How to find the one: CGD’s secrets to the perfect red lipstick

Beautiful Brunette applies lipstick. Lipgloss and Brush. Red li

Every girl needs a perfect red, it’s the staple of a classic makeup look. Red lipstick can be classy or gothic, give you a pop of colour or a smudge of seduction, but committing to one can be hard! How do you know what colour will complement your skin and work well with your everyday makeup? You need a lipstick that works for you, so check out our ultimate guide to finding the perfect red lipstick

Find your undertones
Ugh, why does it have to be so difficult to decide which shade of red works for you? Well, if all the CGD girls wore the same shade of lipstick it would look completely different, better on some than others!  The first step to finding your perfect red is looking in the mirror and finding out which tones make up the colour of your skin. The most prominent colour is your undertone. Some lipsticks can be harder to pull off with certain undertones so it’s best to keep in mind your undertone while browsing for your perfect red.

Find your dream shade
Each shade of lipstick also has its own undertone, from blue (velvety and dark) to orange (bright and vibrant) and these can work against your skin so be aware of this when you choose. If there’s a particular look you want to recreate, e.g Kylie Jenner’s deep velvety red lips, then you’ll already have brown or blue tones in mind. Taylor Swift often wears an orange-red even though it’s often said that pale skin can’t pull of bright lipstick, so just take a look at beauty editorials or celebrity photographs and find a shade that you’d love to see yourself wearing.

Get some samples
A great way to make sure your dream shade will work on you is to try out some samples, go to a beauty counter and explain you’re trying to find your perfect red lipstick and the staff at the counter will help recommend some good shades for you. It’s an inexpensive way of trying out different shades, but be aware that some shades may look wrong with every-day makeup but with evening makeup can look stunning.

Go for it
With all the advice about undertones and shades sometimes it’s best to just go for it. Buy the shades you think you’ll suit and try them on. I like to wear a deep crimson red with hints of brown and a gold smokey eye, some makeup artists consider this look ‘unbalanced’ with my skin tone but I think it looks great, so I go with it. If your perfect shade looks too dark or bright for your skin tone or preferred makeup look, don’t be afraid to try it out with a bolder eye look. You can even mix two lipsticks together, using your perfect shade in the outer corners of your lips and blending another colour into the middle with a lip brush. The possibilities are endless!

Take it in your handbag
Seriously, a good red is invaluable. My tip for you is to draw a 1cm line of lipstick on the apples of your cheeks and rub generously if you need a bit of blush, I actually don’t own blusher and prefer to use a bright blue-red in place of a cream blusher on my cheeks, keeping it with me in my bag means my lips and cheeks are always in check on the go.

What’s your perfect shade of red and how do you wear it? Let us know in the comments below and follow us on Pinterest and Bloglovin to see all our latest beauty faves!



Managing Editor

Beth is the Managing Editor of CGD. She is a graduate of the Penguin Writer's Academy, has published a short story and loves to read creative writing manuals in her spare time.

  • Noma

    You are so right a good red is invaluable, and well worth finding!
    Another good way to determine your undertone is to look at the veins on your wrist blue means cold while, green means a warm undertone.

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  • Selina

    For me, there is nothing better than a red lip, I just love it. Nothing better to pull an outfit together and give it some polish

  • Onyxsta

    Great tips! Still on the hunt for the perfect red but will be sure to surf beauty counters as advised


  • Jules

    I found that for me specifically, reds with a blue undertone works better. I swear by MACs russian red and most of the times use a darker (slightly brownish) lip liner to make it even darker.
    It works wonders for a pin up, 1950s inspired look ;)


  • Cecil Vedemil

    I barely wear lipstick but red one is my favourite. Thanks to this post I know that my skin goes well with bright-orangy red tones :)

    xx Cecil //

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