Dark Skin Beauty Secrets: How To Perfect A Red Lip

When are red lips NOT a beautiful, popping, and relevant makeup look?!  Exactly, they are always a win!  I love a red lip look and so do a ton of people all over the world. We're going to dive in today's post how to pick the perfect red lip for darker skin and I'll even share some of my favorites!

Yes, Red Lips Are Still A Thing


Well loves, red lips are not just some makeup trend from the past.  Red lipsticks are here to stay!  But you knew that already:-)  What I love most about a red lip is the versatility of the look.  It can be paired down with a really natural makeup look or jazzed up with some false lashes and winged liner. Red lipstick just works on EVERYONE, and I'll show you today how to make it work for darker skin tones!

Black Girls Wear Red Too!

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black beauty blogger female red lips
black beauty blogger female red lips

So black girls DEFINITELY can rock some red lips!  When I did makeup full time, I would constantly run into these beautiful ebony skinned women who would shy away from bright lips.  They would probably have stamped in their minds images from years ago when most makeup brands didn't cater to women of color at ALL.  These days things are little different.  Colors are being formulated with deeper hues, broader ranges, and more attention to details--like undertones.  All of these are to the advantage of darker skinned women!  Plus, it's quite the contrary that bright looks awful on dark skin--it actually looks BETTER!

Myths on Deeper Skintones & Red Lips

Here are some of the things that have been ingrained in the minds of our beautiful chocolate sister's minds about makeup!

  • you're too dark to wear bright lips--you'll look like a clown
  • you have to wear a deep burgundy--and let that be your "red"
  • there aren't any brands that make a red lip option for your skin

The Truth About Deeper Skintones & Red Lips

  • Black skin actually makes anything put against it pop more--because it acts as a black backdrop!  Darkness shows the true pigment and vibrancy of a color
  • Just about ANY red can be worn by women of color; there just may be slight adjustments to make!
  • There are a ton of brands with red lipstick options available to suit darker skin nowadays--trust me, the people are listening!  And just look at Rihanna's line, Fenty Beauty!  Influencers like her are making their own products--that will suit women who look just like them and beyond!

Exactly How To Wear Red Lips for Dark Skin


Okay beauties, if you've been actually attempting to wear a red lipstick, this section is for you!  In just 5 easy steps, you will be on your way to rocking stunning, perfectly applied, and bold red lips:-)  Let's get into it!

SEE ALSO:My Foundation guide & How to Find Your Skin's Undertone 

Choose Your Undertone

Firstly you should go ahead and determine the undertone of red lipstick you'll aim for.  Red lipsticks are basically broken down into blue-based, orange based, and brown based categories.  Now there certainly aren't any rules--you can wear what you want if you know how to pull it off!  But these guidelines, like identifying and shopping for your undertone will simply make it easier for those who are unsure or lacking confidence!

Orange Based

Orange-based red lips are probably the ones that first come to mind when you think of the trend.  They're the really bright, super eye-catching, and well--orange looking red lipsticks.  They look best on medium and fairer skin women.  HOWEVER, with a bit of work, deeper skin tones can wear them too!

example:  NARS Audacious lipstick--Lana

Blue Based

These red lips are actually my favorite to wear!  I love blue-based lips because they are the more universal ones, in my opinion.  Darker skinned women absolutely thrive in a blue-based red lipstick.  Blue is opposite red on the color spectrum, and because a lot of deep skin tones have a good bit of red already in their skin's foundation--the blue from the red lipstick offers a beautiful balance.

example:  MAC Cosmetics Russian Red lipstick

Brown Based

Brown based red lipsticks are a great option for olive skin tones, but will look awesome on dark skin!  The brown undertone will make the red lip a bit more muted on the deeper skin and will likely not need any altering.

example:  NARS VIP Red lipstick

Pick An Appropriate Liner

Next, if choosing a good lip liner!  If you're of darker skin, you will need a little lip liner to go with your beautiful new red lip.  When opting for an orange based red, you'll likely need one for sure!  If you go for a blue or brown based red lip, you may not NEED the liner, but it will more likely than not make the lip look super polished and put together.

