There’s something so optimistic about New Year’s Eve. We put any setbacks of the current year behind us (and 2021 certainly threw us some curveballs) and shift our focus to what we hope to accomplish in the coming year. It’s like having a blank canvas on which to paint your vision of what you want next, which is why it’s cause for celebration and dressing up, even if you’re just toasting the occasion at home.
One thing that makes us all feel a little fancier: swiping on a gorgeous red lip color. The beauty of this classic hue is that it looks just as good with jeans and a sweater as it does with a black-tie gown, and there’s a flattering red out there for everyone. While there are no definitive rules when it comes to wearing red, the variety of shade options can be overwhelming, so we put together a few tips to help you narrow down the choices and find a red lip color that you’ll love to wear this New Year’s Eve—and for years to come.
Best reds for fair skin
Skin that’s fair tends to have a pinkish tinge, so your best bet is cool-toned shades like cherry or ruby red, which will flatter your natural undertones without overwhelming your complexion.
Best reds for light skin
Warm, orange-y reds can wash out light skin tones, so instead, go for blue-based reds such as berries (a cranberry color is especially nice) or a pinky red to bring out the rosiness in your complexion.
Best reds for medium skin
Both cool and warm reds will complement medium skin, so you’ll look great in just about any shade you choose. The only hue you may want to skip is coral, which can draw the color from your complexion a bit.
Best reds for olive skin
Sunset hues like fiery orange and vivid coral work with the natural warmth of olive skin to bring out its pretty golden tones. On the flip side, blue-based brights such as fuchsia can dull your complexion, so stick to warmer reds.
Best reds for light brown skin
Bold, blue-based reds such as poppy will contrast beautifully with the slight yellow undertones in light brown complexions. Same goes for purple-y reds, too.
Best reds for dark skin
Deep skin can pull off just about any vivid, saturated red including brick reds and wine shades. If you prefer a more classic look, a candle apple red will look amazing on you.
Once you find your favorite red, let it take center stage and keep the rest of your makeup on the softer side—a flick of black or brown eyeliner along your top lids, mascara, and a hint of blush are really all you need. If you want a little extra dazzle, a sheer wash of shimmery gold eyeshadow will attract the light to your eyes. Beyond that, the only other sparkle that’s called for is a flute of champagne.