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We consider it rather unfortunate that all too many fair-skinned women are afraid to wear red lipstick—we’re of the mind that anyone can pull it off with ease, provided they’ve found the right shade. This is especially true of the lighter-skinned among us: bold colors can go awry in a second, so finding a flattering red is of utmost importance. Save yourself the trouble of lingering in Sephora for hours trying on all the reds, and find your perfect fit in these 5 red lipsticks for fair skin instead.
If a vibrant, unapologetic shade of true red is what you’re looking for, Lipstick Queen Cupid’s Bow in Desire is your ticket to gorgeous punchy color that works beautifully on cool and warm complexions alike, thanks to its perfectly balanced undertones. We’ll allot extra points (and plenty of them!) for the smooth, creamy formula, impressive staying power, and the chubby pencil packaging, which makes it a cinch to apply.
We found the consummate shade of dramatic blood red for fair skin in Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Standout, a neutral shade that has the added benefit of making teeth look remarkably white—not to mention the fact that it’s an affordable pick that refuses to sacrifice quality for a low price. Standout suits just about everyone, but we’re especially fond of it when contrasted with dark hair.
We may have a bit of a bias here, considering that it comes correct in one of our very favorite formulas, but the rich garnet red of NARS Audacious Lipstick in Olivia just speaks to us, and provides the perfect night-out look—it’s striking for sure, but not over the top in its boldness, so it makes the ideal go-to for when you need a little something extra.
There’s no makeup rule that encourages fair-skinned ladies to shy away from dark lip colors, but we do find that our comrades in paleness do, indeed, face deeper shades with trepidation. Face your fears head-on with Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Emotional, a stunning dark brick red that proves unbelievably flattering—and not at all scary!—on even the fairest skin tones.
If you’re still waffling on whether or not you’re ready for full-on opaque color, MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Natural in N46 Cherry Red has a pigmented yet wearable finish that leans sheer—one coat and it’s like a tinted balm, but you can layer if you’re feeling brave. The slightly berry-leaning shade is as flattering as they come, and the moisturizing formula makes it comfortable to wear.
Read more from Daily Makeover: 15 Perfectly Timeless Red Lipstick Looks