The two most popular types of lip liners for red lips for darker women are the brick liner and the plum liner.  The brick liner has a bit of brown in it--to neutralize the edges of the red lip.  This way the red isn't too striking of a contrast against your darker skin.  The plum liner has a bit of berry to it, which also neutralizes the red against your skin because deeper skin tones effortlessly pull off berries. If you can swing it, get both types of liners, as you'll likely need one of them at some point!

Apply, Blot, Apply Again, then Perfect

This is an ancient trick (literally, lol), for making sure your red lips last for hours.  After your initial application of the lipstick, whether with a lip brush or straight from the bullet, get ready to blot.  You're going to grab a Kleenex or tissue and gently press your lips onto it, to blot away the first layer of color.  Reapply the lipstick, and grab your concealer to perfect the edges.  My favorite brush to use with concealer for this part is a bullet-pointed eyeshadow brush, it fits PERFECTLY around the contours of the mouth.  This step gives the lip those sharp lines that look like you know what you're doing, lol!

Add Slight Cheek Color for Balance

Now that you've applied your red lips perfectly, they only thing left to do it add a smidge of color to the cheeks.  I feel like a little pigment to the cheeks--whether with blush or light contour, just balances out the red lips.  You won't look so blank in the other areas of the face if you know what I mean?  Also, nice brows complete this look.  You don't even need eyeshadow, just nicely groomed brows, some color on the cheeks, and the popping red lip, BOOM, we've got a look ladies!

Tap Into that Melaninated Super Power and  ROCK IT!

black beauty blogger red lipstick guide

Lastly, my final and favorite tip for rocking a red lip--is to just OWN IT.  I mean totally accept the idea of stepping out of your house wearing a lip color that will probably catch people's attention, lol.  So do it confidently!  Don't let it make you feel embarrassed or get shy about it, it's just makeup!  If anything, wearing a red lip should BOOST your confidence and give you a shot of extra energy to go out there and conquer your day!  I'm all for women being comfortable in their skin and using things like makeup to help them feel even more beautiful and powerful!

My Current Favorite Red Lip Colors for Deeper Skintones

make up for ever artist creme rouge red lipstick

These are my favorite red lipsticks at the moment.  As a pro artist, my stash is constantly evolving so this may be totally different 6 months from now, just being real, lol!  But these are my ride or die, I know I can fit anyone of deep skin with these.

  1. Make Up For Ever | Artist Rouge Cream, 403 Vermilion Red
  2. Dior | Rouge Dior, 080 Red Smile
  3. MAC | Lipstick, Russian Red
  4. MAC | Lipstick, Dubonnet
  5. NYX | Liquid Suede, Kitten Heels
  6. NARS | Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, Infatuated Red
  7. MAC | Lipliner, Brick
  8. NARS | Velvet Lipliner, Lanikai

Makeup Is An Accessory, Remember to Have Fun

Okay, my loves, that is how to rock a red lip as a dark-skinned beauty in a nutshell!  I hope you found it encouraging and a wee bit entertaining, perhaps? lol.  At any rate, I hope I was able to give you some of my pro tips that made the idea of trying something new in makeup a little fun.  Because seriously, it's JUST makeup, you can always wash it off!  So enjoy experimenting, rinse, wash, repeat, if you don't like it, and have a good time.

lifestyle blogger red lipstick

I'm dying to know your favorite red if you've been wearing them for a while now! Leave me a comment below of the colors you've tried or that's on your wishlist! And before you go, please, don't forget to join my Love Letter Crew!  It's my email list full of amazing women just like you, who love hearing about minimalist makeup, fashion, healthy living, and faith-based topics!  I send out my mini mag, called Love Letter Mag, to inspire, motivate, and edify my Crew of ladies at the end of each month!  I also give a weekly content recap in case you missed my posts and videos!  That's it, I hope you'll join us, by signing up below.