13 red lipsticks to suit every skin tone (2024)

13 red lipsticks to suit every skin tone (1)

IT’S A TRUTH universally acknowledged that adding a red lip is the simplest way to amp up an outfit. Red lipsticks can be bold and feisty or vampy and seductive; sensually glossy or professionally matte. There’s an entire world of possibility within a red lip, and every makeup wearer would do well to have at least one in their arsenal.

But all that possibility means that it can be difficult to narrow down exactly which one is best for you — so below, we’ve rounded up the very best formulas and shades of red lipsticks that are widely loved, with options to suit every preference.

Related: Best eyeliners to buy, according to an aficionado

What is the best red lipstick for all skin tones?

Like all colours, reds can come with a variety of undertones, and certain undertones can look vastly different on different skin tones — so if you’ve never really liked a red lip on yourself, it’s more likely than you just haven’t found quite the right undertone to suit you.

Now, the best way forward is experimentation, but a one-size-fits-all option does exist. Any lipstick that describes itself as a “blue-red” is likely to flatter all skin tones: It’ll be vibrant without being too warm or too cool. M.A.C’s Ruby Woo is one of the most beloved blue-red lipsticks out there (there’s a reason it’s the world’s number one best-selling red lip), but there are plenty more options from other brands too — like Fenty’s The MVP. Both of these are matte finishes too, which means they aren’t too juicy — which in turn makes for lower maintenance and a softer finish.


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Best red lipsticks to buy in 2023

1

CHARLOTTE TILBURY Matte Revolution in Legendary Queen

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1

MATTE WINE RED LIPSTICK

CHARLOTTE TILBURY Matte Revolution in Legendary Queen

Charlotte Tilbury

$49

From legendary British makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury comes this cult favourite lipstick. The square angled tip mimics a brush for precise application; while a blend of oils, triglycerides and waxes offer buildable and lasting colour. It gives a soft matte finish in a beautiful neutral wine red shade that flatters all skin tones.

2

FENTY BEAUTY Icon Semi-Matte Lipstick Refill in 01 The MVP

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2

SEMI-MATTE REFILLABLE UNIVERSAL RED LIPSTICK

FENTY BEAUTY Icon Semi-Matte Lipstick Refill in 01 The MVP

Sephora

$34

Rihanna herself designed ‘The MVP’ shade of her Icon lipstick to be the perfect, universal red, and if you can’t trust Rihanna, who can you trust? The Icon formula is highly pigmented, moisturising (thanks to plumping hyaluronic acid and conditioning vitamins C and E) and lasting — a super comfortable one for all day wear, I can personally attest. Plus, the tip is shaped to mimic Rihanna’s cupid’s bow — so you can create the perfect lip shape for yourself. You’ll have to buy the lipstick case separately — it’s designed to be refillable for the eco-conscious among us.

3

M.A.C COSMETICS Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo

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3

CULT FAVOURITE BLUE RED LIPSTICK

M.A.C COSMETICS Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo

M.A.C Cosmetics

$32

M.A.C’s Ruby Woo holds the hefty claim of being the best-selling lipstick of all time. A vibrant, matte blue-red, it earned cult favourite status for a reason — it offers satisfying colour payoff, 12-hour wear, and is the perfect universally-flattering shade of red. If you’re hesitant about going bold with red, this is the one that won’t let you down.

4

REVLON Super Lustrous Lipstick in Love That Red

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4

CREAMY WATERMELON RED LIPSTICK

REVLON Super Lustrous Lipstick in Love That Red

Myer

$24.95

With its vitamin E and avocado oil-infused formula, Revlon’s Super Lustrous Lipstick keeps lips looking and feeling moisturised and juicy. Microfine pigments make the shades — like this creamy watermelon red — appear vibrant yet lightweight.

5

RARE BEAUTY Lip Soufflé Matte Lip Cream in Inspire

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5

BRIGHT RED WHIPPED MATTE LIP CREAM

RARE BEAUTY Lip Soufflé Matte Lip Cream in Inspire

Sephora

$34

Selena Gomez’s makeup brand, Rare Beauty, has been beloved among the TikTok and Instagram crowds ever since it burst onto the scene — and the Lip Soufflé is among its most popular products. An air-whipped lip cream designed to hug the lips in rich colour, it’s a matte lip that won’t dry out your lips or look cakey. This shade, ‘Inspire’, is a bright true red that won’t feather or bleed with wear.

6

DIOR Rouge Dior Couture Colour Refillable Lipstick in Satin 080 Red Smile

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6

SATIN FINISH FLAMBOYANT RED

DIOR Rouge Dior Couture Colour Refillable Lipstick in Satin 080 Red Smile

Myer

$64

Enriched with red peony and pomegranate flower extracts of natural origin for enhanced hydration, radiance and luminosity; Rouge Dior comes in 75 bold colours with a variety of finishes. This colour, ‘Red Smile’, is one of the Maison’s ‘Icons’. Flamboyant and intensely luminous, it’s a reinvention of one of the first reds imagined by Dior in 1950, and has a beautiful satin finish. The Rouge Dior case is also refillable — so you can buy the cheaper refill cartridges to use in the same case for less waste.

