Red Lipstick 101


I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve accumulated enough red lipsticks for an army.

… Not that they’d wear lipstick anyway.

There are so many different finishes and shades that I can’t have just one. I decided to gather some of my favorites and share a few tips for a great pop of red for the holidays- or any time of the year!

Matte Shades

Satin/Creamy Shades

Quite a few, huh? Out of the eight shades above, these are my favorites along with their dupes for the fashionable and frugal:


After buying numerous matte shades, MAC Red was the first red lipstick that I bought with more of a satin feel. I’d say it’s a red lipstick that looks great on a variety of skin tones.

P.S. If you’re looking for a cheap duplicate, check out Revlon’s Certainly Red above. I personally choose MAC Red because it applies slightly better than Certainly Red. Might be just me! Other than that, they’re pretty much twins.


I discovered Revlon’s Really Red after watching Chrisette Michele’s vlog and learning that it was the perfect replacement for MAC’s Ruby Woo. Not only is it less drying, it’s also cheap!


On the top: MAC Red
On the bottom: Really Red

Honorable mention…


Sometimes I’ll opt for a deeper red, rather than a bright cherry red. That shade for me is Diva, which is described as a matte “intense reddish-burgundy.”

To conclude, here are a couple of tips for your red lip:

1. Fill in your lips completely with a red lipliner to make your color last longer. Anyone should be fine, but my favorite is Sonia Kashuk’s True Red Lip Definer.


2. If you like the look of matte lipsticks but hate how dry your lips can look at the end of the day, apply it over your favorite satin or creamy lipstick. I often apply RiRi Woo over MAC Red.

3. Especially with red lipstick, you have to apply it perfectly. When you apply the color outside of the lines of your lips, it just looks messy. Use a lip brush like the cheap ones from E.L.F.

4. Taking off red lipstick can be a pain, so use coconut oil. It works better than most makeup removers and it leaves your lips moisturized!

Hope this post helps! If you’d like to see a swatch of any of the shades listed above, let me know in the comments below.

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  1. thanks for sharing! i love a red lip and i happen to own many of the ones you mentioned lol my fave has to be covergirl HOT, it’s the shade Janelle Monae wears in many of her covergirl ads. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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