I love a good red lip. Red dresses up any look and makes you feel feminine. Generally I lean towards a more natural look from day to day, but when I want to feel a little special I’ll reach for the red. Every shade of red, whether it be a fire engine red, a pimento with a hint of orange or a dark crimson looks different on everyone. I have admired someone’s color and then tried it on myself, only to be disappointed that it didn’t complement my coloring. There are actually hundreds, if not thousands, of different reds to choose from. How do you know what works for you? They say that the best way to find your perfect red is to go into a cosmetic store like Sephora or a makeup counter like Benefit and ask a professional to match your skin tone. They can help you find your perfect shade.

Red lip tips…

  • Wear very little eye make-up. Your lips are the main focus here and just a little bit of mascara will do the trick.
  • Avoid darker shades of red if you have thin lips. They tend make them look smaller.
  • To prevent bleeding, apply a small amount of concealer around the border of your mouth.
  • To prevent your red lip from fading, fill them in with a matching lip liner before applying your lipstick.
  • Avoid getting red on your teeth by placing your index finger in your mouth and close. Then pull your finger out to get rid of any excess.
  • Wear your red lip with confidence.

My favorite reds: 08 Iconic by Jemma Kidd, Russian Red by MAC, Wild Rose by Korres and my go-to red tint is Sugar Cherry by Fresh. Do you have a favorite red?

Photos above: top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right.


  • Amber

    I actually just did a post on MAC Russian Red which is one of my go to “classic” red shades! My favorite vampy/wine shade is definitely MAC Diva. I don’t think one can really go wrong with a red lip when worn right, it’s such a classic shade.
    Lovely Notions

  • L A Chhay

    I JUST started to sport red lips. I went for nude and coral shades for years, but since I cut super thick bangs, I felt the urge to go all out with the red. It changes the whole look and I love it! My only issue is finding a brand that will stay saturated and off my coffee cup!
    L A

    • Emily Renegar

      L A,

      Just saw your comment and thought I would recommend my favorite- Stila Liquid Lipstick. It’s amazing. It’s sold at Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom.

  • Perrin

    James! I’ve never considered wearing red lipstick, but with your tips I just might for a big event. also, I’m dying to see your new hair if that’s possible! love your blog. xo

  • Emily Renegar

    My current favorite is Stila Liquid Lipstick in Fiery. It goes on like a gloss, but dries in place and stays put; you don’t even need a liner. It is aaamazing and I’ve been telling all my lady friends about it since I got it.

  • Heather

    Oooh I love the reds on the left side.. Those are my kind of red!


  • Havva Nur AYDIN

    Definitely bottom left :) I do red, Mac Cosmetics Brave Red is my favorite red. Also I do brown and purple tints and i choose specially matt ones.

  • Emmali

    When I was a kid I fell and clipped a front tooth and at the same time I bit my lip. Ever since I’ve had a scar on my lip, making it asymmetric. Lipstick doesn’t go well with that :(

  • Mia Arp

    My favorite lipstick comes from NVEY ECO. It´s high quality and organic, many professionals use their make up. I don´t have a specific color that i´m in love with – it is different every day… But the most important when you go for red lips is still your skin, perfect skin is a must for red lips!

    I just started out a series on my blog about how to get perfect and healthy skin. You can see the first part here:

    Ease, joy and glory / Mia

  • Maz Hemming

    My favourites are by Une and Lavera. They do wonderful lip glosses and red lipsticks too! :) I love the simplicity of putting on make-up. I usually don’t wear any. Sometimes, during special occasions, or a special outing or when I am at work even, I would usually use a mild red lip number from Une, I just have a bit if concealer on, no blusher, mascara and the lip stick and there I go. I also like the red colour lip glosses by Une and Bare Minerals because they have colours specifically for my skin tone as I am on the olive, mocha side :)

  • Barbara

    Love good red lip, although I do tend to pair it with bold eyes or liner for evening look.. current favorite is MAC Ruby Woo, perfect winter shade

  • Taylor

    I love red lipstick! My day to day makeup includes a swipe of black eyeliner, a little blush, and pretty red lip that varies with how I feel that day.


  • Brittany

    Apricot by Bite Beauty! Natural, food-grade lipstick made with antioxidant rich resveratrol (the equivalent of 5 glasses of red wine). Feels great on and it lasts! Available at Sephora (the rest of the product line is also amazing)

  • Brittany

    Also, If you live in NYC or are planning a visit you can make your own custom shade of red (or any other colour) at the Bite Beauty Lip Lab!

  • Leeloo

    Best red for me so far is Helmut by House of Exposure. For everyday effortless wear I like YSL Volupté Sheer Candy in Lucious Cherry.

  • Sarah

    Yes, red! I like to pair mine with some winged liner for some extra oopmh. I like the retro vibes it gives off!

  • BRI

    Revlon matte “really red” … the best !!!!!

  • liz

    RUBY WOO! by mac… & Espionage by Benefit

    i have noticed lately people do a double take when i wear red lipstick :) 4

  • laura redburn

    yes! i love red lipstick. i’m really liking orange-reds at the moment, and i really want to try MAC lady danger!

  • Ali

    Love this post. Great tips! More makeup posts :)

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