Monday, September 26th, 2011

Rant & Rave

This Week’s Topic: RED LIPSTICK!

Your Mission: Tell us what you love, hate, or are otherwise indifferent to about red lipsticks. What drives you bananas? What makes them necessary?

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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96 thoughts on “Rant & Rave: Red Lipstick

  1. Annie

    I hate that red lipstick makes my already thin lips look like a cartoon line across my lower face. I’ve tried every trick in the book and still can’t escape this fate.

    • Kelly

      Same here! I love the look of red lips but I just cannot pull it off with my small lips. :(

      • oooh i used to have the same problem.. but then i found a way out.. all you need to do is, after applying the lipstick “kiss” into a towel/tissue a couple of times… trust me it doesn’t make one’s lips look thin in red anymore 😉

    • Seconded!

      Have you tried adding clear gloss in the center of your bottom lip and then blending it outward? That makes your lips look larger. Also, you could try a sheerer red!

  2. Giovanna Gaglianese

    Love them when they’re blue-based, super opaque and rich in color, although I may need some lip balm to prevent dryness. I hate red glosses and exaggerate warm undertone

  3. Carrie Ann

    I’m a little intimidated by red lipstick. I’ll wear red gloss for special occasions, like a Christmas party. If I’m going to wear red on my lips, it has to be a warm shade of red, a bit sheer and I like when it has a little gold shimmer in it. Nothing too heavy or matte.

  4. t_zwiggy

    I could go on forever about how nasty I think red lips look. But I won’t. I feel like every time there’s a discussion here about red lipsticks I leave somewhat nasty comments, and that makes me feel so mean. :(

    So I’ll just say that I HATE it (really HATE HATE HATE it), and leave it at that. :)

  5. I love a red lip with red nails but my red lipsticks always seem to appear orangey on my lips (even though they don’t in the tube) and never match my blue based nail polishes :(

  6. lunamaris

    I love red lipstick, especially MAC Russian Red! Sadly I get a bad allergic reaction from them (tried many), otherwise I would wear them more often :(

    • I love the old Hollywood style red lips so much! It’s just so sexy! Too bad I don’t have the guts to wear it. I just adore it.

    • Instant Karma

      Oh no! Have you been able to determine which ingredient it is? A lot of people are allergic to fragrances. You might want to try a fragrance (and flavor) free lipstick. :)

  7. Sarah

    As a redhead, I must avoid red lipstick. No matter what I’m wearing, how my hair’s done, or what other make-up I’m wearing, it looks absolutely horrendous.

    • Mimi M.

      I’m a redhead too and have to say you just need patience. If you keep trying different reds you’ll find the appropriate one for you. Maybe the right one for you is not a “true red” but a vampier red or a blue based red, etc., etc. There are so many different shades of red for so many different types of skin tones! :)

      And if you need inspiration, write “redhead red lipstick” on google images.

    • It can get a bit garish. I’m Copper/Auburn myself and i stick with coral shade for that reason unless I’m doing a nude eye with a bold red or a vampire look for Halloween.

    • Marianthi

      I am also redhead and some of my most favourite lipsticks are red. Try-try-try and when you find the shades that match you, you will never look back!

    • JIlliant

      It takes time to get use to it, and you need to find the right shade….Just look at Christina Hendricks

      (as a redhead with blue/green eyes and NW10/15 skin i love MAC’s russian red and runway red. Also check out clinique’s chubby sticks there’s a cherry red that’s an easy way into wearing red)

      • cydoniac

        I looooooooooove red lips on a redhead…!!! if I were a redhead,red lips would be my signature look for sure!!

    • The Beauty Queen from Mars

      To boost your and other redheads’ confidence about red lips: I think redheads with the right red on their lips look nothing short of drop-dead gorgeous!!!!
      Their fine, pale, porcelain-like skin plus a red that does NOT 100% match their hair tone (this is the exiting part of the look IMO) is absolutely adorable.

