How to Choose the Best Red Lipstick for Your Skin Tone

March 22, 2021
Alanna Martine Kilkeary
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | by L'Oréal
person wearing red lipstick
Red lipstick is classic, coveted and so iconic. Finding the right red lipstick for your skin tone, however, can be a challenge. In order to get to the bottom of the red lipstick riddle, we chatted with Giorgio Armani celebrity makeup artist Tim Quinn for his take on how to determine the right red shade for you.

Undertones Are Key

Finding the right red lipstick shade begins with the skin’s undertones, Quinn reveals. “Even though the rules have blurred with advances in makeup technology, I feel like blue undertones in red lipstick work best on light-cool skin, and an orangey-red looks best on warmer medium-to-tan skin tones,” he says. Quinn notes that for deeper and neutral-undertone complexions, gorgeous berries and red-browns are the way to go.

For specific product recommendations, we love a blue-toned red like the Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Always Red on cool undertones, the 
NYX Professional Makeup Shine Loud Pro Pigment Lip Shine in On a Mission on warmer undertones and the Maybelline New York Ultimatte Slim Lipstick in More Rust on deeper complexions.
NYX Professional Makeup Shine Loud Pro Pigment Lip Shine in On a Mission

Universal Red is Real

With all that being said, Quinn notes that there are red lipsticks out there that suit absolutely everyone. “It’s a personal point of view,” he says, “but I think the Rouge D’Armani 400 Lipstick definitely fits the bill here, it looks good on virtually everyone.” This almost pinky-red is highly pigmented and super bright, with the ability to complement you whether you have cool, warm or neutral undertones.
Giorgio Armani Rouge D’Armani 400 Lipstick

Texture Plays a Part, Too

Choosing a red lipstick with a great texture is also vital in finding that perfect red for you. A satin lipstick will help keep your lips more hydrated and appear more silky, while a matte lip cream will appear more stark and contrasted. Quinn’s favorite red of all time is the Rouge D’Armani 401. “It’s a fabulous fire red that can go from blue jeans to the red carpet,” he says. If there’s anything we can take away from identifying the right shade for you, it’s that the best red is the one that makes you feel most confident. 
Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

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