What do you like about red lip colors? What don't you like?

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Red Lip Colors

I love red lip color in all forms–lipstick, lipgloss, or tinted lip balm! It can add so much brightness to my face, and I love how rich they often look on. The only downside is that more emollient or creamier formulas can be harder to maintain.

— Christine


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Nancy T Avatar

Love: They make my 60 year old coffee drinker teeth look bright white, for one! Also, because I literally grew up watching my mom’s favorite film noir movies, red lipstick always evokes glamour and elegance for me. Especially a matte or satin red with a blue base! But I’m also into orange-reds, coral-reds, richer deep vampy reds, too.

Hate: Only red lipstick that travels outside the lipline due to being far too emollient and goopy! Or ones that are splotchy and give uneven application. Thankfully, most don’t fall into either category.

Vivian Avatar

I appreciate red lips on other people but I no longer reach for them myself. I find that on me, red lipstick gives an extremely feminine look, whereas my personal style taste leans androgynous nowadays. I’ll still occasionally reach for a red tinted lip balm or sheer gloss, particularly if it’s a deeper and/or more muted take on red that therefore looks more harmonious with my coloration.

Valerie Avatar

Love the look. Hate the maintenance. If a nude lippie goes out of bounds or winds up elsewhere on my face or teeth or clothes it’s not as big a deal.

Seraphine Avatar

Love love love red lipstick!!! I think red brightens up my face and somehow makes me feel more confident. That said, red isn’t right for every occasion. The only real negative I can think of are formulas that feather outside the lip line. I hate wearing lip liner, so I stick to my favorite non-bleed reds, like Chanel Pirate, my perfect HG red…the queen of my lipstick collection!

Emily Avatar

Like: They make me look put together even when I don’t have time to spend on clothes/hair/the rest of my face. Also love the old-school movie star glamor of a red lip.

Dislike: I have little kids, so bright lip colors basically don’t get worn unless they’re transfer-proof. Too many chances for them to get swiped off into little hands (or kissed off ?). Maybelline Pioneer is basically the only one in my regular rotation at the moment.

Ana Maria Avatar

On ode to the red lip: I love how the right red can brighten a look, can make me feel bold, powerful and confident. Red lips are the little black dress of make-up. Like little black dresses, I don’t only love a red when I go to more formal events; I’ll throw some sneakers and a leather jacket and wear a red (although being me, I’ll most likely wear a burgundy).

The main rant is that finding the perfect red is so hard… with reds even the slightest difference in undertones and hues can be the line between looking amazing or looking sick, between having the brightest smile or the look of decaying yellow teeth.
And yes, emollient formulas are hard to maintain. But I love my lipstick bold and in matte/satin finishes, so it’s not an issue for me.

AJ Avatar

Love: A red lip is a really iconic, bold look. It’s a big statement look that you can wear without getting as many weird looks or comments as you might get for say, Bite Beauty’s Kale or another fantasy color. Depending on the shade, red can be sexy, sassy, fierce, mysterious, or elegant.

Hate: Warm-based reds can bring out the yellow in my teeth. And some reds “turn” and end up looking more orange or pink than expected (I only rarely have this issue but I have a friend who seems to have trouble with every red she tries).

xamyx Avatar

I love the “right” red, ones that aren’t too bright, lean too orange or pink, and preferably a matte or demi-matte/satin. Looking back, the handful of lip products I’ve actually used up completely have been reds… When I find one that fits my needs, I use it all the time; the only thing is, once I find “the one”, it gets DCd, and the hunt for a replacement resumes, and I end up spending $100s trying different ones. It came to a point where I just stopped wearing reds for a while. That said, I recently indulged in the Melt Cosmetics sale, and picked up Death Cherry, and I think it’s going to be one I finish, and am already considering a backup when there’s another sale…

cherie Avatar

Love: red lipstick on other people
Hate – red lipstick on me. With my weird coloring I haven’t found a red shade that looks good on me. Lord knows I’ve looked and looked…

Francesca Avatar

I like warm toned based Red, like Orange Red (Mac lady danger) Coral Red (like Mac mangrove or relentlessy Red), copper Red (Mac chili). With the right makeup, I can also wear cool Red like Ruby woo, because it’s not too dark or Deep and It’s very very matte (I don’t think that a glossier version of Ruby woo Would suit me though). The type of Red that I Will avoid because I don’t like how the look on me are the cool and dark/Deep ones, like the iconic and so called Universal Red, the Mac Russian red… Not Universal at all

kjh Avatar

Love them all, though they are reasonably high maintenance. They’re like black clothing; they demand a certain degree of neatness and ‘pulled-togetherness.’ When I was a young adult, your mother wore red, and you were not yet demonstrating sufficient adulting. We wore beige, when reds were ‘called for.’

