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The Best Red Lipstick Shades for Gray Hair

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Some women worry that going gray will wash them out (especially if they already have a fair complexion). But the good news is that gray hair gives your skin a beautiful, natural glow that keeps you from looking washed out.

However, if you still feel like you need a little boost, try lipstick. Want a BIG boost? Try a RED lipstick!

Red is one of the most gorgeous colors to wear with gray hair, and red lipstick provides a beautiful pop of color on your face. It’s glam, it’s fabulous, and it’s fun!

A few years ago, I started a #silverhairredlips challenge on Instagram because I wanted to showcase how the color combination of gray hair and red lipstick is a winning combination.

I mean, LOOK:

Interested in trying a red lipstick for yourself? Keep reading for all my recommendations!


All of the red lipsticks below were recommended to me by my fellow silver-haired women on Instagram or Facebook, so why not give them a try?

You might be pleasantly surprised to find that red lipstick suits you!

Aveda Nourish-Mint Smoothing Lip Color Goji Berry 930

image of red lipstick in dark gray tube

MAC Matte Lipstick in Lady Danger

image of mac red lipstick for grey hair

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick, Really Red

image of revlon really red

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick, Certainly Red

image of revlon red lipstick for white hair

Maybelline SuperStay 24, 2-Step Liquid Lipstick, Keep It Red

image of red lip stick for grey hair

Maybelline New York Color Sensational Red Lipstick, Are You Red-dy

image of red lipstick for white or silver hair

COVERGIRL Exhibitionist Lipstick Cream, HOT 305

image of cover girl red lipstick

L’Oreal Infallible Mega Gloss (402 (matte))

image of loreal mega gloss red lipgloss

Maybelline SuperStay 24, 2-Step Liquid Lipstick, Keep Up The Flame

image of red lipgloss


The general rule of thumb is to figure out your undertone to understand what colors will look right on you.

Here are two simple ways to find your undertone:

  • Look at your veins – are they purple/blue or are they green? If they are purple/blue you have a COOL undertone. If they are greenish, you have a WARM undertone. If they are a mix of blue/green, you have a NEUTRAL undertone.
  • Hold up jewelry next to your face. If silver jewelry looks better on you, you have a cool undertone. But if gold complements you more, you have a warm undertone. If both silver and gold look great on you (lucky you!), you probably have a neutral undertone.

Once you figure out your undertone, use this simple rule of thumb for choosing the right red lipstick for YOUR skin tone:

  • Cool-toned complexions look best with blue-ish red lipstick shades (cherry reds, bright dark reds, burgundy reds, cranberry reds, etc.)
  • Warm-toned complexions look best with warm-toned red lipstick shades (orangey-red, fiery reds, bright warm reds, brick reds, etc.)
  • Neutral-toned complexions? It appears to be a free-for-all all! You can wear all shades of red – so take your pick!


Occasionally, I get called out by fellow silver sisters who feel that wearing lipstick is counter to embracing one’s authentic self.

Well, my authentic self likes makeup and hair products, and all sorts of unnatural things.  And when I get questioned about my choices, it bums me out. 


Because I’m tired of being put into a box.  “If you are ______, you must like _______. ”  “If you choose ________, then of course you must also choose __________.”

To me, being a feminist means making the right choices for ME.  And the right choice for me might not line up with YOUR values.  And sometimes the right choice for ME might not even line up with my OWN values!

My blog is a no-judgment zone.  If you decide you want to go back to coloring your hair, go for it!  Do you hate makeup? That’s your right and more power to you!

Stick to what works for you and I’ll do the same.  I pinky promise!

And in the spirit of that promise, please check out the Silver Revolution Facebook group.  It’s a gray hair support group for women like us – I hope to see you there!

Please do me a favor and share this post to social media, as it helps me grow my audience and spread the word about our Silver Revolution!  And remember to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and Pinterest Feed for more gray hair tips and product recommendations. Thanks!

Check out my Amazon Shop for all your gray hair needs!

Related Posts:

To Hell with Going Gray Gracefully

My Hair Care Routine

What it Means to be a Silver Sister


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  1. Roger Breen says:

    The combination of grey hair and red lips is beautiful. Please ladies, never stop being beautiful. I love seeing a senior woman in red lipstick. My reaction is WOW. I taught college math for 50 years. Raising a student’s self-esteem was part of my effort. Katie, you are doing the same for women everywhere. Keep up the “beautiful” work.

  2. Bettina Parker MacRae says:

    Loving it! I’m transitioning so love this helping guide.

