Is Red Lipstick Professional? Is It Too Sexy For the Modern Office Environment?

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The growth of fashion and cosmetics has brought forth lots of clothing design and makeup. And the modern office environment has changed a lot over the last 20 years. There are events like parties where anything goes: a fancy dress or any shade of lipstick.

However, there are places where you have to be mindful of what you wear or apply to your face. 

In a modern office environment, some makeup types will seem professional, whereas other styles can be deemed unprofessional.

Is red lipstick professional? Intense red lipstick is one type of makeup that can go too far. It can send complicated signals and have coworkers questioning your professionalism.

But when done well, it red lipstick can make you look more competent and professioanl.

In this article, we’ll look at red lipstick (and other makeup) and its use in the modern office environment.


Is Red Lipstick Professional? Is Any Makeup Appropriate For Work?

The answers to these questions depend on your personal choice and where you are working. Each workplace has its own set of rules and regulations that the employees should follow.

This means if wearing excess makeup is prohibited, you should tone down how much makeup you can wear when going to work.

Read the room, people!

Read the room, people!

However, surveys and research have shown the benefits of wearing makeup to work, and a recent study from Harvard has shown that women who wear red lipstick at work look more competent at their workplace.

Wearing makeup raises the self-esteem of women when going to their jobs. This is because wearing makeup covers any flaws on the face and can help the woman look less tired and more energetic. 

On top of that, wearing red lipstick when you are working on a deal can persuade the clients to buy into your product or idea. With the right tones and colors, makeup and presentation can help you close those career-changing deals. 

Applying the right makeup can also help you look more composed in the office. For example, this might be your first time working in a corporate office. Or you might have landed a new job and this is your first day in the office, and you feel like you can mess up everything.

Wearing a little bit of makeup can make you look more put together, and also help you feel more put together. 

How To Wear Red Lipstick at Work

Not every woman wants to wear red lipstick at work. However, you might spot your colleague or a celebrity wearing a certain shade of red lipstick and want to try it the next time you go to work.

Here are easy tips to follow to ensure you look professional while still rocking red lips. 

1. Tone Down Other Make-ups

First, if you have decided to wear red lipstick to work, you should tone down the rest of the makeup. This means maybe you should lay off the concealer, mascara, or eye shadow. After all, you are going to a professional environment, not a club. 

This is essential to follow as wearing only red lipstick (especially if it’s not super intense) will not be deemed unprofessional, but wearing a face full of makeup with bright red lips can raise many eyebrows at work — and not in the right way. 

Wearing a face full of makeup with bright red lips can raise many eyebrows at work — and not in the right way. 

Therefore, keeping your makeup minimal when wearing red lipstick is vital in ensuring you look professional. You can add a little mascara and a simple black liner to match your red lipstick. 

2. Keep It Neat and Clean

Another tip to follow is ensuring that when applying the lipstick, keep it neat and clean. This is because red lipstick is lighter than most lipstick shades, and this means if you get it wrong, your colleagues will notice the mess on your lips. 

Use a matching lip liner to draw thin, clean lines to ensure your red lipstick is neat and clean. The lip liner is important in keeping your lipstick just on the lips and not bleeding out of your lips. 

Besides that, you should confirm you have no red lipstick staining your teeth. This would look very sloppy and unprofessional. 

3. Consider Your Skin Tone

Your skin tone is also important in applying the right amount of red lipstick. This will require you to check your cool and warm undertones.

For example, if the veins in your wrist appear to have a green hue, you have warm undertones. On the other hand, if they appear bluish under light, you have cool undertones. 

Applying darker red lipstick like purple, maroon, and ruby will work well for warm undertones. On the other hand, if your skin has a cool undertone, pink, red, and orange will suit your lips. 

4. Choose a Complementary Outfit

Your outfit matters if you want to look professional when wearing red lipstick. Although many outfits match red lipstick, it would be best if you wore a more subtle outfit to rhyme well with the red lipstick. 

Choose black, neutral colors like beige or white to match well with red lipstick. 

The outfit should not amplify that bold look, as the red lipstick will already draw a lot of attention to you. 

5. Go For The Right Texture

Today’s cosmetic industry has brought forth a variety of red lipstick on the market. In addition, you can get a matte finish, shimmer, glitter, creamy lipstick, and balms. 

The right shade goes hand in hand with the right texture.

Ensure that you get a red lipstick that does not need a retouch every fifteen minutes. This will turn out to be unprofessional as you must excuse yourself from the office and retouch your lipstick, and it’s not good for you, either.

The recommended red lipstick texture will be red matte lipstick. Matte gives a fine finish and does not require a retouch for hours. This is because the red matte’s texture is non-transferrable. 

Should You Apply Red Lipstick in a Professional Setting?

Once again, we advise you to read the room. If you can’t, maybe discuss it with a few trusted colleagues.

Yes, you can apply red lipstick at work or when going for a meeting, but follow the tips mentioned above to avoid overdoing things. Keeping it simple is key in ensuring you do not overdo the lipstick and makeup, or draw unwanted attention.

In addition, red lipstick will give you that bold look and boost your confidence in a new, modern world. 


The world has changed, and more women are taking those coveted big offices in big companies. This means that the women have to look bold and authoritative while remaining professional.

Keeping your red lipstick simple will help you achieve this goal and make you look classy. So don’t be afraid to wear your red lipstick to your next meeting!

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).