The Best Red Lipsticks For Every Skin Tone, By Makeup Artists

You can’t get more classic than the cult favorite lipstick. It’s sultry, it’s sexy, and it gives you that “pop” statement.

Although there are so many on the market, it can be difficult to find your signature shade. So we left it to the pro to pick the 10 best red lipsticks of 2022 for every skin tone.

“How could a classic red lip ever go out of fashion? However, there is always a new twist on lipstick formulas such as innovative finishes, sustainable packaging and clean formulas,” said Melinda Solares, Director Beauty from Sephora, to the New York Post.” More recently, high-impact vinyl finishes like GXVE BY GWEN STEFANI’s Xtra Sauce Longwear Vinyl Liquid Lipstick have been all the rage due to the eye-catching vinyl finish and lasting results.”

In addition to your tinted lip balms, this must-have makeup bag isn’t just for the daring – it’s for everyone. Even better, you can complete your look with one of the best sheer lip glosses we reviewed for a more glam and melted look. (Related: best beauty gifts).

Not all red lipsticks are created equal, so we’ve selected an exclusive edition of Solares’ Top 10 Recommended Red Lipsticks. Also be sure to scroll down to see some personal favorites we’ve added to the mix.

Click to access the best red lipsticks:

What to Look for in a Red Lipstick, According to an Expert

According to Solares, you need to consider formula, finish, and shade when looking for a red lipstick.

“It’s important to start by identifying the factors that are most important to you, as this can be different for each person,” she adds. “You have to ask yourself, are you looking for additional benefits of lipstick?”

What is the best lipstick for fair skin? For dark skin?

Although Solares is convinced that bright red is for everyone, there are a few guidelines to help you choose the most flattering lipstick shade for you:

  1. Decipher your undertone: An undertone is different from your skin tone. Skin tones range from light to dark, but undertone is the undertone of your skin tone. These shades can be warm, cool or neutral. For a quick check, look at your veins; blue veins indicate cool undertones, green veins indicate warm undertones, and a mixture of the two indicates neutral undertones.
  2. Select a matching lipstick shade: For warm tones, try orange-red and brick-red. For cool tones, try blue-red and purple-red. If your skin tone is neutral, you have a little more work to do. Neutral skin tones tend to look good with a wider range of lipstick shades, so “have fun experimenting!” according to Solares.

What is good makeup with red lipstick?

Solares gives us the 411 on how to create a look with a bold red lip.

“My favorite makeup to pair with lipstick is very simple,” she begins. “I could add a bit of neutral eye shadow to outline my eye area, tighten my lash line for a bit of definition, add a touch of light neutral blush, and work to keep the focus on the bold beautiful lip!”

For a touch of glam for a night out, she uses Sephora Collection Charged Up Liquid Eyeshadow in ‘Champagne’ added to the eyes, as seen here. Every once in a while she gets funky with it and adds an unexpected pop of color, like Sephora Collection’s Ultimate Gel Waterproof Eye Pencil in “Matte Lime” shade pictured here.

Most importantly, it’s important to have fun with it!

Best lipsticks chosen by experts

Below, Solares describes her three favorite red lipsticks.

1. GXVE BY GWEN STEFANI Xtra Sauce Vinyl Longwear Liquid Lipstick, $24


Shadow: ‘Original recipe’

Solares recommends GXVE BY GWEN STEFANI Xtra Sauce Longwear Vinly Liquid Lipstick in ‘Original Recipe’ if you are looking for a glossy finish. Namely, its luxury gold packaging, vegan formulation, and high-shine finish seal the deal.

2. Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick, $15

Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick

Shadow: ‘Always red’

For a matte finish, the Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in “Always Red” is the one Solares has on deck at all times. Not only is it affordable at just $15, but if you like the rich formulation, there are dozens of additional shades to choose from.

3. Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Fenty Icon The Fill Semi-Matte Refillable Lipstick, $20

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Fenty Icon Semi-Matte Refillable Lipstick The Fill

Shadow: ‘THE MVP’

Ah, Queen RiRi has struck again with the Fenty Icon Refillable Semi-Matte Lipstick. Not only is it long-lasting, but it’s long-wearing, hydrating, and garnering a cult following.

Other Red Lipsticks We Love

1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Satin Matte Lipstick, $23

Anastasia Beverly Hills Matte and Satin Lipstick

Shadow: ‘American doll’

Not only are we obsessed with all things Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH, if you’re a real one), but her satin matte lipstick is unique in that you can select the formulation you prefer. Her “American Doll” shade is bold, but it’s been our favorite for months, even on fair skin.

2. MAC Cosmetics Retro Matte Lipstick, $21

MAC Cosmetics Retro Matte Lipstick
MAC Cosmetics

Shadow: ‘Ruby Woo’

Do an internet search – no edition of the “best red lipsticks” would take you away from MAC Cosmetics’ best-selling “Ruby Woo” shade. We’ve been hearing about this color for years and can’t imagine going without one of the brand’s seriously killer formulations.

3. Gucci Velvet Matte Lipstick, $45

Gucci Velvet Matte Lipstick

Shadow: ‘Red Goldie’

Lately, Gucci has stepped up its beauty game (even if it has crushed it as a coveted designer name). Her ‘Goldie Red’ Velvet Matte Lipstick looks flawless with the brand’s Luminous Matte Beauty Blush ($49), and we 100% recommend it for date night.

4. Maybelline New York Super Stay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick, $8

Maybelline New York Super Stay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

Shadow: ‘Exhilarating’

There’s a reason Maybelline New York takes over every TV commercial and magazine ad known to man – her lip colors are beyond amazing, for less than $10 too. Oh, and it has over 82,000 Amazon reviews, making it an Amazon bestseller.

Her ‘Exhilirator’ shade has pigment like no other and is an amazing drugstore find. For more options, check out our guide to the best beauty finds under $25.

5. ILIA Color Block High Impact Lipstick, $28

ILIA Color Block High Impact Lipstick

Shadow: ‘Wild Aster’

If you have fair skin, ILIA Color Block High Impact Lipstick in “Wild Aster” is a phenomenal, natural-looking shade that still has lipstick charm. In addition, it is a mark of clean beauty that we never get tired of.

6. Dior Rouge Dior Forever Anti-Transfer Lipstick, $42

Dior Rouge Anti-Transfer Lipstick Dior Forever

Shadow: ‘Forever Dior’

Truth be told, the “Dior Forever” shade from the brand’s Rouge Dior Transfer-Proof line is more than fantastic. Think a dance recital lip – you know, the one you want to stay put for hours frolicking on stage – and this is it here. We wish we had it when we were seven.

7. Too Faced Lady Bold Cream Lipstick, $24-$28

Too Faced Lady Bold Cream Lipstick

Shadow: ‘Bold lady’

We tried the Too Faced Lady Bold Cream Lipstick and although it’s a bit vibrant on fair skin, it’s a real apple red hue that we couldn’t resist. If you also want something hydrating, this is worth your money.

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