There is nothing quite like finding the best red lipstick for your skin tone. Whether matte, glossy, deep or bright, a slick of red can have a transformative effect, lending a little instant confidence where perhaps before it was lacking. There’s a reason it’s a red carpet go-to: a punchy red pout ups the ante on the glamour front while still being easy to wear – if you’ve found the right hue, that is.
To find the best red lipstick for you, first consider your skin’s undertone and decide whether it’s warm or cool. As a general rule, you should opt for a red that has the same undertone as your skin.
A catwalk perennial – and especially good during the festive months – there are a number of ways to wear the red lip. For a low-maintenance daytime look, blot your red down with a tissue or your fingers to create a diffused finish around the lips – use a cotton bud to smudge them if needed. For insouciant evening glamour, use lip liner and a precise application technique for a stamped-on red lip. Or, channel our French friends by wearing red lipstick on an otherwise bare face.
So, which to go for? There’s a hue to suit everyone, so from rich, blue-based reds to bright orange-toned shades, see our pick of the best red lipsticks here.
Huda Beauty Power Bullet Matte Lipstick
Delivering incredible pigment pay off and a deep and rich red colour, this ultra matte red lipstick from Huda Beauty offers a nourishing, full coverage finish that lasts all day long.
Hourglass Unlocked Satin Crème Lipstick – Red 0
A deep, dramatic red lipstick that’s perfect for winter, this eye-catching shade is formulated with vegan waxes and plant oils so that it feels moisturising and comfortable on lips. Although it’s a satin finish it stays put with no fading or feathering throughout the day.
Prada Soft Matte Monochrome Refillable Lipstick – Carminio
Aside from being a brilliant vibrant red toned lipstick that makes a real statement, the clever squared off edges of the bullet means you can use it almost like a lip liner for the most precise application. The formula itself is matte but moisturising and you can keep building layers until you reach your desired intensity.
MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lip Colour – Feels So Grand
MAC’s Ruby Woo is a cult classic, but this Retro Matte shade comes a close second. It goes on as a liquid and dries to an ultra-comfortable matte finish, delivering all the rich red pigment that the brand is known for. Plus, it won’t transfer.
Vieve Modern Matte Lipstick –Muse
Modern Matte by name, modern matte by nature. Leave it to Jamie Genevieve to create a lipstick that’s as creamy as they come, while still giving pack-a-punch colour. This is a classic red and we are big fans.
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Luminous Modern-Matte Red Lipstick – Red Carpet Red
For long-lasting, highly-pigmented colour, Charlotte Tilbury’s lipsticks are among the best. Red Carpet Red is a classic, bombshell red that’s virtually transfer resistant and very comfortable on the lips.
Dior Rouge Dior Lipstick
A deep, plummy red lipstick, this red is best for those with darker skin or who like a bold finish. Thanks to the comfort pigment type formula, it feels as soft as silk, too, thanks to moisturising sea fennel in the formula.
Pat McGrath Labs Mattetrance Lipstick in Elson
If the packaging doesn’t instantly win you over, the stellar red lipstick itself will get you. McGrath’s MatteTrance lipsticks impart a velvet-matte finish that won’t dry out your lips, but will stay put all day. Dreams do come true.
Chanel Rouge Coco Flash Lipstick in Amour
For a soft, satin finish, Chanel’s Coco Flash lipsticks are excellent. With a balmy feel, you can expect excellent colour pay-off in an ultra-hydrating formula thanks to oils like jojoba and sunflower. It’s the best red lipstick for mature skins.
L’Oréal Paris Infallible Very Matte Lip Crayon – 110 Caramel Rebel
For easy application and a hue that suits olive and warm skin tones especially, this L’Oréal lipstick/lip liner crayon is a must-try. Bonus points also go to the narrow tip that ensures precise application every time.
Lisa Eldridge Velvet Ribbon True Velvet Lip Colour
A formula to end them all, this universally-flattering red lipstick goes on velvety-soft, delivers impactful colour and also stays put. A must-try for lipstick lovers.
Gucci Rouge À Lèvres Voile Lipstick – 25 Goldie Red
Housed within the most gorgeous packaging sits an equally gorgeous red lipstick. Offering a translucent finish with a lightweight, lip balm type texture, this is a brilliant one for those who don’t want to truly commit to a full-on red lipstick.
Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture The Slim Velvet Radical Lipstick – 21
The square-shape of this YSL lipstick bullet make for an ultra easy application, plus the colour itself stays put for hours. A classically seductive red tone.
Victoria Beckham Beauty Bitten Lip Tint – Chérie
If it’s just a flush of red colour you want on lips – for that pretty, just-bitten effect – this lip tint will become your best friend. It’s essentially a mix between a lip balm and a stain, so will stay put for hours while making you look au naturel in the process.
Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Drama Ink – 525
It’s the consistency of this long-wear red lipstick that sets it apart from the rest. A water-in-oil texture, it feels waxy but super lightweight but nonetheless does not budge and offers brilliant colour pay-off.
Guerlain Rouge G De Guerlain Lipstick – 214
With a refillable, customisable case, this Guerlain lipstick isn’t only a brilliant red tone that suits most skin tones, it’s also kinder to the environment.
Tom Ford Lipstick – Cherry Lush
For a jolt of highly-pigmented, long-lasting red lip colour, Tom Ford is a go-to brand. Creamy in texture and slightly pinkish-red in colour, Cherry Lush is best worn alone for maximum impact.
Hermès Rouge Hermès Matte Lipstick – Rouge H
As luxurious as red lipsticks come, this matte formula from Hermès feels as good as it looks. A moisturising matte, this shade is the ultimate deep statement red.
Valentino Beauty Rosso Valentino Matte Refillable Lipstick – 22a
Newly launched this year, Valentino’s lipstick offering is predictably good – think classic red shades that will suit every skin tone and last as long as you want them to.
Originally published in Vogue.co.uk