Secrets From a Makeup Artist: How to Find Your Perfect Red Lipstick

You know that one outfit that’s your go-to when you want to feel like Beyoncé? Or that one piece of jewelry that just seems to make every outfit complete? So no matter how many things you’ve tried on, if you don’t have that one outfit that hits all the right curves, or that one piece of jewelry that you love, you just feel incomplete—this is how I feel about lipstick. Lipstick gives me the confidence of Beyoncé while making me feel like I just stepped out of a magazine. There seriously is nothing more gratifying to me than going into Sephora and buying that perfect shade of lipstick, especially red lipstick.

Now, with Valentines Day just around the corner, we’re going to help you find that perfect shade of red lipstick that will not only compliment your skin tone, but will also give you the confidence to really impress your dinner date.

Gwen Stefani isn’t the only one that can rock a red lip, so follow these tips and go pick out your perfect shade!

Fair Complexions

Source: Vogue

Source: Pop Sugar

Fair complexions usually have a pink-based undertone. To really compliment your skin tone, use blue-based reds or pink-based reds—think raspberry. These red lipsticks will pick up the pink tones in your complexion and really make your smile pop.

Bold, NARS Audacious Lipstick in Annabella

Sheer, MAKE UP FOREVER Rouge Artist Natural in N45

Matte, Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Fiery

Light Complexions

Source: New York Times

Light complexions usually have a yellow-based undertone. To really compliment your skintone, use a slight orange based red. These lipsticks will pick up the golden undertones and really brighten your complexion.

Bold, Yves Saint Laurent ROUGE PUR COUTURE Lipstick Collection Color 56 Orange Indie

Sheer, Sephora Collection Rouge Shine lipstick Color No. 32 Serial Dater

Matte, Buxom Big & Sexy Bold Gel Lipstick in Rogue Red

Medium Complexions

Source: Glamour

Medium complexions can lose and gain a suntan easily, so change your red lip based on the season. In the summertime when you are soaking up rays, wear an orange-based red. This will compliment your bronze skin and lend a brightening look to your complexion.

Bold, NARS Audacious Lipstick in Lana

Sheer, Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème in Raven

Matte, Kat Von D Studded Lipstick in Countess 

Source: Glamour

In the winter when you’re cozying up by the fire, wear a blue-based red. This will complement your lighter skin tone while giving the appearance of brighter teeth.

Bold, NARS Audacious Lipstick in Rita

Sheer, Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick in F-Bomb

Matte, Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in Rose Crazy 202

Olive Complexions

Source: ELLE

Source: Elle

Olive skin tones have a yellow-green undertone that tans very easily. To really compliment your bronze skin tone, use a brick or rust colored red. These earthy tones will warm up your complexion while blending with your skin effortlessly.

Bold, NARS lipstick in Fire Down Below

Sheer, Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Sheer Candy-Glossy Balm Crystal Color in Sweet Fig 07 

Matte, Smashbox Be Legendary Matte Lipstick in Made It

Caramel Complexions

Source: Byrdie

Source: Style Bistro

Caramel complexions have a yellow-based undertone. To really compliment your skin tone, use a true cherry red. These red lipsticks will pick up the warmth in your skin tone and really brighten your smile.

Bold, Smashbox Be Legendary Cream Lipstick in Legendary

Sheer, Lancome Shine Lover Vibrant Shine Lipstick in Color 140 Corail Lover

Matte, Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso

Golden Dark Complexions

Source: Just Jared

Golden dark skin tones have a yellow undertone.  This type of skintone can really play with pigment when it comes to choosing a red lipstick. For a bolder look, try a true red. This will pick up the warmth in your skin and create a brighter complexion.

Bold, Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in Color 42 Satin Vermolion Red 

Sheer, Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème Lipstick in Icon

Matte, Buxom Big & Sexy Bold Gel Lipstick in Classified Crimson

Source: Style Bistro

For a more natural looking red, try blue-based reds; think plum. This will compliment your darker skintone and create a unified look.

Bold, Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Lip Crème Lipstick in Color 226 Scandal

Sheer, Dior Rouge Baume in Color 988 Nuit Rose

Matte, Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Potion

Deep Complexions

Source: Harper’s Bazaar

Deep complexions can really play with pigment when it comes to red lipsticks. If you want a bolder look, use an orange-based red to really make your pout pop.

Bold, Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick

Sheer, Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick in Slowburn

Matte, Buxom Big & Sexy Bold Gel Lipstick in Wildfire

Source: InStyle

To have a more natural looking red, use a blue based red—think Merlot. Both types of reds will compliment your skin tone and create a brighter smile.

Bold, NARS Lipstick in Scarlet Empress

Sheer, Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick in Shame

Matte, NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Valparaiso

  • What a lovely red lipstick with gorgeous eye make up! I would like to thanks to those artists who have given the perfect shade of lipstick with good tutoring. Tips and tricks to apply red lipstick are really inspiring. I will surely consider your tips for next party. A sheer red lipstick works when you have to go outdoors. Whereas a deep, bold red lipstick would be perfect for an evening look, as it will make your features stand out. Full and well-groomed eyebrows help to make you look healthier even without eye makeup. Eyebrow shade can be occasionally changed depends on your make-up. If you have a heavy eyes make-up, your eyebrow should be in a natural look; In contrast, if your eyes make-up is light, a thicker eyebrow is needed. Nice piece.

  • I love the lipstick on Emma Stone, it brings out her glow.
    Monlisa Dario/

  • Brindusa Aurora

    That is a very good tutorial. I agree it’s very important to choose the right color that outfits with your face and clothes. For a woman is essential to put in the value her face and the lipstick is the essential part of a perfect makeup.