50 Shades of Red: How to Choose the Perfect Red for that Beautiful Pucker

A couple of Red Lipped Foxes!

Hands down Red Lipstick has got to be my absolute favorite go to color for lips, and has never disappointed. Red lipstick has always been there for me when I paired a white t-shirt with some jeans and needed a touch of glam, or when I’ve gone all black and required a pop of drama. It’s been there for me during the holidays and complimented my agenda for seduction. If Red Lipstick was a girlfriend, she’d be the one who knew all your darkest secrets and be the one encouraging you to live your best hoe life. Red lipstick, like many of us girls has had a checkered past, carrying reputation with the harlots, hussies, and courtesans -victims of slut shaming. Perhaps that is why I feel wearing Red Lipstick is my tribute to the women before me who paved the way to paint my face as I see fit, without prejudice.

In the article Empowering, alluring, degenerate? The evolution of red lipstick it mentions that “Until lipstick was popularized in the early 20th century, red lips were often associated with morally dubious women: impolite, sexually amoral, even heretical. In the Dark Ages, red lips were seen as a sign of commingling with the devil. The makeup “was associated with this mysterious, frightening femininity,” says Rachel Felder, author of last year’s “Red Lipstick: An Ode to a Beauty Icon.

Red lipstick also has its roots in political movements throughout history, so wear it loud and wear it proud!

Here are some of the Reds I have come across and use!

Best Reds For Every Skin Tone

TUBE OF Shiseido Visionary Gel Lipstick in Shizuka Red on a white background
UNIVERSAL: SHISEIDO VISIONARY GEUNIVERSAL: LIPSTICK IN SHIZUKA RED

Shiseido’s most popular lipstick is a long-lasting, full-coverage lipstick that features a special gel technology that is weightless on the lips and also delvers full-coverage. The shade name is really something special to the brand too; Shizuka translates to “quiet” or “calm” in Japanese.

$26 (Shop Now)

bottle of Fenty Beauty uncensored on a white background
UNIVERSAL: FENTY BEAUTY UNCENSORED

When it comes to universal beauty, Fenty Beauty does best. The vibrancy and high pigmentation of Uncensored make it a favorite in Lagos, says Nigerian makeup artist Joyce Jacob.

$24 (Shop Now)

Bullet of Christian Louboutin Velvet Matte Lip Colour in Rouge Louboutin on a white background
UNIVERSAL: CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN VELVET MATTE LIP COLOUR IN ROUGE LOUBOUTIN

This luxurious lipstick may seem like a stretch, price-wise, but there is a reason it’s Net-a-Porter’s best-selling red in Paris, the city of red lipstick.

$90 (Shop Now)

Fair Complexions

25 Goldie Red, Rouge à Lèvres Satin Lipstick
25 Goldie Red, Rouge à Lèvres Satin Lipstick $ 42 Shop Here
Matte Lip Kit in Boujee
Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kit BOUJEE | MATTE LIP KIT $17.40 USD Shop Here
Colourpop Crme Lux Lipstick in On Display  best red lipsticks according to skin tone
Fair Skin: Colourpop Crème Lux Lipstick in On Display
“In general, the lighter your skin, the lighter the hue of red,” explains Murphy. “Light and dark don’t only refer to skin tone, but also hair color and eyes; think of the overall impression.” If your skin is on the paler end of the spectrum, look for a red with a touch of pink for a playful take on a crimson lip.
$7 (Shop Now)
Tatcha Silk Lipstick in Kyoto Red  best red lipsticks according to skin tone
Fair Skin: Tatcha Silk Lipstick in Kyoto Red
One of Murphy’s go-to reds for paler skin tones is Tatcha’s Kyoto Red Silk Lipstick, which looks like a garnet in lipstick form. “It’s a balanced, bright, perfect red,” he says. “It’s classic yet modern, and works on light-to-medium skin tones.”
$55 (Shop Now)
Tom Ford Fucking Fabulous Lip Color  best red lipstick according to skin tone
Fair Skin: Tom Ford Fucking Fabulous Lip Color
Everything about Tom Ford’s limited-edition red lipstick — reimagined in a sleek noir tube — is impossible to ignore. From the intense color payoff to the decadent texture and the bold name, it’s no wonder it’s a makeup artist’s favorite.
$60 (Shop Now)

