Beauty Lifestyle

Find your shade of red for Valentine’s Day

Red lipstick is a quick and easy way to create a bold and fashionable look for any outfit. But with a color as popular as red, it can be daunting to find “the one.” Here is a breakdown of what to examine when looking for that special shade of red.

Red Lipstick

Article by Marisa Martinez

Find your undertone

Despite red being such a bright color that may make some people think it might be too much for their skin tone, different shades of red are meant to complement different skin tones. Not every shade appears the same on everyone.


When it comes to undertones, there are two main categories: warm and cool. Look at the veins in your forearm. If they err on the blue side, your undertones are cool. If they appear more green, they are warm. There is a third “neutral” category for those who feel they are a bit of both but typically whichever color you find more present in your veins is the category you can seek out when choosing a shade. If you are unsure, have no fear, because there are two more tests you can perform.

Picture this

Picture yourself with some jewelry on. Which looks better: silver or gold? If you chose gold, you are warm. If silver makes your melanin pop, your undertones are cool. Finally, throw on a white or cream top. If the true white top looks better on you than off-white, congrats, your undertone is warm. Those who chose cream, your undertone is cool.

What are my options for red lipstick?

Red Lipsticks
(Left to right) “Shocking Coral” from Maybelline’s Vivid Collection and “Alabama” from NYX’s matte collection.

Those with warm undertones will want to keep an eye out for reds with hints of colors like orange or brown. Much like “Red Revolution” from the Maybelline Vivids collection, or “Alabama” from NYX’s matte collection. Those with cool undertones will want to go for lipsticks with a bold blue or purple undertone (Blue-toned lipsticks are also known for their ability to make your teeth appear whiter). Some popular ones are “F-Bomb” from Urban Decay’s Vice lipstick collection and “Eden” from NYX’s mattes. Please note: “blue-toned” is a term in the lipstick world that you’ll see commonly used to describe shades sold by cosmetic companies.

Cosmetic company Illamasqua also has this helpful chart to provide a visual for the type of shade and finish that’s right for you.


There you have it! Go forth and find that perfect shade to celebrate this V-day or amp up your style.

About Marisa

Marisa is an Austin native — follow her on social media @marismart94 (Instagram) and @marisam9401 (Twitter) to see all of her Capital City adventures. You can also check out more of her writing at

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