The best red lipstick we’ve ever owned: Lifestyle’s top picks

Whether it’s the ultimate armour in your make up bag, something you savour for special occasions, or an integral part of your every day – everyone has a favourite shade of red.

Red lipstick is as iconic as it is transformative. It's the most historic of all make up, favoured by powerful personalities across time from Cleopatra to Marilyn Monroe, David Bowie, Elizabeth Taylor, and Madonna. It’s zero to one hundred in less than 60 seconds; a slick of confidence, power, strength and style with one swipe of a heavily pigmented magic wand.

For some of us, it’s not easy to wear, it’s outside the comfort zone, a bit too bold, even a little intimidating – but we'd argue these are probably red lipstick's very best qualities. It’s the ultimate armour for a dull day, a plain outfit, or a moment in which you’d like to stand out amongst the crowd. 

Here, we share a few of our favourite red lipsticks, as well as why we just can’t do without red.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Cayenne

I lurve a red lippy. I used to love M.A.C. lipsticks but I find they dry out really quickly. I stumbled across Bite; it never dries out – moisture for months on end. Every time I whip out my Bite lippy I say to anyone who will listen: “See! Still moist!" 

 — Elise Cullen
Available at Sephora, $26.


A post shared by Bite Beauty (@bitebeauty) on

Dec 13, 2017 at 11:01am PST

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Lana

I love it because it just fancies up anything you’re wearing and really makes the lips pop! I saw it on a friend and thought it looked amazing! Most importantly, it doesn't go gross and blotchy after wearing it all day.

— Oz Cekic.
Available at MECCA, $49

MAC Matte Lipstick in Russian Red

I’ve been wearing this lipstick for over ten years (I’m literally still using the same stick I bought back in 2008!) and it remains one of my go-to's for a beautiful blue-red lippy that makes my teeth look whiter than they actually are.

I’ve got a pretty low maintenance beauty regime and find applying a coat of Russian Red means I can opt out of wearing much makeup but still look like I’ve made an effort. It also stays put after knocking back a few glasses, which everyone knows is the true criteria of a good lipstick.

Emily Dufton.
Available from MAC, $36.

YVES SAINT LAURENT Rouge Pur Couture Vernis A Levres in 9

I have been using these lipsticks for years and have it in several different shades but I’ve got a soft spot for this classic red.

Unlike a lot of long-lasting lipsticks, this one doesn’t dry out your lips, goes on and shines like a gloss (but stays put like a matte) and is not only easy to apply but equally easy to take off when I’ve swiped off centre.

Tiffany Dunk
Available from Sephora, $55.

Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick in Muse

I'm a huge Hourglass fan, and it all started with this lipstick. As well as being a colour that seems to suit my skin tone, the formula is soft, creamy, and conditioning too with Vitamin E and antioxidants.

It's a saturated colour without being fussy or overwhelming, so it's super easy to wear during the day as well as out at night. I've lost it twice and rebought it straight away  it's a go to and I almost always have it with me. 

 — Sammy Preston.
Available from Hourglass, approximately $40 plus shipping


MAC Matte Lipstick in Lady Danger

It’s a beautiful orangey red matte colour and it stays on forever. Brightens up my look when all I tend to wear is monochrome!

— Melinda Ennis.
Available from MAC, $36.

Want more? We thought you might like this video.


Sign Out

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.