How to Pick the Best Red Lipstick for Your Skin Tone?

A red lipstick is a staple for every makeup wearer. Find out how to pick the best shade of red based on your skin tone.
Red lipstick is an absolute classic that has stood the test of time, dating all the way back to ancient Egypt. Not only does it exude a glamorous vibe, but it also has the incredible power to boost your confidence sky-high. However, it's important to note that not all shades of red lipstick will flatter you equally. To help you out, we've got some fantastic tips on how to choose the perfect red lipstick for your skin tone and desired look. So, keep reading to discover the secrets of finding that ideal red shade that will enhance your natural beauty and leave you feeling fabulous.


How to Find Your Skin’s Undertone

Before you go ahead and snag that lipstick, let's talk about finding the perfect shade of red for you. One tried-and-true method is to identify your skin's undertone. It's a game-changer! So, let's dive in and discover how to determine your skin tone. Here are a few key things to consider:

1. The Colour of Your Veins
Let's talk about a nifty trick to determine your skin undertone. Take a look at the colour of the veins on the underside of your wrist. If they appear blue, chances are you have a cool skin undertone. On the other hand, if they have a greenish tint, you likely have a warm skin undertone. A great way to get an accurate read is to observe them under natural lighting that isn't too yellow or white. This will help you get a clearer picture of your undertone and guide you towards the perfect red lipstick.

2. Determine What Jewellery Finish Suits You
Let's explore another handy method to determine your skin's undertone by looking at the type of jewellery that suits you best. Pay attention to how your skin appears with different metals. When silver jewellery effortlessly enhances your natural beauty, it's a wonderful indication that you possess a cool undertone. On the other hand, when your complexion is beautifully complemented by gold jewellery, it strongly suggests that you have a warm undertone. Now, here's a fascinating twist: if both silver and gold jewellery manage to dazzle on you or if you feel equally at ease wearing both, it's quite possible that you boast a neutral skin undertone, allowing you the freedom to embrace the best of both worlds.

This little jewellery test can be a helpful clue in identifying your undertone and guiding you towards the ideal red lipstick shade!

Pick the Right Shade of Red for Your Skin Tone

For Cooler Skin Tones

Embrace the beauty of your cooler skin tone, as it opens up a world of possibilities! Prepare to turn heads with captivating MAC red lipstick shades boasting enchanting blue or purple undertones that will make you absolutely radiant. MAC truly has some fantastic options that perfectly complement cool undertones. Some great shades to check out are Ruby Woo, Russian Red, Diva, and Werk Werk Werk. These beauties are tailored to bring out the best in your cool-toned complexion. So go ahead and rock that icy, bold red lip with confidence!

MAC Red Lipstick Shade Picks for Cool Skin Tone:

1. Ruby WooMAC Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo is a classic red lipstick with a hint of blue. This bright red lipstick is MAC’s bestseller for a very good reason. The lipstick is highly pigmented, has a matte finish and is long-lasting. The Ruby Woo lipstick’s popularity is unmatched as it reflects old Hollywood glam while elevating your look in a modern way.

2. Russian RedThe MAC Matte Lipstick in Russian Red is a rich, medium-dark red lipstick with subtle blue undertones. It is yet another classic deep red lipstick which has a slightly deeper shade than Ruby Woo. This beautiful shade of lipstick has a matte finish that goes well with a wide number of skin tones, from light to dark. If you’re looking for a deeper shade of red, the Russian Red is most certainly the way to go.

3. DivaThe MAC Matte Lipstick in Diva is a much darker, more dramatic red with a burgundy undertone. This purple-blue undertone means that it’s a perfect shade for those who have cool skin undertones. The MAC Diva lipstick comes in a matte formulation and is an incredible selection for an evening look.

4. Werk Werk Werk – The MAC Powder Kiss Lipstick in Werk Werk Werk is a cool red shade that comes in an ultra-comfortable formula with the power to retain moisture and still give a coated powder look. This zero-shine matte lipstick has the look of matte lipstick yet the lightweight and cushiony feel of a lip balm.

