How to find your perfect red lipstick

Red is a classic lip color that will never run out of steam. This eye-catching shade may intimidate girls who are more used to natural-looking MLBBS, and the sheer number of choices available makes buying your first red lippie even more overwhelming. Fret not, for we are here to help! Here are some things to consider to lead you to that perfect red lipstick.


Just like when you're buying foundation, there's the color of your skin and the undertone of your skin to consider. While the latter is limited to cool, neutral, or warm, your skin color could be described as generally fair, medium, and dark. The color spectrum of the human skin is of course more complex than this, but let's simplify for the purposes of this article.

Personally, I find it better to base the shade of red on your undertone since your skin color can change (beach tans, anyone?) while your undertone will not. Cool undertones will love blue/pink-based reds like the L'OREAL Colour Riche Collection Star Red in Pure Rouge (Frieda) (P400) and BURBERRY Soft Satin Lipstick in Ruby (~P1,500).

Warm undertones make a better fit with orangey reds like MAC Lady Danger (P1,100) and AVON Ultra Color Lipstick in Lava Love (P375).

Neutral undertones can usually work all ranges including "true reds" like the MAYBELLINE Color Sensational Lasting Lipstick in Are You Red-dy (P299).

From experience, anyone can actually wear any shade of red provided you feel comfortable and confident in it. But to get that shade that would suit you better compared to other shades, it is a good idea to check your skin’s undertone.


Your red lipstick may come in the following finishes: cream, matte, and sheer/satin. To choose one over the other is a matter of the statement you want to make and the state of your lips.

Red matte lipsticks are some of my faves but newbies be warned: most matte formulas are drying so it is not recommended if you already have dry lips. Even for normal lips, it is still advised to apply lip balm prior to the any matte. Check out the MAYBELLINE Creamy Mattes in Siren in Scarlet (P299) and PREVIEW X HAPPY SKIN Shut Up& Kiss Me Moisturizing Matte Lippie in Hot Stuff (P599) since both brands promise moisture despite a matte finish.

Red cream lipsticks are quite common, like the PINK SUGAR HD Lipstick in Rebel (P299) and the ETUDE HOUSE Dear My Wish Lips-Talk #RD302 Bold Runway Burgundy (P578). This finish is a toss-up between glossy and matte, and is perfect for everyday wear. Tip: Using a lip liner can help your cream lipstick last longer. You can get a good one for less than P200!

Red sheer lipsticks like the L'OREAL Balm Caresse in Fearless Red (P350) can give you a red lip without being overpowering. The lightweight satin finish is usually formulated to be very moisturizing; L'Oreal's latest release is even touted to be a lipstick-lip balm hybrid.


Companies are constantly releasing new versions of cosmetics, and the red lipstick is no exception. Take your lifestyle into consideration when choosing a red lipstick based on product type.

Beginning with the classic bullet which we are all most familiar with, this type is handy for carrying around when you need to retouch midday. It's a simple matter of popping the cap off, twisting the bottom to bring up the bullet, and swiping some color on your lips.

The OFRA Lipstick in Red My Lips (P500) is one such example. Similar variations of the bullet type include lip crayons.

If you want more choices to bring around, a palette might be more suited to you. A set of lip colors like the BYS Lip Colour Palette in Right A Pout Now (~P400) comes with an applicator brush. Having a selection is best when you need your makeup to go from day to night, since some reds are more wearable for a party than for work.

In a quest for long-wearing lipstick color, the liquid lipstick was born. If you've heard of the gorgeous MAYBELLINE Velvet Matte in Mat 11 (P349) and the NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Cherry Skies (P390), then you've also heard of their kiss-proof formulas that last for hours. If you're worried about application, PV has some tips for you. The year 2016 saw the release of many liquid lipsticks from different brands with varying finishes at affordable price points, so you'll have plenty to choose from!

And then there are the innovative types like the LANEIGE Two Tone Lip Bar (P1,200). The dual color stick creates instant gradient lips for trendy reds like Daring Darling, Maxi Red, and Red Blossom.

Whew! That’s a lot of red lipsticks! But now that we’ve broken it down by undertone, finish, and type, we hope that hunting for your perfect red has become a whole lot easier. Remember to have fun shopping and hey, you can never go wrong with classics like MAC Lady Danger (orangey red for warm tones), Ruby Woo (true rich red), and Russian Red (cool red) if you don't want to overthink it.

That being said, do you already have your perfect red lipstick? Mine is a toss up between Tory Burch Scoundrel (~P1600), Guerlain Rouge G in Parade (~P2,500), and MAC Lady Danger. Let us know yours in the comments below!