From Marilyn Monroe, to Cleopatra, to Gwen Stefani, red lipstick has been an iconic and timeless trick to feel instantly glamorous. We can all agree that a touch of red rouge can be quite the transformational touch to unleash your inner goddess. Even studies show that others tend to pay closer attention to what you’re saying when you wear a bold lip color.
Whether MAC’s Ruby Woo is your ride-or-die, or you prefer to go old school with a cherry-tinted ChapStick, red lipstick isn’t going anywhere. As a self-proclaimed red lip addict myself, I’m here to share more of the good stuff! – Mia Reyes
The “Lived-In” Red
Glossier Generation G ($18) has that matte and balmy texture down to a tee. Their resident red “Zip” is the prettiest poppy red I’ve ever seen – orangey undertones while still being a cool-toned red. Since it’s so lightweight and buildable, it’s perfect for those days you want to look put effortlessly put together, but not too glammed up. As in, “yes I put this lipstick on 5 minutes ago, but doesn’t it look like I put it on 5 hours ago while walking out the door?” Personally, I won’t say I didn’t shamelessly wear it to the gym a few times.
The Matte Addict
Though Stila is known for their cult Stay All Day Eyeliner ($22), their Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick ($24) doesn’t get enough credit. For the woman who loves deep, opaque, long-lasting matte (and who also has a thing for lip gloss tubes), Beso is where it’s at. It’s a true firey-red, bright, not too blue, not too coral…it’s seriously gorgeous! It swipes on lightly and dries extremely quickly so apply with caution and accuracy, as it’s not easy to rub off!
The Lipliner Lover
So maybe you’re not that into lipstick, and you prefer the precision of a lip liner. Introducing e.l.f. Matte Lip Color ($3) in Rich Red. The thin point is deceivingly powerful and brings you the brightest, most pigmented, and moisturizing color three dollars could give you. And yeah, you read that right, it’s only $3.
The Limited Edition
When the brilliant model-turned-photographer Sarah Moon says she’s creating makeup, you know it’ll be good. For anyone who has a weakness for exclusive collaborations, Sarah Moon x NARS Moon Matte Lipstick ($28) in Rouge Indiscret is one for the books. This hue is a little deeper and darker shade of red with blue undertones. The reason why this one is also so good is that it’s made with hyaluronic acid so it’s crazy moisturizing and plumping. Talk about multi-tasking.
The Drugstore Gem
I came across Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids Lipcolor ($8) by accident when I was frantically getting ready for a night out, sans makeup bag and had to make a trip to Walgreens. It was the best “mistake” I made all night because I eventually fell in love with the entire line and formula. It’s creamy, glossy, and brilliant – a total unexpected surprise from a last minute drugstore run. Fire Red is unapologetic with slight coral tones, and lots of shine. The next time I’m at Walgreens, can you remind me to stock up?
For The Royal Treatment
As soon as I held Tatcha Kyoto Red Silk Lipstick ($55) in my hands, I instantly felt luxuriously fancy. The weight and feel of this sleek case alone makes for a really neat accent to carry around in your purse. And when you open it, the lipstick is shaped as a jewel. To be real, it took me a while to actually use it because it was almost too pretty to try, but from there it only got better. While the lipstick looks extremely glossy, the crimson red glides on flawlessly and semi-matte, without caking up. It’s so lightweight that I kept checking it throughout the day to make sure it was still on. Spoiler alert: no re-applications needed.
What are your favorite reds? Share in the comments below!
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Mia is a freelance strategist and writer with a passion for sheet masks and long road trips. She’s also the founder of Good Hairapy, where women talk about relationships with their hair. Currently, she misses the kale in Los Angeles, and lives in Berkeley. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.