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13 Best Red Lipsticks for 2023

The Glowsly editors independently test and choose the best products. We may receive commissions on purchases made from the affiliate links.

Red lipstick is beyond makeup. A swipe of crimson on your lips can be an accessory to your outfit or a full makeup look all by itself. It’s an intrinsic staple to so many classic styles, from “French girl chic” to glamorous retro vixen. 

That said, finding your perfect red lipstick isn’t always easy, causing many to assume that red just isn’t for them. It’s a complex color, and the red lipsticks out there are very different from one another. They can be cool, warm, bright, or deep with any number of formulas and finishes. We’ve curated a diverse list of the very best red lipsticks, so you’ll be sure to find your next signature red among them. 

Best red lipstick overview:

How we chose the best red lipsticks

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including finish, longevity, and more, to create a short list of the top red lipsticks. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, swatches, ratings, and reviews to find the best red lipstick for each category.

Our picks for the best red lipsticks

Best overall
MAC Matte Lipstick in Russian Red

What we love

  • Glamorous red shade with a retro vibe
  • Comfortable creamy matte formula
  • Longwearing

What we don’t love

  • Not ideal for warm or olive skin

Russian Red is the ultimate vixen red lipstick, which is why it wins our top spot. It’s deep but not too deep, with a subtle coolness that brings to mind Old Hollywood bombshells. Can you tell we’re enamored? 

It looks incredible on those with cool or neutral skin tones, but it can sometimes clash with warm or olive skin — who will do better with a red like Rouge Dior 999. 

This bullet has a timeless creamy matte finish that doesn’t feel dry on the lips and can wear well for up to 10 hours. It’s not totally transfer-proof, but it doesn’t smudge or feather so that you can get away with it without a lip liner.

Finish: Creamy matte | Type: Bullet

Best budget
Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Best Red

What we love

  • Smooth, moisturizing formula
  • Elegant red that suits most skin tones
  • Builds easily

What we don’t love

  • May require multiple layers for an opaque look

From packaging to formula, Best Red feels like a high-end product — yet it’s one of the most affordable red lipsticks on our list. It has a smooth, creamy formula that feels comfortably moisturizing on the lips and provides a glamorous satin finish. 

The shade Best Red is aptly named. It’s an elegant crimson with enough depth to suit all skin tones. We find that the formula isn’t extremely opaque on one swipe, but we don’t mind — it builds up easily, which means you can also blot it to achieve a “stained look.” Red Label is another great red from the line, with a slightly lighter and brighter tone.

Finish: Satin | Type: Bullet

Best splurge
Dior Rouge Dior in 999

What we love

  • Flattering warm shade
  • Comfortable, nourishing formula
  • 4 finishes to choose from

What we don’t love

  • Expensive

Despite its high price, Rouge Dior 999 is one of the most popular red lipsticks in the world. This scarlet shade is vivid with a subtle warmth. It registers as a true red on yellow and olive undertones but will still flatter everyone. 

The formula is enhanced with pomegranate and peony extracts to feel nourishing on the lips. Because it’s so popular, Dior has made it available in four finishes: metallic, satin, matte, and velvet.

Finish: Matte, velvet, satin, or metallic | Type: Bullet

Best long-lasting
Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

What we love

  • Long-wearing and transfer-proof
  • Pigmented and multidimensional
  • A few gorgeous reds to choose from

What we don’t love

  • Can feel a little heavy and sticky

Reapplying red lipstick can be a painstaking process, but Maybelline’s Super Stay Matte Ink lets you skip it altogether. This is one of the most pigmented and long-lasting formulas we’ve experienced — it even stays put through mealtime. 

This longevity, paired with the pointed applicator, means you could skip the lip liner without worrying about the color bleeding. It can feel a little heavy or sticky on the lips, but it doesn’t transfer, so you can easily wear it with a face mask. 

While it’s described as matte, we find that it still offers some dimension, like a demi-matte or velvet finish. This range has multiple stunning reds, but our favorites are warm-red Dancer and blue-red Shot Caller.

Finish: Demi-matte | Type: Liquid

Best liquid
Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color in Uncensored

What we love

  • Comfortable, longwear formula
  • A true neutral red
  • Precise applicator

What we don’t love

  • Pricey

If you find bullet lipsticks smudgy or thick, Fenty’s lip paint formula is worth a try. It’s incredibly longwearing but feels very comfortable on the lips. The small, hourglass-shaped applicator makes it easy to achieve a precise pout that won’t smudge or transfer. 