      • Susanne

        You are so right. Blonde and brunette with red lips is georgeous but nothing special or different. Red hair and red lips is special!°

  8. Tommy

    My favourite is Mac Ramblas Red
    Super pigmented, super blue toned, super stunning!
    Gives you the hollywood smile!
    Intense red, white teeth and uber flattering =)
    I love the look of Russian Red also but I’m more than happy with my HG red lippy now!! =)
    Also I have Viva Glam Cyndi for a toned down red lip!! =)
    They are the two ultimate red lippies for me =) <3

  9. Pawsha

    Absolutely LOVE red lips, they are my favorite color to wear. I prefer the blue based over the orange. I like the mattes as well as the shines but your lips need to be smooth and taken care of for the mattes. I’m not intimidated at all of wearing red lips, I think its up to each person if they like it or not and rather you wear it should be because of your individual taste not because someone says you should or shouldnt wear it.

  10. Abbey

    I absolutely love red lips. I’m fairly pale, and have dark hair, so I love the contrast between my hair, skin, and lips when I wear red lipstick. I like to pair it with a simple neutral eye with cat-eyed liner.

    My current favorites are MAC Russian Red and Ruby Woo, but I’m always looking for more reds. I’m not a fan of a glossy red, I prefer a matte or creamy finish. I always make sure to use a lip scrub (Lush Mint Juleps is my fave) and a primer first.

  11. anna

    I love red lipstick (my favorite is Chanel Flamboyante) but I hate the transfer. Flamboyante is pretty good about not transfering once I put in on which is good because I HATE leaving red lipstick marks on everything.

  12. I only buy red lipstick except for the recent Guerlain Gigolo. Every brand that I purchase, I pick the true, blue based red lipstick or a burgundy type or the most daring red….never orange. My favorite red lipsticks are from Dolce N Gabanna- Ultra, Scarlett, Magnifica, Ruby etc. I have YSL Rouge Pur Couture in red shades also. I have tried to pick frosty pink, taupe, and light shades for the summer and they never tested well on me…..

  13. NeenaJ

    I adore red lips so long as the rest of the face is minimal: a sweep of mascara and a whisper of light pink or apricot blush.

    I don’t believe there’s anyone who doesn’t look amazing in the right shade (for them) of red. My current loves include NARS Pure Matte Vesuvio, Dior Addict New Look and Illamasqua Sangers.

  14. Jillian

    I love how every time I wear red lipstick (or other more “daring” lipstick shades) I feel like I’m boosting my self-confidence! It still takes some women (myself included!) a lot of guts to wear red lipstick, I always feel better once I’ve gotten over my insecurities and wear it for the world to see!

    • ak

      Isn’t it weird how it’s ‘gutsy’ to wear red lipstick now, when back in the 20s, 30s, and 40s red lipstick was basically the ONLY color? Even in the 50s, red lipstick was still pretty much the standard.

  15. Amanda

    I love the idea of a red lip, but I have yet to find one that doesn’t turn fuchsia on me unless it’s a deep brick red. Maybe one day I’ll find my perfect red and my long search will be over. **Sigh**

  16. amanda

    i love everything about red lipsticks.. so beautiful, classy, and sophisticated. whats not to love?

    Brown lipsticks, though… lol

  17. nelley

    I hate that I am still trying to find the perfect red for my skin tone in one container. I have to mix together two differnt reds to get the perfect one for me.

  18. Cesa

    If I could wear Chanel Dragon everyday, I would. The perfect red. But damn that price tag! It has been so hard to find a lipstick tube (and slightly cheaper) equivalent. Everything else is either too blue or too orange.

  19. Yazmin

    i loveee red lips, i wish i could wear them eveyday, but the one thing i hate is the staining!

    • The Beauty Queen from Mars

      dito. You leave your red marks just about everywhere – glasses, bottles, cups. Best of all: When I forget I wear red lips and touch my fingers to my lips. Bye-bye stainless cuffs, pens, papers…

      But still – the half (=male) part of the people in the subway staring astonished at you is worth it 😉

  20. Kimberly

    I’m wearing red lipstick right now! :)

    What I *don’t* like about red lipstick is the amount of work that goes in to making it look good. I’ve found that my red lipstick are more of a upkeep than all my other ones. My lips are naturally very, very dry so I also have to worry about that

  21. Natalie

    I only just discovered how fun red lipstick is! I have Clinique’s Parisian Red, Wet n Wild Stoplight Red (which has been compared to MAC Ruby Woo) and Stila’s Long Wear Liquid Lip Color in Fiery. I love them all for different reasons!

