Kiss Me Quick!: Red Lipstick For Black Women

Whoever said red lipstick doesn't look good on dark-skinned ladies was clearly mistaken. There's a misconception that black women can't pull off the look but it's all about finding the right shade of red to suit your skin tone.

But be careful with red in general. Worn with the wrong outfit, red lipstick can look trashy and red-light-district-esque. However, teamed with a classy ensemble, it's chic chic chic. The colour itself exudes confidence, sexiness and sassiness and now that autumn is here, this look is the one. Here are some black celebs rocking red lippy with confidence:

I asked some of my black friends to wear some red lipstick for me and take a pic.

Looking lovely, ladies!

So, after doing loads of asking around, a few recommended brands and shades began to pop up a lot. Here they are:

MAC Cosmetics -Dubonnet, Underworld, and Viva Glam I
Benefit – Ruby Vibes and Ms. Behavin (perfect for much darker skin)
NARS – Tamango and Bad Education (Gloss)
Lorac – Tango (really good brown red with shimmer)
Dior - Red Icon (fierce)

I went to my local MAC store to try out the shades above, plus Ruby Woo. I ended up buying Viva Glam I because out of the four I tried, this shade of red suited my skin tone the best.

One of the MAC ladies gave me this useful tip for when selecting red lipstick:
"For olive or dark skin, orange-based reds/ deep cool red with burgundy tones usually look best as opposed to blue-based reds."
Sounds simple enough, right? It is, but you really must try on a few to find the right shade and tone for you. I didn't put the red lip liner on properly (which you absolutely must do to avoid looking a right state when it bleeds) because I quite frankly couldn't be bothered, after the second application, to keep re-applying it before every test, and the photo is a little grainy but anyway here I am with it on:

Oh yeah, to avoid colour clashing, wear red lipstick with red, white and/or black. Gold, electric blue and grey go well too.

Have you been wearing red lippy lately? What brand and shade do you wear?


  1. gorgeous photos!

    Marie x

  2. Really nice :)

  3. MAC Ruby Woo and Cherry lip pencil work every time for me.

    1. MAC Ruby Woo is so popular. It's a shame that tone of red doesn't suit me.

  4. Awesome post! I love how you asked friends to take photos with the red lips to show us a variety of red lippies. I am a big fan of Ruby Woo, but that Viva Glam I looks great on you!

    1. Thank you :D I wasn't too convinced when I first tried it on but it's grown on me. I have to think 'subtle' whenever I put on bright red lipstick because otherwise I'll end up looking awful... Ruby Woo is incredibly popular.


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