Best Red Lipstick For Fair Skin: 10 Cult Favorites For Every Boss Lady

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Best red lipstick for fair skin: Red lips

With just one swipe, a bold red lipstick can instantly brighten your face and transform your whole look. Talk about the ultimate confidence boost! But we know finding the best red lipstick for fair skin can get a little tricky.

The best shade of red lipstick looks a little different for varying skin tones. When it comes to fair skin, you’ll want to get perfect red lips that enhance your skin tone – versus having too stark a contrast that can make you look washed out.

You may be thinking: 

“How do I find the right shade of red lipstick?”

“What red lipstick looks best on pale skin?”

Here at Haul of Fame, you can ditch the overwhelm and say hello to a new way of discovering the best beauty finds. In today’s top 10 red lipstick round-up, we cut through the noise to bring you the ultimate best red lipsticks for fair skin, backed by rigorous consumer, market, and media research (you can read about our signature research process here).

PS. Our picks for the best red lipstick for pale skin suit every budget so whether you’re looking for the best drugstore red lipstick with blue undertones or looking to treat yourself to a more luxurious, high-end lipstick, we’ve got you covered!

The Haul of Fame: Best Red Lipstick For Fair Skin

How Do I Find The Right Shade Of Red Lipstick?

Finding the best red lipsticks for fair skin starts with understanding the undertones of your skin as well as the undertones of the lipstick. Generally, fair skin tends to have cool undertones.

Take a look at the veins on your wrist; if they appear bluish or closer to purple, you have cool undertones. Green or olive veins are equated with warm undertones.

A fair woman with dark brown hair poses with the best drugstore lipstick for fair skin in her hand. Red lipstick for blondes

What Red Lipstick Looks Best On Pale Skin?

Celebrity makeup artists like Sofia Tilbury highly recommend matching your lipstick undertones to your skin undertones. For fair skin tones, try cool-toned red lipsticks with hints of blue and purple.

More adventurous makeup fans, however, are forgoing this rule of thumb and finding that a clash of undertones could actually work some pretty cool magic for finding your signature red-lip look.

Either way, we’re sharing with you the top brands and specific shades that exude class and elegance for fair-skinned beauties!

red lips pale skin: A fair woman with rich red lips smiles upwards with her eyes closed.

Haul of Fame: 10 Best Red Lipsticks For Fair Skin

1

MAC Matte Lipstick

MAC Retro Matte Lipstick (Ruby Woo) / MAC Matte Lipstick (Russian Red)

Mention iconic red lipsticks and you’ll inevitably hear, “MAC Ruby Woo Russian Red” as the immediate reply, so it seems apt to kick off our list with these classics. If you’re at a loss when looking for the best Mac red lipstick for pale skin, MAC’s Ruby Woo and Russian Red are definitely the best bets.

How did Ruby Woo earn its cult-like status? MAC global senior artist Dominic Skinner shares that the secret behind Ruby Woo’s ability to flatter every skin tone lies in its neutral undertone with a slight blue tint. Skinner says, “The ‘blue red’ helps to make it pop when worn and the retro matte texture means it’s totally absent of shine, leaving it velvet matte.”

MAC’s Ruby Woo is an especially popular red lipstick for Asian skin – though not limited to it! Its (very) long list of celebrity fans includes Rita Ora, Sia, Christina Hendricks, Lauren Conrad, and Rihanna.

perfect red lipstick for blondes: MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo.

MAC

Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo

MAC

Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo

MAC’s Russian Red matte lipstick is just as legendary thanks to its universally flattering deep red shade. It is another great shout for anyone looking for their next go-to red lipstick for cool undertones with a lightweight yet long-lasting formula. This impressive transfer-proof lippie stays its rich crimson shade for hours!

good red lipstick for fair skin: MAC Matte Lipstick in Russian Red.

MAC

Matte Lipstick in Russian Red

MAC

Matte Lipstick in Russian Red

2

NARS

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil (Dragon Girl) / NARS Audacious Lipstick (Rita)

Known for being one of Taylor Swift’s favorites for her signature red-lip look, NARS’ velvet matte lipstick pencil combo is a wildly popular pick (especially for anyone in search of a red lipstick for blonde hair, like the queen herself!) thanks to its highly pigmented red shade with a classic matte finish.

Its cool pink undertones make it especially flattering for fair skin, while its convenient crayon design makes precise application a breeze!

fair skin red lipstick: NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl.

NARS

Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl

NARS

Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl

The warm-toned NARS Audacious Lipstick in Rita may be an unconventional choice for those with fair skin but its rich red shade is definitely worth considering. This orange-based bright red lipstick is loved for its creamy and opaque texture with a luxe satin finish.

dark red lipstick on pale skin: NARS Audacious Lipstick in Rita.