7

GIVENCHY Le Rouge Luminous Satin Matte Lipstick in N333 L’Interdit

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7

SATIN MATTE VIBRANT PURE RED LIPSTICK

GIVENCHY Le Rouge Luminous Satin Matte Lipstick in N333 L’Interdit

Sephora

$62

The ultimate fashion accessory, Givenchy’s Le Rouge Lipstick comes in a black leather case. With a soft and lightweight texture, and hydrating hyaluronic acid spheres enriching the formula, it’s a long-wearing and highly pigmenting formula. This shade, ‘L’Interdit’, is a vibrant and pure red — a true icon of the house of Givenchy — with a satin-matte finish.

8

CHANEL Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Colour in 72 Mystérieuse

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8

SATIN FINISH COOL-TONED BURGUNDY LIPSTICK

CHANEL Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Colour in 72 Mystérieuse

Myer

$65

As soft and comfortable as velvet, this Chanel lipstick dresses lips in deep, opaque colour. In this case, that colour is a cool-toned burgundy for when you’re feeling — as the name suggests — mysterious. The shade is one of 14 new rich colour variations centred around the six iconic Rouge Allure Velvet shades — there’s one to suit everyone.

9

GUCCI Rouge à Lèvres Mat Matte Lipstick in 500 Odalie Red

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9

MATTE VIVID RED LIPSTICK

GUCCI Rouge à Lèvres Mat Matte Lipstick in 500 Odalie Red

Sephora

$66

Not only is Gucci’s Rouge à Lèvres beautifully packaged, it’s also beautiful on the inside. The formula is intensely pigmented with a long-lasting matte finish, specially crafted with rich pigment and gelling waxes for a soft and velvety feel. The range of colours, conceived by Alessandro Michele, are inspired by iconic Hollywood Golden Age movies and characters — ‘Odalie Red’ is vivid with a hint of depth.

10

YVES SAINT LAURENT Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in 1 Le Rouge

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10

SATIN FINISH BUILDABLE BLUE-RED LIPSTICK

YVES SAINT LAURENT Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in 1 Le Rouge

Myer

$62

YSL’s Rouge Pur Couture lipstick is luxurious in design and payoff. Offering buildable medium to full coverage, the formula is packed with natural extracts for intense hydration and antioxidant care. ‘Le Rouge’ is exactly as it says — the red to universally suit all complexions.

11

SISLEY Phyto-Rouge Shine in Sheer Cherry

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11

REFILLABLE GLOSSY SHEER CHERRY RED LIPSTICK

SISLEY Phyto-Rouge Shine in Sheer Cherry

David Jones

$70

Lipcare meets lipstick in this unique formula from Sisley. It combines the shine of a gloss, the comfort of a balm and the melt-in colour of a lipstick — the perfect fit for someone who isn’t much of a lipstick wearer, but wants to delve into a little colour. It’s super comfortable to wear thanks to the hydrobooster complex composed of hyaluronic acid and konjac glucomannan microspheres — and can actually improve your lips with wear. The beautiful case can be re-used with refills, too.

12

GUERLAIN KissKiss Shaping Cream Lip Colour Lipstick in 330 Red Brick

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12

CREAMY SATIN TERRACOTTA RED LIPSTICK

GUERLAIN KissKiss Shaping Cream Lip Colour Lipstick in 330 Red Brick

Sephora

$58

Another lipstick you’ll want to buy for the packaging alone, Guerlain’s KissKiss is designed to help your lips regain fullness and softness with a satin sheen. In the formula, commiphora oil and mango smooth and hydrate, while notes of vanilla and violet create an enticing scent. ‘Red Brick’ is a warm-toned terracotta shade of red for those wanting to stray from brightness.

13

NARS Lipstick in Jungle Red

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13

CREAMY SATIN-FINISH WARM-TONED RED LIPSTICK

NARS Lipstick in Jungle Red

MECCA

$39

NARS’ lipstick is enriched with moringa and passion fruit seed oils for creamy, vibrant pigment with lasting performance. Jungle Red is a moderately warm-toned red with hints of orange undertones, and a creamy satin finish.

Do I need lip liner for red lipstick?

Using a lip liner is great for keeping your red lip tidy — unlike nudes, red lips are a lot less forgiving, and a lot harder to just swipe right on. Starting by outlining — and even filling in — your lips with a good quality liner will help to seal in colour for longer, and prevent the pigment bleeding into the fine lines around your lips. Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheat and M.A.C’s Lip Pencil are great options to invest in.

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How do I find my perfect lipstick shade?

The first step to identifying your perfect lipstick shade is determining your skin tone — is it light, medium or dark?

Next, consider your undertones: The easiest way to do so is to look at the veins on your forearm in natural light. If they look blue, you have cool-toned skin and pink undertones; if they are green, you have warm-toned skin with yellow undertones; and if they are somewhere in between, you have neutral undertones.

Now that you know your skin tone and undertone, you can pick a red lip to match — generally, cool undertoned skin tones will suit cool-toned reds; while warm undertoned skin tones will suit warm-toned reds. Neutral undertones will suit just about any red lip; and blue-red lipstick shades are universally flattering on all skin tones.