For Warmer Skin Tones

Unlock the magic of your warm skin tone and get ready to dazzle! Explore our collection of captivating red lipsticks specifically curated to make you look absolutely stunning. When it comes to choosing the perfect shades, MAC has you covered. Check out Lasting Passion, Lady Danger, Devoted to Chili, Chili, and Brave Red. Trust us, these shades were made to enhance your warm complexion and make you shine. So go ahead, rock that gorgeous red lip and let your warmth radiate!

MAC Red Lipstick Shade Picks for Warm Skin Tone:

1. Lasting PassionThe MAC Powder Kiss Lipstick in Lasting Passion is a clean, bright red with a pinkish undertone. It is the best red lipstick for daytime wear.

2. Lady DangerThe MAC Matte Lipstick in Lady Danger is a splendid red shade with orange undertones. It is a warm-toned, medium-dark shade with a creamy, rich formula. This lipstick can be worn for a casual day look or a glamorous new year’s party.

3. Devoted to ChiliThe MAC Powder Kiss Lipstick in Devoted to Chili is a warm brick colour that could be described as the perfect nude shade of red. This beautiful and muted red lipstick will truly give you a touch of elegance for any occasion.

4. Chili – Similar to the previous shade, the MAC Matte Lipstick in Chili is also a warm brick red that’s in the same colour family but has a slightly deeper red lipstick and bold tone. It is a statement lipstick that you can wear for any formal or important occasion.

5. Brave RedThe MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Brave Red is a bright yellow-red colour with medium buildable coverage and a semi-glossy finish. This shade of red lipstick gives your look a playful twist due to its medium coverage and light colour. This is your best bet to get sheer coverage that doesn’t conceal your natural lips entirely.

For Neutral Skin Tones

People with neutral skin tones can usually wear any shade of red, whether dark or light. Though most shades mentioned above could match those with neutral tones, some shades stand out: Cockney and Lady Bug.

MAC Red Lipstick Shade Picks for Neutral Skin Tone:

1. CockneyThe MAC Lustreglass Lipstick in Cockney is a magnificent yellow-red lipstick with a multidimensional pearl shine. The Lustreglass formula is infused with raspberry seed and organic extra virgin olive oil, giving it a sheer and shiny colour with a long-wearing and lustrous finish. The Cockney shade is an excellent choice for those with neutral skin tone and can create a playful and bright red lip look.

2. Lady BugThe MAC Lustreglass Lipstick in Lady Bug is a bright tomato red colour. It is a slightly warm-toned lipstick with a pearl shine. It is a beautiful shade for those with neutral skin tones. The Lady Bug makes a splendid shade for an afternoon brunch with friends.

No matter the occasion, red lipstick remains a timeless choice that has captivated people across cultures. And when it comes to reds, MAC has got you covered with a wide range of shades, formulations, and coverage options. If you're still unsure about your skin tone and which lipstick shade to go for, we've got a couple of options for you. You can visit the nearest MAC store and get personalised assistance from our experts, or you can try out our Virtual Try Onfeature on our website. We've made it easier than ever for you to find that perfect red lipstick match. So go ahead, explore the possibilities, and let your lips do the talking!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can any skin tone wear red lipstick?

Red lipstick is a versatile beauty staple that can look amazing on anyone, regardless of skin tone, undertone, or texture. At MAC, we understand the importance of finding the perfect shade that complements your unique features. That's why our in-store staff is always ready to assist you in finding the most suitable red lipstick for your skin. Can't make it to a store? No worries! Our convenient Virtual Try On feature is available to help you experiment and discover your ideal shade from the comfort of your own home. We're here to make sure you rock that red lip with confidence and radiate beauty.


What are the most popular lip shades?

MAC’s bestseller red lipstick shades are Ruby Woo, Russian Red, Lady Danger, Chili, Diva and Brave. These shades cater to various skin tones, from cool and warm to neutral.

Is red lipstick more popular than other colours?

A red lipstick is a classic shade with maybe the longest history. This timeless shade been seen across many cultures around the world and is probably the most common item in every makeup bag. That said, other shades such as nude, pink and berry have gained huge popularity in recent years. MAC is known for its bold colours and phenomenal formulations. Check out our lipstick collections today!