TropicalCowgirl Avatar

I shy away from fushia colored lips on me and I hate when reds fade to a pinkish stain. I find I do well with brownish reds or true blue reds. I do agree they can be higher maintenance. I used to use a Cover Girl Outlast color that was a perfect red but it got DC’d. I loved being able to use a separate clear tube to moisturize my lips and never worried about smearing.

Rachel R. Avatar

Raves: I LOVE red lippies! They instantly make one look pulled together. They’re powerful, strong, and sexy. There is a shade out there for everyone, and most are not as high maintenance as they’re made out to be.

Rants: They can be prone to feathering in some formulations, especially more emollient or darker reds. Reds can show little application mistakes, so some may require a lipliner and/or lip brush to make it look neat.

Alexis Avatar

Red lipsticks are so beautiful and I really admire the shade…on others. I’m very fair skinned and have been looking for that “perfect red” shade for what feels like, my entire life. Specifically, I am OBSESSED with the darker “vampy” shades and wish I could find one that I don’t feel flashes with my skin tone or the rest of my makeup. I really love Jeffree Stars’ Velour Liquid Lipstick in shade “Unicorn Blood.” Thinking about just taking the chance on it. I would also like to find a true toned red shade. Not too orangey and not too berryish.

Blanca Avatar

If you’re ok with the price, I would recommend trying Armani’s Universal Red (400) in either Lip Maestro (super creamy hydrating matte) or Lip Magnet (liquid matte, dry but non-drying).

I love reds and I finally have gotten into the comfort zone with them, I wear orange reds in the summer and true or blue reds in the winter without feeling like the red is wearing me anymore. I even wore Bite Beauty Dallas (although actually more of a very intense berry shade) last week without feeling self-concious at all!

Sarah Avatar

I really love how reds – especially deep blue-reds – suddenly makes me look sultry and mature, but I hate how reds can be so creamy that they settle into the very fine lines that I’m starting to develop around my mouth. I’m 33 with no fillers, so I’m starting to see tiny lines and boy does red lipstick like to creep into those tiny lines! A good lip liner is the only way I can contain my reds.

DVa Avatar

Pros: I love the look of red lips, if I have a very neutral/nude eye. It’s glam.
I’ve only started wearing bold lips recently.

Cons: I’m always worried about it creeping into the corners of my lips and whiskering (bad).

I’ve also noticed that when I wear dark lips (as opposed to my usual nude hues) I look older. I’m not sure why, but I’m quite conscious of it–I need to ensure the rest of my makeup offsets that and I’ve not found a perfect solution yet.

Sue Avatar

Loves: It draws the eyes to my lips and that can be good for dates! It disguises an otherwise minimal or rushed makeup day: others see the red lip and tend to fill in the blanks (eyeliner, eyeshadow, blush) themselves based on how I usually do my makeup.

Hate: How critical it is to find the right shade match for one’s undertone… and because of that, how many bullets of red lipsticks I own (way more than I can possibly use). I think I’ve finally figured out my best look is coppery reds (MAC Chili, Bite Hot Harissa, Bite Puree) and to avoid pinks/cool-toned reds.

Susan Nevling Avatar

I do like red lipcolors on many people. For my coloring, I prefer blue reds and berries and I must be having a confident day to wear them. I tried a few classic reds like Ruby Woo but still am uncomfortable wearing matte lippies. I am working on this. I’m 70 now. Maybe by the time I’m 90, I will pull it off! ?

Jen Avatar

Love them! Although I tend to lean toward the blue based darker reds rather than a bright stoplight kind of shade. I’m pretty fair with dark hair and glasses so I feel like a bold lip color helps balance my features, and create a nice contrast for my appearance. The only thing is I don’t always have a steady hand so applying a bold color like red can be a bit of a challenge to get right.

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