There’s no easier way to make your makeup look striking than with a slick of red lipstick. It can instantly make you look brighter, sexier and give you whiter teeth. But finding the perfect red lipstick is sadly not as easy – with hundreds of reds on the market and new ones being released every week – and wearing the wrong shade can completely ruin your look.

Follow our makeup tips and production recommendations to find the perfect shade of red for you.

Even though all reds are red, not all reds are created equal. Most people associate the colour red with warmth, but it actually comes in three different undertones: warm reds, cool reds, and true reds.

Warm reds
Warm reds are reds that have a yellow or orange base. If you look best in warm colours or gold jewelry, or the veins under your skin have a purplish hue, look for a warm red lipstick. Dark, medium, and olive complexions tend to be warm.
We loveBite Beauty’s Luminous Crème Lipstick in Apricot (a gorgeous warm red with no nasty chemicals!).


Cool reds
Cool reds are reds that have a blue or purple base. If you look best in cool colours or silver jewelry, or the veins under your skin have a blue or green hue, you will most likely look best wearing a cool red. Light, bisque, and pale complexions tend to be cool.

We loveMAC Russian Red Matte Lipstick – a cult favourite that looks amazing on cool-toned skin.


True reds
True reds don’t have any noticeable base other than red, and they can be worn by just about anybody.  Since it doesn’t have a subtle base colour to it, they are universally flattering and a good choice to start when shopping for red lipstick.
We lovetarte’s glamazon™ pure performance 12-hour lipstick in Fierce


How to wear red lipstick
Picking the right red for you is just the first step. Next is figuring out how to wear it. A red lip is a pretty high maintenance look, so follow these application techniques.

To keep your colour locked down, you need to prime the lips with a product that both softens and smooths the lips and seals in the colour.
We love: MAC Prep + Prime Lip.


Next, carefully outline your lips with a lip liner, filling in an uneven area or gaps. Don’t go too over your natural lip line to avoid looking like a clown. Lightly fill in the lip area to give the lipstick a base to adhere to. Don’t be too heavy, just smudge over the lips.

Finish by applying your lipstick over the liner. You can do this from the tube, or use a brush. Once it’s applied, gently blot the excess using a tissue, and reapply. Now pop the lipstick into your purse for top-ups throughout the day and night.

One last essential makeup tip: when wearing red lipstick, keep your eye makeup subtle. If your eyes are too dark, your face will look too dramatic.

What’s your favourite red lipstick?