Add a touch of Hollywood glamour or vamp up your off-duty look in seconds
Red lipstick is the Little Black Dress of the beauty world. Slick on a coating of rouge of the best red lipstick and you feel like you can take on the world. It's undeniably powerful.
However, it's a seriously tricky look to nail. One moment it's on your lips, the next it's smeared onto your chin. So finding the best red lipstick formula and colour for your and your needs is important.
How to find the right red lipstick
First of all, it comes down to picking the right shade for your skin tone. The secret is to find one that completely works with your colouring. This is basically everything from the undertones of your skin, to your hair and eye colour.
Zoë Taylor, CHANEL make-up artist, gives us the lowdown on finding the right shade to suit you.
'There are hundreds of red lipsticks out there and finding the best one for you may seem daunting, but the key is understanding your skin’s undertone. There are a few tricks to working this out. When it comes to lipstick shades I always tell people to check the colour of their lips in the mirror. If your lip colour is raspberry, your skin’s undertone is likely to be blue or cool based. If your natural lip colour is brown or taupe, your undertone is likely to be yellow or warm based.
'The colour under your eyes is also a good indicator. Blue/ purple signifies cool undertone colours, while green, yellow or brown signify a warm tone.'
How to wear your red lipstick
It's worth noting that the lipstick shade can also help create certain looks. For example, blue-toned reds look cooler and more retro, whilst poppy orangey reds are warmer and look more modern.
For the ultimate classic French girl look team your red lipstick with a natural eye - just a hint of mascara. Or try slicking on a feline black liquid eyeliner to look like a 1950s fashion icon. Whatever look you're choosing to go for, add classic glamour and an air of elegance to any ensemble by picking the best red lipstick for your complexion and budget.
'Lips really need to have the same love as any other part of your face, especially for a red lip,' explains Taylor. 'I always prep with Tinker Taylor Lip Kit, starting with the Lip Scrub to buff off any dry skin and to get that natural plumpness. Next up is the Lip Oil for some serious hydration, and then the Lip Balm to maintain lip moisture and seal it all in. This is a great way to enhance your natural lip colour, which is essential if you are unsure if you are a cool or warm undertone.
'Using what is left over on your foundation brush, blank out the edges of the lip line, then take a pencil to trace over the lip line. Here you can create the shape you want, whether you want it to be natural, symmetrical, fuller, smaller. I love Maybelline Lip Pencil in Pleasure Me Red, as it's creamy, but also long-wearing. I love Chanel's Rouge Coco Bloom Lip Colours. They tick all the boxes – long-wearing, incredibly pigmented and provide the comfort of a lip balm.
'I would then apply a little of the best bronzer, where you would expect the sun to naturally catch, and then a touch of added shine with your best highlighter. And that's it. A classic, French girl look.'
Still not convinced that red is for you? Why not give the subtle nude lipstick a try? Overwhelmed with the choices out there? Check out our round up of the best lipsticks that every capsule collection should contain.
There's no denying that a good lipstick is a make-up bag staple, so keep scrolling for our top red lipstick recommendations...
MAC's Ruby Woo Lipstick is a favourite and best-selling shade among the fash pack. Perfect for day or night, this fierce shade totally means business - and suits everyone. Fact.
Tom Ford Lip Colour in Scarlet Rouge is the ultimate night-time lipstick. It's semi-matte and looks divine with a nude and eye and a little mascara. Worth every single penny.
They don't get much more iconic than Charlotte Tilbury's Matte Revolution Lipsticks. It's the perfect finish that despite being matte, is super hydrating.
Long lasting with a semi-matte cushioned finish, Illamasqua’s Anti-Matter lipstick is half-way between a matte and satin finish. Ideal for everyday wear it glides onto lips smoothly. Sponsored.
A creamy, beautiful suit-all red? Count us IN. Chanel Rouge Allure in Pirate slicks on effortlessly and makes your handbag look seriously glam with it's clerk minimal bullet.
Fenty Beauty's Stunna Lip Paint is known for long lasting colour. So if you're after a proper red that will last, here's the gal for that. It's often a first choice for brides wanting a red lip on their wedding day.
Dior's 999 lipstick is one of those cult classic shades that when you wear it, you can't help but feel French and chic. Has a luxe satin look to it.
Gucci Beauty's whole range is all about elevating you everyday look. Pair this stunning creamy, blue-toned red with brushed up brows and you've got yourself the smartest everyday make-up.
If you're one of those people that avoids lipstick, because you're worried about dry lips, then this formula will really suit you. It's super moisturising, with a high shine finish.
Long-wearing and matte does not need to mean drying. And Pat McGrath's new liquid lipstick proves that. The famous Elson shade has been given the LiquiLUST facelift.
For fool-proof lipstick application, a pencil like this is perfect. You can line and fill with one product. Fun fact: Emilia Clarke, a.k.a Mother of Dragons, started wearing this lipstick before she knew the name.
Marie Claire Newsletter
Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
Katie Thomas is the Senior Beauty Editor at Marie Claire UK. With over 10 years of experience on women's luxury lifestyle titles, she covers everything from the best beauty looks from the red carpet and stand out trends from the catwalk, to colonic irrigation and to the best mascaras on the market. She started her career on fashion desks across the industry - from The Telegraph to Brides - but found her calling in the Tatler beauty department. From there she moved to Instyle, before joining the Marie Claire digital team in 2018. She’s made it her own personal mission to find the best concealer in the world to cover her tenacious dark circles. She’s obsessed with skincare that makes her skin bouncy and glowy, low-maintenance hair that doesn’t require brushing and a cracking good manicure. Oh and she wears more jewellery than the Queen.
Squid Game: The Challenge's final episode trailer has landed
Things are about to get *very* intense
By Lauren Hughes
Two beauty editors with excellent taste have spoken: there are the best luxury beauty gifts 2023 has to offer
By Katie Thomas
Meet the woman shaking up the denim industry
By Sunil Makan
Our very fussy blonde beauty editors have handpicked the best purple shampoo
They say that blondes have more fun, but there’s nothing fun about brassy tones
By Katie Thomas
The 12 best fake tans that have never let any of our editors down
These self-tans recreate sunshine
By Katie Thomas
Experts say that every great skincare routine starts with the perfect cleanser—here's the best that money can buy
Right this way to find your new favourite cleanser
By Katie Thomas