  3. Hallelujah! Red lipstick lovers! Thank you for your kind, and refreshing thoughts.
    I wanted to embrace my gray about 5 years ago, but as you said, felt judged by others about my choice, caved, and started coloring again. Now I wish I hadn’t. But, here’s to learning to hear yourself. Back to graying transition and that RED lip stick!!!!! Woo hoo!

    1. Yay! Excited for you! Gray hair + red lipstick is a great combination! ❤️❤️

  4. Jane Briggs says:

    I remember when you and I were the only women in grad school who opted for serious lipstick, and I’m glad that, like me, you are still proud to wear it. I opted not to ever color my hair, so I am seriously gray now, but people constantly compliment both my hair and my lipstick. Customers who don’t know my name describe me to others as the one with gray hair and red lips!

    1. Jane, I remember that, too! And your porcelain skin always looked great with your lipstick and dark hair. I’m sure the red lips also look stunning with your pretty gray hair! xoxoxo

  5. I have always been a fan of red lipstick!! I have been wearing Mac Ruby Woo for years!! I also love Clinique pop lipsticks currently I am wearing cherry pop

    1. Ooh, I’ll have to look into those Caron! Thanks!

  6. I love the look of grey hair and red lips…’I have rosacea so I have a lot of red in my face….
    Is there a nice sheer red that might work for this coloring?

    1. Hi, Deb! I’m not an expert but I wonder if a red lip gloss might wish? I’m a fan of the Revlon Ultra HD Lipcolors. I just looked online and it looks like they have reds. ❤️

  7. Just wondering if you (ok me) can wear red lipstick with freckles! I’ve never, ever thought of wearing red!

    1. I don’t see why not! I remember seeing a lovely picture of Bette Davis once – she was camping, and had no makeup on except red lipstick. You could see her freckles and she looked healthy and happy and glamorous! ❤️

    2. Yes! My mom was a redhead with freckles and wore red lipstick! You may have to try a few to find the one for you. She wore an orange-red rather than a blue-red.

  8. debbie hosaflook says:

    Oh Katie what a great post!!!!! Thanks for your honesty, openness and realness!!!!! And oh my goodness, THANK YOU A MILLION for all of the awesome red lipstick choices. I am having so much fun learning about wearing makeup again now that I have decided to let my hair go natural and I love the difference it makes in how I feel and look. Sometimes I forget I’m 53 because following all of these wonderful women on their amazing journey makes me feel like we are all just teenagers again figuring it all out for the first time. Fun, FUn, FUN!!!!!!!!!

    1. Hi, Debbie: Sorry for the delay – a lot of my comments got stuck in the spam folder! Argh! Anyway, I’m so glad you liked the post!

      And I’m glad you liked the red lipsticks! I agree with you – it’s like being really young again, trying to figure everything out. It’s fun and exciting!

  9. Superficiality should be included in our list of Basic Survival Needs! I deeply mean that!

    1. I agree! Otherwise, life would be one big slog! We need some fun to get through all this.

  10. Priscilla says:

    A funny story about red lipstick: about eight years ago, I went into Sephora looking for a red lipstick. When I told the sales associate what I wanted, she said, “No, you can’t wear red lipstick. You’re too conservative.” I was flabbergasted. I think my response was something along the of, “I am NOT conservative…I have a tattoo!” but she continued to insist and then talked me into a nice plum shade that I bought and later returned. I already owned 10 shades of rose or plum. I wanted RED. But it stuck with me until this last year, when I finally went to the drugstore and bought myself a red lipstick that I wore all winter. It still shocks me now, telling the story!

    1. Wow, I’m shocked too! What on Earth was she thinking? I’m glad you got your red lipstick after all.

  11. Growing out my dye is part of embracing my BEST self, and that’s different for everyone. I realized the other day that it has been literally YEARS since I really looked at myself in the mirror. I think it’s because I didn’t like what I saw. I didn’t like my hair color (no matter what I did to it), I was stuck in a rut in my makeup, my skin looked tired. I just felt blah. Growing out my dye is giving me permission to look at myself again (with, like, a bajillion selfies) and reinvent myself in a new way. I love that! And yes, that reinvention includes red lipstick.

    By the way, along the lines of women not supporting other women, I actually had a dream the other night where an airline attendant with bright red dyed hair told me I would be prettier if I dyed my hair and did something about my wattle (WTF? I don’t know why that came out of my subconscious). Anyway, I told her she would be prettier if she was a nicer person. Score one for my dream self!

    1. Amber, I love your dream! And I agree with you about reinventing ourselves. That’s what I like about this gray hair transition – after years of being caught up in my other roles (mother, daughter, wife, etc,) I’m focusing a bit more on who I am again – who am I becoming? What do I want/need? It’s fun!

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