If there’s one truly iconic makeup product, it has to be red lipstick, right? Whether you favour a hint of tint or a complete, cartoonishly red pout, there’s something about adding rouge to the mouth that just feels glam. And if you’re struggling for inspiration, look no further! Here are the best red lip products out there:
The “Beginner” Red Lipstick
If you fancy a “beginner’s” red lip, then there’s nothing better than Lipstick Queen’s Medieval. It has just the right amount of pigment to be undeniably red. However, it is still soft and sheer enough to feel fundamentally unintimidating.
If you are craving more, take it up a notch with Smashbox’s Be Legendary Lipstick in Mandarin. This lipstick is the perfect cherry popsicle shade – bright, bold, but brilliantly cute. It can be worn sheer or built up for more drama.
True Red Lipstick
MAC Ruby Woo is hard to beat in terms of true red lipstick. The subtle blue tones make this red incredibly flattering, whitening teeth and brightening skin. The matte finish is among the longest-lasting formula out there, too.
A slightly more sophisticated red is the Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Red (how many times can I say “red”?). This lipstick is matte yet feels softer and more forgiving on chapped lips. Most importantly, the tone is perfect — a classic.
Red Lipstick… With a Twist
If you fancy your red with a twist, I’ve got you covered! For a comforting, warm orange tone, Lisa Eldridge’s Starberry Suede is a thing of absolute beauty. Pure, neon, pillar box goodness.
(Editing note: can’t find this online/on the Lise Eldridge website?)
However, if you want to dip your toes into the world of vamped-up beauty, then I point you to the Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. This lipstick looks terrifying in the tube but smudges on as a soft, brownish-red tone that’s perfect for every day. It feels comfortable and hydrating, too. Recently, it has received well-deserved attention online, especially as we move into a more Autumnal style for the season.
Favour a liquid formula? Don’t fear – the Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored is here. The only problem is that it can sometimes feel tight and dry on parched lips. If you’re struggling, then the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Amsterdam gives a super similar appearance. However, while it feels gentler and more malleable, you do have to sacrifice some of its longevity.
Moving More Modern
While red lipstick is undeniably a classic, sometimes you feel like going for something more modern-feeling. If that’s the case, the Laneige Two Tone Lip Bar in Milk Blurring is incredible. It combines red lipstick with a sheer, milky balm, making ombre lips easy as pie. It also wears beautifully, fading into a subtle stain.
Seeing the Shine
Sheer reds are also well worth exploring. Gloss-wise, the Stila Beauty Boss Lip Gloss in Empowering is stunning, combining a red base pigment with with an iridescent shimmer that makes your lips look plump and unbelievably shiny. The Clarins Lip Comfort Oil in Red Berry is another excellent sheer, glossy option – this one is free of glitter and, therefore, more suitable for the office.
Modelling the Matte
Opting for something sheer doesn’t have to equate to shine. For example, the Ohii Lip Smudge in Cerise is matte but offers only about 50% pigment, giving you the look of blotted, worn-in lipstick straight from the bullet. Similar in look – though thicker and more emollient in feel – is the Glossier Balm Dot Com in Cherry, which has the bonus of smelling and tasting like cherry candy.
One Final Recommendation…
Finally, if your lips are truly in a bad way, but you don’t want to sacrifice your reds, I highly suggest the Tarte Quench Lip Rescue in Cherry. I love this entire range, but this red option’s bright, cheery tone makes it extra delightful.
Editors note: The Ohii Lip Smudge is no longer available.