  22. Bridget S.

    For a fancy night out, nothing beats a drop dead red lip : ) YSL Rouge Pur Couture #1 is an absolute knock out shade in a fantastic formula. YSL Rouge Volupte Perle in no. 111 (released for Fall), is also a beautiful, but quite sheer, red.

  23. AlexisV.

    What can I say other than red lipstick is my ultimate love when it comes to makeup. I have several that I love (MAC VG1, Chili, Dubonnet, Ladybug, a couple of Revlon ones, Lorac, and maybe more!) and I wear them wherever and whenever. It’s actually hard for me to stop myself from buying more, but I’ve convinced myself that I have more than enough – at least until one comes out that I feel is not like any other I own.

    • beth maiorana

      You took the words right out of my mouth !! I have a serious “issue” with buying reds: right now, I’m getting ready for the Chanel Matte Cremes that are to be launched next month. The pricetag is crazy for me, but I am unable to put a value on what this does for my confidence. I adore reds and wear them too much- it’s really difficult for me because I am very pale, older, thin, and honestly have nowhere special to go but “go” I do and with red pretty lips !! It just makes me happy.

  24. Courtney

    I love red lipstick when done right. It brings a lot of vibrancy and life to a face. Very classic.

  25. Marian

    I love red lipstick! It’s never out of style. It’s for old and young alike. It brightens my entire face. Although it’s high maintenance, because the rest of my face makeup is so minimal when I wear red lipstick, it’s worth the extra care. I prefer a matte red.

  26. Rainy

    I love red lips, but have such a hard time find the right shade for me. The only one that I found that I could wear easily is UD Gash lipgunk. It has always bugged me how some people can pull off that “classic red lip” and I never could.

    Nars Cruella is the only other red I own (besides sheer glosses) and I’ve had so much trouble working with it since I went back to my natural dark brown hair color from the light blond I had when I bought it.

  27. AngelWingz

    They look bad on me and great on everyone else. Grrr!

    • Chynna

      I know how you feel! I have thin lips and usually play up other features and intentionally don’t draw attention to my lips. I love red lips on others, but I just feel like I can’t pull it off. I can do some of the more sheer shades, but feel like the glossy or lovely matte shades just shout “Look at her! She’s trying to have lips!”

  28. heidi

    My favorite traditional red is mac viva glam I and my favorite wearable color is clinique spiced apple. In fact I’m wearing spiced apple today. Its like the perfect brick red that I can wear in the daytime without looking like a crazy person. I used to dig red gloss but now not so much.

  29. Katie

    I wear red lipstick every day, I love it! My favorite is the Covergirl Lip Perfection, it lasts all day, beyond wonderful! xo

  30. Wendy

    I love red lipstick. I would wear it every day if I could. My all time favorite shade was MAC Liza Red. It was a true red. I wish they would bring it back. I used every last bit in the tube.

    Lately I have been wearing my MAC Resolutely Red and Cover Girl Burn. I also like MAC Queen’s Sin at night-it’s a bit flashier.

    Revlon Cherries in the Snow is my favorite pink red.

  31. Sheena F

    I love the hunt for the “perfect one.” Took me a while to find one that I am comfortable wearing without feeling trashy or streetwalker-ish.

    I love how it makes me feel glam, grown-up and sexy in a way. I keep thinking back on those days when I used to play with my mom and grandma’s lipsticks and how great it feels to fast-forward to present day and now I have my own red lipstick to play with. Except this time, no smudging! :)

  32. Litenoumjuq

    I love red lipstick, the redder the better.

  33. Violet

    Red lips are Sexy without a question. My favorite red lipstick is MAC’s Viva Glam 1. The trick to red is finding the right shade for you. I get so many compliments when I wear it. Besides a little black red, every girl needs to own a killer shade of red lipstick :)

  34. Lisa

    I adore red lipsticks. I think I am really lucky that both orange based reds and blue based reds look fantastic on me.

