The Red Lip Rule Book: Find the Perfect Color For You

Augusta Falletta

Welcome to Lips Week on Beauty High! For an entire week, we’ll be serving up content about all things lips. From lipstick tricks and interviews with experts to lip color guides and more, enjoy everything Lips Week has to offer!

How to find the perfect red lipstick for your skin tone | Red lipstick guide

Photo: Getty Images

Nothing makes us feel better than a red lip. It’s empowering, it’s bold, and it makes everyone look downright amazing. The only issue? Finding a red lip that’s just right for you. There’s a lot to consider here: Do you want a cream or matte finish? Do you want a lipstick or a gloss or a stain? Do you need a warm or a cool tone? Naturally, we want every girl to find her perfect red lip color, so we talked to some experts over at MAC Cosmetics, plus made an easy-to-follow flow chart, below.

Tip for beginners: “Try bold colors in sheer formulas and textures, like MAC Hot Tahiti or Lady Bug lipsticks,” says Fatima Thomas, senior artist at MAC Cosmetics. “Create a stain effect by dabbing lipstick on with your finger and then blot with a tissue,” explains Louise Z., senior artist at MAC.
How to keep a glossy formula in place: “Make sure to moisturize first, because dry lips will absorb the emollients in lipsticks, compromising wearability. Follow with a lip primer and lip pencil as a base.” says Fatima.
The trick to keep matte lipstick from drying out your lips: “It’s all in the prep work – exfoliate, hydrate and blot! Lip care is just as important as skin care to ensure great looking lips,” explains Louise.
Let’s talk undertones: “The easiest way to figure out your undertone is to look at the back of your wrist, if your veins seem bluer, you have a cool undertone,” says Louise. If your veins are more yellow or olive, you’ve got warm undertones.

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How to find the perfect red lipstick for your skin tone | Red Lip Rule Book

Graphic by Candace Napier; Images: Imaxtree; Kevin Mazur/Getty Images; Bryan Bedder/Stringer

Where to Buy:
NARS Vesuvio, $26,
MAC Russian Red, $16,
Jouer Grace, $22,
YSL Danger, $35,
Sephora Red Essence, $14,
Buxom Busted, $19,
bareMINerals Game Changer, $18,
Dior Adventure, $35,
COVERGIRL Hot, $7.49,
Shiseido Show Girl, $25,
Revlon Really Red, $7.99,
Bobbi Brown Red Carpet, $25,

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How to find the right red lipstick for your skin tone | Red lip guide infographic | @stylecaster