NARS

Audacious Lipstick in Rita

NARS

Audacious Lipstick in Rita

PS. For a more luxe orange-based lipstick, try the Pat McGrath Labs Matte Trance Lipstick in Elson 2. Fun fact: Renowned celebrity makeup artist Pat McGrath named this decadent shade after supermodel Karen Elson.

3

Dior Lipstick

Rouge Dior Lipstick (999 Velvet Red) / Rouge Dior Forever Liquid Transfer-Proof Lipstick (999 Forever Dior)

Dior’s iconic 999 red shade has a gorgeous semi-matte texture with Rouge Dior’s 999 Velvet Red. True to Christian Dior’s love for flowers, this couture lip color is infused with red peony extract to naturally hydrate lips while offering relatively long-lasting wear.

As part of House of Dior’s move towards sustainability, Rouge Dior is refillable.

best shade of red lipstick for pale skin: Rouge Dior Lipstick in 999 Velvet Red.

Dior

Rouge Lipstick in 999 Velvet Red

Dior

Rouge Lipstick in 999 Velvet Red

If you prefer donning Dior’s signature red as a liquid lipstick, we recommend adding the Rouge Dior Forever Liquid Transfer-Proof Lipstick in 999 Forever Dior to your collection. The red liquid lipstick has a clean matte finish, with a natural boost in hydration from floral extracts.

best red lipstick for fair skin with pink undertones: Rouge Dior Forever Liquid Transfer-Proof Lipstick in 999 Forever Dior.

Dior

Rouge Forever Liquid Transfer-Proof Lipstick in 999 Forever Dior

Dior

Rouge Forever Liquid Transfer-Proof Lipstick in 999 Forever Dior

4

Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint Lip Color

Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color (Uncensored)

Desperately on the hunt for the best red lipgloss for fair skin? Well, look no further than this showstopper.

Fenty Beauty describes their scarlet Uncensored shade as the perfect universal red; given how highly-rated this lip color is, it’s not hard to see why!

In keeping with their inclusivity goals, the Uncensored lip color suits most skin tones; it’s the perfect red lipstick for Asian skin, African American skin, Caucasian skin, and Hispanic skin.

This flattering true red shade gets its edge from a slightly cool undertone. Thanks to its pigmented formula, you can choose how much of the lip color to apply to suit the look you’re going for: apply a thick coat for a dramatic look, or evenly dab a thin coat for a lip stain effect.

Good to know: Fenty Beauty is 100% cruelty-free!

Best red lipstick for fair skin: Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color in Uncensored.

Fenty Beauty

Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color in Uncensored

Fenty Beauty

Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color in Uncensored

5

Yves Saint Laurent Lipstick Balm

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick Balm (Rouge Tuxedo 45)

If you’re looking for a glossy best red lipstick for fair skin, we recommend YSL’s Volupte Shine Lipstick Balm in Rouge Tuxedo 45. This lipstick-lip balm hybrid is a soft cool-toned red that’s comfortably lightweight and incredibly moisturizing (it’s made with 65% essential oils).

This lipstick balm has a high-shine finish, perfect for a change from the more popular matte formats.

best red lipstick for fair skin dark hair: Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick Balm in Rouge Tuxedo 45. Light red lipstick when worn.

Yves Saint Laurent

Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick Balm in Rouge Tuxedo (45)

Yves Saint Laurent

Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick Balm in Rouge Tuxedo (45)

6

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution (Red Carpet Red)

Effortlessly channel old Hollywood glamor with the Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Red lip color! This classic red with balanced neutral undertones is the statement shade every lipstick collection needs.

The ultra-smooth formula just glides onto your lips and lasts for hours. We really like the square angled tip of the lipstick, which makes it easier to outline the lips – especially in the trickier cupid’s bow area. The perfect lipstick to elevate your high tea attire (or any outfit for that matter!).

Good to know: Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Red is vegan and made without parabens.

best red lipstick for fair skin brown hair: Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Red Carpet Red.

Charlotte Tilbury

Matte Revolution in Red Carpet Red

Charlotte Tilbury

Matte Revolution in Red Carpet Red

7

bareMinerals Hydra-Smoothing Lipstick

Bare Minerals Hydra-Smoothing Lipstick (Courage)

This squeaky clean mineral-based vegan lipstick is made with minimal ingredients and yet delivers a lush formula that is both lightweight and hydrating. Bare Minerals’ Hydra-Smoothing Lipstick is cruelty-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free, and talc-free, and is a strong favorite red lip color for fair skin among clean beauty enthusiasts and makeup artists.

For a classic red, you can’t go wrong with their vibrant Courage shade!

Best red lipstick for fair skin: Bare Minerals Hydra-Smoothing Lipstick in Courage.

bareMinerals

Hydra-Smoothing Lipstick in Courage

bareMinerals

Hydra-Smoothing Lipstick in Courage

8

Maybelline New York Color Sensational Lipstick

Maybelline New York Color Sensational Made For All Lipstick (382 Red For Me)

When it comes to the best drugstore red lipstick for fair skin, Maybelline’s super popular New York Color Sensational Made For All Lipstick is a worthy contender. The Red For Me shade is a dramatic deep red with cool undertones and a velvety matte finish.

