Runway Red Lips

Tips for mastering red lipstick this fall

September is here, and that means fall makeup is here too! This season, red hot lips are in. Velvety mattes and glossy berry tones can look great on every skin tone for clients wanting to go bold this fall. Learn how to properly color-match your client’s perfect red lip for a long-lasting and balanced look. From start to finish, here’s how to get the look:

We all have those clients who insist they can’t wear red lipstick. But, that’s simply not the case! The world of red is so vast, from cherries to berries, ox blood and beyond. There is a shade and undertone for everyone!

The process begins with a color analysis of your client’s skin. Do they have cool, neutral, or warm undertones? How much neutral pink or redness do they have in their skin? These are all factors that will determine which red is suitable for your client.

Orangey-red is great on warm and medium skin complexions and beige skin.



This color is great on warm and medium complexions and beige skin. Pair this color with warm and golden tones for cheeks and eyes, like apricot or peach tones.


Warms up fair skin tones and is just enough color to look chic and sophisticated. Cranberry is a warm red, so pair this color with other warm tones like earth tones. Browns, oranges and greens look rich and fab!


Contains pink tones that stand out against dark and olive complexions. Rich, copper skin is accented beautifully with a brighter berry red shade. The brightness of fuschia and raspberry based reds complements the natural warmth of these skins. Top it with a shiny lip balm and keep it cool with pink blush and simple eyes. A little shimmer on the eyes to match the raspberry lipstick is fun and youthful.



Contains blue tones that are perfect for light skin tones. Pair these colors with pink blush and neutral color eye shadows.

True red:

Pick this color for fair skin. With doll-like porcelain skin, a true candy apple red adds lovely color and contrast. Look for shades that have blue to bring out warmth in the skin tone.

Cherry red:

Try this color for coffee colored skin. Skin the color of black coffee looks great with a bright red for the same reason that fair skin does—it creates a beautiful contrast. Use a glossy red with blue undertones.


When this deep red is used against porcelain skin, it is quite lovely; violet tones keep porcelain complexions from looking washed out. Deep chocolate skin paired with a purple-based red creates an incredibly chic look, preferably with a bit of gold iridescence or glitter. Recommend other violet colors for the cheeks and eyes to complement this lipstick, keeping it somewhat monochromatic.

Choose lighter shades on your older clients, as lips get thin with age and dark lips can accentuate them. Try a rosy red or avoid red lips altogether and opt for a neutral shade, playing up the eyes instead.

Choosing the right shade is half the battle. Practice your technique for the perfect application to make your client fall in love with their juicy red pout!


Exfoliate and smooth out the lips. One unfortunate consequence of wearing red lipstick (especially matte) is that dry, peeling and flaky lips are exaggerated. Use a sugar scrub to remove any dead skin from the lips, and follow with a moisturizer or lip balm. Lips will look significantly improved in red lipstick if they are smoothed and softened first.


Line the lips with a long lasting lip liner in a shade that closely resembles your chosen lip color. Red lipstick tends to bleed, especially on mature skin or smokers’ skin with wrinkles around the lips. It is also a good idea to fill in the lips completely with the lip liner to ensure the lipstick lasts all night long and has a pigmented base beneath it once it starts to wear off.


Keep the rest of the makeup subtle. Red lipstick is a statement—almost an accessory, so it’s important to keep the rest of your client’s makeup toned down. Strong eye makeup is acceptable for evening or event looks. Keep a neutral eye with soft skin to achieve this classic look.

As for nails, clear polish or light color is cool, and dark polish is a trend that will be around for a while. If your client wants to go red on the nails, make sure the color matches the lips.

Remind your clients to check their lipstick often and reapply when necessary. With the exception of some top-of-the-line lipsticks, it’s highly likely that the lipstick will fade or feather over time. When your client notices that it’s faded significantly, tell them to wipe off any that has bled outside the lips, even it out by wiping off areas that are particularly heavy and swipe on a second (or third) coat. Apply these techniques and tips to send your clients off with perfectly pretty pouts this fall!