Uncensored, the only true red in the line, is almost perfectly neutral without pulling either blue or orange. Needless to say, it’s perfect across skin tones and undertones. The packaging is gorgeous, which is a shame considering it’s the kind of formula that doesn’t require touch-ups.

Finish: Matte | Type: Liquid

Best glossy
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire and Ice

What we love

  • Nourishing, moisturizing formula
  • Bright red that suits cool skin
  • Budget-friendly

What we don’t love

  • Not very longwearing

From Revlon, this isn’t just a stunning red shade but also a nourishing product that feels great on the lips. Fire and Ice is a bright red that leans cool pink (explaining the name), making it an excellent choice for those with cool undertones. 

It has a lustrous finish that gives the lips a glossy, juicy look and keeps them moisturized with vitamin E and avocado oil. While it feels luxurious, it doesn’t have the longevity of more matte formulas.

Finish: Glossy | Type: Bullet

Best deep
Lisa Eldridge Velvet Jazz True Velvet Lip Colour

What we love

  • Highly pigmented formula
  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Deep, warm shade flatters all skin tones

What we don’t love

  • Pricey

Celebrity makeup artist Lisa Eldridge broke the internet when she released her lipstick line. The plush matte formula has earned rave reviews for its intense color payoff, gorgeous finish, and comfortable feel on the lips. 

Velvet Jazz is one of our favorite reds from the brand. It’s slightly warm with an alluring depth but will still flatter all skin tones. It’s inspired by vintage lipsticks from the 1930s, so pick it up if you love retro-inspired makeup with modern performance.

Finish: Demi-matte | Type: Bullet

Best brick
NARS Powermatte Lipstick in Too Hot To Hold

What we love

  • Sophisticated choice for warm undertones
  • Comfortable creamy matte finish
  • Up to 10 hours of wear

What we don’t love

  • Won’t look red on those with cool skin

Too Hot To Hold is the perfect subdued brick red if your skin is very warm or olive. It has a creamy matte finish that looks sophisticated rather than dry and feels lightweight on the lips. It offers up to 10 hours of wear — impressive for a stick formula. 

Just note that this shade might register as orange-brown on cooler skin tones. For a darker version of this shade, Mogador is another great option.

Finish: Matte | Type: Stick

Best cool-toned
MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo

What we love

  • Vibrant, eye-catching shade
  • Very flattering to cool skin tones
  • Longwearing matte finish

What we don’t love

  • Can seem a bit pink in certain situations
  • May be a little drying

Ruby Woo is a bright cool red that stands out like a beacon. It’s more in your face than MAC’s Russian Red, perhaps the secret to its immense popularity. The vibrant color is offset by an ultra-matte “retro” finish that guarantees excellent wear time but can also feel drying on the lips. We recommend loading up on balm before swiping it on. 

Keep in mind that while it’s an iconic red, it can pull a little pink in some lights, especially on those with warm undertones. We think it’s best for those with light to medium skin and cool undertones.

Finish: Matte | Type: Bullet

Best warm-toned
The Lip Bar Nonstop Liquid Matte in Boy Trouble

What we love

  • Flattering to warm undertones
  • Smooth and comfortable to apply
  • Reasonably priced

What we don’t love

  • May look orange on some wearers

This scarlet lipstick borders on orange, making it a vibrant choice for those with warm undertones. The pigmented formula goes on smooth and saturated without being too runny. You’ll have quite a bit of playtime before it sets to a velvet matte finish. If you prefer liquid lipstick formulas, you can’t go wrong. Plus, it’s very reasonably priced and entirely vegan! 

Finish: Matte | Type: Liquid

Best drugstore
L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Reds Of Worth Satin Lipstick With Saturated Color

What we love

  • Budget-friendly with a luxury feel
  • Moisturizing satin finish
  • A few flattering reds to choose from

What we don’t love

  • Not as longwearing as matte lipsticks

L’Oreal’s Reds Of Worth exude opulence despite its budget-friendly price point. Each lipstick in this lineup comes in a shiny gold tube and has a moisturizing satin finish. From brightly warm-toned Lovely Red to deep and cool Hopeful Red, there’s a shade here for every undertone and preference. 

If you’re not a fan of matte, difficult-to-remove lipsticks, you might also appreciate this product’s more traditional creamy formula. It’s not as long-lasting or transfer-proof as a matte liquid lipstick, but touching it up throughout the day is a pleasant experience.

