A quick guide to choosing the perfect red lipstick shade for your skin tone
Red lipstick is one of those staples that’s in every girl’s beauty arsenal – it’s timeless, it’s versatile, and it won’t let you down. But how do you know if your red lipstick is, well, your red lipstick? We’re talking that signature shade of red that’s distinctly ‘you’, and perfectly complements your skin tone.
We’ve gushed about our fruit pigmented® natural lipsticks before – especially the red shades – but this time, it’s personal! We’re breaking down our top cruelty-free red lip color picks for every skin tone, including which bombshell shades snag our #1 spot for favorite red, natural lipstick in each category.
There are thousands of red lipstick shades on the market, but nearly every one of them is made with either animal fats, toxic dyes, synthetic fragrances, or all of the above – ooph! Never fear, the natural beauty world is far less scary! Our paraben-free lipsticks are made with completely natural ingredients, like nourishing fruit and seed oils and rich butters. These babies are designed to leave your lips soft and supple all day long.
So how do we get those vibrant red hues, you ask? Enter fruit pigments! Pigments from cherries, pomegranates, tomato, raspberry, and more create a gorgeous color family of reds. To see these babies in action, peep the guide below! We’ll dip into our anti-aging and moisturizing lipsticks, our matte lipsticks, and even a few tinted lip balms and liquid lipsticks.
Before choosing your signature natural lipstick shade, start by determining your skin tone:
Next, determine which of these two undertones you see in your skin:
Warm (golden, yellow, and honey)
Cool (pink, red, and subtle hints of blue)
Great, got that figured out? Let’s find your signature shade of red lipstick!
Note: shades in bold are our top picks for your skin tone.
Cool Undertones: Look for raspberry reds and blue or purple-based reds
Cherry Lip & Cheek Stain (deep, cherry red)
Warm Undertones: Look for orange-reds
Cool Undertones: Look for deep, wine reds
Dahlia Pomegranate Lipstick (deep, wine red)
Plum Wine Lip Caramel (deep, purple wine)
Warm Undertones: Look for deep and bold brick reds
Blood Orange Cocoa Butter Matte Lipstick (classic red brick)
Nopal Cocoa Butter Matte Lipstick (deep, vibrant ruby)
Cabernet Lip Glaze (deep, brick red)
Red Velvet Lip Caramel (classic red)
Garnet Gemmed Lip Gloss (semi-sheer, deep red)
PRO TIP: Want to try a matching nail polish? Check out Elderberry.
Cool Undertones: Look for dramatic, vampy reds
Desert Rose Cocoa Butter Matte Lipstick (raspberry jam red)
Currant Cocoa Butter Matte Lipstick (berry red)
Cherry Lip Glaze (berry purple-red)
Warm Undertones: Look for bright, orange-reds
Hibiscus Pomegranate Lipstick (neon red-orange)
Cactus Bloom Cocoa Butter Matte Lipstick (vibrant, red-orange)
Now that you’ve got your signature shade of red lipstick, what’s next? Here are some tips for keeping your natural lipstick looking flawless from sun-up to sundown:
- For those of you with lips on the dry side, prime your lips with a lip balm before applying your lipstick. Your best bet is to go light, using clean fingers to apply from the tube to your lips. Just a thin layer is all you need to help extra dry lips feeling soothed and comfy all day long.
- Keep lips smooth and flake-free with a lip scrub to ensure your lipstick glides on effortlessly. By buffing away bumps and tougher skin on your lips, you’re ensuring beautiful color payoff while also allowing your lips to absorb more beneficial vitamins and antioxidants from your natural lipsticks.
- Use a lip brush if you have trouble staying inside the lines. Applying your lip color – especially dark, bold, or liquid shades – can be intimidating, so get a leg up by applying color little by little with a few strokes of your lip brush.
- For a soft, diffused finish, try applying your lips with a small smudger brush. Instead of getting a defined line, this method helps you get a soft, more natural finish. Apply only a small swipe of lipstick to your bristles, before gently brushing onto your lips, starting from the center outwards. When you get to the edges, gently buff your now almost-dry brush right over your cupid’s bow and beneath the center of your bottom lip. The goal isn’t perfection, but rather a diffused, just-kissed effect. This method works best with nude, semi-gloss, balm, and matte shades.
Want more natural lipstick guides? We’ve got inspirational guides to the best natural lipstick for any occasion, matte lipstick breakdowns, and even a full-out guide on how to shop for the perfect natural lipstick (with more than just reds). Have fun following your bliss!
We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.
The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.