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Should redheads wear red lipstick?

A wise man once said: “I like redheads. Their mouths are like a drop of strawberry jam in a glass of milk.”

Well, it was Roger Sterling in Mad Men, so maybe not so wise, but he’s right on the money with that sentiment.

Redheads wearing red lipstick look amazing! On a gloomy day the right red lip shade can lift your spirits and it gives you that little extra va-va-voom.

Which begs the question: why do so many redheads, natural or otherwise, shy away from wearing red lipstick?

I suppose we can narrow it down to this: not only do you have to think about skin tone, as everyone does, but the specific ginger tone of your red hair – the red lipstick you wear with a coppery ginger mane is probably not the same as the one you’d wear with auburn hair.

Wear the wrong colour and you risk looking washed out, so how do you choose the right shade and avoid ending up with the ‘Deep Dark Drawer of Abandoned Lippys?

First of all think about your skin tone: Are you cool or warm? I know; how can you tell? I was always told the trick was to decide if gold or silver jewellery suited you best – for me it’s silver, so I’m cool. Simple. If you suit gold better, you’re warm.

What shade of red lipstick is right for me?

As a general rule:



  • Cool or pink skin tones – plum, wine or blue reds will suit you best;
  • Warm yellow skin tones – it’s red-oranges, corals or red-browns;
  • Neutral tones – opt for cherry red or scarlet.

But, being a ginger, the choosing of your colour doesn’t stop there. (Darn it!)

The biggest no-no when wearing red lipstick when you have red hair is actually matching the two. You need to find a shade which is richer and more intense to make your ginger hair colour really pop!

So, if your red hair is at the orange-y end of the spectrum, look at the brighter blue-reds first – incidentally these colours also look great if you’ve got blue, green or grey eyes.

If you are more of an auburn tone you’ll find that warmer, spicier tones will work better for you.

Here’s a selection of our favourite red lipsticks to get you started:

MAC is King of the Reds. There is Ruby Woo, an intense blue-red tone and I know so many redheads who swear by this shade, including myself! It can be a little bit drying though.

Also available is Stylistic which is more of an orangey-red and much creamier, as well as Russian Red which is again a warmer shade.

Rimmel in Diva Red is a good budget option, again suiting cooler skin tones.

I’ve had the dark red shade in the new Kate Moss by Rimmel line recommended to me and I think it would look just lovely if you’ve got dark auburn hair.

If you want highly pigmented lipstick you can’t beat Illamasqua. The shade Sangers is a beautiful, spicy shade. They also have a range of great matt lipsticks – simply gorgeous!

READ: Redhead? You Need These Red Lipsticks
READ: Orange Lipstick For Redheads
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