When all cosmetics were rationed in Great Britain during WW2 , Winston Churchill excluded lipstick from the ban, he thought lipstick boosted morale and we couldn't agree more. Hats off to Winston!

Of all lipstick shades, what does red say to you? Wearing red lipstick brings out the powerful and aspirational woman in you, encouraging you to look fearless, be bold and exude a sultry je ne sais quoi. Plus, it's not as difficult to wear as you might think.

Whether it's your signature look or a special-occasion thing, at some point red lipstick in all its glory will likely grace your mouth. With the multitude of shades and formulas to choose from, the frustration of finding the perfect one for your complexion can make you see, well, red. Here are five tips on how to master the always-hot hue.


If you have fair skin, consider a shade with a touch of orange in it to brighten your complexion. Think tomato or coral red. That's not to say you can't go with a dark shade, but stay away from deep reds with blue undertones, they can appear goth against an alabaster skin tone.


If you have medium skin, beige, olive or bronze, congratulations, basically every shade of red works for you. That said, there are still certain shades that are more flattering than others. Try out several colors to find your true red match, your go-to shade could be an orange-red or a blood red. Don't be afraid to experiment!


For dark skin, cool reds devoid of orange undertones are the most complementary. In general, look for shades with a blue almost plum base, as in deep cranberry to light crimson. Remember, dark colors can be deceptive in the tube—coming out sheerer than expected—so when possible, test on skin before investing. To deepen the intensity of a sheer shade, try smoothing foundation a shade or two lighter than your skin onto your lips first. This cancels out the pigment in your lips, and allows more of the color in the lipstick to come through.


Before buying, if possible, take a red lip color to a window so you can see it in natural light (fluorescent store lighting can make reds look more blue-toned). When in doubt, it's better to buy a shade that seems slightly too bright, because you can always blend it or blot it to make it more sheer and wearable.


If your lips are flaky, exfoliate with a lip scrub or facial exfoliant, then smooth on a lip cream or balm before applying red lipstick, which can accentuate dryness and lines. If your lips are always dry, choose a more emollient formula, like a cream lipstick or tinted balm.

To view 20 of CIIN's most coveted shades of red click here, after all, good things come in small packages!