Red Lipstick That Looks Amazing On Brunettes

brunette woman wearing a red and cream dress, holding a wicker handbag and a compact while she applies red lipstick

Some people may argue that blondes have more fun; however, I think that brunettes have more fun. Guess I am partial to that since I am a brunette. I now refer to myself as an enhanced brunette since my base color is matched to my true hair color. One of the ways I think that brunettes look ready for fun is by wearing great red lipstick.

The shade of red lipstick that you wear as a brunette can depend upon not only the undertones of your fair skin but also the shade of your hair. Many brunettes have red undertones in their hair. If that is the case, then you want to choose a shade that doesn’t fight with the red in your hair. I prefer to keep the red undertones out of my hair color so that it is more like chocolate brown. That makes it so that I can wear some great bright red lipstick easily.

Before we dive into the world of red lipstick there are a few other posts I have written that you might want to check out.

This article may contain affiliate links; if you click on a shopping link or picture and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This helps me fund my content and lets companies know that blogging marketing works. Thank you for shopping thru my links.  Beth

brunette woman wearing a black off the shoulder top and and orange red skirt and red lipstick
Wearing this YSL Red Lipstick

Brunettes Can Totally Rock Red Lipstick

Yes, I reach for a red tube of lipstick year round. The shade that I choose from my little collection may vary a bit depending on the season. In the summer, I love something lighter and brighter like this red by YSL. This formula is so hydrating. In the colder months, I go with something warmer like this red. So once you find your shades of red just know that you can wear them and look fabulous.

Color Undertones and Fair Skin

Finding the right red lipstick is easy once you know the undertones of your hair and skin. So let’s take a look so that you can rock that red lip with confidence.

Fair skin usually has cool undertones. However, sometimes you can have neutral skin undertones. Knowing your skin undertones will help you so much not only for choosing your makeup, but also your clothing. Once you are able to match up your undertones you will immediately notice that everything you put on suddenly looks amazing and enhances your natural beauty.

How to determine your skin undertones?

There are two easy ways to help you determine your skin undertones.

  • Look at your veins. If they appear green, then you have a warm skin tone. If they appear blue or purple, then you have cool undertones. Can’t tell if they are green or blue, then you have a neutral undertone.
  • How does your skin respond to the sun? Do you tan easily (warm undertone) or do you burn easily (cool undertone)? No matter your undertone you should always wear sunscreen. You can read about the best clean face sunscreens here and I even included one just for your lips.

After looking at these two easy ways you still can’t determine your undertone, then click here for a couple of more quick and easy tests.

Formulas and Finishes

We all have preferences as to how we like our lips to feel. Some like a really creamy feel to our lipstick while others want all-day staying power. The formula of the lipstick can determine the pigment and the staying power. Once you know your lipstick application preferences it will help you determine which formula is best for you.

When you go shopping for lipstick you will find several categories or formulas of lipstick. Each of the categories has positives and negatives.


Looking for a touch of color and shine? If so, this is the formulation for you. It is usually made with a higher oil content which means that it is less likely to dry out. This is one of the most classic lipstick formulations and is a great choice for everyday wear. Many brands also offer moisturizing versions of this lipstick which is a plus. Be prepared to apply this formula more often because of that.


Cream lipstick is very similar to sheer lipstick. It glides on easily and provides a balance of texture with just a hint of gloss. Cream lipstick is higher in wax so it has a bit more staying power than sheer lipstick. It can also have nourishing ingredients such as aloe and vitamin E so check your labels.


Want to lighten up the lips for the warmer months? Look to a great gloss for this look. They are great to wear when heavily pigmented formulas colors are a bit too heavy. Remember that lighter shades of gloss can add a youthful glow to daytime looks. Brighter glosses are made to be worn at parties, evening soirees, and when you want your lips to get some attention.


Matte is a formula that should be in every woman’s lipstick collection. It is totally opposite of the gloss. Matte is pure color with smooth, even texture when it goes on your lips. It is not for your everyday look, but for when you want your lips to see and be seen. This formula has greater staying power, but can be drying. Make sure you do the prep work before pulling this out. You will want to make sure you use a good lip liner for this formula.


Lip stains are all about color, minimal shine, and staying power. If you don’t have time to reapply often or don’t like to reapply this formula is for you. Check the ingredients to make sure there are some hydrating elements or stains can be very drying. Also, be aware that you have to be very careful when applying. It’s not easy to correct mistakes with this type of lip color.

red lipstick for brunettes 03

My Favorite Red Lipstick for Brunettes

Now let’s take a look at some of my tried and true favorite red lipsticks because not all red lipsticks are created equal. Since I am a lover of bright lipstick I will let you in on a secret. I don’t match my liner to my lipstick. I prefer to use a clear liner by Urban Decay like this or this thicker one. They work with EVERY color so you don’t have to fret over which lip pencil to take along with you. Save the money on the pencil and buy another lipstick is my motto.

Red Mattes that I love to wear are Mac Ruby Woo and Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Red. Both are true reds. On my very pink lips, I find the Red Carpet Red to be a little deeper of a red than the Ruby Woo.

Now if you are looking for a long-lasting red that has just a little blue undertone to it then Nars Starwoman is for you. Trust me. When you apply this be prepared to have red lips for a long time. That being said, you have to be very careful when applying because once it is on, it is on.

For some reason, a satin red is my daytime choice. Maybe it’s because these just feel a little lighter on my lip. Merit Cabo is an orange-red that is sheer and lightweight. Love wearing it with browns and greens. Another satin that works is Tango by Ilia. Tango is a true deep red. The third clean red lipstick that I have liked wearing this winter is Classic by Saie. All three of these brands are clean beauty brands and their lipsticks are known for their hydrating qualities.

Lip Gloss

Ok, the question is to gloss or not to gloss. Sometimes I like just a little gloss to tone down my red lipstick. Just a little gloss can go a long way to make a red lip pop in my opinion. What I will do is pop my red lip with just a little gloss in the middle of my upper and lower lips. No, I don’t apply it all of the way to the corners, just the middle. Trust me, it works.

My favorite glosses for adding that pop are Nars Afterglow in A-Lister. This is a clear gloss with just a little gold shimmer. The other lip gloss I like to layer with my reds is Dior Addict Lip Maximizer in Beige. This plumping gloss is amazing. I have it in a few colors. You could also use it in a pink color if you wanted the red to look a little more pink.

THANKS, Let’s keep in touch

As always, thanks for taking the time to stop by and read this post. I appreciate every read, comment, pin, and share. If you are a brunette, then I hope this helped you feel confident in finding the perfect red lipstick to wear with confidence.

You can also find me on Instagram and Pinterest. Would love for you to follow me there. I also have a newsletter that I send out every Wednesdday and Sunday mornings. In them, I share things that I don’t share on other platforms. I hope you will sign up by clicking here.

Updated January 2024.

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