    I wish I just had somewhere to wear it. I don’t really party, and sitting on a computer programming class (95% men)… bright red lipstick is not the message I want to give.

    • The Beauty Queen from Mars

      I totally understand. One cannot warrant half the class having a heart attack just because one chose to wear red lips that morning ;-D

  35. I’m quite lucky to be blessed with a light-medium skintone with neutral undertones, and my lips are about the right size to accomodate bright or darker lipcolors. Sure, reds are generally high-maintenance, but I strongly believe that one can never have too many! =D (My poor wallet keeps trying to run away from me, the nerve of that thing…) My favorite is the discontinued Guerlain KissKiss Extreme #120, which I think is somewhat similar to MAC Russian Red.

    However, after being blonde for nearly seven years, I’m finally getting tired of the root maintenance and am strongly contemplating going back to my natural hair color — nearly black, typical Asian hair. I’m not entirely sure I’d be able to pull of red lips (or bright eyeshadows, since my eyes are also nearly black) all that nicely, if at all. >:

    • PS: Make Up For Ever #21 layered over blotted Guerlain KissKiss Extreme #120, topped with YSL Golden Red gloss makes a KILLER combo. Loves! <3

    • kiwikeely

      I’m chinese with 100% natural virgin – aka they are black, and black eyes too. and I find myself looking perfect in almost all sorts of red lipstick – blue toned, oranged toned, whatsoever. black and red is definitely the perfect match!!!

      • It certainly does work on many people. However, I’m a tad worried that it would work less nicely on me since East Asians generally have lighter skintone than me. (I’m around NC 25-30)

        It’s a bit like how I love smoky eyes (whether paired with red lips or not) on my East Asian friend, but I find it makes me look tired. Smoky eyes do, however, works on me when I wear colored contacts (which I can’t be bothered to most times). I don’t even wear dark liners on my lower lashline because it ages me. I blame my dark circles.

        I’d definitely try red lipstick again after going black. I just hope I’d still have use for my two backups of my current HG red instead of having to find the perfect red again. I’m not too sure it would work at this point. It HAS been seven years of bleaching… =’D

  36. Mariella

    I guess the thing I hate is how it can often wear off so unevenly/unattractively, leaving a red ring around the margin of my lips and no stain or trace at all in the middle, rather than fading sort of evenly. But I love wearable reds like MAC Dubonnet and Clarins Redwood – softer, easier reds to wear and these 2 seem to fade away more evenly than some others.

  37. Adelita

    I only love 5 looks on my lip, pinkish-beige nude, light pinkish-mauve, light-medium lilac/purplish-pink, medium fuschia, and red lips. My red lipsticks should be deep, opaque and with blue/brown undertone. My top 3 are:
    • Chanel Rouge Allure Laque “Dragon”
    • Face Atelier “Revenge”
    • NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil “Cruella”

    I just don’t look great w/ any red lipsticks (and most lipsticks) that’s too bright or with yellow/orange undertone, those just makes my tan, golden-olive skin look more sallow/jaundice.

  38. Catherine

    I am CRAZY about red lipstick. I feel like I need to own every shade that ever existed. My last acquisition was Dragon by Chanel. AMAZING! Totally worth the 47$ CAD price tag. And I don’t reserve red lipstick for special occasion. If I feel like wearing Dragon to College, why not!

  39. k romada

    i wear warm reds–my faves are chanel coromandel, chante tulip, lancome red haute. red lips 4 ever!

  40. Dormouse

    The plusses: I love them despite the fact that they can be rather high-maintenance. They are flattering to me, with my fairly dark hair and cool-toned, light skin. They’re an easy way to be glamorous and make an impact.
    Now the minuses: They get on my teeth. They wind up on the bridge of my nose – don’t ask me how :) They need to be touched up alot to look good all day. They tend to migrate off my lips and onto the surrounding skin, although bases and primers help to avoid this problem.

  41. Mel

    MAC Prince Noir is my go to red it’s so edgy and vampy, I love it and use it with a lot of my daytime looks. MAC Dubonnet is my going out red but I don’t party or get out much so he hasn’t been taken out of the bag yet:)

  42. I look awful in red lipstick. No matter how many I try, none seem to really work. I have one from MAC that is okay, but I’m not super comfortable in it. I think it looks great on other people if it’s the right shade of red, but I can’t pull it off. I tend to stick to fuschia and plum because they look awesome on me.