PS. For a similar alternative, try the cult-favorite Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in 017 Crushed Rubies.

Best red lipstick for fair skin: Maybelline New York Color Sensational Made For All Lipstick in 382 Red For Me.

Maybelline New York

Color Sensational Made for All Lipstick in Red For Me

Maybelline New York

Color Sensational Made for All Lipstick in Red For Me

9

Rimmel Long Lasting Finish Lipstick

Rimmel Long Lasting Finish Lipstick (170 Alarm)

One swipe of Rimmel’s 170 Alarm and you’ll see why this rich red shade may seem pleasantly familiar: it’s a popular dupe for MAC’s Russian Red lipstick! Despite its lower price point, this lipstick does a decent job of capturing that signature red shade.

Formula-wise, it’s opaque and offers great coverage, while keeping the lips fairly hydrated.

Best red lipstick for fair skin: Rimmel Long Lasting Finish Lipstick in 170 Alarm. Perfect red lipstick for fair skin

Rimmel

Long Lasting Finish Lipstick in 170 Alarm

Rimmel

Long Lasting Finish Lipstick in 170 Alarm

10

Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink Longlasting Liquid Lipstick (20 Pioneer)

For the best drugstore red lipstick for pale skin in liquid lipstick format, we really love this one! This has one of the most saturated pigmentations we’ve seen and, true to its name, is incredibly longlasting (you’ll need to use a good cleansing balm to properly remove it at the end of the day). Perfect for a day liquid lipstick to night!

For a true red, opt for the classic 20 Pioneer shade. Its angled applicator also makes it easy to line and fill your lips precisely. Tip: Once applied, let the lip color dry for a few minutes to get a smudge-proof matte finish.

Best red lipstick for fair skin: Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink Longlasting Liquid Lipstick (20 Pioneer)

Maybelline

Superstay Matte Ink Longlasting Liquid Lipstick in 20 Pioneer

Maybelline

Superstay Matte Ink Longlasting Liquid Lipstick in 20 Pioneer

Do Red Lips Make You Look Older?

A fair blonde woman with colorful eye makeup applies the best red lipstick pale skin and best red lipstick for blondes with fair skin

Quite the opposite! Wearing red lipstick could make you look younger. Research shows that increasing facial contrast makes you appear younger. What’s a simple yet effective way to increase facial contrast? You guessed it – swipe on your favorite red lipstick!

How Can I Make My Pale Skin Look Good?

Fairer skin tends to be more vulnerable to sun damage and aging. When it comes to applying products, colors can often appear caked on and overdone on pale skin. 

With these challenges in mind, a combination of good skincare practices and clever makeup techniques can bring out the best of your fair skin features. Here are 5 tips to make fair skin look good:

  • Protect your skin: Practice safe sun exposure and opt for skin-protecting skincare products and makeup bases to minimize damage and aging.
  • Opt for color-correcting concealers: This evens out your skin tone and prevents that caked-on foundation look.
  • Try a cool-toned bronzer: This is a great match for your cool undertones and brings out a more natural glow on fair skin.
  • Don’t skip the blusher: A pop of blush helps to give your overall face a fresh glow. Try baby pink or peach shades for a natural look.
  • Avoid a full-face high-contrast makeup: Select one feature you’d like to highlight (statement red lips, for example) and complement the other features with lighter colors.

Should You Wear Eyeliner With Red Lipstick?

Yes, you can totally wear eyeliner with red lipstick. This helps to make your face makeup look more balanced. A sweep of mascara is also a great idea to give your eyes a little pop!

What Colour Dress Should I Wear With Red Lipstick?

You won’t go wrong with neutrals. Red lipstick goes really well with any neutral color especially white, grey, and black (what’s more iconic than the little black dress and red lips combo?). For a bolder choice, try red on red – this fiery combo is sure to turn heads!

Let Us Know: Which Is Your Favorite Best Red Lipstick For Fair Skin?

From MAC’s iconic Ruby Woo and Russian Red to the Taylor Swift-approved NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil to the classy Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Red, have some fun trying out the various brands and red lipstick shades for fair skin in our Top 10 list to find your go-to red lippie.

Have your own recommendations for the perfect red lipstick on fair skin? Share them with us in the comments below!

A fair woman poses lying down on a couch with deep red lips from using the best red lipstick for Asian skin.

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3 Comments

  1. I Have pale skin, loved all the red lipsticks suggestions. Just ordered Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution. Will let you know how it turns out. I’m obsessed with with all shades of red lipsticks and always happy try new ones!

  2. You’ve picked a great collection of red lipstick. Mac is one my favorites, it complements my pale skin tone and make my lips pop.

    1. So pleased you love our line up and yes we totally agree! Red lipsticks look great on fair skin, provided you go for the right undertone!

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