The Edit

What’s the perfect red lipstick shade for me?

What’s the perfect red lipstick shade for me?

How to find the perfect red lipstick for you…

The red lipstick has been an iconic beauty staple since Ancient Egyptians were using precious stones and bugs to Queen Elizabeth I to Marilyn Monroe. Women (and, on occasions, men) have worn the crimson lip shade since make-up began, so why is it so hard to find that perfect red?! It’s all down to finding the perfect red lipstick for YOU, not everyone can wear that dark, dreamy blood red or a bubbly bright, bold red but never fear, Illamasqua is here.

How to find the perfect red lipstick

How to find the perfect red lipstick | Illamasqua

Before we begin the flowchart, it’s important for you to discover your skin undertone, as this will help you find the perfect red lipstick for your complexion.

What is my skin undertone?

Now, don’t panic if you have never heard of the term undertone. If you think of your skin as two layers, your undertone is the layer underneath the top skin. You are either a cool (pink), neutral (pink and yellow) or warm (yellow) undertone. Luckily you don’t need to guess as there are ways of helping you discover your own individual undertone.

The Jewellery test – If you prefer the way silver looks against your skin, you’re more likely a cool undertone but if you’re better in gold, you could be a warm tone. If you’re inclined to wear both and they suit you – you might have a neutral undertone.

Clothes test – Which colours can you wear best? If you’re better in blues, greens and blue-reds then you are more likely a cool undertone. If you are better in yellow or orange-reds, then you have a warm undertone.

Veins test – If your veins look blue then you have a cool undertone and if you have more green veins then you have a warm undertone. If you cannot tell then you’re in the neutral group.

Tan test – If you tend to tan under the sun and not burn, then you may be a warm undertone. If you don’t tan and just burn then you have a cool undertone. Those who both tan and burn, you’re likely neutral.

This however is just a guide and sometimes your answers might clash. Eventually you will discover through trial and error what your undertone is. Alternatively, head to one of our counters and ask for assistance where our teams will help determine this with you.

Finding the perfect red lipstick | Illamasqua

NOW, on to the pressing matter of finding the perfect red lipstick for you! Take our test below and find your red…

Red lipstick flowchart | Illamasqua

Which red lipstick is right for me and my skin tone?

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 12.33.12Orange reds lipstick

Hey there warm undertone group, you tend to lean towards the more orange and yellow toned reds as it sits better on you than reds that contain blue tones. Shop our satin finish Glamore Lipstick in Soaked or our Matte Lipstick in Liable. If you prefer a more pigmented look, opt for the Lipstick in Flare and line your lips with the Lip Colouring Pencil in Spell for the ultimate finish. We recommend opting for a flick of black liner for a simple eye against this bright lip. We love the Illustrator Pen as it has a thin nib for a super precise application.


Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 12.35.58

Blue red lipstick

Cool as a cucumber – you fall into the cool undertone family. Opt for reds with blue a slight blue undertone as these will complement your complexion perfectly. Our semi-matte Antimatter Lipstick in Spectra or Matte Lipstick in Box will look amazing on you! You could even use the Lip Colouring Pencil in Feisty for your liner and Lipstick in Atomic for the ultimate perfect finish. Looking for an eyeshadow match made in heaven? Our Powder Eyeshadow in Daemon should be your new favourite.


Glossy redScreen Shot 2015-02-26 at 12.37.43s

Create a gorgeously glossy red lip look using your favourite lip balm and one of our red lipsticks. Swipe  our Antimatter Lipstick in Rocket over your lips and then dab a little balm over the top for a no-fuss shine. If you prefer a more satin finish instead, then opt for our Lipstick in Soaked (perfect for warm undertones) or the shade Asteroid, which is great for cool undertones. Pump up the red tones by using our Sealing Gel with a red eyeshadow as a bonus accessory to your look. Our favourite is the Iconic Chrome Eyeshadow in Passionate, which creates a gorgeous glitter lip.


Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 12.41.54Subtle reds

When we say subtle, we mean that you might not want a bold or bright red lip, but something with a slight hint of colour to make your lips pop. Not everyone suits a red so this is a great way to get involved without looking washed out or overdone. Try our Lipstick in Salacious or Shard for a more berry red. You could also opt for a pinky-red such as our Antimatter Lipstick in Physical.

Other reds you should check out; Lipstick in Maneater or Sangers (great for neutral tones) and the Lipstick in Howl (great for deep skin tones).

We hope we have either inspired, helped or at least entertained you with our guide to the perfect red.

Lots of Illamasqua love,



Govinder Rayt

Govinder Rayt

Writer and expert