Get Red Hot Lips With The Best Red Lipstick for Fair Skin in 2021

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Happy Valentine’s Day and with love in the air, there’s no better time to show off your beautiful red lips! Red lips have always been a statement look that oozes sophistication and shows the world how confident you are! That’s for those who are daring enough to try it out. There are many of us who are a little afraid of red lips because of how bold it can be and I’m not judging! Red lips are bold and out there! However, red lipstick can suit anyone! It’s all about choosing the right shade of red for your skin.

As many of you already know, my skin is paler than pale, my husband even likes to joke that my skin glows in the dark. If you’re like me, firstly, I feel for you and secondly, you need to be careful with your bold colours. Wear the wrong red and it will look baaad. That’s why we need a little guide on the best red lipstick for fair skin! 

Before we get started on the best red lipsticks for fair skin, here’s a little guide on finding the right shade of red with the right undertones to complement fair skin. In this guide, I have also included some useful tips on application and wear for red lipstick! Let’s get the party started!

Know Your Undertone 

Undertones are a huge deal and if you’ve heard this 100 times, I apologise! However, it’s just one of those things that need repeating:) I’m sure you know that your skins undertone effects which foundation and concealer shade to buy, however, what many don’t realise is that for lipstick the same rules apply. Well, almost the same!

Every skin colour has different undertones including fair skin, from cool to neutral to warm. 

Cool Toned 

If the veins in your wrists look blue, you are cool-toned. Additionally, if you have a red, pink or bluish kind of hue to your skin, these are also indicators that you have a cool undertone.

The best red lipstick for cool-toned skin is lipsticks that have a slight blue or purple-red tone. 

Wines and berries should be your colour of choice. Cool-toned complexions should try and stay away from the orangey shades of red. 

Warm Toned

When the veins in your wrists are green, your skin has a warm undertone. Usually, your skin will have a slightly yellow, golden, or olive tinge to it. 

The best red lipsticks for warm undertones are ones which are true red, or which have an orangy tone to them. Keep away from cool reds as they will not compliment your skin.

Neutral Undertones

If you have neutral undertones, count yourself lucky! Having neutral undertones means that you have a blend of cool and warm undertones in your complexion. This means that you have more of a variety of colours that you can play around with!

For a more in-depth guide on how to find the right lip shade, check out my post on How To Choose the Best Lipstick Colour for Your Skin Tone.

Prep Your Lips

For your lipstick to remain intact throughout the day you need a few tips on how to take care of your lips properly! You don’t want peeling and dried lips. The best way to prevent lips from drying up is by keeping your lips hydrated! (Obviously!)

Use a lip balm or lip butter as you do your makeup. Make sure that the lip balm is not super-emollient because this could be too slippery for the lipstick to be applied after. 

It is essential to let the balm sit on your lips for several minutes before applying lipstick. Since lipstick is usually the last step, try putting on balm during the foundation process. When you’re ready to apply lipstick, make sure to wipe off the excess balm beforehand for a smoother application.

Use Lip Liner and Lip Brush

For lipstick to last better and longer, use a lipliner. This is a trick that many people know, however, what many aren’t aware of is that using a lip brush is even better!

Outline the edges of your lips with a lip liner to define them, lips liner also helps with keeping your lipstick from bleeding. Then with your red lipstick, use a lip brush to apply it onto your lips. This way, you have better control over the application. The results are always worth the extra effort!

Red Lipstick Doesn’t Need To Be Bold

You don’t need to take the full plunge when it comes to red lipstick, you have the option of a sheer or stained look too. For a more subtle look, try patting on the lipstick slightly and then dabbing it with your fingers from the centre and outwards.

Think of Your Red Lipstick As Part of your Entire Look – Makeup & Outfit

Always take into consideration what you’re wearing, including the accessories. A little black dress or even an all-black outfit will make your lips pop beautifully. If you’re wearing a red dress, try a different toned red for your lipstick. Add a little edge and spunk! 

For makeup, opt for a more subtle, natural look to pair with red lipstick. Let the lipstick shine!

Pay Attention to the Texture

Be aware of the lipstick’s finish – matte, satin or gloss. The finish will play a part on the way the shade will look on your lips.

A matte texture gives more definition, and a stark contrast to your lips, whereas a satin finish, will make your lips look silkier and hydrated. Glosses add a subtle and sheer shade to your lips with a little shine. 

Now that we’ve got all the tips and tricks under wrap, it’s time to rock the red lips! Let’s find the perfect red lipstick for you! Without further ado, here are the best red lipsticks for fair skin!

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases on Amazon and other affiliate programs. This means on some purchases, I make a commission. It doesn’t mean you spend more, it simply allows me to keep this blog going!

