Red Is Dominating the Beauty World This Season

This year, go bold.

Tracee Ellis Ross wearing red lipstick
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Of all the colors that scream glamour in the makeup world, red takes the cake. This color, which is often associated with love, sexuality, and femininity, has been worn on women’s lips, cheeks, and nails for centuries. In fact, around 5,000 years ago, women in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq), crushed gemstones into a fine red powder and wore it on their lips. Red cosmetics in the ancient world were also formulated using clay, algae, fish scales, vegetables, berries, and more, indicating that, over the centuries, people have consistently found the means to incorporate this striking shade into their appearance.

While red certainly hasn’t disappeared from the beauty industry today, recent trends have leaned more heavily towards minimal makeup, dewy skin, and nude (or near-nude lips). Pamela Anderson’s stunning campaign with Proenza Schouler epitomizes this fresh-faced look, which has overtaken high fashion and street style alike since the Barbie pink phenomenon of summer 2023 started to wane.

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A photo posted by diorbeauty on

But since 2024 started just a few days ago, red has made a sudden, tremendous comeback. Just last night, at the Lakers - Heat game in Los Angeles, celebrities showed out with striking red makeup, from Selena Gomez’s deep crimson manicure to Tracee Ellis Ross’s candy apple-colored lipstick. These looks took over social feeds in the wake of posts from celebrities like Olivia Culpo, flaunting red lipstick (and an all-red outfit) and scarlet-tinged ad campaigns like Helena Christensen’s partnership with L’Officiel Liechtenstein. Meanwhile, Megan Fox has been sporting bright red hair for weeks now.

Luxury beauty brands have also started 2024 off with a selection of red products, from Dior’s revamp of its popular Rouge Dior lipstick, to Yves Saint Laurent’s new velvet matte cream lipstick, to Chanel’s red camellia serum, which comes in a striking red bottle. Gucci also released  a new line of lip glosses recently—a collection that includes a variety of shades, but is dominated by red and clay-colored hues. 

While I love the fresh-faced, natural look, I’ve been devoted to red lipstick for about as long as I’ve been wearing makeup, so I’m thrilled to see it make a comeback. Here’s hoping for a vibrant year–both in beauty and in life itself.

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Gabrielle Ulubay
Beauty Writer

Gabrielle Ulubay is a Beauty Writer at Marie Claire. She has also written about sexual wellness, fashion, culture, and politics both at Marie Claire and for publications like The New York Times, Bustle, and HuffPost Personal. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, including two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy. As a film school graduate, she loves all things media and can be found making art when she's not busy writing.