  43. Veronica

    My favorite look, though I tend to prefer them with a neutral eye. It feels overwhelming to me if heavy coloration is used on both the lip and eyes.

  44. Karen

    I look ridiculous in red lipstick.

  45. Kelsey

    I’ve become obsessed with red lipstick the past few weeks. I haven’t worn it out in public yet, but I’m contemplating wearing red lips daily for a month as a sort of personal challenge. I have the theory it will be a major confidence booster.

  46. Aleka

    I love red lipstick!! blue based, orange based, bright, muted :3 I think I have neutral undertones maybe leaning towards warm, nc25 and almost black hair. I always get compliments when wearing a red lip, I love mac lady danger, so chaud, russian red, ladybug, lancome idole, clinique flamenco and bobbi brown red

  47. Maria

    I have big full lips and I absolutely LOVE red lips! I have golden tan skin and it just seems to clean up any look. I wear it during the day and for special occasion looks. Every woman should have a red tube of lipstick that they can trust. I personally Love Maybelline’s Red Revival and Are you Red-y.

  48. Michelle Brown

    I love red lipstick because it’s versatile; I only have a blue-red one because I’m afraid orange-red lipstick will enhance my yellow teeth. I usually wear it sheer for perfectly rosy lips, but sometimes I wear it semi-opaque when I want sexy lips. I dislike its ability to look trashy or too dramatic! I think everyone should have one red lipstick that suits them well, if they wear makeup at all.

  49. I love, love, love red lipstick. MAC’s Russian Red and OCC’s NSFW are just too classy. I’ve actually been wearing them out recently (I got it into my mind that wearing lipstick every day would be fun–so far, it’s true!) and I look maaahvelous.
    I don’t particularly like warm reds, is what I’d have to complain about.

  50. I am a fierce advocate of red lipstick – opaque reds that require a bit of boldness from the wearer, because why be apologetic about it? There’s nothing that does so much to perk up your look as the addition of a judiciously selected red lipstick. NARS was my first entry into full-coverage reds, but my current favourites are all Cle de Peau (R1, R3, 17).

  51. Michy

    I absolutly love red lipstick ! I’m trying to buy the full collection of mac’s red lipstick but it’s not so simple for me, at the time I have 11. I think that I colud wear a bit of red in every moment of the day, for a pop of color on the lips, you have to choose the right red and just tap it a little, if you don’t want a full color during the day.
    I’m fair and blonde and when I wear red lipstick I usually only wear some eyeliner and mascara on the eyes…
    Such a nice style for me !

  52. Violet

    NSFW Lip Tar by OCC. It’s a true red. I’ve yet to find the perfect lip liner to it though. I need one a notch darker, and I can’t find it!

  53. Marianthi

    I love red lips. As a redhead I tried a little bit before I found shades that I can pull of. Not easy, but if you find them then its the most amazing compliment to my redhair-fair skin.
    My top 2 are:
    1) DIOR Rouge Dior in 999: So bright! I use Dior’s lipliner in 833 all over lip, and then the 999 shade, blot, reapply, blot. Perfection! Always with a soft eye.
    2) DIOR Rouge Dior in 644: Everyday red. Slap it on and go. Or, for a funky twist, I use YSL Gloss Pur in 3 on top, lovely and fresh!

  54. cydoniac

    for a really long time I refused to wear red lipstick. For some reason,I thought it would make me look like a clown (I have medium skin,dark brown hair and hazel eyes,for reference). then,one day,I thought to myself “hey,if you don’t do it now,then when?” and got over it…!!!! the first red lipstick I bought was Chanel Rouge Allure Laque Dragon (after the raving review I read in here!),then Mac Russian Red and then Mac Dubonnet…they all look amazing on me and I’m completely mad at myself for not going for the red lip earlier…

  55. Jane

    When done well, red lips are gorgeous on just about everyone. They can border on the costumey, depending on the rest of the makeup and the wearer’s clothes. And they can look downright BAD without the proper level of care (Lipstick Queen Medieval: zero care. Matte red lips: high maintenance). I’m still searching for a dupe of Estee Lauder’s discontinued Very Red. The formula (Futurist) was terrible but the color was perfection. Of course I threw away the tube so I can’t comparison shop.

