How To Choose and Wear Red Lipstick

Red lipstick isn’t just a color sealed on the lips, but it’s the sign of the willingness to victory and conquest in the fashion world. Only powerful and self-confident women know how to wear a red lipstick right. And the secret lies in finding the most matching red lipstick according to the skin tone and hair color. Below, we discuss all the details about this magic product, from the basic principles of choosing the best red lipstick for you to the common rules of wearing it.

How To Choose and Wear Red Lipstick

Red lipstick can be a bright attribute of practically any look, including the no makeup style, when you keep the entire face bare with just a tint of bright red added to the lips. Wearing a correctly picked tone of a red lipstick can turn you into a real femme fatale ready to win the hearts of thousands.

It’s timeless, chic and it’s the ultimate epitome of elegance and femininity, modern luxury and extravaganza. It’s also the one and only makeup product women need when trying to create the iconic modern Pin-up and glam retro styles.

How to Choose the Best Red Lipstick According to Skin Tone and Hair Color

Finding the most ideal red shade of lipstick for you is the first step to creating show-stopping looks. You just need to take your skin tone and hair color into account, since there always exists the most amazing shade of red for your personal features. Even the natural tone of your teeth matters here.

Thus, if your enamel has a yellowish tone, you should absolutely ditch red lipsticks with orange undertones, since this color tends to aggravate this yellowness. On the other hand, all the other tones of red will make your smile look visually whiter.

Coming to the principles of choosing a red lipstick according to your hair tone, we should point out the following:

Best Red Lipstick Tones for Blondes

Women with naturally blonde hair tone are endowed with a delicate beauty, therefore playing with such dangerous tones as red they should be ultimately careful. Nevertheless, red lipstick has always been a classic for blondes since Marilyn Monroe’s active years, so don’t be afraid to experiment with your own shade of red creating attention-grabbing looks.

The common rule for blondes is sticking to muted shades of red, such as reds with pink, peach and coral undertones. You might want to give preference to translucent lip-glosses for daytime wear, especially ones in pinkish red or peach-red tones.

For a gorgeous evening makeup, think muted tones of red, including coral, pink and peach. If you strive to create a bright look, you can dare to experiment with luscious red lipsticks, also taking your skin tone into account.

In addition, avoid wearing beige and pale pink tones of red, which will make you look much older than you actually are.

Blondes need to choose the best red lipstick for them depending on whether their hair tone is warm or cold. For example, if you have platinum and ash blonde hair tone, you need to pick classic red lipsticks with berry and wine notes.

Be careful when dealing with overly warm and bright shades, including orange red, scarlet and deep brick red tones, which might make you look cheap and vulgar.

If your blonde hair has a wheat and yellow pigment at the base, then you are among the luckiest women, as you can wear almost any tone of red. Think rich reds with a touch of terracotta, ones with cold berry notes or dark reds with bordeaux undertones.

And when it comes to the skin tone factor, you can be guided by these rules:

Blondes with Fair Skin Tone: It’s not advised to abuse warm orange and too bright shades of red in this case. Still, if wheat blonde is your exact hair tone, you are free to try almost any shade of red. One of the universal options is classic red.

Blondes with Tanned Skin: Tanned skin and blonde hair is the perfect combination and there are no strict limitations when it comes to shades of red lipstick. You can pick a red lipstick with a purple or orange note.

Blondes with Dark Skin: Women with blonde hair and a dark skin tone are advised to go for red lipsticks with orange undertones, since they tend to provide a healthy glow to the skin.

See also: Makeup Tips For Blue Eyes

Best Red Lipstick Tones for Brunettes

As a rule, brunettes have a bright and expressive appearance and a red lipstick does them only a favor. They are free to experiment with rich tones of a red lipstick without being afraid of appearing vulgar.

Still there exist certain restrictions for them too. Luscious and bright shades of red are universally flattering options for brunettes. However, women with a rich brown hair tone are highly advised to stay away from red lipsticks with a touch of plum or raspberry.

Blazing red is also a very dangerous option, since you tend to create too bright looks with it. Red tones with burgundy and wine notes, as well as deep berry red tones will be the best options for you.

When getting ready for special events, you can also try the brick red + orange formula, which may sound provocative, but it does look delicate and noble.

