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How to Find Your Perfect Red Lipstick Shade

A classic red lip never goes out of style, but finding the right shade can make all the difference. As a bold, statement color, reds can easily wash you out or emphasize redness in your skin if you’re not wearing the right shade. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for a full color analysis, our clean beauty experts are here to show you how to find the perfect red to suit your skin tone, so you can turn heads all season long. Let’s find your match!


Find Your Undertones

First, it’s essential to understand your skin's undertones. Undertones are subtle, nuanced tones hidden within a shade. They're the magic that gives each hue its unique personality. Categorized into warm, neutral, or cool, understanding your skin's undertones is the first step to finding your color match.  To find your skin’s undertones, take a look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. 

Cool Undertones:

If your veins appear a blue or purple hue, you have cool undertones to your skin. This also likely means you look better in silver jewelry, in the sun your skin burns before tans, and your foundation appears pink or peachy in the bottle.

Neutral Undertones: 

If you notice a green-toned color in your veins, you're blessed with neutral undertones, offering the perfect balance for a wide variety of lipstick shades.

Warm Undertones: 

If your veins appear a bluish-green tone, you have warm undertones to your skin. This also likely means you look better in gold jewelry, in the sun your skin tans before burning, and your foundation appears yellow or golden in the bottle.

Now that you’ve decoded your skin's undertone, it’s time to find a lipstick to match your skin tone! 

Cool Undertones: Blue Toned Reds

For those with cool undertones, blue-toned reds are the way to go to keep your cool—plus, they make your teeth appear extra white! Look for reds that have blues or purples in them (burgundy is a great example of a blue-toned red). 

Cool undertones, look no further than RMS Beauty's Lip2cheek in Beloved for a flattering pop of color that complements your cool-girl vibes. We love that this versatile color can be a bold lip, or brought up to your cheeks for a sheer monochrome look. Infused with wildcrafted buriti oil, shea and cocoa butters, this little pot goes a long way to inspire all your spring makeup looks.

RMS Beauty - Lip2Cheek

RMS Lip2cheek in Beloved

Price: $36


 Warm Undertones: Orange and Coral Reds

If your skin has warm undertones, look for orangey or coral toned reds that brighten your complexion. Fiery shades will bring warmth and luminosity to your face for a fresh spring look that’s vibrant and captivating. 

We love  Rituel de Fille's Enchanted Lip Sheer in shade Bloodroot for a blood-orange red shade infused with Annatto—the rich pigment sourced from the achiote tree. This color can be worn sheer, or built up for a bolder application. The semi-matte finish is lightweight and moisturizing, giving you the comfort of a long-wearing balm, with the color-payoff of a rich red lipstick.


Rituel de Fille - Enchanted Lip Sheer

Rituel de Fille - Enchanted Lip Sheer

















Price: $25



Fair Skin Tones: Warm and Vibrant Reds

If you have fair skin, you’ll want to choose a warm red that complements your natural flush, while adding a touch of liveliness to your complexion. 

Our top pick is Madame Gabriela Beauty's Mexico City at 9PM. This award winning lipstick is the perfect warm, coral-undertone hue ideal for fair-medium skin tones. With a sleek satin finish, each tube is infused with luxurious ingredients like Manuka honey, collagen-supporting rosemary oil, and soothing chamomile and ylang-ylang. Aside from the spicy, Mexico-inspired hue, the formula is bursting with antioxidants and amino acids to keep your lips hydrated, plumped, and comforted all day long. 

Madame Gabriela Beauty - Mexico City at 9PMMadame Gabriela Beauty - Mexico City at 9PM

Price: $35



Medium Skin Tones: Cherry and Spiced Reds

For those with medium and olive skin tones, cherry hues and spiced reds are your secret weapons for perfecting the classic red lip. They compliment your golden complexion, and won’t over-accentuate the yellow tones to your skin. 

We love Kosas’ Wet Stick in Island High for a burst of color that's equal parts sultry and sophisticated. This toasted red shade will complement your sun-kissed complexion and leave you feeling like a tropical goddess. This balm-inspired stick is packed with squalane and ceramides that melts onto lips for a sheer wash of color and a touch of soft, kissable shine. If you’re looking for more of a classic red lip, we recommend pairing this stick overtop of the Kosas Weightless Lip Color in Deep Talks for a bold statement red.  

Kosas - Wet Stick

Price: $24



Deep Skin Tones: Jewel Tones and Ruby Reds

Deep skin tones deserve nothing less than jewel-toned reds that exude elegance and sophistication. Think of rich ruby reds and sapphire magentas that contrast yet still complement your rich skin tone. 

That's where ILIA's Colour Block Lipstick in Grenadine comes into play. With its berry tones and full-coverage finish, this lipstick is crafted with custom pigments in organic castor seed oil to give you four times the color intensity, with a creamy and easy to apply formula. Prepare to enhance your complexion and make a bold statement wherever you go. 


ILIA - Colour Block Lipstick
ILIA - Colour Block Lipstick

Price: $28


Detox Tip: Swatch on Your Fingertips

Doing your lipstick shopping IRL? Always swatch lipsticks on your fingertips, not your wrist. This simple yet effective trick allows you to see how the color truly interacts with your skin’s undertones to ensure a seamless match every time. Trust us, your fingertips never lie.

How we chose the lipsticks on this list

These red lipsticks were meticulously curated by our team of experts based on their innovation, performance, and buzz-worthiness. At the Detox Market, all of the products we carry have pure ingredients, exceptional performance, and cruelty free formulations. We've been the trusted clean beauty experts for over a decade, cutting through the clean beauty noise and providing you with nothing but the best in green beauty. You can learn more about our commitment to clean beauty here.

Talking about clean beauty is our love language.