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Nothing says glamour quite like a bold red lip. From Marilyn Monroe to Gwen Stefani, the Hollywood shade has been a timeless showstopper. With so many reds out there, which hue is for you?
We asked top makeup artists to recommend the perfect red lipstick shade by skin tone below.
Editor's Note: Remember, lipstick is a personal preference, so no matter your skin tone, choose whichever lipstick you personally like best. Plus, our expert made recommendations based on skin tones she is familiar with, but no makeup artist has all the answers!
Best red lipsticks for fair skin tones
- 1. Nars Audacious Lipstick In Olivia, $34, Sephora
Snow white complexions like Mara Rooney tend to have cool undertones, so a blue-based Bordeaux or burgundy will bring your skin to life and make your eyes pop, said New York City makeup artist Jenn Blum. Reviewers on Sephora with porcelain skin also love the color Mona.
- 2. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick In Bombshell Red, $5, Amazon
If you have a light skin tone similar to Emma Watson, try a rich cherry red to rev up your fair skin with luxurious color. Stay away from reds with too much warm yellow in them, as they can wash out your natural coloring, Blum advised.
Best red lipsticks for medium skin tones
Stuff We Love
- 1. Danessa Myricks Colorfix In Primary Red, $18, Alcone
If you have a warm skin tone like Cindy Crawford, what you see in the tube is typically what appears on your lips, and you can pull off both cool and warm tones with ease. In particular, try a warm brownish red to light up your face, said Blum.
- 2. Besame Cosmetics 1959 Lipstick In Red Hot Red, $22, Dermstore
A neutral undertone like Sofia Vergara's means true reds and coral reds will bring out your natural golden glow — and you can easily wear either, no matter the season or time of day, said Blushington Makeup & Beauty Lounge Lead Artist Laurie Watts. Vergara is not afraid to rock a red lip in summer and in winter.
- 3. Smashbox Be Legendary Liquid Lip In Brick Trick, $24, Ulta
Also available at Smashbox.
If you have olive skin like Ashley Graham with yellow-green undertones, you'll look gorgeous in warm shades that are also bold. Try an orange-based brick red to counter sallowness and to illuminate your skin with vibrant color, said Blum.
Smashbox MegaTint Long Wear Lip Color Cerise, $30, Amazon
Also available for $25 at Walmart.
With natural warmth in your skin tone (think Beyonce), a true cherry red is the hue you should pick to bring out your luminous glow and brighten your teeth for a dazzling smile, said Blum.
Since this product is low in stock, Blum recommended Stila's Stay All Day Shimmer Liquid Lipstick in Beso as a very similar alternative.
Best red lipstick for darker skin tones
- 1. Sephora Collection Rouge Cream Lipstick In Courtisane 02, $13, Sephora
If you've got a cool and calm skin tone like Kerry Washington, your complexion looks amazing in blue-based wine hues, says Watts. Steer clear of pinky reds that can look harsh, Blum added.
- 2. Tarte Cosmetics Color Splash Lipstick In Sundaze, $21, Sephora
Also available at Tarte.
If you've got a skin tone like Gabrielle Union, play the field! Blum said that rich skin tones steal the spotlight in highly pigmented orange-reds that contrast with warm undertones of the skin.
- 3. Rms Beauty Wild With Desire Lipstick In Russian Roulette, $28, Amazon
If you've got a skin tone like Lupita Nyong'o, you've also got options. One good go-to is a softer, blue-based red, said Blum.
This story was originally published on Dec. 5, 2016.
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