the shade looks on your lips. If you still feel red lipstick is too bright for you, you can ease into red with a sheer lip gloss or try a lip stain to gradually add color.

How to Wear Red Lipstick
Pair minimal eye makeup with a bold red lip. Keep the eye shadow soft or neutral. Opt for groomed eyebrows, precisely lined eyes and mascara.
A bold lip color needs smooth lips. Be sure to regularly exfoliate the lips to prevent flaking and to keep the lips moisturized.
Use a lip primer before applying color.
Apply red lipstick with a lip brush for more precision and less of a chance that lip color will seep into fine lines.

Lip Tips
If your lips are thin, avoid very deep reds.
Beware of reds with too much of a brown base if you have a yellowish tint to your teeth. Brown can bring out yellow in teeth. If this is the case, you might want to try a red with a blue undertone.
For inspiration, look at these images of celebrities wearing red lipstick, which will give you an idea how red lipstick looks on different skin tones.