The Best Red Lipstick for Fair Skin 2021

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Luminous Modern-Matte Lipstick in Red Carpet Red

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Luminous Modern-Matte Lipstick in Red Carpet Red

This is hands down one of the prettiest lipsticks around but then again, I’ve learnt to expect nothing less when it comes to class and quality of Charlotte Tilbury products. In a classic rose gold bullet, this red lipstick is perfect for fair skin and it will work with all undertones because of its rich red colour.

What I love about this lipstick are the formula and semi-matte texture. It is also extremely lightweight on the lips, you barely feel you’re wearing anything at all. With one swipe, you get highly pigmented lipstick that applies really smoothly! Although it is matte, it is not drying on the lips at all.

You don’t need to worry about any bleeding or feathering over the day because that won’t happen with the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Luminous Modern.

If you’re up for that old Hollywood glam look, the Red Carpet Red is the perfect shade that will upgrade your look. This lipstick is a luxurious and sophisticated purchase that is worth every penny. 


  • Lightweight Feeling on Lips
  • Luxurious Packaging and Quality
  • Perfect Toned Red


  • Expensive

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Luminous Modern-Matte Lipstick in Red Carpet Red can be bought from Charlotte Tilbury UK/US

Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick in Pioneer

Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick in Pioneer

This no-nonsense liquid lipstick by Maybelline in the colour Pioneer is one of their best-selling shades and it’s easy to understand why. Pioneer is your classic bold red colour that is perfect for fair skin of all undertones.

The Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick is one of the best drugstore liquid lipsticks. Why? It is affordable, has insane colour payoff and is unbelievably long-lasting as well as smudge-proof. 

This liquid lipstick will last you through thick and thin! Whether you are eating, drinking or talking all day, this lipstick will not budge. Many have said that if they don’t remove their lipstick at the end of the day, it’s still there intact in the morning. While I don’t recommend trying it out, that is some impressive stuff!

Maybelline for me has always been a reliable drugstore brand, their SuperStay Matte Ink is definitely one of the best releases for the brand. With Pioneer on your lips, you will be a head-turner and it’s definitely the right day for that! 

If you love quality drugstore finds, you will love this Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick in Pioneer.


  • Long-Lasting
  • Affordable
  • Ideal Red Colour
  • Smudge-proof


  • May feel it on the lips

Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick in Pioneer can be bought from Amazon

Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Tint-in-Balm in Touch Me Red

Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Tint-in-Balm in Touch Me Red

Have you always wanted to be part of the glamorous untouchables? With Yves Saint Laurent you have a direct route there. The Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Tint-in-Balm in Touch Me Red has one of the prettiest and most luxurious packagings. Not only is the packaging pretty but so is the actual lipstick with its lip stamp on the centre of the lipstick. Pretty and original!

Yves Saint Laurent excel in packaging and this lipstick is proof of that.

I love how hydrating and straightforward this lipstick is. The texture of it is balmy and creamy, almost like a cream to gel texture. The lipstick is extremely comfortable to wear and it leaves your lips with a glossy and shiny finish.

I know we mentioned being afraid of bold reds, the Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Tint-in-Balm in Touch Me Red is a gateway to the beauty of red. Definitely expect minimal pigmentation with this, but it still gives off that beautiful wash of colour that you need to amp up your look. 


  • Great Sheer, Wash of Colour
  • Not Overwhelming
  • Hydrating
  • Gorgeous Packaging


  • Need Retouching

Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Tint-in-Balm in Touch Me Red can be bought from Nordstrom

Revlon Balm Stain in Romantic

Revlon Balm Stain in Romantic

Another sheer but empowering lip stain is the Revlon Balm Stain in Romantic. If you don’t want an overly bold pop of red, this lip stain offers you a moisturising light tint that is easy to pop on at any occasions. 

This lipstick comes in a chubby crayon-like stick with a twist-up packaging. This is one of the most fun packagings as well and a little nostalgic. There are also straightforward to control when applying on the lips.

Although it is not as strong as some other red lipsticks, the colour payoff is incredibly beautiful. It is actually a lip balm that stains, as the name suggests. Since it’s a lip balm, expect very moisturised and hydrated lips when wearing it.

I loved the Revlon Balm Stain line right from the beginning. I think these are fun and affordable lip stains that are super easy to use and uncomplicated too! I, for one, use Revlon Balm Stain as a stepping stone when I want to try bolder lips. This option is definitely great when you’re a little too shy to go for the most daring of colours.

The Revlon Balm Stain will add some life to makeup that is natural and effortless. Even if it’s just a balm stain, it adds colour and it actually lasts pretty well too! 


