How to Choose the Best Shade of Red Lipstick for Your Skin Tone


Mar. 7 2013, Published 7:29 a.m. ET

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Celebrity Makeup Artist Scott Barnes has worked on everyone from Jennifer Lopez and Kelly Rowland to Catherine Zeta Jones and Kim Kardashian, so there's no better expert to help you navigate the tricky world that is choosing the perfect shade of red for your lips than this guy!

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For blondes like Rita Ora, go with a bright red that’s more on the matte side (not too shiny) and choose something with a blue undertone.

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For olive skinned, dark haired gals like Vanessa Hudgens, blue/red, burgundy, and wine lipsticks are perfect for their coloring!

I love MAC Ruby Woo, which is what I just used on Catherine Zeta Jones at the Oscars.  

Vanessa Hudgens

For fair-skinned brunettes like Lily Collins, go with a little bit of a softer red. You’ll look like Cruella de Vil if you go too bold!

NARS has some great sheer reds like their Satin Lip Pencil in Luxembourg.


For red heads like Bella Thorne, I always say to go with a more coral-red color to bring warmth to your face. But do NOT go orange—definitely steer clear of oranges or you’ll look like the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!


African Americans can run the gamut when it comes to red lipstick. The only thing I’d stay away from are those really bright orange/coral reds as they don’t tend to look as rich on this skin tone.

For more of Scott's tips, pick up his latest book: Face to Face. Which red lip is your fave? Sound off in the comments or tweet us your thoughts @OKMagazine!


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