November 28, 2022

10 Of The Best Red Lipsticks Of All Time


In the mood for bordeaux wine? These are the best red lipsticks that stand the test of time.

A crimson lipstick has long reigned as the quintessential palm-size accessory. It draws to mind an image of Marilyn Monroe in a glittering tangerine, red-lipped ensemble in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), and who could forget the Pretty Woman scene that saw Julia Roberts don a perfectly poised scarlet gown and pout?

As a visual loudspeaker, this classic item has not only accompanied many-a-purse and film, but it’s almost archival. A tincture that can be traced back to the women of Mesopotamia, the suffragette movement and now-a-days synonymous with the identity of our chic French compatriots. A blurred rouge lip packaged with the right-fitting vintage jean and white Petit Bateau t-shirt—say no more. After all, it’s not called a ‘classic red lip’ for no reason.

Daring and confident in nature, a red lipstick (or two) makes for a new arsenal for the season ahead. From bordeaux wine hues to pirate red—whether you’re heading into town, or hopping to an evening soiree—we round-up 10 of the best red lipsticks to wear.

DIOR Rouge Dior Couture Colour Lipstick 999

A modern take on Christian Dior’s original lipstick 9, the Rouge Dior Lipstick in 999 is a classic iteration of an iconic shade that dates back to 1953. Known to be a universally flattering hue—it comes adorned with the classic silver Dior logo front and centre and in an array of finishes (satin, matte, velvet and metallic). Choose your fighter!

SHOP NOW: DIOR Rouge Dior Couture Colour Lipstick 999, $64

best red lipstick

M.A.C Retro Matte Lipstick Ruby Woo 

Think of red and you’ll be thinking of MAC’s Ruby Woo. A shade that debuted in 1999, it quickly became beloved by celebrity and makeup artists alike giving it instant name recognition—so much so that Rihanna collaborated with the brand in 2013 to create a ‘Riri Woo’. Dubbed as a true red, it’s a highly pigmented ultra-matte lippie that’s certainly eye-catching. It also makes your pearly whites appear whiter.

SHOP NOW: M.A.C Retro Matte Lipstick Ruby Woo, $32

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl comes in a very handy form and is as fiery as the name suggests. The pencil allows for easy and precise application and leaves behind a velvet-matte, vitamin E infused veneer. It’s also a lipstick meets lip liner that pairs well with other reds for a little added dimension (think Ruby Woo and Dragon Girl combined).

SHOP NOW: NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, $40

Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour Pirate

When it comes to a blurred rouge pout the French can do no wrong. The Chanel Rouge Allure range is one that stands true to this sentiment and the shade Pirate is a vibrant, classic red that acts as a second skin. Containing vitamin E for longwear and a coconut, castor and sappan wood oil triad that protects against external aggressors and adds a boost of hydration. This lipstick leaves behind the slightest pearlescent effect for a luminous satin finish.

SHOP NOW: Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour in Pirate, $62

Shiseido VisionAiry Gel Lipstick Ginza Red

Shiseido’s VisionAiry Ginza Red is said to feel like a weightless yet full coverage balm. For those who love a warmer orange-toned red, in Ginza Red you’ve found the perfect peacekeeping compatriot for those bathroom runs on a girls night out. Inspired by modern Tokyo, the VisionAiry range contains a triple gel technology that delivers a saturated pigment with a creamy finish. 

SHOP NOW: Shiseido VisionAiry Gel Lipstick Ginza Red, $39

Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Cream Lipstick French Coeur

Hyaluronic acid, rose balm and a creamy wine-hued finish makes for a luxurious yet subtle red. The creamy topcoat allows for smooth application and all-day comfortable wear that can be re-applied for dinner dates, weddings and other all-night affairs. 

SHOP NOW: Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Cream Lipstick French Coeur, $60

Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Refillable Lipstick My Icon Is

Aptly named ‘My Icon Is’, the Hourglass Ultra Slim High Intensity Refillable Lipstick is a perfectly saturated cool toned red. Delivered in a vegan satin finish the formula is longwearing and easy to apply thanks to its sleek gold applicator. It’s also designed to be used interchangeably with the entire collection as it is refillable. Tres chic!

SHOP NOW: Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Refillable Lipstick My Icon Is, $59

Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick Elson 

Formulated by one of the most prolific makeup artists the fashion industry has seen, Pat McGrath’s MatteTrance lipstick range is defined as “powder-in-a-bullet”. The shade Elson is a soft-focus and highly pigmented blue-toned red lipstick that’s truly red carpet worthy (by supermodel Candice Swanepoel’s standard). Hot tip: In true Pat McGrath style, apply with a finger for a diffused almost stained finish.

SHOP NOW: Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick Elson, $21

ILIA Colour Block Lipstick Tango

ILIA’s Colour Block Lipstick in Tango features organic castor seed oil for the ultimate pigment and mango seed butter which is rich in anti-ageing and brightening ingredients vitamin’s A and C. Tango is a deep yet neutral red that feels like a demi-matte go-to lipstick with staying power. Not too shiny and not too matte makes for a comfy (vegan, gluten and cruelty-free) in between.

SHOP NOW: ILIA Colour Block Lipstick Tango, $42

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick Beso

If liquid lipstick is your thing or something you’re looking to dabble in, Stila’s Stay All Day in the shade Beso is a comfortable keeper. Infused with avocado oil and vitamin E, the doe foot applicator glides on with ease and doesn’t feel overly drying. As most liquid lipsticks do, this formula can withstand a cheese pizza or two. Perhaps, even a cheeky ‘beso’ as the name suggests or more pointedly means ‘kiss’.

SHOP NOW: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick Beso, $33


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