Finish: Satin | Type: Bullet

Best vampy
Yves Saint Laurent The Slim Velvet Radical Matte Lipstick in Fatal Carmin

What we love

  • Alluring deep, cool red
  • Slim bullet for precise application

What we don’t love

  • Expensive

This pigmented, vampy red from Yves Saint Laurent is liable to seduce the brave and sow fear in the heart of the weak. It has a dark and mysterious vibe with a cool undertone that can make your teeth look sparkling white. It comes in a slim stick-style bullet, allowing you to fill your lips in with added precision while enjoying the comfortable feeling of a cream formula.

Finish: Semi-matte | Type: Stick

Best vegan
Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Bad Blood

What we love

  • No animal-derived ingredients
  • Very opaque true red
  • Hydrating matte formula

What we don’t love

  • Not transfer-proof

Finding a vegan red lipstick can be a struggle since many formulas include carmine, a scale insect-derived red pigment, not to mention beeswax. Bad Blood’s ultra-saturated formula is an achievement that impresses with its vibrant red shade and intense opacity. 

It’s hydrating and creamy with avocado oil and aloe, but it has a soft matte finish. Expect quality longevity, but take note that some reviewers said it could transfer a little. For a darker vibe, Hex is another popular option.

Finish: Matte | Type: Bullet

Set your lips to stun 

Wearing red lipstick puts you front and center. Neither your budget nor your skin tone should stop you from getting noticed (assuming that’s what you want). 

Our top red lipstick, MAC’s iconic Russian Red, has been a beloved staple for decades, thanks to its dynamic blue-red tone and alluring depth. That said, we encourage you to experiment with different depth levels and undertones because red lipsticks are much more diverse than we often realize. 

How to pick the right red lipstick for you

There’s a lot to consider when shopping for lipstick, from the formula and finish to your skin tone. Here’s what to remember when trying to find your perfect red. 

Skin tone

Your skin tone is the most important factor to consider when shopping for red lipstick. It’s not that those with warm undertones can’t wear cool reds or vice versa, but they may not be as effortlessly flattering as a red that matches your undertone. 

Choose a lipstick closer to your undertones for that true red vibe. If you’re warm, that means orange-based scarlet or brick shades. If you’re cool, it means blue-based cherry reds and burgundies. Those with neutral undertones can experiment with all of the above. 

Olive skin tones can be a little complicated since, even within the olive category, you can run warm or cool. Warmer olive undertones are more common, and you’ll do best with warm red lipsticks. If you’re a cool olive, you can actually wear very cool reds, like MAC Ruby Woo, without trouble.

Finally, keep in mind that just about everyone looks great in a neutral red, like Fenty Beauty’s Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored. 


Lipsticks today come in two main types: bullet and liquid. Bullet lipsticks have a thick cream formula with a lot of wax, and you swipe them on directly from the tube. They’re often very comfortable and smooth on the lips, thanks to all the emollients, but they’re not as precise to apply, and their longevity isn’t usually as impressive. 

Liquid lipsticks are a newer innovation. They come in a tube, like lip gloss, with a small applicator. They’re runny at first, but the liquid evaporates quickly, leaving a waterproof coat of pigment over the lips. They’re usually not as moisturizing or comfortable as bullet lipsticks, but they tend to last for a long time. 


Red lipsticks can come in a broad range of finishes — from matte to shimmer or glossy. Rouge Dior 999 is so popular that it’s actually available in nearly every finish imaginable.

Matte lipsticks are more common today. They have a flat, nonreflective finish that can seem sophisticated and tend to offer the best longevity. That said, they can emphasize texture or feel drying on the lips. 

Satin lipsticks have a bit of a sheen. They tend to look very natural and often feel comfortably moisturizing. Their longevity isn’t quite as impressive, though. Creamy or demi-matte lipsticks, like MAC Russian Red, are in between with a matte-but-not-flat finish.

Finally, there are straight-up glossy lipsticks, like Revlon’s Super Lustrous Lipstick. They make the lips look very moist and plump but are more likely to smudge or fade. Depending on your application, you can actually change the finish yourself. Matte lipsticks can be made shiny with the addition of gloss, and you can turn satin lipsticks matte by blotting and powdering them.


What’s the best red lipstick that stays on? 

The best red lipstick as far as longevity is concerned is Maybelline’s Super Stay Matte Ink, which wears well for up to 16 hours, even if you eat or drink. 

What skin tones can wear red lipstick?

All skin tones can wear red lipstick. It’s all about choosing a shade of red that’ll flatter your undertone, as we explain in the section above. 

Why doesn’t red lipstick look good on me?

Chances are you’ve picked a red lipstick that doesn’t suit your skin tone. Take your undertones into account and choose a red that matches. You might also need to make minor adjustments to how you line your lips or ensure that the rest of your makeup pairs well with your lipstick.