How To Select Your Red Lipstick Based On Skin Tones, Undertones

by Beauty Editor

created 4 years ago


Finding the perfect red lipstick for your skin tone can be a tricky task, even daunting. There are so many red lipsticks available in the market from so many brands. You would surely feel lost in the sea of red! There are a lot of things that you need to take into consideration, and it takes some time to find THE red lipstick for you.  So how do select the lipstick that is your True Red?

Shades Of Lipstick

Step 1: Skin tone mapping

The first step is to find out your skin tone. Indian skin tone falls broadly into 3 categories- Fair, Wheatish and Dark. Compare with these images of celebrities to know which is closer to your skin tone.

Shades for fair skin:

Fair skinned beauties should wear red lipsticks that have a base of coral and orange shades. These colours complement your skin tone and make your lips pop. You can also go for lipsticks that have pink undertones, just choose a brighter shade that would suit your skin.

Red Lipstick For Fair Skin

Shades for wheatish skin:

Wheatish to medium skinned beauties should wear truer reds (a pure red) or those with a pink base.

Red Lipstick For Wheatish Skin

Shades for dark skin:

Dusky to dark skinned beauties should wear deep reds like maroon, fig based reds. Even berry based reds would be suitable for you.

Red Lipstick For Dark Skin

Step 2: Undertone Mapping

Everybody has an undertone which is crucial to identifying the right red lipstick for you. There are basically 2 types of undertones: Cool and Warm. Which is yours?

1. Cool undertones have slightly pinkish tones to their skin. If the veins on your inner wrist appear blue, you have cool tones. Cool skin tones should go for shades that have blue and pink undertones.

2. Warm undertones have yellowish tones to their skin. If the veins on your inner wrist appear green, you have warm tones. Warm skin tones should go for warmer colours that have yellow and orange undertones.

That said, you should experiment with as many shades as you can. We do not mean that you go out and buy 100 red lipsticks. Exchange shades with your friends and borrow some lipsticks from your Mom€™s makeup box. The perfect red lipstick should make your face appear brighter and your teeth whiter. Your perfect red lipstick should make you look good without makeup.

Textures of red

So you have found which shade works for you? How about the texture of the shade? Lip colours come in all types of textures, creamy, matte, glossy, liquid, sheer, and the list goes on & on! Let€™s decode these one by one.


Creamy red lipsticks are apt if you do not have much time for touch ups. A creamy red lipstick moisturizes your lips and gives intense colour. It gives a soft and semi matte finish. These are great if you want your lips conditioned and hydrated along with the colour.

We Recommend:


Creamy Red


Sheer lipsticks give near translucent finish with just a hint of colour. These would be ideal if you want almost natural looking lips. Its texture is similar to that of a lip balm which makes it easy and comfortable to use.

We Recommend:



A matte red lipstick gives an intensely pigmented and rich colour that lasts for a long time. These are ideal if you want a colour that stays put without the need for touch-ups. These lipsticks are extremely creamy and a dream to apply, with a lovely matte finish that stays for hours.

We recommend:

Matte Red


A glossy red lipstick gives an intense shiny texture with some colour depending on its pigmentation. A glossy lipstick is great for an instant lift to your look. It is also ideal to use for adding a touch of festiveness.

We Recommend:

Glossy Red


A liquid lipstick is gaining popularity in the recent times. It is a combination of a balm, lip colour and lip gloss. A great option when you do not want to spend too much time on makeup as this 3-in-1 product would give you lots of colour with care and shine.

We Recommend:

Liquid Red

Create your own red by layering

If you own a lot of red lipsticks that do not suit your skin tone, refrain from throwing them away! You can still use them by layering with other products. Match them with other red lipsticks or with lip glosses. We give you all the details on how to achieve the same here:

1. Layer with gloss:

If you have a matte red lipstick which you think would look great with a shiny finish instead, then layer it with lip gloss. Don€™t rush to the makeup store for matching gloss, pair it with clear gloss. This will keep the original colour of your lipstick intact and just give you a high-shine finish.

Clear Goss

2. Layer with lipsticks:

A red lipstick that looks too bright or too dark? A too light red can be deepened with a brown or wine-colored shade. You can give a dull or too dark red a little pizzazz with a pop of gold gloss or lighten dark red with pink or beige.

Layer Lipstick

3. Layer with contrasting shades:

Use the primary and secondary colour palette that reminds you of school€™s art class and mix and match the red lipstick with other colours for a unique shade. Experimenting with shades is what will help you for more variety.

4. Layer with powder:

You have a favourite red lipstick but it gives a glossy finish which you do not like? Make it matte! Dab on a layer of pressed powder for a matte finish.

Layer With Powder

The bottom line would be, again, to experiment. Try on as many shades as you can. A different red, a different formula, a different finish. It could take some time till you find the perfect shade, so you need to keep trying till you get there. Start with sheer reds and gradually move up to the red lipsticks. Or you can also try a lip stain if the lipstick is too intimidating for you.

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