There’s no shortage of red lipsticks out there, yet only a handful manage to become iconic. But what makes a red lipstick timeless? Intense, opaque color payoff, a creamy texture, and a long-wear formula that stays on without drying up and flaking on your lips are just a few of the attributes.
Some that have made the list include: MAC’s Ruby Woo, the gateway shade for many red lipstick fans, and Revlon’s Fire and Ice, an affordable orange-red color that’s so popular, one sells every four minutes in the U.S.
But whether you love a classic matte or an easy-to-apply liquid lipstick, the following shades check off all the boxes. Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 best red lipsticks of all time.
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MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo
If you grew up in a suburban town, chances are your introduction to makeup products took place at the MAC counter in your local department store, and your first red lipstick was the brand’s Ruby Woo. The famous shade remains a popular choice because of its comfortable semi-matte finish and high-color payoff.
NARS Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil in Cruella
This velvety deep red crayon looks amazing across all skin tones. Even though it’s a pencil, the color glides on smooth and doesn’t get chalky.
Chanel Rouge Allure Intense Long-Wear Lip Colour in Pirate
Chanel has a handful of gorgeous red lipsticks, but this matte shade is a cult-favorite for good reason. Pirate offers full, intense coverage that doesn’t fade or settle into lips, which can emphasize flakes.
Giorgio Armani Beauty Rouge d’Armani Lipstick in 400
Along with creating the ultimate lightweight foundation beloved by celebrities, makeup artists, and beauty editors alike, Armani knows how to do a good red, too. This famous shade is a true matte red that hugs lips for up to 12 hours.
Pat McGrath Labs Mattetrance Lipstick in Elson 2
Leave it to legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath to mix the ideal fiery red-orange shade. Fans of Elson 2 swear by this lipstick because it’s creamy, never drying, and offers a long-lasting matte finish.
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso
Liquid lipsticks are notorious for being dry as hell, but you don’t have to worry about this Stila tube sucking all of the moisture out of your lips. Since the formula is infused with nourishing vitamin E and avocado oil, lips stay soft and smooth — without any fading or bleeding.
Dior Rouge Couture Lipstick in 999
Dior’s 999 shade is iconic because it looks beautiful on every single skin tone. As for the actual formula, it’s infused with moisturizing ingredients so that its soft, creamy texture holds all day.
Kjaer Weis Lipstick in KW Red
Kjaer Weis’ signature red lipstick might be certified organic, but it doesn’t play. The formula’s natural ingredients offer just as much color payoff and wear as other popular reds on the market. This shade has a rich, velvety finish and is inspired by the brand’s signature crimson packaging.
Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Longwear Fluid Lip Color in Uncensored
Rihanna’s first red lipstick from her Fenty line is a universal shade — and it does not move until you wipe it off at night.