For decades, red lipstick has been a symbol of glamour, sophistication, and power. It’s a classic look that never goes out of style, and it’s a go-to for many women who want to make a statement with their makeup. But with so many shades of red out there, it can be overwhelming to choose the perfect one for you. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you find the perfect lipstick to add to your collection!
First of all, it’s important to understand that not all reds are created equal. There are warm tones and cool hues, bright reds, and deep reds – and each one will look different on different skin tones. If you have cool undertones, look for a red with a blue base. If you have warm undertones, try a red with an orange or yellow base. And if you’re unsure, a true neutral red with equal parts blue and orange will work on almost any skin tone.
Another thing to consider is the finish of the lipstick. Matte reds are popular for their long-lasting wear and bold look, but they can be drying on the lips. If you prefer a more moisturizing option, try a satin or glossy finish. And if you want a subtle hint of color, a sheer red balm is a great option for a natural, effortless look.
When it comes to application, there are a few tricks to ensure your red lipstick looks flawless. First, always start with a lip liner to define your lips and prevent bleeding. Choose a liner that matches your natural lip color, or use a clear liner to make the lipstick last longer. Next, apply the lipstick with a brush or straight from the tube, making sure to stay within the lines of your lips. Blot with a tissue and reapply for a more intense look, or leave it as is for a more casual vibe.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different shades and finishes to find the best color and finish for you. Whether you’re going for a classic Hollywood look or a modern twist on the trend, there’s lipstick out there for everyone. If you’re ready to find your perfect red lipstick, be sure to continue scrolling to check out our top picks for the season.
1. MAC Lipstick Matte in Ruby Woo
MAC’s Lipstick Matte has been a cult favorite for years, and we think it’s going to change the way you see your lips.
This creamy rich formula gives you the high color payoff of a gloss with the no-shine matte finish of a lipstick—all in one! And the best part? This ultra-long-wearing lipstick is so comfortable you’ll forget you have it on.
So go ahead—get ready for the most confident kiss ever.
“This is a bright, bold, and beautiful lipstick! I love bright trendy colors,” shared one reviewer. “Like most lipsticks, it still eventually comes off and you have to reapply but it’s a fun color and I get tons of compliments!”
2. Pat McGrath MatteTrance Lipstick in Forbidden Love
You’ve been waiting for this. The breakthrough matte lipstick can transform your lips into a soft, supple canvas for a hint of color or create a full-on, intense look.
It’s just that good. And it’s so easy to use! Just swirl the bullet around your lips and apply like you would any other lipstick—except this one won’t smear or rub off when you eat or drink.
This Pat McGrath formula is infused with oil, so it’ll help condition your lips for an even more luxurious treatment. It’s perfect for any occasion: date night, dinner with friends, or just getting ready in the morning.
“Pat McGrath’s formulas, especially her lipsticks, are totally worth the hype. If you like really matte lipsticks, her mattes should live up to your standards,” explained one shopper.
3. Buxom Full Force Plumping Lipstick in Baller
Creamy… and a little bit of a tease.
BUXOM‘s Full Force Plumping Lipstick is the perfect blend of creamy texture and hydrating ingredients to make your lips look their best. It’s the perfect shade of red—and they fill in your lips with the plumpest, most luscious texture ever.
With hyaluronic acid and conditioning oils, this formula helps fill in lines, smooth over dry patches, and hydrate to make your lips look as soft and supple as ever. And what’s more, it comes with an easy-to-use teardrop-shaped tip to get the job done quickly and flawlessly every time!
“This lipstick goes on smooth and stays on much longer than others I have used,” wrote one wearer. “Already hard to find this fabulous color, so don’t tell too many friends!”
4. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella
NARS‘ Velvet Matte Lip Pencil is the best of both worlds. It’s the perfect size to apply lipstick without the hassle of a full-size lipstick, but it also has those same amazing qualities that make lipstick so easy to use.
It’s got rich pigments in it and a velvety matte finish that lasts all day long. And it comes in an array of fun shades to choose from—so you can find one that best suits your taste and style!
The unique texture of this product means that you don’t need to worry about your lips drying out or cracking during application. You’ll get a creamy texture that feels like regular lipstick that won’t feel dry or uncomfortable on your lips.
5. Dior Beauty Rouge Dior Refillable Lipstick
The ultimate in lip-caring, Dior‘s iconic lipstick is the perfect way to celebrate your love of red.
