There are few beauty items that women can’t live without: a high-quality moisturiser, volumising mascara and a stash of crimson red. Matte, glossy or high-shine, there’s no doubt that red lipsticks have earned their well-deserved spot in the makeup hall of fame (and a permanent place in our collections all year round) yet, what is it that cements them as such a classic staple? Synonymous with femininity, red lipsticks are fierce, seductive and have the ability to instill confidence and power within a matter of a few swipes. From Mac to Lancôme to Estée Lauder, we’ve done all of the hard work for you and narrowed down every must-have red lipstick on the market.
12. Tom Ford Lip Colour in Cherry Lush
Perfect for those who love a dramatic lip - because who doesn't? - this Tom Ford Lip Colour is a vibrant red lipstick with subtle pink undertones, making it a must-have for cool complexions. It is an intensely pigmented formula whereby full coverage can be achieved in less than two swipes however, regular touch-ups are required.
11. Kat Von D Beauty Studded Kiss Crème Lipstick in Underage Red (Satin Matte Fire Engine Red)
Kat Von D’s Studded Kiss Crème lipstick is a creamy matte lipstick that is suitable for everyday use, providing a natural yet polished finish. This lipstick applies like a buttery and creamy however dries down to a beautiful satin-matte, depositing an opaque dose of colour.
10. Anastasia Beverly Hills Ruby Matte Lipstick
Want a matte lip that is actually comfortable to wear? Sure you do. ABH has you covered with a classic ultra-matte lipstick. Say goodbye to patchiness, creasing or clumping as this lipstick has a rich texture and intense colour pay off.
9. Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Red Carpet Red
You can trust Charlotte Tilbury to create a lipstick that will have you red-carpet-ready, after all, celebrities such as Amal Clooney and Kim Kardashian regularly entrust her with their makeup looks. This is exactly that: a true ruby red that will last past multiple champagnes and Christmas canapes.
8. Kylie Cosmetics Liquid Lipstick in Mary Jo K
Despite being one of the most hyped-up launches in the history of beauty, Kylie Jenner’s eponymous lip kits exceeded all of our preconceived expectations. The application process is easy and comfortable and has high-intensity pigment for an instant bold red lip. With a suede-like texture and a delicious vanilla scent, you can count on this lipstick legitimately lasting all day.
7. Estee Lauder Pure Colour Love Matte Lipstick Bar in 310 Red
The Estée Lauder Pure Color Love Lipstick is a richly pigmented formula with a velvety, perfect for buildable, long-lasting coverage that glides effortlessly onto the lips.
6. Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Matte Liquid Lipstick in Lady Balls
Lady Balls is a classic pin-up style, blue-based red that has insane pigmentation. It applies like a gloss (extra bonus, it does not bleed either) but dries matte. It is a non-transferable formula that does not budge, lasting between 5 and 6 hours without reapplying.
5. Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Crème Lipstick in Core Cora 234
This Marc Jacob lipstick applies like a dream and is perfectly pigmented without being drying. It is a hydrating formula that is long lasting and has a smooth and vivid finish.
4. Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in 13 L'Orange
YSL’s Rouge Pur Couture lipstick is a beautiful coral red that will perfectly complement both light or dark skin tones. It has a smooth and creamy texture that is incredibly lightweight on the tops and maintains a soft finish, even hours after application.
3. Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Colour Moisturising Lipstick
Elizabeth Arden’s revamped edition of their signature Red Door Lipstick is the classic red lipstick that will instantly brighten any complexion. It is a universally flattering shade that has a creamy, velvety finish. It’s worth noting that it is a moisturising formula, so you can expect no cracks or peels on lips.
2. Mac Matte Lipstick in Russian Red
Mac’s Russian Red is a cool red matte finish that is surprisingly quite creamy for a matte finish. The versatile blue-based shade (perfect for dark hair and pale skin) leans slightly towards the cooler end of the spectrum, however, will not offend warm skin tones.
1. Fenty Beauty By Rihanna Stuma Lip Paint Longwear Fluid in Uncensored
Fenty Beauty's Stuma Lip Paint takes out the top spot as the ultimate red lipstick due to its universally flattering, striking red shade. It is inky and intense as it applies glossy yet dries velvety matte. With a long-lasting formula, that is high-impact and low-maintenance, what’s not to love?