In the makeup world, there’s nothing more showstopping than a red lip. There’s a red out there for everyone, and a red for every type of look. Red lips can be powerful, flirty, retro, summery, vampy–really anything but natural. I often say that I wear red lipstick or no lipstick at all, which isn’t entirely true but it is mostly accurate. (I’ll wear a non-red color maybe five or six times a year.)
Red lipsticks can differ greatly by undertone, shade and finish. My favorite reds are a mix of undertones, shades and finishes. Want to meet them?
CoverGirl Exhibitionist Lipstick in Hot. I bought this lipstick in February during my drugstore haul, and was pleasantly surprised. Hot is a warm toned red, meaning it has orange undertones, but it actually looks pink-red on. It feels very 1950s pinup girl red to me. It is incredibly long-lasting, especially for a drugstore lipstick. I’m quick to return a drugstore makeup product if it doesn’t meet my standards, but Hot earned a place in my makeup bag.
Lipstick Queen Saint Rouge. Lipstick Queen has several shades that come in both sheer (Saint) and opaque (Sinner) shades. I find myself reaching for the Saint shades more for clients, and this particular shade works so many people. It’s a subdued red, in part due to the finish. It looks almost deep pink-red on some and berry red on others. I’m just now learning it has been discontinued but I’m including it here, because a) Sometimes discontinued shades make a comeback and b) Just because you can’t find a shade online doesn’t mean it won’t pop up in store, maybe even in a sale bin. Saint Rouge is a great starter red for those who are a little wary of a bold red lip.
MAC Lady Danger. She’s an orange-red if I ever met one! Lady Danger is the summer red lip, in my world. Because it’s a warm toned red, I find that it generally looks better on those with warm undertones, or those with cool undertones who have a tan/have applied self tanner. This is the matte red lipstick I keep in my purse all summer.
MAC Russian Red. You’ve got your orange-reds and your blue-red reds, and Russian Red is as blue-red as they come. This was supposedly Madonna’s favorite red shade in the 1980s, if that tells you anything. I love this particular matte red on those with fair or light skin with cool undertones.
MAC Ruby Woo. Ruby Woo is like the brighter, more matte cousin of Russian Red. I find it’s more flattering than Russian Red on medium and deep skintones. Ruby Woo has a 1940s/early 1950s feel to it. Because it’s so matte and can be drying, I recommend prepping your lips first with a good balm.
Marc Jacobs Lip Creme in Dashing. Another discontinued red! This day has been very discouraging. Dashing is/was another blue-red, but seems less blue than Ruby Woo and definitely less than Russian Red. If you come across Dashing, it’s worth considering if you want a pigmented red. It’s long-wearing but moisturizing and leaves the lips with a gorgeous sheen. Very Old Hollywood, dahling.
I know this isn’t the ideal time for a post about lipstick, since we’re wearing masks for much of the time, but I’m doing it anyway. It’s fun to think about when life will be normal again and lipstick won’t be hidden by masks. In the meantime, there’s nothing that says you can’t play around with colors at home and find the red (or two) that you love.
Have a beautiful day 🙂