8 Shades of Red Lipstick for the Melanated Beauties

red lipstick for dark skin

It’s no secret that I love me some red lipstick. However, there was a time that you couldn’t pay me to wear it, mostly due to stereotypes. Red lipstick is whorish. It doesn’t look good on dark skin. Sounds familiar? I can remember my grandma saying that red lipstick was for ladies of the night when I was younger, so I get the whorish stereotype. But where did the red lipstick doesn’t look good on dark skin stereotype come from? In my opinion, it’s a falsity that us melanated beauties created ourselves. How many times do you hear I wish I could rock red lipstick but I’m too dark, or it just doesn’t look good on my complexion? Way too often. So I’m here to tell you that red lipstick looks great on all shades of melanin, and show you some of my favorite red lipsticks.

red lipstick for melanated beauties

red lipstick for dark skin

Left to right:

MAC Ruby Woo

Wet n Wild Stoplight Red

Milani Matte Confident

Laura Geller Fifth Avenue Ruby

MAC Ruby Woo

MAC Ruby Woo

MAC Ruby Woo is a very matte vivid red with blue undertones. The retro matte finish can be extremely drying, so I highly suggest wearing a lip balm underneath. Yet it has great pigmentation and is extremely long-wearing.

Wet n Wild Stoplight Red

Wet n Wild Megalast Lipstick in Stoplight Red is an extremely pigmented, semi-matte red with blue undertones. The hydrating formula feels great on the lips, and it wears well for hours. It has natural marine plant extracts and vitamins A & E to help smooth lips, Hyaluronic Microspheres to boost lasting power, and an exclusive polymer complex for cushion-like feel and texture.

Milani Matte Confident

Milani Color Statement Moisture Matte Lipstick in Matte Confident is yet another matte red with blue undertones. The lipstick is very moisturizing due to the addition of grape seed extract. It also has great pigmentation and staying power.

red lipstick laura gellar fifth avenue ruby

Laura Gellar Fifth Avenue Ruby

Laura Gellar Iconic Baked Sculpting Lipstick in Fifth Avenue Ruby is a vibrant, creamy blue based red. It’s formulated with loose pigments that are artisan-baked with a complex of sweet almond oil, mango seed butter, and natural oils for an extremely pigmented and moisturizing finish.

red lipstick for melanated beauties

red lipstick for dark skin

Left to right:

NARS Cruella

L’oreal Blake’s Red

Lancome Le Carmin

Sonia Kashuk Classic Red

NARS Cruella Swatch Dark Skin

NARS Cruella

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella is a scarlet red with blue undertones, and a velvet matte finish. The NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are extremely pigmented lipsticks in jumbo crayon form. The pencils are enriched with Vitamin E and silicones for a creamy texture that glides on smooth, leaving long lasting color that doesn’t dry out the lips.

L’oreal Blake’s Red

L’oreal Colour Riche Collection Exclusive Red Lip Color in Blake’s Red is a blue-based, classic true red, with a matte finish. The pure matte color is extremely pigmented and feels amazing on. It applies smooth with a velvety soft finish, and doesn’t dry out the lips like a lot of matte lipsticks can.

Lancôme Le Carmin

Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Definition Lipstick in Le Carmin (195) is a blue-based red, with a demi-matte finish. The formula ensures 4 hours of comfort and moisture due to essential oils, including jojoba oil with a light diffusing gel which provides a demi-matte effect on lips without drying.

Sonia Kashuk Classic Red

Sonia Kashuk Satin Luxe Lip Color SPF 16 in Classic Red is a pure red with neutral undertones, and a satin finish. The anti-aging formula contains Brown Seaweed Extract, a marine botanical rich in fatty acids that preserves skins elasticity, Ceramide 2 and Palmitoyl Peptide to visibly reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and SPF 16 to protect lips from UV rays.

MAC RiRi Woo Red Lipstick

Wearing my all time favorite red lipstick- MAC RiRi Woo from the RiRi Hearts MAC Collection. I didn’t include it as a suggestion since it was limited edition, and I didn’t want to tease. But I had to give an honorable mention. Oh, MAC Ruby Woo is almost an exact dupe, RiRi Woo is just slightly warmer. You may have noticed that most of these have blue undertones. I find blue-based red lipsticks to be more universal since they look good on both warm and cool skin tones. The cool undertones in blue-based red lipstick also makes the teeth look whiter. Yellow based reds can be hard to pull off if you don’t have warm undertones in your complexion.
There’s a shade of red lipstick here to all shades of melanin, and every budget. I’ve kept the focus on pure reds, so there’s no orange reds, berries or burgundy included. These are just some of my personal favorite red lipsticks. So feel free to drop other suggestions in the comments to give your fellow melanated beauties as many options as possible!

Erica
Erica

When I’m not hunting down the latest and greatest beauty products, beating a face or lacing a do, you can find me roaming the streets of NYC in my stilettos looking for the next best restaurant. Or in the kitchen trying to outdo myself from the last time.

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4 Comments

  1. Alyson
    07.08.2016 / 6:51 pm

    Nice picks, the Laura Gellar looks especially good on you. I’ll have to keep an eye out for the Milani. My favorite reds are NYX lip crayon in Leading Lady, Burt’s Bees lip crayon in Napa Vineyard and Bite Beauty lip pencil in Scarlet, which I think unfortunately was a LE shade.

    • Erica
      Author
      07.09.2016 / 6:21 pm

      Thank you so much. Great choices!

  2. Cotrina story
    07.16.2016 / 11:22 am

    Yes,that’s right you gave me some inspiration to get red lippie back next the day. Got out my comfort zone.

    • Erica
      Author
      07.17.2016 / 6:47 pm

      That’s right, rock your red lips with confidence! ?

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