    • Smidgeroo

      I think there’s a service online that will re-make discontinued shades for a fee. Of course, I don’t remember the name. XD

      • Jane

        I think it’s Three Custom Color, and they quite probably already have Very Red in their database. It was seriously such a perfect red.

  56. Jennifer

    What drives me crazy about red lipstick is how badly it feathers on my lips. Doesn’t matter if it is matte or not , with a liner, red has a mind of its own and it is going wherever it wants!!!! lol

    Like any bold pigmented color, I do hate how even a matte red can sometimes end up on my teeth. :(

    My rave: I love blue-reds, pink-reds, coral-reds, brown-red… on myself. I like the attention to my lips.
    I also feel just a bit FIERCE when I wear a red.

    Another rant – I can’t wear true cherry reds or yellow reds…Those reds make me look like a clown … No matter how much I try with MAC’s LE Heartless lipstick (from the disney collection), it just looks all kinds of wrong on my NC20 skintone. :(

  57. OCC LIP TAR is NSFW is the most gorgeous red I’ve ever put on my lips! I would die without it.

  58. Smidgeroo

    I have yet to find the perfect DARK red. Maybelline’s Red Revival comes close, but they put out a darker version in their runway collection called Red Haute that looked perfect in the tube… but applied purple! D: I swear, if I ever find my perfect dark true red with just a tinge of blue undertone, I’ll buy eight tubes!

  59. Amber

    I used to be so afraid of red lipstick but I finally tried on a longtime lemming this past weekend and bought Chanel Dragon – it is simply stunning and works so well with my coloring (red hair,super fair skin,blue eyes) I just LOVE it. So worth the money it will last me forever!

  60. stella

    If I want to look my absolute best, I must wear red. NC20 with red or brown hair. At the moment I would go with primer, MAC brick liner and NARS Shanghai Express. Full lips and good complexion, and wear red lipstick like you wear oriental fragrance

  61. Jennifer

    There is nothing more classic and sexy than a simple, understated cat eye and beautiful red lips. I am fair complected with pink undertones, brown hair, green eyes. I notice when I wear red lips I get way more attention from men (the good kind). I also have women approach me and tell me how nice it looks and how they wish they had the guts to wear it. Start with a red with some sparkle in it to break up the intensity a little. Two of my favorites are Maybelline ColorSensational in “Ruby Star” and Covergirl Lip Perfection in “Everlasting.” For days I prefer a gloss I go with Mac “Wonder Woman” lipglass and Mac “Sonoran Rain” which looks like a beautiful orange-red on me, a color I would normally avoid like the plague. I get tons of compliments on all of these. If Christina Hendricks can wear it and look good, anyone can.

  62. Lakitha

    I am an NW45 who loves red lipstick. For evening looks, I love to add a hint of either silver or gold pigment to the center of the lip.

  63. ak

    I love red lipstick and I prefer when it’s matte too. The ones I usually use are Nars Pure Matte Mascate, Illamasqua Sangers, MAC Charred Red, and MAC Chili.

    I don’t think that red lips will be seen as so ‘unwearable’, ‘intimidating’, or ‘too much’ for much longer these days. Because lipstick is back in style, and red lips have been going back in and out of style for at least the past couple of years now.

    I think people like the look of red lipstick on me in the daytime these day, but I only wear foundation with it and that’s all. I always wear any red lipstick with MAC Mahogany lip pencil though which is one of my favorite ever lip pencils.

  64. Lola

    I love a matte sheer red lip for day, i think it looks amazing and I have yet to find the perfect product (a lip stain that is truly RED and not rosy/cherry red) to achieve that look! For now, I just use a small amount of a red liquid lipstick and smudge it around my lips. The downside is that it doesn’t last long though :(

    • You may want to check Beaute Cosmetics’ liqui-gel stain in Fever. I’ve heard very good things about it (and their lip creme in Masochist)