How to Pick the Best Red Lipstick for Your Skin Tone

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How to Pick the Best Red Lipstick for Your Skin Tone featured image

With the release of Red (Taylor’s Version) and the holidays right around the corner, the intrigue surrounding red lipstick is on the rise. Taylor Swift has revived her red lip look from 2012, and her fans want to join in on the fun. Per PopSugar, Google searches for red lipstick have shot up by 669 percent since the album dropped.

Red lipstick is an unparalleled way to make a bold statement with your look, and Swift knows it. Robert Cook, national makeup artist for Lancôme, described it as the “always classic, sophisticated, chic, on-trend lip color that anyone can wear in almost every situation and every era.” If you’ve ever wanted to rock a red lip, but choosing the right one for you feels daunting, we’ve got you covered.

Before selecting the right red lipstick for you, you need to determine the undertones in your skin. Celebrity makeup artist D’Andre Michael explained that there are warm, cool and neutral undertones. Warm undertones are peachy and yellow, as seen in Angela Bassett, Kim Kardashian West, Beyoncé and Jessica Alba, explained Michael. Cool skin tones have hints of blue, pink or red like in Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman, Adele and Lupita Nyongo’o. Neutral skin tones, which include Angelina Jolie, Kerry Washington, Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Aniston, have a mix of warm and cool.

You can decipher your skin tone in two ways, according to Michael. “If you tan easily, then you are a warm tone. If you burn or just get red when in the sun, then you are a cool tone,” he said. Additionally, with “cool skin tones, your veins will appear green, blue or purple. [With] warm skin tones, your veins will appear green.”

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Warm undertones

“If you have a warm undertone, yellow-based reds (golden, orangey bricky, tomato) are probably going to feel more comfortable or natural to wear,” while cooler colors will feel more dramatic to you, said Cook.

Daniel also encouraged orange-based, brick-red, brownish reds and terra-cotta colors to compliment warm undertones. He recommended MAC Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in Lady Danger ($19) and Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate Lipstick/001 ($6).

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Cool undertones 

“If you are a cool undertone, blue-based or cooler shades will feel more towards your comfort zone,” while warm shades will probably clash more, said Cook. Michael suggested Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick in Elson ($38), MAC Cosmetics Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo ($19), NARS Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl ($27) and Tom Ford Lip Color in F*cking Fabulous ($58).

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Neutral undertones

Those with a mix of both warm and cool undertones “get to enjoy the best of both worlds,” said Daniel. He advised trying Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire and Ice ($5), Maybelline New York Color Sensational Made for All Lipstick in Ruby for Me ($8), Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored ($25), CoverGirl Full Spectrum Color Idol Lipstick in Knockout ($7) and NYX Pin-Up Pout Lipstick in Revolution ($7).

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