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13 red lipsticks to suit every skin tone (2024)

FAQs

13 red lipsticks to suit every skin tone? ›

For a quick check, look at your veins; blue veins indicate cool undertones, green veins indicate warm undertones and a mix of both indicates neutral undertones. Select a corresponding lipstick shade: For warm tones, try orange-red and brick-red. For cool tones, try blue-red and purple-red.

Which red lipstick is best for my skin tone? ›

For a quick check, look at your veins; blue veins indicate cool undertones, green veins indicate warm undertones and a mix of both indicates neutral undertones. Select a corresponding lipstick shade: For warm tones, try orange-red and brick-red. For cool tones, try blue-red and purple-red.

Is there a red lipstick for everyone? ›

L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Reds of Worth in Prosperous Red

Creamy and pigmented, this red gives pricier options a run for the money. Brick reds, like this one, look good on everyone, notes Merinsky.

What lipstick colour suits everyone? ›

Pink is a shade that most girls like. It's a universal girly girl color. Women of all skin tones can carry off pink lipsticks easily. While choosing, remember that the most flattering shade for you is one that complements your natural skin undertones.

What is the best MAC red lipstick for all skin tones? ›

The nicest and most iconic Red Lipstick is MAC Ruby Woo. This intense super matte red is a true red with a hint of blue which means it looks bright and bold and looks good on all skin tones and, as a plus, it makes your teeth look white!

Does red lipstick make you look younger or older? ›

Researchers say bright red lips and rosy cheeks could amplify the facial contrast and make women appear younger. Female faces also have greater facial contrast than men's.

Do guys find red lipstick attractive? ›

Earlier explorers from the University of Rochester in New York have already scientifically confirmed that women in red attracts men's attention most of all. It's no secret that red is the color of passion, love, energy, courage.

Which is the most famous red lipstick? ›

MAC Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo

Arguably the most famous red lipstick shade, MAC's semi-matte is well loved by celebrities like Tracee Ellis Ross. Its culty formula was even spun off into a version made just for Rihanna, aptly named Riri Woo.

Why doesn't red lipstick look good on me? ›

Many seem to think that red lipstick does not look nice on them. This is completely wrong, because there's a shade of red out there for everyone. If you have olive or yellow-toned skin, warm-toned, orange-y reds will look great on you. If you have red or pink-toned skin, blue-based reds will look great on you.

Is red lipstick classy or trashy? ›

It depends on the shade and your outfit. A darker red is generally classier than a really bright bold one. That depends on what the rest of you looks like.

What is the most seductive lipstick color? ›

Scientists at the University of Manchester found that red lipstick draws attention to the mouth, most notably from the opposite sex. This is because red is the colour of masculine energy. It is also the colour of passion and lust…

What is the most popular lipstick color in the world? ›

According to the company, Millennial Pink is the preferred lip colour globally – “over 20 percent of lipstick try-ons in the United States and the UK are Millennial Pink shades, and 15 percent of lip colour try-ons in China and Japan are Millennial pinks.

What is the most popular lipstick shade in the world? ›

Millennial pink has been named the most popular lipstick colour in the world. Virtual make-up giant YouCam Makeup, created by Perfect Corp, revealed that the neutral shade of pink is the most tested colour on its app, which sees more than 23.5 million 'try-ons' a day.

What Mac lipstick did Jennifer Aniston wear? ›

"MAC's Paramount lipstick... It was a browny brick [color]," Aniston told the outlet. "I remember that was my go-to color when I was doing Friends."

What is the difference between Ruby Woo and Russian red? ›

MAC Ruby Woo is a cool red with a matte finish that is permanent and retails for $19.00. In comparison, MAC Russian Red is a cool red with a matte finish that is permanent and retails for $19.00. MAC Russian Red is 90% similar — it is glossier, warmer.

Is MAC Diva warm or cool? ›

MAC Diva is a moderately warm-toned, medium-dark burgundy with a matte finish. It is a permanent lipstick that retails for $19.00 and contains 0.1 oz. Diva is a deep burgundy red with subtle, warm undertones and a satin finish.

Should I wear a warm or cool red lipstick? ›

If you have a warm skin tone, you should look for lipsticks with warmer shades, such as reds, oranges, warm berry shades and warm pinks. If you have a cool skin tone, you should look for lipsticks with cooler shades, such as purples, cool pinks, cool berries and blues. 1.

Which red lipstick makes teeth look whiter? ›

Blue-based red

A quality red lipstick is a powerful weapon in any woman's makeup arsenal, but needs to be carefully chosen to suit your complexion and other features perfectly. Our hot tip: Stick to a blue-toned red as opposed to warmer orange-reds, which will have a more flattering effect on your pearly whites!

Is True red warm or cool? ›

Cherry, true red, ruby, or raspberry are perfect examples of cool bright reds.

Which red lipstick suits on medium skin tone? ›

Just like fair skin, a cool-toned red lipstick looks stunning on people with dusky or medium skin tones that have a cool undertone.

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