The 21 Best Red Lipsticks for Every Skin Tone

Scarlet, oxblood, and everything in between.

Red Lipstick
(Image credit: Edward Berthelot)

We all have our own ways of transforming our everyday selves into our more sophisticated alter egos. While some of us rely on a curling iron and sea salt spray to add some sex appeal, others craft a seductive smokey eye. But if there's one thing that's truly universal when it comes to feeling like our most exciting selves, it's a big, bad red lipstick. Swiping on such a bold color can have real mood-boosting effects, and takes any makeup look up a chic notch.

What shade of red lipstick should I wear?

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There are a lot of people who insist that they just can't wear red lipstick. And to that, I say: You sure as hell can. It's just a matter of finding the right shade, finish, and method of application. Finding the red shade for your skin tone means the difference between looking like a silver screen siren and like you might still have ketchup on your face from dinner. Once you've nailed that, the opportunities are endless: Add a matte to your cart for a classic look that lasts all night, and keep a satin finish on hand for a touch of glossiness that looks pitch-perfect for daytime.

As fate would have it, July 29 is National Lipstick Day, which means you have an excuse to stock up on as many shades as you want! Here, a mix of the most iconic shades to hit the market and our newer favorites to satisfy every mood, event, and whim that comes your way.

Taylore  Glynn

Taylore Glynn is the Beauty and Health Editor at Marie Claire, covering skincare, makeup, fragrance, wellness, and more. If you need her, she’s probably roasting a chicken, flying solo at the movies, or drinking a bad Negroni at JFK.