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, By Ash K

The Best Red Lipstick for Each Skin Tone

Red lipstick is a makeup staple that has existed since people started drawing attention to their pouts; a statement color that says bold, confident, sexy, powerful, rebellious, and romantic, a color that has stood the test of time. Whatever your current viewpoint, perhaps it’s time to try this dramatic color for the first time or try a new version of it.

Lipstick, especially red lipstick, was considered risqué in the U.S. until 1912 when it became an avatar for the American suffragettes who adopted it as a sign of rebellion and liberation.

During WW II, red lipstick once again became a symbol, this time of resilience during the war effort at home (popularized by the image of Rosie the Riveter and her cherry red lips) and defiance against a certain Fuhrer, who was known to hate red lipstick.

In 1941 the Armed Forces commissioned Elizabeth Arden to create a red lipstick to match the piping and chevrons on women’s military unforms. She developed a shade named Montezuma Red which became a mandatory accessory for all women in service for the duration of the war.

Even though other icons have been adopted to represent empowerment, red lipstick is still front and center, as evidenced by a 2015 image of a Macedonian woman kissing an officer’s riot shield during an anti-government demonstration, leaving a red kiss mark on it to signify her opposition. People worldwide have tapped into the power of red lips and continue to employ it as a tool of activism.

After WW II, Hollywood stars such as Elizabeth Taylor glamorized red lipstick. Today, bold red lips are rocked by major celebrities like Taylor Swift, Emma Stone, Gwen Stefani, Rihanna, and Lupita Nyong'o, not only for red carpet events but for daily wear as well. The rest of us mere mortals, however, lag behind, tending to save this bold color wash for special occasions, if we own red lipstick at all. Given the boldness of the color, finding the precise shade of red that will perfectly match skin tone and hair color is a challenge that can be overwhelming.

Below are some tips for choosing the most complimentary shade of red for your particular coloring. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, this is the perfect time to get your glamour power on with our Hi-Rise Matte red lipsticks using the suggestions below to identify your most suitable shade. There are seven voluptuous colors to choose from, all formulated to meet consumer criteria and concerns with:

  • A Hydrating Matte Formula that Nourishes Dry and Chapped Lips
  • Creamy Full Coverage
  • Lip Plumping Natural Peptides 
  • A Capless Tube for One-Handed Opening/Closing and Cap Loss Prevention
  • Clean, Cruelty-Free, and Vegan
Try each shade individually or mix and match them to create your own perfect hue from the palette listed below.
  1. New York SunsetCoral-Orange Red 
  2. Racing RedWarm Red 
  3. Sleeping BeautyCool Red
  4. Pomegranate PunchCherry Red 
  5. Summer SangriaNeutral Berry 
  6. Berry CoolCool Burgundy
  7. Dark Rum HurricaneWarm Brown Red
Tips for choosing a skin tone compatible red lipstick:

A general rule to consider is choosing a lipstick shade with the same undertones as your skin, i.e., cool with cool and warm with warm.

Deep skin tones can wear almost all reds with both warm and cool undertones.

Olive skin will do best with yellow or orange-based reds such as coral and poppy like our New York Sunset.

Medium skin tones have a wider range of reds to choose from since both cool and warm reds will work well, go with warmer-toned shades if the skin has a warm/golden undertone such as our Berry Cool.

Light skin tones may look best in cool or berry reds with blue undertones including our Summer Sangria and Sleeping Beauty.

Fair skin with neutral/cool undertones looks best when wearing lipstick with cool undertones, such as reds that use blue and purple as a base rather than orange. An added perk of cool reds is that they make your teeth look whiter.

So choose your perfect red lipstick now and send a loud and clear message to your significant other (or the world at large) that you a serving up some serious sass!


If you want to emulate the glamourous red lips of the women who served in the Armed Forces during WW II, our Summer Sangria is a perfect match for the original Montezuma Red shade.

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