You’ll definitely want to be guided by these common rules as well:

• Fuchsia, plum and bright red lipsticks are ideal for brunettes with jet-black hair, while reds with copper and gold notes are absolute don’ts for you, especially if you have a darker skin tone. This will give an unhealthy yellowish color to your complexion.

• Brunettes with a fair skin tone can try berry shades of red during the daytime, while gold or wine tones of red lipsticks will be incredible options to consider for evening makeup looks.

• Brunettes with tanned skin can experiment with classic reds and berry-toned lipsticks, while darker reds, crimson or muted tones are ideal options for evening wear.

• Brunettes with a dark complexion are advised to pick red lipsticks with purple, cranberry or raspberry notes. Tomato-red is also a win-win option. If you have brown or green eyes, try dark pink and coral tones of red during daytime, while reds with brown or ruby undertones can be excellent options for smashing evening makeup looks.

• If you have black hair, dark skin and dark eyes, go for bright shades of a red lipstick, including ruby, bright crimson and scarlet red. You can top your lips with a translucent lip-gloss.

• Cranberry and raspberry shades of red are excellent for business meetings and casual walks in the park.

• Think reds with a touch of wine tones for romantic evenings at a nice restaurant.

• Women with a dark skin tone and brown hair are recommended experimenting with crimson red hues. And if you have a fair complexion and brown hair, think copper-red and coral-red lipsticks.

• Brown-haired beauties with dark or fair complexion with a pinkish tinge look best wearing classic bright red lipstick tones, as well as reds with a bluish tint.

• Orange and apricot shades of red flatter brown-haired women with a beige skin coloring.

How To Choose a Red Lipstick for Your Skin Tone

Best Red Lipstick Tones for Redheads

Red lipstick for red hair? Double the red for double hotness! Different shades of a red lipstick will give more warmth and sensuality to women with red hair, however, keep in mind that if you have a pale skin tone bright lipstick might create way too flashy looks. And if your complexion is fair, avoid wearing cold shades of red, instead giving preference to coral tones and warm reds.

If you are a fan of soft makeup looks, you can give your preference to red lipsticks with golden lilac, pale pink or pale orange notes. For evening makeup, try dark red and burgundy tones for classy and elegant looks. Generally, red lipsticks with berry undertones are universally flattering options for all redheads.

The most important rule to stick to is ditching cold and berry shades of red, which aren’t that suitable for regular wear although might be acceptable for special events. Also keep your eyes neutral when wearing any shades of a red lipstick, if you don’t want to create too screaming looks.

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Choosing the Best Red Lipstick According to Skin Tones

Besides the hair color, it’s very important to consider your skin tone when buying a red lipstick. Once you have found the perfect red lipstick shades according to your hair color, check out whether they flatter your complexion as well. The common rules you need to be guided by are as follows:

• Women with a warm skin tone should choose only warm shades of red with a tint of brown or yellow. And in case you don’t know whether your complexion belongs to the category of warm tones or not, simply wear metallic jewelry pieces and look at yourself in the mirror. If golden jewelry pieces flatter you best of all, your skin tone is warm, and if silver accessories look good on you, then your skin tone is cold.

• If you have a cold skin tone, then think only cold reds with purple or cold pink undertones.

• Neutral red is the universally flattering color for every skin tones.

• Women with a very light porcelain skin tone are advised to pick muted matte shades of red, like burgundy, cranberry, cherry or plum. Classic tomato red can also be an option, only if it doesn’t feature fire and orange notes.

• Women with an olive skin tone are the luckiest ones, as they can choose practically any shade of red. The same refers to the owners of a natural complexion with a yellowish undertone.

• If your skin has a reddish or pinkish undertone, you need to avoid too bright and very cold red tones, giving your preference to classics. Red lipsticks with a pink tinge can also flatter you.

• Tanned beauties should avoid intense cold tones of red, as well as rich burgundy and brick red shades. If you have a golden peach skin tone, think red lipsticks with a slight orange tint.

• Red lipsticks with a brown tint are the go-to options for most blondes, brunettes and redheads with any skin tone.

• All the above-mentioned rules don’t target you at all, in case you belong to the category of beauties with very rare eye color and skin tone combinations (like green-eyed brunettes or blondes with brown eyes).

