What Blush Looks Best with Red Lipstick?

This is some next-level makeup nerdery.
Publish date:
March 28, 2016
chanel, mac, Lipstick Queen, Stila, lipstick, red lipstick, blush

We've talked a lot about red lipstick on xoVain. Some writers have talked about what red lipstick means to them, or the story of how they found their first perfect tube. Others have answered burning questions: do you want a blue red or an orange red? How do you find your true red? Top dollar brand or drugstore bargain? (Can you tell I am an xoVain superfan and regularly search the tags to re-read articles?)

I am lucky to have found my holy-grail red in the form of Lipstick Queen Sinner in Red. I could write a poem about how much I love this lipstick. The color is formulated with equal parts yellow and blue pigment to create a true, balanced red that goes on opaque in one coat. The finish is soft and comfortable, with only a tiny hint of sheen. It wears beautifully without flaking, cracking or drying out my lips. I feel 100% more awesome whenever I wear it. At $24 it is not a cheap option, but I'm a big fan of the brand and have never found a dud product in their range. Lipstick Queen is quality through and through!

Given my obsession with this lipstick, I thought it was high time to work out how best to showcase it by matching it to the best blushes in my collection. This is some next-level makeup nerdery — I hope the differences aren't so subtle that only I notice them! Hopefully you'll trust me when I say that this was an educational experiment.

I started by doing my base, brows and eyes. Then I applied a little bit of lip balm and lined my lips with GOSH lip liner in 004 Simply Red. Then I applied two coats of Red Sinner, blotting in between and after.

MAC Powder Blush in Pinch Me

MAC describes this color as a "medium dirty rose coral." It's the blush I reach for when I want an intense, grownup look. The formula is very pigmented, so you only need to press your brush onto the pan in order to pick up the color you need.

There's something about this blush that just doesn't work with a red lip to my eyes. With a warmer brick red or brown it looks awesome — I've matched it with MAC Verve several times and loved the combination.

Chanel Power Blush in Rose Initial

My Grandma is a woman of impeccable taste; she buys a lot of nice makeup but seems to get bored of it quickly, which is how I came to own this very pretty little compact. When you open the case, the first thing you notice is that this blush is scented with roses, which is a nice touch. The formula is very sheer with a subtle sparkle. I feel super fancy using this blush — thanks, Grandma!

This was certainly the most natural match of the three that I tried. Rose Initial is a balanced pink that falls somewhere between cool- and warm-toned. It looks almost peach on me! I would certainly not hesitate to pair this with Red Sinner every time I wear it.

Stila Convertible Color in Tulip

I know not everyone is a fan of cream blush, but personally, I love it. I'm not about subtlty when it comes to colour on my cheeks, and the Convertible Colors have an amazing payoff. I love the way you can blend them to create an intense wash. Tulip, my favourite shade, seems to be either out of stock or discontinued (nooooo), but they have some awesome alternatives. I especially like Peony (a brownish rose) and Sweet Pea (bright pink).

This was definitely my favourite — I told you I like an intense colour on my cheeks! There's something about the pairing of red lips and cool, deep pink blush that is just super-fun and loud.

Now let's talk!

  • What's your favourite combination of blush and lipstick?
  • Do you prefer red lipstick without blush?
  • Am I waaaay over thinking this?