How to choose a red lipstick that complements your skin’s undertone

While rocking a red lip for the first time might feel out of your comfort zone, Makeup Artist Christine Cho reassured us that anyone can pull off a bold red! If you’ve been unable to find a shade of red that you really like, it could be because you’re using the wrong one for your undertone. While this isn’t necessarily a rule, figuring out whether you fall under a warm or cool undertone can definitely help when lipstick shopping!


When it comes to undertones, warm is the most common one. If you’re on the light skin spectrum with a warm undertone, you’ll be able to see a slightly green or olive tint under your eyes and on your neck. If you’re on the darker skin spectrum, you’ll notice a dark brown tint.

When it comes to warm undertones, opting for warm reds with an orange base will help complement your skin tone. ‘Bawse’ by Smashbox is a vibrant liquid matte lipstick that looks great on a variety of skin tones. The deep and pigmented colour accentuates golden undertones and doesn’t dry after a full day’s wear. If you’re in the market for something more moisturizing, ‘Fire and Ice' by Revlon is an orange-red shade that brightens your complexion. The creamy formula has vitamin E and avocado oil, making it easy to wear on a night out.

For a high performance and intense brick-red hue, the Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick in 'N214' knows how to make a statement. Between the soft cream formula and gorgeous mirror case, there are many reasons to love this lipstick! If you love your bright and show-stopping lipsticks,'Obsessed' by Pat McGrath Labs is for you. The richly saturated orange-red lipstick is a creamy matte formulated to smoothen texture. This lipstick is particularly fabulous contrasted against medium to darker skin tones!

Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in 'Bawse' $32 at Sephora | Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in ‘Fire and Ice' $5.94 at Walmart | Guerlain Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick in ‘N214’ $38 at Guerlain | Pat McGrath Labs Mattetrance Lipstick in ‘Obsessed’ $54 at Sephora


Wondering if you fall into the cool undertone category? When you’re on the light skin spectrum, having a cool undertone usually means that you can see blood flor that creates a pink flush on your cheeks and chest. You might have a slightly blue tint under your eyes or even shades of purple and red on your lids. If you have darker skin, you’ll likely notice a blue tint in your skin rather than a brown tint.

The NARS Lipstick in ‘Jungle Red’ is a slightly blue-red that looks fantastic on many different skin tones. It has a semi-matte velvet finish and really warms up cooler skin tones. With moringa and passionfruit oils, the lipstick is super conditioning. If you’re more of a gloss gal, the Stila Beauty Boss Lip Gloss ‘In The Red’ has an intense multi-dimensional shine without leaving your lips feeling dry or sticky. The gloss truly feels comfortable and wearable while still looking glamorous. For those that prefer classic statement lipsticks, the Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips 2 in ‘Pasty Red’ is a fantastic option. Not only is it moisturizing with antioxidants, but the lipstick tube is also refillable!

NARS Lipstick in ‘Jungle Red’ $33 at Nars Cosmetics | Stila Beauty Boss Lip Gloss ‘In the Red’ $20 at Sephora | Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips 2 in ‘Patsy Red’ $43


Numerous brands offer "universal" shades of red lipstick, meant to look good on everyone. However, it's important to keep in mind that while it can be used on a variety of skin tones, it will react differently with each person's natural lip colour. The same red might look completely different on every individual! 

'Spicy' by NYX is considered a "true red" with a strong pigment that delivers a smooth matte finish. It glides onto the lips with ease while looking luxurious, and the price point is a huge bonus! If hydration is a universal shade is your priority, 'True Red' by L’Oréal is meant for differing undertones and has a creamy satin finish with Omega 3, Vitamin E and argan oil. If you're just starting to ease into red lipstick, Maybelline’s 'Red For Me' Lipstick is a crowd-favourite! As a universal shade that works on all complexions, it's been tested on 50 diverse skin tones to ensure that anybody can feel confident wearing it.

NYX Cosmetics Suede Matte Lipstick in ‘Spicy’ $10 at NYX | L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche lipstick in ‘TRURED’ $9.97 at Walmart | Maybelline New York Color Sensational® Made For All Lipstick in 'Red for Me' $10.99 at Maybelline