How to Choose Red Lipstick

Along with how the ancient Egyptian pyramids were built, one of life’s other great mysteries is how to choose the right red lipstick for your skin tone. I often hear things like this from clients and friends alike:

 I can’t wear red!
I feel like it makes my mouth look huge!
My significant other hates red lipstick!

You can, what’s wrong with that and who are you wearing makeup for? Sometimes people say they don’t like how much attention red lipstick calls to their mouth and they feel like everyone is staring at it. Uh, hello?! Best way to make people pay attention to every word you say! Red lipstick is the equivalent of a power suit, or coffee. Now let’s get RED-y to rummbbble! I know; I hate myself sometimes.Pictured above are LimeLight by Alcone’s Enduring Lip Colors in Candy Apple (left) and Cherry Pie (right).

The red lipstick that will look least intimidating and scary on you is the one with the same undertone as your skin tone. Skin tones can either veer more yellow or more pink, i.e. warm or cool. As someone who has a strong yellow undertone, yellow-based reds are my friend. These are going to veer almost orange. Yellow-based reds can appear brighter in the tube when compared to blue-based.

My pink-undertone friends would want to choose a blue-based red. These are going to veer almost magenta or berry. Blue-based lipsticks can appear deeper in the tube when compared to yellow-based. Let’s break it down even more.

– You look better in gold jewelry
– You tan easily
– You feel you look best when wearing orange, coral, red

Product examples
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Tesoro
LimeLight by Alcone Enduring Lip Color in Candy Apple
Besame Lipstick in 1959
NARS Audacious Lipstick in Lana

– You burn easy
– Your main concern is making your teeth look white
– You feel you look best when wearing blue, violet, teal

Product examples
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso
LimeLight by Alcone Enduring Lip Color in Cherry Pie
BITE Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Gazpacho
Besame Lipstick in 1920 and 1945

Now, with all that said, if you’re one of the lucky neutral undertones, you can wear both. Also, if you just feel more drawn to the yellow-based reds, but you have a cool undertone, dude, wear it. It’s just going to look a bit less jarring when it shares the same undertone as your skin. That’s all. I like all the reds of the rainbow and I hope you try red lipstick, if nothing else!


  • I was one of those people that were afraid to wear a red lipstick but once you get to try it, you are hooked! I sure am! I love blue toned red shades, they look better in my medium skin toned! x


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