The Right Red Lipstick For Your Skintone


Everyone has trend-envy. It’s that one style or look that some people can pull off and, no matter how hard you try…you just can’t nail it. Mine is red lipstick. I’ve died over Gwen Stefani for years for just that reason and now that it has hit the mainstream, I wish my grandma were here to teach me how she perfected the look for years. I agonize over the Sephora lipstick counter and breathe a sigh of resignation when I end up buying eyeliner instead. However…I need to get over this, and so should you. Anyone can pull off a bright crimson lip…all you need is the right shade, a deep breath, and maybe some balls.


Fair Skin

If you’re an Evan Rachel Wood, try a coral-y red. It will add a shot of color without overpowering your face. Try Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire & Ice, $8, at, or LORAC Breakthrough Performance Lipstick in It Girl, $22, at


Tawny Skin

If your skin is somewhere in the middle, like Eva Mendes, try erring to the side of pink, or more of a cranberry shade. Golden undertones will play up the extra color and you won’t look like you’re playing with Mommy’s makeup. Try Chanel Rouge Allure in Lover, $30, at, or Bare Minerals Natural Lip Color, $15, at


Dark Skin

If you’re a total Rihanna, then when it comes to lipstick, try something in the brick or burgundy family. Urban Decay Lipstick in Sellout, $22, at will set off your features beautifully, or Yves Saint Laurent Pure Lipstick in Opium Red, $30, at


When you don’t know what kind of skintone you have

Find a classic, rich, true red. This works on most skintones; just keep the rest of your look minimal. Red lips look best on an almost-bare face. Try Maybelline Moisture Extreme Lipstick, $4.50, at, or Kat Von D Painted Love Lipstick in Underage Red at Skip eyeliner, and use a beige eyeshadow and mascara.

The Cheat Sheet

1. Strip your lips of all balms and glosses so your natural lip is showing.

2. Apply a red lipstick that you like to just your top lip and then compare to your natural bottom lip.

3. If the red lipstick is one or two shades darker than your bottom lip, then you’ve found your most flattering shade!

All in all, it’s a matter of confidence. Throw your head back, don’t forget to pack a mirror (it prevents beauty mishaps), and own it!

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