How to Find the Right Red Lipstick for Your Skin Tone

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Perfecting your bridal beauty look is one of the steps in your wedding-planning process. And while it’s certainly fun to try out pretty looks for your big day, there’s one part that’s often quite challenging for brides-to-be: Finding the most flattering lipstick color for your skin tone! And with winter finally here, so many ladies are looking for that perfect red shade to make a big impact on their overall look. After all, crimson lips are classic, flattering, and guaranteed to command attention.

To help you nail your look, we consulted makeup artist Daniel Martin to learn the best red shades for fair, medium, and dark skin tones.

If you’re fair skinned…
Orange-based reds will instantly warm up fair skin, says Martin, keeping porcelain complexions looking radiant rather than washed out. And because pale skin can be easily overwhelmed by too much bright color, be sure to pair your bold lips with soft, neutral shades of eye shadow and blush.
We like: Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire & Ice, $7.99, Revlon; Audacious Lipstick in Lana, $32, Nars; Rouge Allure Intense Long-Wear Lip Colour in Incandescent, $35, Chanel

See More: 14 Things That Should Be in Every Bride’s Makeup Bag

If you’re medium skinned…
“Classic blue-based reds contrast nicely and look so vivid against medium coloring,” says Martin. (Bluish reds also trick the eye to make teeth look whiter — bonus!) You can carry off a punchy eye-and-lip combo, but keep cheeks minimal by lightly contouring them with bronzer instead of piling on blush.
We like: Long Last Soft Matte Lipstick in Matte Crimson, $16, Clinique; ” Colour Riche Nurturing & Protective Lipcolor in True Red, $7.95, L’Oréal Paris; Color Sensational Lipcolor in Red Revolution, $7.49, Maybelline New York

If you’re dark skinned…
Don’t fear dramatic shades. In fact, the deeper the red the more vibrant it will look on dark skin, says Martin. You can also rock tough-to-wear metallic or shimmery finishes, which can come off as garish on paler skin. Balance those glimmer lips with a touch of highlighter on your cheeks and your good to glow.
We like: Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Red Ego, $30, Estée Lauder; Audacious Color-Intense Lipstick in Wild Amarena, $39, Gucci; Moisture Renew Lipstick in Diva Red, $7.49, Rimmel

Want more genius big-day beauty advice? Pick up the February/March 2015 issue of BRIDES, which is on newsstands now and available for download here!


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