If there’s one makeup product that truly is iconic, it’s gotta be the red lipstick, right? Whether you favour a hint of tint or a full, 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.
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, but is still soft and sheer enough to feel fundamentally un-intimidating. Take it up a notch with Smashbox’s Be Legendary Lipstick in Mandarin. This is the perfect cherry popsicle shade – bright, but still super cute. It can be worn sheer or built up for more drama.
In terms of true red lipsticks, MAC Ruby Woo is hard to beat. The subtle blue tones make this red more flattering – whitening teeth and brightening skin. The matte finish is amongst 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 the word “red?”). This is matte, but feels softer and more forgiving on chapped lips – and the tone is just perfect. A classic.
If you fancy your red with a twist, though, I’ve got you covered! If you love a warm, orange tone, Tom Ford’s Wild Ginger is a thing of absolute beauty. Pure, neon, pillar-box goodness. And if you want to dip your toes into the world of vamp, then I point you to the Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. This 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.
Favour a liquid formula? Don’t fear – the Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored is the best one out there. The only problem is, it can sometimes feel a little tight and dry on parched lips. If you’re struggling, then the NYX Soft Matte Lip Queen in Amsterdam gives a super similar appearance, but feels gentler and more malleable – though you do have to sacrifice some of its longevity.
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.
Sheer reds are also well worth exploring. Gloss-wise, the Stila Beauty Boss Lip Gloss in Empowering is wonderful, combining a red base pigment with iridescent shimmer that makes your lips look plump and unbelievably shiny. The Clarins Lip Comfort Oil in Red Berry is another great sheer, glossy option – this one free of glitter and therefore more suitable for the office.
But going for something sheer doesn’t have to equate to shine. 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 DotCom in Cherry, which has the bonus of smelling and tasting like cherry candy.
And 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 basically stan for this entire range, but the bright, cheery tone of this red option makes it extra delightful.
Shop our editor’s top red lipsticks on the market
Featured images via Urban Outfitters
PS: Every single item is independently selected by our editors. Depending on the product, if you buy something through our links, The Weekly Cut may earn an affiliate commission.