No matter how big of a beauty fanatic you are, lipstick is a pretty overwhelming product to shop for. You need to choose among numerous formulas, pick what kind of finish you want, and decide if you want something long-lasting or something that will fade to an even stain. And you also need to figure out which colors are going to be flattering for you. Fortunately, there are a variety of lip colors that have been proven to look great on everyone.
But what if you’re set on red? You can find blue-red lipsticks and orange-red lipsticks. You can also find lipsticks that blur the line between red and pink. In short, red lipstick is not just red lipstick. And it’s entirely possible that you need more than one. Thankfully, we can give you a head start on finding some red lipstick options that are sure to please. The shades ahead are universally flattering and have gained a stamp of approval from beauty editors, makeup artists, and bloggers alike.
1. Chanel Rebelle
Into the Gloss crowned Chanel Rebelle one of its essential shades of red lipstick. As the publication reports, Rebelle is a red that’s poppy, but not pink. If you want your red lipstick to be a little on the orange side and big on a luxurious feel and finish, this is the shade for you.
2. Elizabeth Arden Neoclassic Coral
Elizabeth Arden’s lipstick in Neoclassic Coral is a rare red that works on both fair complexions and dark complexions, without being too strong for one or too subtle for the other. Makeup artist Mai Quynh tells Byrdie, choosing one shade of lipstick that’s flattering on everyone, but Neoclassic Coral is a rare winner. “The warm red undertone brightens up every complexion and makes anyone look modern and chic,” she said.
3. Kevyn Aucoin Bloodroses
Another Into the Gloss favorite? Kevyn Aucoin’s Bloodroses. This is a shade that’s somewhere between red and brown. The publication says it’s a combination of “warm mahogany and a cool red, which makes it simultaneously complexion-warming and teeth whitening.” Sounds like a winner to us.
4. MAC Ruby Woo
MAC’s famous Ruby Woo is a lipstick with a cult following, thanks in no small part to the way it flatters every skin tone and undertone. As Sam Escobar reports for Good Housekeeping, this true blue-red works well on all complexions and lip shapes. The matte finish makes the color more intense and even more flattering. Need proof? You’re just a quick Google search from countless photos of the shade’s loyal fans.
5. NARS Heat Wave
NARS’ Heat Wave is a vibrant color that offers a satiny finish — perfect for you if you don’t want something shimmery or excessively shiny. Allure reports, “This fiery lipstick goes on smoothly and won’t dry out lips, so the color stays intact for hours.” Heat Wave is an orange-based red, which means it’s particularly flattering on people with yellow undertones.
6. NARS Lana
Julie Schott reports for Elle that NARS’ Audacious Lipstick in Lana is makeup artist Robin Black’s pick for the “holy grail of fire-starting lip colors.” According to Black, the shade is beautiful on almost everyone. “The warmth makes it great on Asian and olive skin. It’s gorgeous with blue eyes, green eyes, brown eyes — it just brightens up the face,” she said.
7. Revlon Fire and Ice
Revlon Fire and Ice is a classic red lipstick that’s been around since the 1950s. (See Fashionista for a great history lesson on the original advertising campaign, and a restaged campaign shot in 2010.) PopSugar named Fire and Ice as one of the vintage beauty products that editors still love. It can read both warm and cool depending on what you pair it with. So, it’s a classic shade that you’ll definitely want to try.
8. Sephora Always Red
Sephora’s cream lip stain in Always Red is a cult-favorite lip product with a high-coverage finish and a creamy texture. Refinery29 dubbed this formula a “makeup unicorn” since it really does stay put on your lips. It’s a classic blue-red that’s flattering on just about every skin tone, so you’ll definitely want to pick up a tube.
9. Sisley-Paris Tango
If you want a red lip color that’s pigmented like a lipstick, shiny like a lip gloss, and moisturizing like a balm, Sisley-Paris’ lip twist in Tango is the perfect lip product for you. Into the Gloss calls this shade “five-alarm fire engine red.” The publication also explains this color is equal parts magenta and ruby.
10. Smashbox Bawse
Smashbox Bawse is a flattering shade, created in collaboration with YouTube personality Lilly Singh, that looks great on just about everybody. Cosmopolitan put the shade to the test on 10 different women and determined it’s universally flattering. Plus, it actually lasts all day.
11. Tom Ford Ruby Rush
Another great red lipstick that Byrdie learned about? Tom Ford’s Ruby Rush, which is a favorite of makeup artist Kathy Jeung. She told the publication, “I love this perfect shade of red. It’s a true red — not too orange and not too blue. I’ve used this lip color on Abbey Lee Kershaw, Kate Upton, Rita Ora, and Nicole Scherzinger, and they all love the matte yet creamy formulation that gives a modern feel to a bright lip look.” If it’s good enough for those gals, it’s certainly good enough for us.