The Best Red Lipsticks of All Time According to 10 Editors
We all found our holy grail shade, in both matte and creamy formulas.
Now that we’ve found the 14 greatest mascaras *ever*, it’s time to uncover the best pick of beauty’s most contentious product: red lipstick. Whether you prefer matte to glossy, crimson to strawberry, or a firm classic bullet to a liquid, there’s a formula out there to make your lips look glamorous and kissable. In order to find the top red lipsticks on the market, we got ten editors to swipe on their go-to shades and reveal why they’re loyal to a particular brand for day-to-night wear.
“While I always considered myself a ‘clear gloss and go’ type of girl, wow, I feel like my life has just been changed. I was always hesitant to wear lipstick because it can feel cakey and drying, but this one lives up to its velvet name. My lips are soft, smooth, and dare I say moisturized. Plus, applying this red first thing in the AM puts a spring in my step, and I love that it is not too deep and not too neon.”
“I love Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored because it gives me the perfect red shade. I’m a sucker for matte lipstick, but some brands leave my lips dry and cracking after a day’s wear. Not only can I eat and drink everything under the sun without this shade budging, but my lips won’t suffer while doing so, as the liquid formula gives me that moisturizing, matte look I’ve always longed for.”
“I self-identify as a matte-lipstick fiend, so I’m shocked that my search for the perfect, true red that stays put without drying and caking is my constant plight. But the second I swiped this cult-favorite bullet across my lips, I knew I had found my match made in red-lipstick heaven. Not only is the color a legit blue-red that doesn’t wash me out, but it’s silky, comfortable, and lasts through my morning coffee and all-day snacking. After experimenting with more reds than I’d like to admit, I plan on sticking with this formula.”
Leah Faye Cooper
“I was never much of a makeup person until liquid lipstick started trending and I was tasked with trying out a ton of formulas to see what all the hype was about (rough job, I know). Anastasia Beverly Hills was, and still is, my absolute favorite. As such, whenever I want to do a red lip—usually about twice a week—I reach for this one. It packs a ton of pigment and applies like a dream.”
“I usually gravitate towards orangey, warm colors for my lips, but when I want a statement red, I crave a deep shade with bluish undertones to contrast with my complexion. Bite’s creamy Amuse Bouche formula legitimately hydrates my lips so that the application still looks fresh hours later—no cracked corners or dried lines here. And now that I have lip injections, the shade is more important than ever! Gazpacho gives me a vampy French-girl vibe that I’ll rock with anything from jeans and a t-shirt to my slinkiest slip dress. It’s perfect!”
“For someone with small lips, red has always been a tricky lip color for me to pull off. That’s why, when I decided to rekindle my relationship with the shade, I wanted it to be worth the investment. So, what other way than with CHANEL? This shade, to me, feels more like a lip balm and only takes one coat before I have my desired shade. The packaging also comes in an oddly satisfying bullet, which is an added bonus!”
“Up until a certain point, I refused to splurge on makeup. What was wrong with the drugstore brands I’d been using forever? Well, nothing—until I borrowed my friend’s lipstick ahead of a big event and ended up falling in love. I must have asked her 20 times what the exact color was, and then added MAC’s Lady Danger to my Christmas list that year. I was very into the way the fiery red shade popped against my dark features, and all these years later, it remains at the top of my favorites list. I *will* admit I prefer how it looks when paired with my OG brunette locks, but I’ll still 100 percent wear it—along with the confidence boost it gives me for the hours that it seems to last—now that I’m a subtle redhead.”
“I swear by lip gloss and lip balm, but sometimes I just want to feel ~extra~. Cue Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick. This stuff is the embodiment of ‘go big or go home.’ It’s a lasting formula that, while a tiny bit drying, makes my otherwise ‘meh’ lips pop like nothing else does. If you’re looking for a nighttime shade that will get you noticed, this stuff is it.”
“CHANEL’s Rouge Allure Velvet in No. 2 is a bold and energetic shade compared to my usual go-to nude-pink lip. I’ve been wearing it for a few hours now, and the durability is great—it’s even survived lunch! I also really like the shade’s versatility; it can be perfect for a daytime or nighttime look. I’d wear it with a simple face of makeup to give it the full attention it deserves.”
“While I love lipstick, I hate how high-maintenance it can be. I’m really not trying to reapply makeup every few hours. Hence why I’m so addicted to Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick line, because I swear it does. not. budge. I’m also obsessed because they make the best orange-red color I’ve ever seen: A-Go-Go. I swear to you, as I write this at 6:30 PM, I have only just reapplied now after having first put it on my lips at 11:00 AM. Talk about amazing.”