Find the Best Red Lipstick to Flatter Your Skin Tone
New Year's Eve smoky eye aside, not many makeup looks define the holiday season quite like the perfect red lip. Not all shades of crimson are created equal, however, and if the warm coral hue that looks perfect on your BFF seems to wash you out, it may not be the best match with your complexion. That's why we put together a comprehensive guide to finding your perfect ruby color, with our favorite leading ladies to guide you. Keep reading to find out which red lipstick will be the most flattering against your skin tone.
Fair with Cool Undertones
Blue-based red hues pop the most against light complexions with pink hints like Amy Schumer's, so steer clear of anything on the coral or orange end of the spectrum, which won't be as flattering. Schumer's makeup artist filled in her pout with Laura Mercier's lip pencil in True Red ($21; nordstrom.com), topped off with a layer of Dior Creme de Rose balm ($26; nordstrom.com).
Fair with Warm Undertones
When you have a touch of warmth to your skin like Miranda Kerr, you can get away with red shades with a citrus twist. "Deep, sunset-red hues work perfectly with Miranda's naturally sun-kissed complexion," says her makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury, who used her own 1975 Red tone ($32; net-a-porter.com) on the star.
Medium with Cool Undertones
Rich olive complexions like Freida Pinto's are best flattered by a deep oxblood or berry-tinted red. We love the L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in Spice ($9; drugstore.com).
Medium with Warm Undertones
Sofia Vergara's makeup artist Kayleen McAdams emphasized the golden tones of her skin (and that dress!) with CoverGirl's Outlast Lip Color in Amazing Auburn ($9; drugstore.com), a deep red tone with a twist of warm brown.
Tan with Cool Undertones
Anything with too much orange or yellow mixed in the formula can create a contrasting effect against your cool skin, so follow in the lead of Kerry Washington with a flattering wine hue. To create a hue this deep, we recommend working in layers. Start with a base of Stila's Liquid Lipstick in Amore ($24; sephora.com) to ensure the color stays put, followed by a layer of Neutrogena's Lip Color Stick in Raisin ($8; target.com).
Tan with Warm Undertones
Play up the caramel hints in your complexion like FKA Twigs, who worked a flame-tinted crimson for the MTV Video Music Awards. Her makeup artist Mai Quynh opted to use the Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipstick in Bad Blood ($22; sephora.com)—no relation to the T-Swift single—paired with the coordinating lip pencil ($20; sephora.com).
Deep with Cool Undertones
If your complexion has slight hints of blue or green like Viola Davis', it's important to stick to equally-cool shades of red, otherwise the finish will appear too orange. Find the perfect balance by picking up a true red with slight blue hints—we're obsessed with the NARS Audacious Lipstick in Annabella ($32; sephora.com).
Deep with Warm Undertones
If you have dark skin with warm hints like Lupita Nyong'o, choose a bold scarlet tone like Lancome's L'Absolu Rouge in Le Vermillion ($28; nordstrom.com), which holds the perfect balance of red and orange.