Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Best Red Lipsticks (and how to wear them!)

No makeup item is more glamorous and show-stopping than red lipstick!  This is not for those who are shy; red is guaranteed to get you noticed (in a good way, of course!).  If you want to change up your look, wear something bold, and bring a little glamour into your life, red lipstick is the easiest and quickest way to do it!

Since red lipstick is so bold, it usually looks best if you keep the rest of your makeup relatively simple.  Black eyeliner and lots of mascara is all you really need!  False eyelashes work wonders if you know how to apply them (tutorial coming soon!).  If you want a little extra glam for evening, sweep a shimmery neutral eyeshadow all over your eyelid, and lightly blend a dark brown shadow into your crease.   

L to R: Revlon, MAC, Chanel, Dior, Urban Decay

Best Drugstore Red:  Revlon Super Lustrous Certainly Red
Revlon has the best red lipsticks of any other drugstore brand; all of them are great, but my favorite is Certainly Red.  It's a fantastic bargain and almost as good as MAC.  Almost.

Best Matte Red: MAC Russian Red
There's a reason this shade is a top five favorite of makeup artists, celebrities, and just about every lady who wears lipstick, period.  Gwen Stefani adores it.  Dita Von Teese swears by it.  Russian Red is just that good.  It's a color as legendary and flattering as NARS's Orgasm blush and definitely a red lipstick staple!  It stays put for ages, hardly fades, and delivers the most saturated color of any lipstick I've used.

Best Red Lipgloss:  Urban Decay Pocket Rocket
The packaging is kind of gimmicky (holographic boys! pheromones molded into the plastic tube!), but once you get past it, there are two amazing red lipgloss shades in this collection.  Eric is a true red, while Colin is a brilliant orange red (yes, the shades are named after boys as well).  The gloss is thick but not gloopy and the colors look amazing alone or layered over lipstick.  It's especially perfect if you want to try red lips but still keep the color sheer.

Best Red Lipstick Formula: Dior Addict Red Carpet
AKA the most hydrating lipstick you will ever wear.  It feels like lip balm and shines a little like gloss but lasts like a lipstick!  The light formula is fabulous for summer.

Best Red Ever: Chanel Rouge Allure Passion
Though all the lipsticks on this list are the best of the best, this is the one I wear most often!  It's not the first red lipstick I ever bought, but it's the first I fell in love with.  It's absolutely perfect.  The formula is a little waxy so the color stays forever, but isn't drying like matte lipsticks can be.  I like to dab and blot it on my lips rather than drag the lipstick across.  The packaging is unique and glamorous.  It's pricey but unbelievably chic and the color is marvelous!  It's like a little tube of elegance, I love it.  

Red Lipstick Essentials: Primer, pretty compact mirror, black eyeliner, false eyelashes!

Bonus!  Super cool outfit ideas for rocking red lips.

Red lips, black dress
Lilly fancied herself a "goth" in high school and even though she abandoned the combat boots and stark white face powder years ago, she never got over her penchant for black clothing and serious footwear.

red lips, navy dress
Julia's secret once-in-a-while weekend activity was to dress up, head to a coffee shop on the other side of town, and flirt in a faux-French accent with the cute guy behind the counter who made her caramel macchiato and thought her name was Angelique.

red lips, jeans
Carmen was named after the heroine of the famous opera, had an encyclopedic knowledge of British rock bands, and loved prowling for hidden treasures in record stores more than anything in the world.


  1. What an amazing post! That was so much fun to read and your tips were great!


  2. Thank you! It was fun to write, especially putting the outfits together! I want to do more of these.

  3. I love this post & those outfits are perfect! I love wearing red lipstick - my go-to is one from Almay that's discontinued, boo! I'll have to refer back to this when I run out.

  4. you should submit this to IFB's links a la mode.
    I love red lipstick! can't believe I didn't start wearing it til age 24 or 25 but better late than never. I'm super curious about the chanel red lipsticks, I complimented a woman on her red lipstick recently and this is what she was wearing.
    I also really like NARs big fatty lip crayon in "Dragon Girl" it is similar to russian red but a bit more cherry and it is not a lipstick but crayon

  5. @Kylie: Discontinued lipsticks are no fun! Boo. Maybe you can find a color match? Or maybe someone is offering them up on eBay! I've also been hearing amazing things about CoverGirl's Lip Perfection. I haven't tried the red personally but I hear it's pretty fantastic!

