Red Lipsticks That Looks Good on All Skin Tones

Tracy Johnson
Shades of Red

Be bold. Be daring. Choose red. Selecting the perfect red lipstick to complement your hair, eyes, and skin tone is a must. Go from girly to glam by learning how to dress your lips in the runway-ready, signature red that you've always dreamed of.

Universally Flattering Red Lipsticks

Face it: when it comes to lips, red is always in season. It's adventurous, audacious, feminine, and sexy. Its allure began with the iconic lipstick looks of Hollywood legends like Lucille Ball, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marilyn Monroe. Now, modern day artists like Gwen Stefani, Rihanna, and Taylor Swift have helped make red lipstick into a staple for every girl. Perfect your pout by choosing a universally-flattering red.

  • Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte Lip Color in Red Carpet: This ultra-moisturizing, revolutionary, rich, bright red glides on smoothly and features incredible wearability - it won't budge for eight hours. Weightless yet highly pigmented, this creamy must-have is enriched with a unique combination of emollients to condition lips.
  • MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo: Who could forget this lasting, non-drying ruby red? This smooth lip color delivers an incredibly creamy texture and the perfect true red hue. Offering luscious, moisture-rich color, sultry, fashion-forward lips will be yours when you select this option.
  • Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl: This Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner combines the convenience of a pencil with the application of a lipstick in a crayon-like design. This easy-to-apply, pigment-rich stick provides a matte, creamy finish. Enriched with silicone, emollients, and vitamin E, each stunning shade glides on smoothly, hydrates, and stays in place.
  • Maybelline ColorSensational Lipcolor in Red Revival: This sensational lip color is formulated with nourishing honey nectar for the supplest of lips and pure pigments for crisp, intense color.

Red Lipstick for Fair Skin

If you have a peaches-and-cream complexion that's somewhat between porcelain and bisque, this is your group. Lipsticks with a sheer, shiny finish or matte appearance both work with your skin tone.

Fair Pink Undertone

Pink undertones, or cooler undertones, are often represented by pale skin that burns easily. Choose coral reds since they are not too intense or bright, or matte reds with a slight hint of orange.

  • Tarte LipSurgence in Enchant: This gorgeous orange-red shade imparts a natural pop of color while delivering hydration and nutrients for a plumped up, luscious appearance. It goes on like a lip gloss, stays on like a stain, and hydrates like a balm. If you're in search of something a little less poppy and a little more red, select the Lust shade instead.
  • MAC Lipstick in Lady Danger: Non-caking, non-drying, and long-lasting, this lipstick delivers an incredibly smooth texture and a head-turning, vivid, bright-coral hue. Featuring lush, moisture-rich lip color, you can enjoy perfectly defined lips with one stroke.

Fair Yellow Undertones

Light complexion red lipstick
Bold red on a light complexion

A yellow undertone, or warmer undertone, is normally found on people with sallow skin. Opt for blue-based reds or berry-wine reds for a sophisticated, yet sultry, look.

  • NARS Lipstick in Red Lizard: This ultra-pure, creamy lipstick formula offers bold color and is enriched with vitamin E to increase wearability and provide intense moisture. The sheer finish creates a natural-looking lip while the semi-matte finish adds body.
  • Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy in Vengeful Red: This classic blue-red tone features a deep, matte shade and leaves lips feeling ultra-smooth. It features Estee Lauder's exclusive True Vision technology, which is intended to provide for maximum color impact, dimension, and wear.

Red Lipstick for Medium and Bronze Tones

Lucky for you and your golden complexion, most shades will work with your coloring. True reds and pink-based reds look especially lovely, so opt for a shade featuring a combination of red, blue, and yellow to make a statement.

Medium/Bronze Pink Undertone

With your beautiful medium complexion, you'll want to pick something a little less orangey and lean towards a true red.

Medium complexion with red lips
Cherry red on medium skin
  • Dolce & Gabbana Classic Cream Lipstick in Devil: Sublimely, sensual lips are created by the luxurious formulation of this pick. It glides along the lips with a moisturizing, color-consistent application, looking just as rich as it is feminine. Creamy and satisfying, lips will appear absolutely radiating.
  • Rouge Dior Lipcolor in Red Smile: This exceptional lipstick offers the lips the extreme splendor of full, smooth and perfectly defined. Cherry red and ultra-nourishing, it imparts radiant shine and luster, looks comfortably chic, and is long-lasting.

Medium/Bronze Yellow Undertone

If you you have a warm undertone and a bit of golden glow, you can wear almost anything. When shades of true red and pink- or blue-based reds are painted on your lips, you will look dynamite.

  • Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in Kate #1: Offering high-intensity color for up to eight hours, this formula is infused with black diamonds and reflects light, giving lips an edgy, unique, bold look. It glides on effortlessly and stays true to its brilliant hue.
  • Kat Von D Painted Studded Kiss Lipstick in Underage Red: Tattoo artist Kat Von D is all about creating products that are high in pigment and long-wearing. This bright, crimson hue undeniably provides rich, smoldering color while leaving lips smooth and moisturized.

Red Lipstick for Olive Skin

Olive Complexion Red Lipstick
Berry red on olive skin

Olive skin has darker, yellow-green undertones. Cranberry shades or rich crimsons are your not-so-secret weapons to complement your complexion. Avoid orange-reds or pink-reds, as they tend to look tawdry with your coloring and make you look more pale than you actually are.

  • Buxom Full Bodied Lipstick in Scoundrel: This vivid, full-coverage lip color offers a major plumping effect, a just-bitten pout, and a smooth finish. A nourishing blend helps moisturize, soothe, and protect lips.

Red Lipstick for Women of Color

Scarlet lips are a serious trend and to your advantage, it just so happens to look beyond amazing with your skin tone. For deeper, darker complexions, brown- or blue-based reds work best: think dark cherry, fig, and berry rose. Stay away from anything too bright or orange, as it will look too harsh. Capture the perfect pout by testing out some of the below must-haves.

Red Lipstick African-American Woman
Brick red on a dark complexion
  • Revlon Matte Lipstick in Really Red: Easy to apply and even more addictive to wear, this super smooth, saturated lip color delivers gorgeous, weightless pigment with no dryness or fading. Available in a beautiful, rich, deep berry shade, it graces your mouth evenly and flawlessly for a polished and perfect lip.

Paint the Town Red

If you are head-over-heels for the classic red lip but feel intimidated by all the choices, fear no more. Whether you choose a just-bitten lip stain or a sheer or matte lipstick, you can find a sultry shade that complements your beautiful features. Opt for shades that go well with your skin tone, and let your confident, feminine, sexy self shine through.

Red Lipsticks That Looks Good on All Skin Tones