50 Shades of Red – How to Pick Your Perfect Shade of Red Lipstick


Red lipstick is believed to date back as far as 2500 BC, when ancient Sumerians would crush red rocks into powder form to tint their lips. The beauty industry has come a long way since then but red lipstick remains an all time classic and essential in any makeup bag. However, with so much to choose from on the market, the search for the perfect shade can be overwhelming. We breakdown all the factors you need to consider when choosing which is the right red lipstick for you. 

Knowing Your Skin Tones and Undertones

The most important factor in making sure you get the right lipstick is knowing your skin tone and undertones correctly. This will narrow down the shades that will work for you. Skin tone is divided between fair, medium and dark. While undertones are split into cool, warm and neutral. If you don’t know your undertones, take a quick look at the veins on your wrist. Blue and purple veins mean you have cool undertones, green veins show you have warm undertones and if your veins seem colourless or blend in with your skin then you have neutral undertones. 

The Best Shades for Each Skin Tone

If you have cool undertones, the most flattering reds will be shades with a blue or purple tone. Think berry colors to compliment your complexion and give you an instantly elevated makeup look. 

People with warm undertones can easily achieve an effortlessly glam finish to their face by wearing red lipsticks with a golden, yellow or orange base. 

Anyone with neutral undertones will be spoilt for choice as they are lucky enough that all types of reds look great on them and can play around with a variety of shades. If that leaves too many options a classic, matte fire engine red is always a safe bet to ensure a sleek standout lip. 

Now that you know what shade to look for, here’s a list of the best red lipsticks available to help you achieve a contemporary take on an all time classic makeup look. 

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet – Luminous Matte Lip Color 

Probably the most famous red lipstick on the market. This long lasting lip color combines highly concentrated pigments with jojoba oil and shea butter to ensure your lips stay soft without sacrificing on color impact. 

Shop: Chanel Lipstick, 46 Magnetique $45

Valentino Beauty – Rosso Refillable Lipstick

This Valentino lipstick uses new patented technology to give your lips maximum color but with a lightweight feel. Available in both matte and satin finish, it also comes in a refillable case. 

Shop: Valentino Beauty Rosso Refillable Lipstick, Red Fiesta Satin $55

Kjaer Weis – Matte Naturally Liquid Lipstick 

Kjaer Weis continues to revolutionize beauty with this certified organic liquid lipstick by fusing organic ingredients with hyaluronic acid to keep your lips hydrated and nourished.

Shop: Kjaer Weis Matte Naturally Liquid Lipstick, KW Red $22

Hourglass – Phantom Volumizing Glossy Balm 

If you find the classic red lip too bold or want to incorporate a lighter version into your day makeup then the Hourglass Phantom Volumizing Glossy Balm could be the perfect solution. Vegan and cruelty free their Thrill 165 shade in bright red plumps lips with a full bodied high-shine color. 

Shop: Hourglass Phantom Volumizing Glossy Balm, Thrill 165 $36

La Bouche Rouge – Custom Color Lipstick 

We have saved the best until last with La Bouche Rouge. Where better to get your perfect shade than the Parisian based lipstick experts whose name literally translates to “red lips”. If you haven’t been able to find the tone that’s just right for you, La Bouche Rouge provides a customized color service which allows you to develop your own personalized shade named after you. 
Shop: La Bouche Rouge – Custom Color Lipstick, $85

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Clare Holden

Clare has been working as a freelance writer ever since graduating with a BA in Journalism and Communications. Clare has trained and worked as a makeup artist in London and studied natural skincare. She has an extensive knowledge of cosmetic products as well as a background in fashion.


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