The Best Red Lipsticks, According To Our Beauty Editors

As much as we can appreciate a nude lipstick, sometimes we want a lip color that pops — especially over the holidays. What’s a sparkly dress without a statement lip? But even though we’re searching for ways to experiment with different shades and even texture ( hey, glitter lips), red lipstick is the gospel truth that will never steer you wrong.

The good news: There are tons of red lip options on the market. The bad news: There are tons of red lip options on the market. When looking for the right one, you have to take into account formula, color, and your skin tone. So, we asked a few R29 staffers to share their go-to reds. We’re talking about the ones that have lasted through long nights, gotten them compliments, and impressed them enough to become a permanent part of their makeup collection. Ahead, the red lip colors that have our hearts… for now.


“When it comes to red lipstick there is none more iconic than MAC. Ruby Woo, Russian Red, Lady Danger… I never met a MAC red that I didn’t like. But my favorite is Russian Red, because it’s a little deeper with a brick undertone. As with all MAC lipsticks, the matte lasts forever without feeling too drying. And every time I wear this one, I get the inevitable question: What lipstick is that? ” — Jessica Cruel, Deputy Beauty Director

MAC Russian Red Lipstick, $18.5, available at Macy’s

“I always stayed away from red lipstick, because honestly, it was intimidating for me. But then, a makeup artist suggested I try this one out, and as hesitant as I was at first, I ended up loving it. It was the perfect red for my tan skin, and it was so easy to apply with its doe-foot applicator. Plus, it stays put through everything — I’m talking multiple cups of coffee. It’s the one lipstick my boyfriend isn’t afraid of kissing me with, and it’s red!” — Thatiana Diaz, Beauty Writer

Bobbi Brown Luxe Liquid Lip Velvet Matte, $37, available at Bobbi Brown

“I’ve never met a Kosas lipstick that I didn’t love; the brand’s founder, Sheena Yaitanes, has perfected colors that magically look good on everyone. I don’t want to talk Phoenix up too much, because it’s limited edition and will therefore break your heart, but it’s the most gorgeous, fiery red that somehow — also as if by magic — feels low-maintenance and wearable for every day (or at least two or three days a week). It’s warm, but not so warm that it skews orange, and the formula is super hydrating without sacrificing that velvety semi-matte finish. I stan… even if the shade name reminds me of Ben Affleck’s truly appalling back tattoo.”— Rachel Krause, Senior Beauty Writer

Kosas Weightless Lip Color Lipstick, $28, available at Neiman Marcus

“Ever since I discovered this lipstick in September, I feel like I’ve been the president of its fan club. I’m far from alone in loving it. Porn stars, brides, and teachers all clamor for this formula that can last through hours of eating, drinking, chit-chatting, and well, everything a porn star may do. While Pioneer is a favorite red shade for many, I’m more into Heroine, a red-orange that wakes up my face no matter how little I’ve slept.” — Rachel Lubitz, Senior Beauty Writer

Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick — Heroine, $9.49, available at Maybelline

“Honestly, someone could slap ‘Blake Lively’ on a battery and I’d buy it, but L’Oréal actually collaborated with the actress (and all-around goddess) to create this perfect red lipstick that is knock-me-out good. It’s matte, but not too dry; soft, but not too creamy; and I love everything about it.” — Samantha Sasso, Beauty Writer

L’Oréal Colour Riche Red Lipcolour — Blake’s Red, $9.99, available at Ulta Beauty

“I keep this lipstick on display on my vanity — both because it’s my go-to red, but also because I love the message of this particular tube. Whenever I have a big meeting or am nervous about something, a swipe of this gives me the extra push I need to walk in with confidence — or, at the very least, fake it.” — Cat Quinn, Beauty Director

Revlon Live Boldly Super Lustrous Fire and Ice Lipstick , $4.99, available at Target

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