  • Affordable Drugstore Price
  • Buildable Colour


  • None

Revlon Balm Stain in Romantic can be bought from Amazon

MAC Cosmetics Ruby Woo

MAC Cosmetics Ruby Woo

We can’t forget MAC Ruby Woo! And I know you’ve probably seen this classic almost everywhere. This red-lipstick staple earned its way to the best of the best, not only does it suit fair skin; it is universally beautiful for everyone else too. 

It is literally the perfect classic red with pure neutral-tones that won’t clash on any skin type even for us fair skinners. Ruby Woo has a true matte finish, and when applied on the lips, it looks almost velvet-like.

I must confess, the formula is a little on the dry side, but with the proper lip prep, you’ll be good to go. The lipstick is transfer-proof and heavy meal-proof. Planning on a little food trip? This lipstick will be your best bet and will not budge. 

I love MAC Cosmetics lipsticks, they are spot on when it comes to the beautiful opaque shades and the formulation. Ruby Woo is definitely a statement lipstick and very empowering too. It will give you an instant glam makeover!

MAC products may be a little (or a lot) of a splurge but the MAC Ruby Woo is well worth it!


  • Universally Flattering
  • Transfer-Proof
  • Long-wearing


  • Drying

MAC Cosmetics Ruby Woo can be bought from Look Fantastic

Do you love original makeup products? Check out the Pat McGrath Crystal Lip Kit. It takes lip art to a whole new level!

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick in Matador

L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick in Matador

The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick is a drugstore find that you may mistake as high-end because of its amazingly high-end quality. The colour is extremely flattering for fair skin, especially those with cool undertones.

One of the things I love about this liquid lipstick is the applicator. It has a doe-foot applicator with a pointy end which really gets into those hard-to-reach corners of the lips. Not only that, the product itself feels smooth and creamy as you apply it on. 

This dries matte with a velvet finish, it almost feels too luxurious for a drugstore product but who’s complaining?! The shade has a hint of berry in it and definitely a tad deeper than the rest of the reds here, however, beautiful nevertheless. 

This lipstick is guaranteed kiss-proof and transfer-proof and it stays on for a really long time without budging, smudging or fading!

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick in Matador is a winner drugstore purchase. You get the quality of a high-end lipstick for the price of a high street one. What could be better!


  • Affordable Drugstore Find
  • Transfer-Proof
  • Long-Lasting


  • None

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick in Matador can be bought from Amazon

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Rita

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Rita

Luxurious and sleek, the NARS Audacious Lipstick in Rita comes in a beautiful black tube. My favourite feature has got to be the magnetic closure that it has. It solves the all too common issue of losing lipstick lids!

The lipstick glides on smoothly and has a satin finish. The shade is a gorgeous medium red that is opaque with just one swipe. It is smooth and creamy on the lips, you don’t need to worry about it drying out your lips.

If you’re straying away from true mattes, the NARS Audacious Lipstick will give the perfect satin with a little bit of a sheen to it.


  • Smooth Application
  • Comfortable


  • Required a Little Bit of Prep for Lips

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Rita can be bought from Look Fantastic

My Thoughts

Don’t limit yourself when wearing red lipstick, you can rock a red every day! It is a classic look that brings out the inner confidence. You will learn to love and appreciate the art of red lipstick. When it’s done right it’s pretty and striking!

This Valentine’s Day go ahead and treat yourself to the best red lipstick for fair skin! When you find the perfect match, I guarantee that you will love the confidence that red lipstick brings you.

Are you ready for red lipstick? Which red lipstick is your favourite for fair skin?

Hollie xx

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4 Responses

  1. Hilde

    I always used to wear red lipstick before. Reading your post was a great reminder that I need to buy one again. I was always called – her with the red lipstick. Lol. I really like the Ruby Woo lipstick. I like when it is matt and stays on for a long time. I think I have a cool undertone skin. The Yves Saint Laurent lipstick also could be a choice for me. I love to follow your site. I am really ready for some red Lipstick again.

    • Hollie

      I love the name:)) Def time to bring it back! Ruby Woo is a beautiful lipstick. Thanks for stopping by! 

  2. Karin Nauber

    This is the first time I realized I was cool-toned. This is a great help to me in choosing all of my makeup products. I was always afraid of the reds in my lipstick because I thought they were too “out there,” but what you said about the cool-toned colors makes a lot of sense. I didn’t know there were so many prep things to do either to keep my lips so nice and supple. I think I am going to love my new lipstick routine and my new color choices!

    • Hollie

      Knowing your skin tone is half the trick to getting your makeup look right! Lipsticks are fun and I’m sure the right red will look fab on you! Go for it!

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