Feature, Makeup,

The Best Red Lipsticks of All Time

Source-Unsplash-Ayo Ogunseinde

The power of a red lip is undeniable! We’ve rounded up all the best red lipsticks – universally flattering shades, the classics on every beauty editor’s list and even the best ones for beginners.

If someone told you to draw a picture of makeup, you’d most likely draw a tube of lipstick. Recognized the world over, red lipstick is the iconic representation of makeup. Besides being a fabulous color to wear, it’s also been a source of confidence, identity and power for women for centuries, from ancient Greece to suffragettes in the early 1900’s to today. MAC’s Ruby Woo was actually deemed the unofficial color of the Women’s March, as so many women painted it on before going out together to make their voices heard. Interestingly, it’s also been outlawed by men for just as long, from British Parliament to Adolf Hitler.

Beauty columnist Sali Hughes (also the author of Pretty Iconic and Pretty Honest) wrote an incredible piece for The Pool on the power of red lipstick. I encourage you to click over and read the article, but will share this quote here:

Red is so much more than a colour. It’s a statement of intent, a demand to be acknowledged, a sign of simultaneous individuality and sisterly solidarity. It quite simply does not give a f**k when we women so often give far, far too many. It’s a small, easy and bold change that makes a perfect companion as we tackle the bigger, more substantial and important ones.


To help you find a new red lipstick to amplify your voice in your own life, we’ve rounded up tons of amazing options and are featuring three collections in Lovelyloot right now:

Universal Red Lipsticks
If you don’t have the time or patience to test a bunch of shades to find the perfect red for you, go with one of these.

Best Red Lipsticks of All Time
We researched beauty editors’ top picks over the years, so you’ll definitely find at least one red to love on this list.

Red Lipsticks for Beginners
If you’re new (or a little afraid!) to wear red, these recommended shades and formulas will help you ease your way in.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Red Carpet Red

Universal Red Lipsticks

Typically, you’d select a lipstick shade based on the undertones of your skin and lips, along with your hair and eye color. Makeup artist Bobbi Brown advises that in general, the paler your face, the more orange the red should be, but it’s not a hard and fast rule. If that sounds like too much fuss, go for a universal color. Universal means that these shades are in between cool and warm tones, so no matter what your skin tone, they’re going to look great on you!

View the full collection, with links to each product

  • L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Collection in Julianne’s Red ($10)
  • Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Carnal ($32)
  • NARS Audacious Lipstick in Rita ($34)
  • Lancome L’Absolu Rouge in 151 Absolute Rouge ($30)
  • Urban Decay Cosmetics Vice Lipstick Comfort Matte in Bad Blood ($17)
  • Chanel Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour in Gabrielle ($37)
  • Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Red Carpet Red ($34)
  • NYX Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in Perfect Red ($6)
  • Burberry Beauty Lip Velvet in Military Red No. 429 ($34)
  • Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Red ($26)
  • CoverGirl Outlast All Day Custom Reds Lip Color in Your Classic Red ($10)
  • Rodin Lip Wardrobe in Red Hedy ($38)
  • Poppy King Lipstick Queen Lipstick in Eden ($24)
  • Tatcha Women’s Kyoto Red Lipstick ($55)

Pat McGrath Labs Lust Luxetrance Lipstick in Major Red

Best Red Lipsticks of All Time

This list contains classics that debuted decades ago and new formulas that have launched more recently. They’re not all exactly what you’d consider a “true” red, but they consistently top the “best of” lists of beauty editors from Allure to Vogue. If you’re looking for an amazing red, these are the ones that experts agree are definitely worth a try!

View the full collection, with links to each product

  • Pat McGrath Labs Lust Luxetrance Lipstick in Major Red ($38)
  • Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color ($24)
  • Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour in No. 4 ($37)
  • Kevyn Aucoin The Expert Lip Color in Bloodroses ($35)
  • Yves Saint Laurent Beauty Rouge Pur Couture Collector Lipstick in 01 Le Rouge ($37)
  • Maybelline Color Sensational Lipcolor in Red Revival ($7.50)
  • NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl ($27)
  • Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate Moss in 01 ($3.29)
  • Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire & Ice ($8.50)
  • Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Underage Red ($20)
  • Giorgio Armani Rouge D’Armani Lipstick in 400 ($38)
  • Dior Rouge Dior Lipstick in 999 ($37)
  • MAC Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo, Russian Red, and Lady Danger ($17)
  • Besame Cosmetics Classic Color Lipstick in 1946 Red Velvet ($22)

ILIA Wild Child Lipstick

Red Lipsticks for Beginners

Since red is such a powerful color, it can be intimidating to wear at first. These tips and recommended shades will certainly help:

Formula: Start with a sheer formula so you can build the intensity to your liking. Longwear formulas mean you won’t have to worry about smearing, while glossy formulas help disguise dry or chapped lips.

Application: Pencils or crayons are easy to apply. Use a q-tip with remover to clean up any major mistakes, but don’t worry about making it look too perfect.

Look: To get comfortable, wear red at home first or for short “test runs” before you wear it to a big event. Be prepared to touch it up (especially after eating or drinking) so remember to bring it with you!

View the full collection, with links to each product

  • NYC City Proof Twistable Intense Lip Color in Roosevelt Island Red ($6)
  • Tom Ford Beauty Patent Finish Lip Color in Ravageur ($52)
  • ILIA Wild Child Lipstick ($26)
  • Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Striking or Unapologetic ($6)
  • Revlon Color Stay Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic ($9.50)
  • e.l.f. Cosmetics Matte Lip Color in Rich Red ($3)
  • Sonia Kashuk Moisture Luxe Tinted Lip Bal in Hint of Red ($9)
  • Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso ($20)
  • NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella ($27)
  • Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in Always Red ($14)

Do you love red lipstick? Have you tried any of these shades, or do you have other favorites? Leave a comment below – I’d love to hear what you think!

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Founder of Lovelyloot | Beauty obsessed

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