A staple over the past decade, the label’s couture color lipsticks feature a couture band that’s adorned with the CD initials, a signature that represents the brand’s commitment to beauty and excellence.
The available satin and matte finishes of this lipstick give you the choice of either a soft touch or a more intense matte finish—it’ll be up to you!
6. RMS Beauty Wild With Desire Lipstick in RMS Red
RMS Beauty‘s Wild With Desire Lipstick is the perfect lipstick for everyone, from the girl who wants her lips to look like they came straight from a magazine to the girl who just wants to feel good about herself.
It’s long-lasting, it feels amazing on your lips, and it has all of the benefits of the brand’s Beauty Oil—antioxidants and skin-caring oils—but in a way that makes you feel like you’re wearing nothing at all.
It comes in a range of wearable shades, including several red hues so you can find just the right color.
According to one honest reviewer, “The color is so beautiful, dresses up any outfit, and helps me look put together. It’s drier on application than most lipstick I’ve used but I think that adds to the staying power, highly pigmented.”
7. L’Oreal Colour Riche Satin Lipstick
It’s a girl’s best friend: red lipstick.
If you’re looking for a creamy, rich lipstick that’s infused with pure and caring ingredients, look no further than L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Satin Lipstick.
These luscious tubes are packed with nourishing formula that leaves your lips soft and smooth—but never dry. They’re also infused with a luminous satin finish (so they won’t leave your lips feeling tacky).
“The lipstick is buildable and you can get more intense color as well as just a subtle tint,” revealed one buyer. “Honestly can easily compete with MAC lipsticks in terms of color and quality.”
8. ILIA Color Block High Impact Lipstick in Tango
You’ve got the look. You’re ready to take your lips out of the house and into the streets, where you can show off your full-coverage lipstick.
This creamy lip color is handcrafted with custom pigments made from castor seed oil—giving you four times the intensity of traditional lipstick. It glides on smooth, giving a creamy finish that lasts all day long.
The long-wearing formula makes it perfect for everyday wear. And if you want to really make a statement, ILIA has got you covered with our full line of ultra-wearable reds!
9. The Lip Bar Vegan Matte Liquid Lipstick in Hot Mama
Take your lips to the next level with The Lip Bar’s liquid lipstick!
These highly-pigmented shades make your pout pop, and we’ve got a formula that’ll keep them looking fresh for hours. Its quick-drying formula dries down to a comfortable matte finish—and they’re so easy to apply, you’ll be smooth-sailing in no time.
Whether you need a bold pop of color or something that’s more neutral, there’s something for everyone.
10. Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color in Uncensored
Fenty Beauty‘s Stunna Lip Paint is an incredible new formula that’s so weightless, you’ll forget you even had it on!
It’s also an ultra-matte, long-lasting formula that makes your lips look so full and juicy that you’ll forget they’re not real. And the precision wand makes it easier than ever to define and fill in your pout in one stroke.
What to Look for in Red Lipstick
Lipsticks come in a variety of formulations, each offering a different look and feel. Matte lipsticks provide a rich, opaque color with no shine, ideal for bold, statement looks. Cream lipsticks offer a balance between shine and color payoff, while gloss lipsticks give a high-shine finish with varying levels of pigmentation. Liquid lipsticks have a long-wearing formula that dries down and can range from matte to glossy finishes.
The shade range is a vital aspect to consider when choosing a lipstick. Brands with an extensive shade range provide a higher chance of finding a color that suits your skin tone, mood, and the look you’re going for. From nudes to pinks, reds to berries, and even unconventional colors like blues and blacks, the lipstick world is your oyster.
Lipsticks with a high moisture content help keep your lips hydrated, providing a smooth application and comfortable wear. Ingredients like shea butter, vitamin E, and oils are often included in the formula to offer hydration. However, if you’re after a long-lasting or matte finish, be aware that these formulas can sometimes be less moisturizing.
While not impacting the performance of the product, the lipstick’s packaging can influence the application process and overall experience. High-quality packaging will not only look beautiful in your makeup bag but will also feature a secure lid and a well-designed applicator for precise and easy application.
A lipstick’s staying power is a crucial factor, especially if you won’t have the time or the inclination to reapply frequently. Some formulas are specifically designed to be long-wearing and may even claim to last through meals and drinks. Liquid lipsticks often offer the most longevity, but some high-quality cream and matte formulas also provide impressive wear time.