My Top Red Lipsticks

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This is my favorite time of year, and, perhaps not by chance, it’s also my favorite time of year to wear red. I’ve amassed quite the collection of red lip products over the years, but I’ve whittled it down to these fine few. Check below for swatches!

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From left: Hourglass Opaque Rouge liquid lipstick in Raven is one of my all-time favorites, even amongst this elite bunch. It’s a true red, a classic red, that goes on precisely with its uniquely shaped applicator, is highly pigmented, and sets to an un-budgeable soft matte finish that isn’t drying. World’s most perfect red lipstick? I give it top marks, that’s for sure!

Next up is a budget beauty buy: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Amsterdam. I’ve long been a fan of this formulation, but the apple-red color Amsterdam is new to my collection and I’m loving it. Not quite as long wearing as Hourglass or the Sephora variety, but definitely a favorite drugstore buy because it isn’t as drying as other drugstore matte lipsticks.

Next up is a new-to-me red lippie that I discovered in 2014 thanks to Amelia: Sephora’s creamy lip stain is a classic red that does. not. budge. Truly. It’s not quite as easy to apply as Hourglass but it’s way up there for its pigmentation, longevity, and price point.

Last up we have the classic: MAC Ruby Woo. One of the most matte true red lip formulations out there, this is a classic red that genuinely looks good on everyone. It makes teeth look whiter. Though not a long-wear formula per se, it lasts ages. It can be quite drying, so make sure your lips are well exfoliated and moisturized beforehand (I like Nuxe Riev de Miel since it’s a matte balm). 

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  • I love the Sephora lip stains! I have the same red one and it’s fantastic! I really want to try Ruby Woo, I love matte lip products!
    Life With Kendal

  • Laura S.

    Haha, everyone loves Ruby Woo! It might have to be the next MAC Lipstick I pick up!xo, Laura
    laurasbestlife.com

  • Bee

    My friend is going home to the US tomorrow for the holidays, armed with my beauty shopping list – the Sephora lip creams were top of the list!

  • What lovely images, I’m intrigued to try more from NYX!
    Josie XOXO

    Fashion Mumblr

  • idu

    I am so intimidated by red lipsticks. I recently found one I like a lot other than Ruby Woo and its Heat Wave by Nars. Very lovely reds you got here. http://fashionablyidu.blogspot.com/

    • Heat Wave is a great color! Much more orange tones in it than Ruby Woo.

  • Which lip liner do you use with these?
    Connie | Sponsored by Coffee

    • I like the Make Up For Ever liner in 27c, they have an AMAZING range of colors though! Revlon also do a great Colorstay one in a classic red. Also MAC’s Cherry lip liner is a classic favorite.

  • I’m a huge fan of the NYX matte colors partially because of the price but the colors are so vibrant. Love all the colors you shared but really like the Sephora color best based on your swatches.

  • Great post! I love the NYX soft matte collection, however I experience this formula tends to look really dry on my lips by the end of the day. It looks like it’s peeling off. Love it, but it needs to be wiped off and reapplied all day. 😉 Great red shades you have there. Cheers!Jen

  • Jen

    I really LOVE the color of “Ruby Woo” – but, damn, that matte lipstick is dry as hell. I’ve got a love/hate relationship with her!