How to stay in the red: finding the right lipstick for your skin tone

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Red lipstick suits everyone. We repeat: red lipstick suits everyone. It’s just about finding the right shade for your skin tone…

Browse the gallery below to find your perfect shade.

Words: Natalie Lukaitis
Photography: Billie Scheepers

Make-up: James Molloy at D and V Management  
Hair: Jordon Leigh at Frank  
Models: Sophie Longford at Milk Management, Leah Goode at Storm, Xu Liu at Storm, Kiran Kandola at Storm, Savannah Blake at Select, Kelly Moreira at Elite

To read this week's issue of Stylist, download from

  • True reds: lipstick in Supermodel Kiss

    Fair, freckled skin tends to have undertones of pink, which are gently diffused by cooler shades of red lipstick like this bright scarlet hue (£14, Rosie for Autograph,

  • True reds: Ultra HD Matte Lip Color in Love

    The orange tinge in this pillar box red will add warmth to pale complexions, while the subtle hint of blue will make them look more luminous (£7.99, Revlon,

  • True reds: Pure Color Envy Lipstick in Carnal

    The equal amount of orange and blue undertones in this lipstick give Asian skins a perfect balance and fresh glow (£25, Estée Lauder,

  • True reds: Moisturizing Lipstick in Marigold

    The richness in this tomato red will bring out hints of gold in mixed-race or olive skin, whereas a cool, blue based red will dull the complexion (£21, Elizabeth Arden,

  • True reds: Rich Lip Color in Blazing Red

    Full-bodied, brick reds will flatter those with Indian heritage by counteracting any dull undertones and making skin beam (£20, Bobbi Brown,

  • True reds: Lipstick in Ruby Woo

    For the most flattering finish, opt for a true red that sits a shade darker than a fire engine tone. The depth of colour will offset black skin beautifully (£15.50, MAC,

  • Orange reds: Colour Balm Lipstick in Valentina

    Orange can bring out yellow undertones in freckly skin. Try a red with a hint of tangerine to create a believable and flattering flush of colour (£16, Stila,

  • Orange reds: Lipstick in Genre

    Colour appears boldest on pale skin, so you only need a hint of orange, like this watermelon shade, to get the ‘pow’ orange effect (£22, Lipstick Queen,

  • Orange reds: Audacious Lipstick in Lana

    This family of hot reds works best with Asian skin as the pigment pops like neon against a cooler skintone, and brightens the eyes (£24, NARS,

  • Orange reds: Rouge Pur Couture in Orange de Chine

    Deep olive and golden skintones are naturally warm, which is why the depth of this fiery red shade complements this complexion so well (£26, YSL,

  • Orange reds: Lipstick in Mandarin/Fireball

    Although this lipstick has orange and red at its base, it also contains a hint of blue, which flatters olive hues in the skin (£17, Smashbox,

  • Orange reds: Lipstick in Flare

    This is packed with bold colour pigments, so it will give a great colour payoff, while the coral shade lends an added glow (£19.50, Illamasqua,

  • Pink reds: Rouge Terrybly in Hot Cranberry

    Anything that’s too pale in colour and texture will drown against the pinkness of freckly skin, so go for a deeper berry shade for impact (£33.50, By Terry,

  • Pink reds: Le Rouge Lipstick in Irresistible

    This intense shade of lipstick has the perfect balance of pink and blue undertones to perk up pale skin without being too warm or cool (£26, Givenchy,

  • Pink reds: Rouge Lipstick in Pimpant

    The cool tones of Asian skin make pigment stand out  so if you want a subtle lip, try a lightweight, sheerer texture (£26.50, Dior,

  • Pink reds: Lipstick in Soft Paprika

    This fuchsia-red has a slight touch of peach in it, which will give olive skin a balmy glow. A glossy texture will also add volume and depth to lips (£9.95, No 7,

  • Pink reds: Rouge Coco Stylo in Roman

    Like pink concealers counteract grey under the eyes in dark skintones, so does the raspberry in this red lipstick, making Indian skin more vibrant (£26, Chanel,  

  • Pink reds: Lipstick in Mon Cheri

    Go for a blue-based raspberry, as rich and dark as possible because anything with a pink undertone will wash out black skin (£22, Laura Mercier,

  • Brown reds: Lipstick in Rocksteady

    Rich cherry reds will complement the pink undertones in fair skins to make lips really pop and skin look brighter (£16, Urban Decay, 

  • Brown reds: Lipstick in Glam Plum Fulham

    The subtle blue tones in this deep red look rich against pale skintones and brighten the whites of eyes and your teeth. Bonus (£6.49, Rimmel London,

  • Brown reds: Le Marc Lip Creme in Miss Scarlet

    Violet undertones will exaggerate any blueish undertones in Asian skin. Soften the look with a chestnut-hued red (£24, Marc Jacobs,

  • Brown reds: Lip Tar in Anita

    Plum tones tend to be too cool for mixed race skins so will look dull, whereas a deep brown red will enhance hints of gold in the skin (£13.25, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics,   

  • Brown reds: Lipstick in Glastonberry

    Shades that look too purple will appear grey and make Indian skin look flat. Go for cranberry and wine shades for a more vibrant appearance (£23, Charlotte Tilbury,

  • Brown reds: Lip Color in Dark and Stormy

    For a brooding brown red, opt for purple, grape and currant hues, which appear red as opposed to violet on darker skin (£38, Tom Ford,

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Stylist Team