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Question:
What’s the best red lipstick for my skin tone?

Answer: Just like choosing the right accessories to go with an outfit can make or break your look, finding the right makeup to complement an outfit is equally important. This season, why not let an expertly-applied red pucker serve as the perfect daytime accessory? It doesn’t get more classy than red, especially when worn on the lips. From glossy to matte finishes, it’s one of the few shades that can be both easy and challenging to wear, due to the various shades available and the different ways you can wear it. Versatile enough to be worn day or night, red lipstick doesn’t have to be reserved only for that sexy LBD. Don’t want to get all dressed up, but still want your look to sing? Well, you can make a dramatic statement with a red pout even when your outfit’s not so chic. Here are a few tips on how to brighten up your look one simple crimson swipe at a time:

Bright red lipstick is a cheap way to make even the most boring outfit look stylish. An instant confidence booster, you can take your basic ripped boyfriend or skinny jeans and favorite white tee and glam it up with a sheer red gloss during the day. It adds a bit of attitude and a touch of feminity without looking too sophisticated. But because red lipstick can make you look so pulled together (even in your drabbest duds), try leaving your hair a bit messy or sport a no-fuss ponytail for contrast. To achieve that perfect balance without looking too polished, it’s best to keep the rest of your makeup subtle and light so it won’t compete with your bold, red lips. Now’s not the time for a smokey or heavy-lined eye. You want to let your lips shine, kicking your outfit up a notch or two with that iconic red hue.

Red lipstick can really complement your wardrobe when going all noir. It’s an easy way to inject a pop of color in all-black attire. And while red on red is bold, all-black is guaranteed to make an equally dramatic statement. At work, you can easily transition your tried-and-true suit and skirt combos from day to night with a scarlet smudge. Whether you’re making a quick Starbucks run in jeans or grabbing some cocktails with the girls for a night out, red lipstick will make you feel instantly sexy.

But what’s a girl to do when choosing from so many different shades on the shelves? A general rule of thumb is to match the right shade to your skin tone. Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered: warmer reds work better when those temperatures start to rise for spring and summer. And cooler, more blue-reds are best in the winter. Fair-skinned? Try blue-based reds, cool mauve or berry tones such as Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel in Neo-Noir Cherry-Red. If you’re medium-toned, look for true or brown-based reds such as MAC’s Ruby Woo. If you have olive skin, you’re the ultimate siren in fire-engine reds like Revlon Super Lustrous in Ravish Me Red. Darker skinned beauties, you’re in luck—you look great in just about any shade of red lipstick such as Heat Wave by NARS. You can delve even deeper when it comes to undertones and intensities, but the key here is to experiment until you find the perfect shade to bust out without fear.

Red lipstick has the power to up your style ante and brighten the entire face, so it’s no wonder women reach for this vibrant shade when going out. And the best thing is that red lips never go out of style. It doesn’t matter what shocking shade you choose: you’re going to feel effortlessly glamorous and elegant. Before you know it, you’ll feel totally comfortable stepping out in this bold choice — even in your everyday wear.

What’s your favorite red lipstick?