Medium Complexions

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red  best red lipsticks according to skin tone
Medium Skin: Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red
“Nars Mysterious Red is a full-throttle, punchy blue-red,” describes Murphy, who recommends it clients with medium skin because of its highly-pigmented depth and wear time.
$27 (Shop Now)
Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick in 001  best red lipsticks according to skin tone
Medium Skin: Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick in 001
If you’ve got golden or warm undertones, a fiery orange-red will be your new calling card. Rimmel London’s red lipstick (made in collaboration with iconic supermodel Kate Moss) costs roughly the same as a chai latte and delivers a seriously punchy finish.
$5 (Shop Now)
Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in MaDamn  best red lipsticks according to skin tone
Medium Skin: Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Ma’Damn
As if Rihanna would ever do us wrong. Fenty Beauty’s range of lippies includes everything from black, forest green, and Ma’Damn, a brilliant, royal red that looks incredibly rich on medium skin tone.
$18 (Shop Now)
Giorgio Armani Rouge D'Armani Lipstick in 400  best red lipsticks according to skin tone
Medium Skin: Giorgio Armani Rouge D’Armani Lipstick in 400
Another formula with the makeup artist stamp of approval is Giorgio Armani’s Rouge D’Armani Lipstick in 400, a high-octane red with a velvety matte texture. “It’s a perfect red,” Murphy says. “[It has] a great balance of blue and orange, the formula lasts a long time, and is sumptuous.”
$38 (Shop Now)
Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick
The Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick in shade Volatile is a pigmented, warm red that both illuminates and defines your smile. Its lavish hue coats lips in a drenching high-coverage pigment that sculpts lips with a mattified texture. Pair this warm hue with a classic cat-eye to nail that vintage glam look. Shop Here

Dark Complexions

Nars Semi Matte Lipstick in Shanghai Express  best red lipsticks according to skin tone
Dark Skin: Nars Semi-Matte Lipstick in Shanghai Express
Few beauty looks are as unapologetic as a bold red lip, but if you want a subtler take on rouge, try a semi-matte formula like Nars’s lippie in Shanghai Express, which Henney loves for its warm, brick hue that glows on dark skin.
$28 (Shop Now)
Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hydrating Lip Gloss Stick in Black Cherry Baby  best red lipsticks according to skin tone
Dark Skin: Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hydrating Lip Gloss Stick in Black Cherry Baby
“Darker skin tones can play with deeper, warmer reds,” says makeup artistMorgane Martini (who happens to be a Marc Jacobs Beauty Global Artistry Ambassador). “But I believe that ultimately you can rock any red because it also depends on the desired lipstick application and texture – for example, sheer or very defined.” Case in point: A glossy tinted balm which gives red lipstick a casual, versatile twist.
$28 (Shop Now)
The Lip Bar Matte Liquid Lipstick in Red  best red lipsticks according to skin tone
Dark Skin: The Lip Bar Matte Liquid Lipstick in Red
For deeper skin tones, Oquendo recommends taking inspiration from the red carpet for your perfect red lipstick shade. The Lip Bar Matte Liquid Lipstick in Red fits the bills with its lush, stay-put formula. And a major plus is it’s from a black-owned beauty brand.
$13 (Shop Now)
Best Red Lipsticks For Dark Skin: Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick
Pat McGrath Labs Matte Trance Lipstick  Shop Here
Best Red Lipsticks For Dark Skin: Yves Saint Laurent Tatouage Couture Matte Lip Stain
Yves Saint Laurent Tatouage Couture Matte Lip Stain  Shop Here
Too Faced Melted Matte in Lady Balls
The Melted Matte formula from Too Faced is a lipstick lover’s dream come true. It applies like a gloss but dries to an ultra-matte finish, providing a super easy way to achieve opaque lips. Not for the faint hearted, Lady Balls is a vibrant true red that really pops against warm and deep skin tones and is easy to pull off. Shop Here

2 thoughts on “50 Shades of Red: How to Choose the Perfect Red for that Beautiful Pucker

  1. Seriously, I loves this article and can I just say, having the different products for different skin tones… Fantastic 👏👏👏 I do love a red lipstick 💄

    Like

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