I've always been afraid to wear red lipstick, but Salma Hayek's flawless makeup just made me buy some (for the first time in over 10 years)

There's a red lipstick for everyone - here's how to find yours

Salma Hayek
(Image credit: Getty Images / Jeff Spicer)

Red lipstick has, for me, always been one of those beauty products I've long admired on others, but shied away from myself. As someone who has long suffered with very sensitive skin and adult acne for a time, I've felt way too self conscious about drawing attention to my face with such a bold, bright colour. 

But then I saw Salma Hayek's flawless makeup while attending the Gucci Cruise 2025 fashion show in London, and it filled me inspiration. The actress' beautiful rich shade of red compliments her skin tone perfectly, and with it she oozes confidence. It reminded me of the powerful feeling and mood boost red lipstick can give you. No other shade offers that sense of empowerment, and now, older and little more confident, I was keen to experience that feeling again. 

Another reason I've held back for so long is the fear of choosing a shade that doesn't suit (and looking like an idiot). And, this is going to sound stupid, not knowing how best to apply it (don't even get me started on the best lip liners). Luckily for me, I have an expert on hand to help, and the advice from woman&home Digital Beauty Editor Aleesha Badkar resulted in me recently purchasing my first red lipstick in over a decade... 

Salma Hayek

(Image credit: Getty Images / Ricky Vigil M / Justin E Palmer)

How to choose a red lipstick

If you're in a similar position to me and feel a bit nervous about wearing such a bold colour, Aleesha's expert advice will really help. 

"When choosing a red lipstick there are three main factors to think about - the product type, the finish and the undertone. 

"First, consider what type of lip product you find easiest and most comfortable to apply. This is especially important if you're a little nervous about wearing slightly bolder shades than you tend to opt for. Do you prefer a classic lipstick or maybe a lip pencil that might be a little easier to apply and not show up mistakes so much? Or do you want the long-lasting effect of a liquid lipstick that dries on and stays put, so that you don't have to think about re-applying?

"Next, think about the finish and what you feel would be most flattering. If you're someone who has visibly oily skin or your lips are on the smaller side, then a muted matte finish may suit you better. Or for those whose skin errs on the drier side, a satin finish could lift your look a bit. If you want to make a real statement or have bigger lips that can carry the impact, then you could try a shiny finish.

"Lastly, think about the undertone. A general rule is to go for a cool and blue-toned red if you have a cooler skin tone and warm orange-toned red if you have a warmer skin tone. This can be a useful step for those just starting out with red lipstick, but once you build up your confidence wearing the classic shade, then there's nothing stopping you trying out different reds. Every lip colour can work on everyone - you just have to take the first step."

For more expert advice, don't miss our experts' best makeup tips for older women, which covers everything from how to pick the right primer to adding a cream blush to your arsenal. 

W&H beauty team red lipstick picks

an image of digital beauty editor aleesha badkar
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is Digital Beauty Editor at woman&home, where she gets to share her expertise into all the best techniques, sharpest tools and newest products – with a particular savvy in skincare and fragrance.

an image of digital beauty writer Naomi Jamieson
Naomi Jamieson

Naomi is Beauty Writer at woman&home, where she covers everything from skincare to fragrance but specialises in makeup and nail trends, sharing her expertise on the latest beauty buys and must-have manicure styles.

Kerrie Hughes

Kerrie is the editor of woman&home (digital). For seven years previously she was editor of Future’s world-leading design title Creative Bloq, and has written for titles including T3, Coach and Fit&Well on a wide range of lifestyle topics.


After a decade of working in retail, Kerrie went back to education at the ripe old age of 27, graduating with a first-class honours degree in creative writing three years later. Her career in journalism began soon after, when she secured a job as a staff writer at Future Plc. In the 14 years since, she has worked her way up to editor level, gaining a wealth of digital experience along the way.

As a woman&home reader and a senior digital editor, Kerrie’s main purpose is to ensure the brand delivers high-quality, relevant content to help enrich and improve women’s lives – a responsibility she feels hugely passionate about.  

Outside of work, if she manages to find a spare minute around her three young children, geriatric dog and activity-obsessed fiance, you’ll find her either throwing a barbell about at Crossfit, with her head in a good thriller novel or building one of the latest Lego ideas sets.