    @Melina How does one go about submitting it? Is there a certain time frame I've got to send it in? I've almost bought Dragon Girl several times! I was sick of matte lipsticks for a while but I'm wearing them again now. I've heard Cruella is another great NARS crayon red.

  6. I love red lipstick!
    I have yet to try the MAC russian red, but I do love the red/coral shades like viva glam cyndi.
    Matte lipsticks are too drying for me :(
    Any tips on how to wear red lipsticks so that it doesnt budge?

  7. I own Viva Glam Cyndi too, and I love it. It's such a great everyday color. The texture is wonderful, but you know what my favorite thing about MAC lipsticks is? They smell like marshmallows! A guy at a MAC counter told me they contain a lot of vanilla extract : )

    Unfortunately Russian Red is matte, so you may not like it. I go through phases where I LOVE matte lipsticks, then phases where I can't stand them. Weird, right?

    A lip primer helps keep red lipstick in place better than anything. Another trick is to apply the lipstick, blot it with a tissue, and then apply another coat. Marilyn Monroe used LOTS and lots of lipstick layers!

  8. Haha, yeah surprisingly I loved the swatches I saw online so much it's my FIRST ever red lipstick, or lipstick purchase that isn't drugstore. Then I was hooked on MAC lipsticks since they don't have that gross "plastic" taste, but the lovely vanilla extract :).

    If you love the scents, the new Miliani lipsticks have a watermelon scent & tastes it's quite fruity childrens candy like flavor.

    Yeah, I really want to try the Russian Red, I was tempted to buy the Russian Red WW packaging but didn't have the funds at the moment to splurge on a lipstick that I wasn't certain about.

    Haha, I actually don't like the Frost lipsticks MAC has. It's too shimmery for my liking, I have the Thrills (to the beach collection) why I bought it I have no idea! I didn't even touch it.

    What do you do with all your makeup that you don't use?? Since it seems you review a lot of them!

    For the matte lipsticks do you also use a balm underneath, apply, then blot and apply again?

  9. Ooh, I'll have to try the Miliani lipsticks! My first ever lipstick was Cover Girl's Moisture Shine in high school and it smelled like watermelons, too! It was the greatest drugstore lipstick ever, but CoverGirl phased it out. I don't even know if it's still available anymore.

    Haha I was totally tempted to get the WW Russian Red. The packaging was so great! Then the Voice of Reason took over: "You already HAVE this, silly!"

    I'm not wild about Frost lipsticks either! Sucks that you never got to use that one. Maybe you can exchange it?

    Oh trust me, it gets used! I like variety and on different days my skin needs different products. Some days I can get away with powder or tinted moisturizer, some days my skin is inexplicably angry and I need some heavier coverage! Haha some days my makeup bag feels like an arsenal. I go through foundations and concealers pretty quickly. I use eyeshadows less frequently, but I love having a variety of shades on hand. And lipsticks? They get rotated. There are always colors I come back to!

    I'm honestly pretty careful about what I buy. I'm the queen of impulse purchases, but only if I know it's a product I'll use!

    Using a balm underneath a matte lipstick can change the matte-ness of the formula on your lips, but it IS a great way to keep your lips moisturized! It's way less drying that way and is what I usually do, actually. But for true color and true matte texture, a lip primer is the way to go. It all depends on your preference, really.

  10. I kinda want to try the new Cover Girl Natureluxe lipsticks but I am trying not to spend any money!
    Have you tried them?

    Haha, it never hurts to have a backup, and the packaging always gets me. I love the Venomous Villains packaging though, I only have the Heartless lipstick, Cruella's packaging design was the worst :(, but nonetheless I prefer the colors that came with her VV stuff.

    Do you prefer red glosses or red lipsticks?

    Haha, I have over 10 MAC lipsticks, I guess I'm a MAC lippie addict, though, I'm sure people have more than that! But it was just one that turned into many :(. I don't use them that often either, so I suppose I will never run out!

    Which is your favorite TM?
    I absolutely love the Korres TM since it doesn't break out my sensitive/acne prone skin & it gives just enough coverage. I tried the LM one but it clogged my pores :(.

