Miss Universe

Red lipstick and your skin tone

Thinking twice about wearing your lipstick because you're not sure which shade to pick? Let Rappler help you!

WHICH RED? With its various shades and hues, picking the right kind of red for your skintone can be a daunting task

MANILA, Philippines – The awards season is in full swing and it’s hard to ignore all the beautiful makeup looks actresses are sporting on the red carpet.

With the long, glamorous gowns and gorgeous updos, comes a constant companion: a beautiful red pout. There’s always a good percentage of women wearing the color on their lips. After all, it can lift a look entirely, transforming a plain ensemble to a more polished one. 

A lot of women here in the Philippines tend to shy away from the color, however. Some say it can be too harsh or overpowering, or that it may overpower features. That could be true if the type of red chosen doesn’t complement one’s skin tone or complexion. Knowing the perfect shade for your skintone can actually do wonders and give you the desired effect.

Porcelain to Fair

Procelain and even fair skintones can sometimes look pale and washed against outfits that are too close to the natural skin tone. A burst of red will improve the look – but which red?

Try a lipstick with cool, bluish undertones which can work well with fair skin. Expect a brightening effect as these colors pop well again fair skin. The red lipsticks that have blue undertones can even make your teeth appear whiter.

You can still wear lipsticks with warm, more yellow undertones, but make sure to tone down the eye makeup to focus the look on lips. 

Some will also recommend coral-red shades but it’s best to be careful in buying lipsticks from this color family as some may actually wash you out – even with a good makeup base. Selected properly, a good coral-red will make for a good, fresh and sunny makeup look. 

Wine colors which have a tinge of violet can warm you right up. Make sure that you’re also careful with your eye makeup as the lips tend to look striking with wine shades.

MAC: Russian Red, Capricious

Avon: Red 2000

Wet n Wild: Mega Last Lipcolor in Purty Persimmon

Chanel: Rouge Allure Velvet in La Fascinante

LADY IN RED. Jennifer Lawrence's bold, deep red lip anchored her dramatic beauty look at the Golden Globes. Photo by Agence France-Presse

Beige to Medium

True reds are often the way to go for medium skintones while cranberry shades can also work. For a more daring look, a fiery orange red with tiny hints of blue will certainly draw attention to the lips while giving you a healthy-looking glow. 

If you’re going for a sophisticated makeup look, dark berry shades (or basically a purple lipstick with red base) will work best with your skintone. Take it easy on the eye makeup. Stick with eyeliner to define your eyes, pick a good berry-colored blush, and you’re good to go.

Keep in mind that golden skintones look gorgrous on warm red tones, but that doesn’t mean you can’t wear cool shades. The golden rule is to try, try, try! 

Yves Saint Laurent: Rouge Pure Shine Sheer Lipstick SPF 15 in Wild Blackberry

MAC: MAC Red, Dangerous, Lady Danger, Ruby Woo

NARS: Heatwave

Chanel: Rouge Allure in Coromandel


Deep and rich red shades give dark skintones an attractive pop of color. Warm brick colors and burgundy shades are the best. While maroons are bolder, it still gives a sensual feel to the look.

Though some may discourage darker-skinned women from wearing super bright colors as they may look extra harsh, the effect is actually often lovely. We’ve seen runways with pretty tangerine lips on morena or darker-skinned women – all it takes is a little confidence to wear something out of the norm and commit to it.

MAC: Studded Kiss

L’Oréal: Paris Colour Riche Lipcolour in Red Rhapsody

Chanel: Rouge Allure Lipstick in Pirate, Rouge Coco in Destinee

Revlon: Moon Drops Lipstick in Orange Flip

What’s your favorite red lipstick and why? Do you prefer to dress down or dress up in the weekends? Let us know in the comments section below! – Rappler.com

Girl applying red lipstick image from Shutterstock