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Four Makeup Artists On The Best Blush To Wear With Red Lipstick


The look is an effortless red lip—you know, one you just throw on a bare face to feel instantly chic. But, though a red lip with bare skin looks great in theory, it can often emphasize the ruddiness or sallowness in your face in practice. What you need to make it more wearable and lived-in is blush. Not any old blush, though—blush you wear with red lipstick should complement it without competing for your attention. Makeup artists understand how to do this better than anyone. We spoke to four of them, and learned four totally different techniques for pout pairings. Choose the right blush, and a whole new dimension to your favorite red lipstick opens up. Pick the approach that speaks to you.

The Neutral Bronze-y Approach

The closest thing to natural, bare skin

“If the red lipstick is matte and very pigmented, I like to go with a bronze-y cream blush—something that will give natural color to the skin without competing with the lip. I’ve been loving the Nudestix Nudie Bronze-Matte Creams in Sunkissed and Bondi Bae. The Nars Matte Multiples are great, too—Vientiane, Altai, and for deeper skin tones Cappadoce.” —Moises Ramirez

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The One That Matches Your Skin Tone

For the makeup professionals at home

“The best blush to use when wearing red lipstick is something with undertones that match your skin tone. Think pinky browns for light to medium complexions, like Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk and Beam or MAC Harmony. For medium to deep complexions terracotta oranges look best—try Cloud Paint in Dawn or MAC Ambering Rose.” —Fatimot Isadare

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The Old School Fail-safe

For everyone, even Jeanne Damas

“Do your mouth however it is you do it, then pat one finger over the top to pick up some of the lip color. Warm up the product on the back of your hand or between two fingers to break down the pigment a bit—this is the key. Very gently and slowly add it to your cheeks, tapping it on and blending. Keeping a few fingers completely clean helps blend the color better, too. It’s a bit old school, but I do this all the time and it almost always works. The skin is thinner in both areas, so it kind of makes sense visually that they should be similar tones.” —Juan Jaar

A Berry Sheer Take

A blue-toned red mimics a natural flush

“My favorite pairing for red lips is using the same shade as what’s on your lip, faintly smudged and blended onto the cheeks with a finger. A red lipstick with a blue undertone specifically reads as a versatile, almost neutral berry when sheered out. It’s the most foolproof way for flattering harmony without having to consider coordinating shades. A great product for this is the YSL Rouge Pur Couture Slim Matte lipstick in Rouge Extravagant.” —Shayna Goldberg

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Photo via ITG