How to Find the Perfect Red Lipstick for Your Skintone

By Alina Gonzalez

There are certain things that can be found more easily than others. The nearest pizza place when a craving calls? You can probably find that in seconds. The perfect red lip that actually looks good with your skin tone, and makes you feel like a million bucks? That may have eluded you for years—until now.

We’re helping you discover the red lip you’ve been looking for—the one that’s guaranteed to look amazing with your particular skin tone. Keep reading to meet your match!

Photo: Michael Tran/Getty

An alabaster complexion like Rooney Mara’s pairs perfectly with wine-colored reds for an overall effect that’s sultry and sophisticated, not vampy. Look for shades of merlot and raisin with just a hint of brick.

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color in Crimson

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Guerlain Shine Automatique Hydrating Lip Shine in Rouge de Damas

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Milky ivory skin like that of Amanda Seyfried contrasts flawlessly with cranberry-colored lips for a look that’s glamorous and grown-up.

Clinique Colour Surge Butter Shine Lipstick in Cranberry Cream

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A golden-tan complexion that’s light-medium, like Diane Kruger’s skin after a quick summer holiday, looks best with vibrant reds. If the lipstick shade has the slightest hint of orange, it’ll enhance your warm, sunny tones.

Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème Lipstick in Raven 

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A natural tan complexion with neutral undertones, like Jennifer Lopez’s, pairs well with a blackberry-red that pulls from the cranberry and plum camps of color.

Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Sheer Candy Glossy Balm in Mouthwatering Berry

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Eva Mendes is a walking advertisement for the olive-coral combination. Coral reds with punchy pink undertones were made to enhance olive skin, especially with a shimmery finish for added dimension.

Lipstick Queen Saint Sheer Lipstick in Fire Red

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As Beyoncé has shown time and time again, a caramel complexion’s best match is a true red. It’s the singer’s well-documented red lip of choice, and you know that if Queen Bey abides by a beauty go-to, it has to be good. 

Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Legendary

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If you have mocha-colored skin, take a cute from Jourdan Dunn and get acquainted with deep purple-reds of the plum variety.

MAC Pencilled In Lipstick in Heroine

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Lupita Nyong’O epitomizes the way orangey-red shades complement darker skin tones beautifully. If you have cocoa-colored skin, reach for red lipsticks with orange undertones that will look electric in contrast to your complexion.

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