The Very Best Red Lipsticks for Your Skin Tone

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The Very Best Red Lipsticks for Your Skin Tone
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Picking out a kick-ass lipstick shouldn’t require a cosmetology degree or a 42-page dissertation, but for anyone who has spent more than 10 minutes in the makeup aisle comparing curiously similar shades of red (and then buying and hating those shades of red) it can definitely feel like an expert’s game.

MORE: An All-Inclusive List of the Most Comfortable Lipsticks—Ever

But never fear, because we’ve cut the guesswork and broken down the best red lipsticks for your skin tone, so you’ll never have buyer’s remorse ever again.

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Ridiculously Pale Skin
Ridiculously Pale Skin

If your skin is near-translucent (hey, be proud; seeing a map of your veins is cool!) or just really, really pale, look for a rich merlot red with purple undertones to help bring some vibrancy to your complexion.


Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Sour Cherry, $26; at Bite Beauty

Ridiculously Pale Skin
Ridiculously Pale Skin

Dior Rouge Dior in 999, $35; at Dior

Fair Skin
Fair Skin

True reds with a touch of blue not only make teeth look whiter, but they also complement the cool undertones found in light skin. Just make sure to first cancel out any splotchiness around your nose or chin with a swipe of lightweight concealer, since a bold red lip can draw attention to any zits or blemishes.


Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lip Color in Siren in Scarlet; $7.49, at Maybelline

Fair Skin
Fair Skin

Anastasia Liquid Lipstick in Sarafine, $20; at Anastasia Beverly Hills.

Medium Skin
Medium Skin

Lucky you: The world (of orangey-red lipsticks) is your oyster. For pretty much everyone else, tangerine hues can turn skin sallow, but on warm, olive-toned skin, orange only enhances the bronzy shades in your complexion.


L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipcolour in British Red, $8.95; at L’Oreal Paris

Medium Skin
Medium Skin

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color in Blazing Red, $28; at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.

Dark Caramel Skin
Dark Caramel Skin

Those warm, honey-hued undertones give you freedom to choose just about any lipstick in the cherry or brick family. If your skin does that cute thing where it turns into an oil slick by noon, opt for a matte formula on your lips to contrast with your T zone.

ColourPop Ultra Matte Lips in Lax, $6; at ColourPop.

Dark Caramel Skin
Dark Caramel Skin

Butter London Moisture Lippy Lipstick in Come to Bed Red, $22; at Butter London.

Deep Skin
Deep Skin

Raise your hand if you’ve ever layered on a vibrant red lipstick, only to find that it’s completely sheer and blah next to your deep skin. Frustrating, right? The solution: Go bright—think highly pigmented orange-reds without any hint of white or pastel, which will look milky against your lips—or go bold with an opaque, brown-based lipstick in shades of cinnamon and oxblood.


Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in EZ, $17; at Urban Decay

Deep Skin
Deep Skin

e.l.f. Moisturizing Lipstick in Bordeaux Beauty, $3; at e.l.f

Deep Skin
Deep Skin

Smashbox Be Legendary Matte Lipstick in Fireball, $21; at Smashbox

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5 Weird Beauty Hacks You Can Do with Your Lip Balm

5 Weird Beauty Hacks You Can
Do with Your Lip Balm
  • Ridiculously Pale Skin
  • Ridiculously Pale Skin
  • Fair Skin
  • Fair Skin
  • Medium Skin
  • Medium Skin
  • Dark Caramel Skin
  • Dark Caramel Skin
  • Deep Skin
  • Deep Skin
  • Deep Skin

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