The 'red lip' is a classic makeup look. Think Marilyn Monroe, classic glamour, a red carpet go-to. It might be feared, but red lipstick can be anyone's secret weapon, dressing up a day look with just a swipe. Finding the right shade of red lipstick for your skin tone is key paired with the latest tips and tricks to make sure your red lippy looks pristine and most importantly, lasts all night long. Whether you're a regular red or you're on the fence - we're sure you can be converted with our guide to the best red lipstick.
The best red lipstick shade for you
Feeling confident bossing a red lip is mostly about finding the right shade for you. If you're new to red lipstick territory, stick with us. If you're a regular, skip to the good part! Ultimately, it's all about aligning the colour with your skin's undertone - warm or cool. The exact same red shade can look entirely different from one person to another, that's colour theory. But rules are for breaking so rip up the manual if your eyes fall for something slightly different.
Best red lipstick for fair skin
If you have fair skin, you'll usually have a cool complexion in which case it's a good idea to reach for red lipsticks with a blue undertone. Picture a "true" red, and that's probably going to be your best friend.
Try the Rouge G De Guerlain Lipstick Refill in N°25 Flaming Red. This intense, classic colour will dazzle a fair complexion. The creamy lip balm has an astounding formula enrichment with Hyaluronic Acid Spheres to ensure your lips are both smoothed and hydrated while still luminous with colour.
Best red lipstick for olive skin
The warm undertones in olive skin pair beautifully with yellow or orange-based reds. On the flip side, a blue- or purple-red can wash out warm skin. Think summer corals, orange-reds and mauve colours.
Stila Red Compassion Liquid Lipstick is a great example. Even better, your lipstick comes with a matching lip liner so that your red lip stays all day. The subtle warmth of this shade will have you oozing with confidence and leave your skin with a golden glow.
Best red lipstick for dark skin
If you have a darker complexion, the experts recommend steering clear of pink undertones and looking for orange- or blue-based shades to either celebrate your rich undertones and add glow or create impact and make those pearly whites pop.
The Clarins Lip Comfort Oil in Intense Red provides the lips with a rich and vibrant colour whilst keeping them nourished and fresh. Using a combination of natural ingredients including cranberry oil for a glossy finish, hazelnut for suppleness and jojoba oil to nourish the lips. The intense, rich colour will look luminous yet well-balanced against a range of darker complexions.
How to apply red lipstick
Now you've chosen the perfect shade, there are a few key tips that will help you nail the best red lipstick look.
1 - Exfoliate and moisturise
Applying a vivid colour to your lips often brings out the skin's texture, so exfoliation is key. If you don't have a specific lip scrub, don't worry, you can always create your own homemade sugar scrub using cupboard ingredients or reach for your favourite all-body scrub. Like the Neom Organics London Scent To Make You Happy Great Day Scrub. Simply take a pea-sized amount of product and rub in gentle circular motions all over the tips before wiping away with water and a damp cotton pad.
Also, making sure that your lips are smooth and moisturised can help with ease of application as well as limit the amount of product used. There is no better product for lip moisture than the Elizabeth Arden Lip Care Eight Hour Nourishing Lip Balm SPF20. This legendary, award-winning product will calm, protect and hydrate skin for up to eight hours. Take a small amount of product and swipe it across the lips, leave them for a few minutes to settle and then blot away any unwanted product with tissue.
2 - Line your lips
Select a lip liner that matches, or is slightly darker, than your lip shade. Ensure that the lip pencil is sharpened for maximum precision. Then lightly outline the shape of your lips. An easy way to do this is to start with an 'x' shape on your cupid bow, a line at the bottom of your lip, and then work out into the lip corners. You can even fill the entire lip surface using the lip liner for added longevity.
3 - Apply your lipstick
Now it's time to carefully apply your chosen red lipstick. If you have chosen a lip balm like the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Lip Protectant Stick SPF15 in Berry, go ahead and apply it liberally to the lips. However, if you have selected something more matte or even a lip palette, it can be a good idea to use a lip brush to help with application and keep any mistakes to a minimum.
4 - Clean up any mistakes
We can all agree that red lipstick application can be tricky at the best of times. But, luckily with one simple trick, any smudges can be quickly erased. Just reach for a small brush and go in with full coverage and long-lasting concealer such as Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Flawless Wear Concealer. This concealer offers buildable coverage so use it sparingly and fix any small areas that you're not 100% happy with.
5 - Final touches
Optional final steps include blotting away any extra with a tissue to make sure no product ends up on your teeth. Or finish the look with a gloss or oil if you like the wet look. The Clarins Lip Comfort Oil in Cherry can add a subtle shine to your red lip.