A great red lip is just as much a display of personality as it is a vibrant, confidence-boosting accessory.
If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that nothing pulls your look together like a classic red lip—a trick, style icons old and new know all too well. So, whether you’re looking for a deep crimson color à la Marilyn Monroe, or a bold, true bluish-red similar to Taylor Swift’s signature shade, here are 10 solid choices for you to try.
1. NARS Semi-Matte Lipstick in Jungle Red
There are great lipsticks, and then there are lipsticks so iconic that they’re immediately recognizable by their shade or number. Nars’s Jungle Matte is one of these. It’s a semi-matte, cherry-red color that celebrity makeup artist Nick Barose has been using since the ’90s. “I love it because it’s such a badass femme-fatale red.” The name Jungle Red was inspired by a line from the movie The Women, and incidentally, there’s a matching nail polish, too. You can Buy this from here.
2. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso
Maybe you know this shade as one of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s top picks, or maybe you’ve read the thousands of gushing reviews on Sephora. However, you’ve come to discover this cult-favorite true red lipstick, be glad you did because it won’t disappoint. You can Buy this from here.
3. Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kit in Mary Jo K
This sweet, sweet, cherry red was an early release of Kylie’s and definitely deserves the ‘best red’ title in her collection. Named after her Grandmother on Kris’s side, this is one red that won’t budge no matter how much you eat, drink or dance. You can Buy this from here.
4. MAC Ruby Woo
Ask any makeup artist what their to-go red lipstick is, and you can bet the majority of them will say MAC’s Ruby Woo – it’s a cult classic. This extra-matt texture is the perfect rich red which has blue undertones, making your teeth look pearly white after just one swipe. You can Buy this from here.
5. Giorgio Armani Rouge’d Armani Lipstick in 400
This timeless shade is so tied to the brand; it mirrors their red lipstick cases. Its creation myth is that Giorgio himself believed it was the “perfect” red, reproduced in the lab from a flawless red rose he had brought his chemists. “I’ve never been one for rules, but 400 is the perfect universal red. There is no better,” international Giorgio Armani makeup artist Linda Cantello says. You can Buy this from here.
6. Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored
Recently, Strat’s Rio Viera-Newton deemed the new Fenty Stunna Lip Paint — available in a single shade, Uncensored, that Rihanna’s team dubbed “universally flattering” — the new Ruby Woo. It’s appealing as a lipstick that looks good on everyone, no matter their age or skin tone, and though it’s similar to Ruby Woo in matte finish and color, it feels like you’re wearing nothing at all. It’s a new classic, for sure. You can Buy this from here.
7. Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in O1 Always Red
The biggest red-lip secret of them all, though, according to Cut beauty director Kathleen Hou, is Sephora’s cream lip stain. Shade 01 is used all the time on Vogue China covers. It looks really good on Asian skin tones, and basically everyone else. It’s like Ruby Woo in liquid form. You can Buy this from here.
8. Chanel Rouge Double Intensité Ultra Wear Lip Color in Ever Red
Because you might favor a glossier, shinier red, Leach suggests Chanel’s Rouge Double Intensité in Ever Red, which she describes as a moody blood red that would suit an olive or dark skin tone. Many mature women are very attracted to this color, as it’s a regal, muted shade that’s not too bright. You can Buy this from here.
9. Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Bawse
There aren’t a lot of red lipsticks that are one-shade-suits-all, but this moisturizing matte liquid lipstick (designed by YouTube queen Lilly Singh and Smashbox) actually looks good on everyone. Don’t believe me? See for yourself! You can Buy this from here.
10. Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips Liquid Lipstick in Screen Siren
This must-have shade is the classic red that will not only leave your lips looking like Marilyn’s, but its formula keeps your lips hydrated, so they don’t become dry and flaky. Oh, and it will not budge, so you can even eat your favorite burger with it on. Another win-win, if you ask us. You can Buy this from here.
Everyone has their favorite shade of red; we hope you found yours in this list!