How To Choose a Red Lipstick for Your Hair Color

How to Apply Red Lipstick Skillfully and Flawlessly

If you have finally found the most flattering red lipstick for your skin tone and hair color, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to look perfect wearing it, unless you master the techniques of red lipstick application. Unlike all the other lipstick shades, dealing with a red lipstick is quite tricky, since the slightest flaws are going to pop out because of the intense color.

So these are the steps of applying a red lipstick flawlessly!

Step 1: Make sure you apply a scrub on your lips, getting rid of the dry, dead skin for a smoother look. To get started you need to apply a concealer, which is 1-2 shades lighter than your natural skin tone, outlining the form of your lips. If you have thin lips, you can go about 1 mm beyond the outlines of your lips.

Step 2: Now, you need to contour your lips with a skin-toned lip pencil. Many women still believe that you need a lip pencil in a similar color to your lipstick, however, for natural looking and flawless red lips, think only nude shades. On top of the concealer you can apply a moisturizing lip balm.

Step 3: Before applying the lipstick, you need to apply a thin coat of Vaseline on your teeth. This way you prevent the red tint from getting smudged on the teeth later on.

Step 4: Now, apply the lipstick either with a lip brush or with your finger. You need to paint all over the lip surface, not leaving any little corners uncovered. Finally, you can add a bit of shine to your lips applying a transparent lip-gloss, which will also visually enhance the volume of the lips.

Related: 5 Techniques Of Applying Lipstick

Useful Makeup Tips for Wearing Red Lipstick

Wearing a red lipstick still has lots of nuances that you need to consider. So in order to look really picture-perfect consider these tricks:

• When wearing a red lipstick, your eyebrows should be in the perfect form. If you have too thin eyebrows, you can always use a brow kit to fill them in.

• Keep your eye makeup muted, since you definitely want to follow the common makeup rule of placing the focus either on the eyes or the lips. So the classic smokey eye makeup should be avoided. Instead go for earth, golden and neutral beige eyeshadows.

• You can curl your lashes to make them longer, however, try to keep things natural. Instead of the traditional jet-black mascara, go for grayish or brownish tones, which look more natural.
• If you have too thin lips, you can skip the step of creating clear contours. To give volume to your lips, slightly smudge the lipstick near the border of the lip edges with a brush or a cotton swab. No need to get obsessed with this technique and go way too far creating a clown-y look, instead of sensuality and sexuality.

• Red lips look good with the classic French manicure. You can also pick a black nail polish for an alternative look.

• When wearing a red nail polish, keep in mind that it should coincide with the exact shade of your red lipstick.

• Red lipstick doesn’t stand any “competitions’ with other makeup products, so use only very light blush tones (or don’t apply blush at all), while the eyeliner should be applied very thinly.

• Don’t forget to create the most perfect background for the red lips, applying the most matching foundation for your skin tone and type and using concealer to camouflage any skin flaws. Red instantly draws all the attention to your face, so it should be picture perfect.

• You can wear a red lipstick to different types of parties, to the restaurant or theatre, keeping the tones rich and bright. When wearing a red lipstick during the daytime, keep the tones slightly muted.

• Red lipstick creates very catchy looks, so you need to feel ready for extra attention when wearing it.

• Although a red lipstick always creates special looks, it still can be worn on a daily basis. However, there are certain shades of red that look very official and are suitable only for special events.

• Red lipsticks with a dense texture tend to make the lips look smaller.

• Red lipstick is a great rectifier for your tired face. So when your complexion feels dull, apply it to brighten up your look instantly.

How to Wear a Red Lipstick

What to Wear a Red Lipstick With

It’s a big myth that red lipstick should only be worn with elegant gowns and cocktail dress to special events. In the modern world, red lipstick has acquired more functionality and versatility and can look good both with casual outfits and with feminine dresses, like the LBD.

It creates bright street images when matched with jeans, shorts, jackets and vest. However, you’re advised to avoid clothing pieces with colorful prints and patterns, or pieces in colors that don’t make good pairs with red.

Red lipstick can be a powerful weapon of creating sultry and memorable looks for various events. The only key to success is to follow all the above-mentioned rules and wear the correct shade of red to the correct place and with the correct clothing pieces!

Photos courtesy of Miss Maven, Instagram @makeupbylilith, Elle, Stylebistro

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Written by Armine Karapetyan
Armine is the founder of and an avid fashion lover. When she's not busy examining the latest fashion trends and news, she's exploring a new style for herself or is pursuing new adventures and dreams. Find her on Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.