Confident, classic, and sexy, the perfect shade of red lipstick is a woman's ultimate accessory, and red can be a great choice for women who have warm undertones. If it seems you've tried a zillion different color reds without finding one that looks quite right with your warm skin tone, you'll be pleased to learn that there are a number of options that will look great on you.
Tried and True Reds for Warm Undertones
More than ever, celebrities are sporting gorgeous red hues on their lips. However, it can be difficult deciding which shade is right for you when you see a shade that looks good on a particular actress who has kind of the same coloring as you, but not quite. Trying to duplicate a shade that looks great on Nicole Kidman, for example, can often throw you off track from discovering which shade is truly best suited for your skin. To eliminate these pitfalls, choose red shades designed to flatter your warm undertones and complexion.
Warm, Fair Undertones
The undertones of warm, fair skin usually resonate a peachy-brown cast which melds beautifully with warm-brown reds, as well as red with subtle hints of orange. Be aware, though, that if your teeth have a hint of yellow, the red-orange lipstick may accentuate the yellow. If that's the case, you should stay with the warm-brown reds. Avoid any color reds that are too dark for your fair skin.
Good choices include:
Laura Mercier Creme Lip Colour Red Amour - This crisp red has both warm and cool undertones. The warm tones will meld beautifully for people with peachy-brown undertones in their skin. It provides intensely rich color in a super-lightweight formula. A trio of moisturizers, as well as anti-aging, anti-oxidant, and plumping ingredients, provide a smooth, hydrated, flawless lip. It's a must-have for lips that crave hydration.
Illamasqua Sangers - Make a statement and spoil yourself with this highly color-concentrated formula. It's an elegant red with a slightly warm- brown finish that gives just enough pop without being too dark. A stay-put lip, this dramatic color is best for anyone who insists on absolute perfection.
L'Oréal Red Fatale - Gwen Stefani's trademark red lips sport this shining, hydrating, and colorful lipstick. This classic color imparts a bright red hue with a hint of orange that looks spectacular with fair skin. With an innovative, highly-pigmented color that's formulated with vitamin E for conditioning and moisture, this lipstick delivers a creamy feel that hydrates lips and lasts up to ten hours long.
Warm, Medium Undertones
The undertones of a warm, medium skin tone lean toward golden yellow, but there are usually hints of pink that resonate in the cheek area. Your natural lip color leans more to a mauve or pinkish cast. Consider choosing a warm red which has touches of pink. Options include:
Revlon Really Red - This lipstick has a suede-like, matte, vintage red-rose undertone, and it provides true old Hollywood glamor. It delivers a lot of drama without dryness, caking, or fading. The luxurious formula provides a cushiony feel for your lips.
Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood - A classic, silky matte lipstick, this selection is rich in color. It's also formulated with vitamins E and C, as well as Beeswax, so it's ultra-moisturizing. It provides spot-on color with a pinch of pink that comforts lips too!
Warm, Olive Undertones
The olive span of skin tones ranges from light beige or deep tan with greenish undertones. The rich deep tonalities and variances generally look best in a red, warm-toned lip color category known as red neutrals. Good choices for olive complected women include:
Nyx Electra - This creamy lipstick (third row, third shade from left) combines a velvet-like consistency with brilliant color and hydration. This ideal Geranium red, a neutral, has warm and cool tones to complement a variety of olive skin tones. It is non-smudging, long-lasting, and a fierce competitor in the 'stay put' domain.
Nars Cruella - This convenient lipstick-like crayon speeds up application and provides a non-drying, creamy matte finish. It is a rich, warm, brownish red with a hint of iridescence to flatter a variety of olive complexions. Formulated with vitamin E, rich emollients, and silicone, this lipstick is smooth and won't budge. Congratulations Nars, this lip combo is an AllureBest of Beauty Award Winner.
Illamasqua Maneater - Illamasqua, a British cosmetic company, makes a mark with their color-concentrated, creamy formula. A rich ketchup-red, this lipstick will meld beautifully with olive skin that has light beige undertones. This matte finish glides on perfectly and has amazing staying power.
Are you InTheKnow?
Sign up for our newsletter featuring all the latest stories and products we love.
Dark/Black, Warm Undertones
Dark skin tones with golden or peachy undertones look gorgeous in red shades that veer into tawny, orange, or brown territory. Brick reds are beautiful as well. Your natural lip color may be a pinkish-nude (almost mauve) or a peachy-tan. Good choices for women with dark skin tones and warm undertones are:
Revlon Moon Drops in Orange Flip - This is a tangerine shade that's caught somewhere between bold red and orange. It's gorgeous on any skin tone and will look especially striking on darker skin. It's creamy, goes on smooth, and conditions your lips as you wear it.
Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Blackberry - This one is described as a chocolate berry, so it's not too in-your-face and relies heavily on brown undertones to make it look natural. This shade would make a gorgeous everyday color for ladies with dark to very dark skin tones. These lipsticks are full coverage and creamy, so they'll make an impact without feeling uncomfortably drying on the lips.
Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Colour Lip Balm in Chunkiest Chili: This is a highly moisturizing brick red shade that comes in a convenient pencil-like stick. Application is easy and it's comfortable to wear. The coverage isn't too sheer, but it isn't fully opaque, either. Two other red shades within this line are flattering on darker, warm skin tones and deserve honorable mentions: Mightiest Maraschino and Heftiest Hibiscus.
Quick Tips for Choosing Your Reds
Whether you're at Walmart, Macy's, or anywhere else that carries cosmetics, you can find a variety of reds that look great on warm-toned skin. A simple technique to use when choosing reds - or any other color lipstick - is to hold the lipstick up to your lips to ensure it has the same tonality of your natural lip color and that it complements your skin tone. Better yet, if you're at a department store, ask the salesperson to sanitize the tester for you so you can try it on. Performing this ritual will avoid adding another lipstick to your cosmetics drawer graveyard.
Finding Your Perfect Red Lipstick
Moving forward, keep a positive outlook on your pursuit for a sublime red lipstick that looks great on your warm-toned skin. Enjoy experimenting and relish the lipstick adventure!