    You should totally post a blog post on your favorites, like favorite lipstick, gloss, balm, TM, moisturizer, etc etc.

    You mean exchange the frost lipstick at the MAC counter? Though it's from the collection, not sure if they let. Unless you mean swapping?

  11. I swatched the NatureLuxe lipsticks at the drugstore and the texture was lovely but none of the colors really blew me away, so I skipped buying them.

    I loved the VV packaging too! But it's so awkward when the colors you love don't go along with the packaging you like! I'm such a sucker for pretty packaging. And yeah, maybe you could try exchanging the frost lipstick the counter. I'm not sure what MAC's return policy is, but it couldn't hurt to try?

    I MUCH prefer lipsticks over gloss any day! I ilke COLOR on my lips, you know? Lip gloss color never lasts, it's sticky and messy and doesn't go on evenly, to me it's just blech! But if someone has never worn a red lip before, gloss can be a good way to ease into it. My mom, on the other hand, absolutely loves lip gloss and she thinks the stickier, the better! Haha it all comes down to preferences :) The UD gloss I mentioned in this post is about the only gloss I care for. What about you? Which do you prefer?

    I haven't tried that many TMs, but I'm so glad you found one that works for you! I know LM makes an oil-free version of her TM if you ever want to check out her brand again. I'd love to try more products from Korres! Right now I'm using their shower gel and I've *almost* bought their mango butter lipstick too many times to count. Haha I'm trying not to spend money too :)

    The TMs I own are Sephora's brand and one by Alison Rafaele. I prefer Sephora's, but both work for me. I've got a Stila TM sample I'll probably get into tomorrow! The shade is medium, though, which my skin is decidedly NOT, so I dunno how that's going to turn out! Have you ever heard of BB Creams? I'm working on a post about them now, they have all the benefits of a TM, plus anti-aging treatment benefits, with the coverage of a foundation! It's amazing stuff, I'm obsessed with my BB Cream. The drawback is that it ships from Korea. From what I've read the BB Creams being released in America right now aren't really the same thing. Haha but that's a whole other post :)

    I've got a Favorites tab right underneath my banner that takes you to a page of my favorite products. I updated it last month but now it needs to be updated again, I think!

  12. Did you buy any of the VV stuff?
    Haha, if you have any lipsticks, I can swap you for my to the beach thrills lipstick! :)

    I am not sure of MAC's return policy either, since I've never returned anything...

    Have you tried wearing lipstick and then gloss over it? It makes the color last so much longer, since gloss tends to slip off.

    I love using a neutral *mac warm me up* + the VV cruela gloss (red I forgot what is the name) over it! I also have the WW red gloss those tubes are HUGE! And I own the nitrolicious from the bloggers obsession.

    At first I didn't like glosses since they are sticky but I noticed they are much more moisturizing than lipsticks & it gives a subtle color without clumping if that makes sense, but I do prefer lipstick since it's quick & mess free (I can apply straight from the tube), since for glosses I prefer using a lip brush since the applicator for glosses usually have too much, which means overdose of gloss LOL.

    I did try the oil-free one, it felt too thick for my likings, but I did try it since I've read of the raves.

    Korres is great! I also like Tarte, though I wish Tarte would have made a silicone free primer (I've tried their primer & I suppose I'm allergic to silicone, irritated my skin).
    I know Korres as a silicone free primer but it's quite pricey for the tube :(.

    Will you be reviewing the BB creams with swatches?
    I personally have heard tons of rave reviews on the BB creams, but I don't want to try it, since many things irritate/break out my sensitive skin unless it's all natural. Though, I've read that the BB creams make your skin worse since it clogs the pores!

  13. I'm sorry, I didn't purchase anything from the VV collection :( I definitely wish I had!

    I have tried lip gloss over lipstick, but honestly, I'm just not a fan of lip gloss. Period! Haha I've tried to like it, and the moisturizing properties *are* great, but I'd rather use lip balm at night. It's just not my thang.

    I love Tarte, too! They have some amazing products. What else do you like from Korres?

    And sure, I'll swatch the BB cream when I review it! Fortunately I haven't had any pore-clogging issues.

    I've got a post on natural makeup coming up soon as well, would you like to do a beauty interview since you use so many natural products?