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10 of the Best Red Lipsticks

Feature: Long Read
Words by Nasreen Osman, Maya Prever

Red lipstick has a first-class qualification in elevating beauty looks. Once you've found a formula and colour that ticks all of your boxes, it's like the start of a beautiful friendship. Top tip: if your skin has a yellow undertone, look for warm red shades with a hint of orange; if your skin is more pink, a cool red with a blue hue will naturally suit you more. Gone are the days of a ‘one size fits all’ approach, so it should be the case with your lipstick too. Kiss goodbye to lip line bleeds, post-snack disappearing acts and undertone nightmares – we've picked 10 of the best red lipsticks suited for all.  

Best Coral Red Lipstick 

Armani Lip Power Vivid Colour Long Wear Lipstick ‘302 Energetic’, £33

Squeezing in a holiday away? This punchy coral will immediately eradicate all holiday blues. Armani’s Lip Power Vivid Colour Long Wear Lipstick is exactly what it says on the tube and is perfect for your day-to-night, beach-to-bar attire. Thanks to its patented technology using two immiscible oils, this satin-finish lipstick strives for both longevity and comfort, with its drop-shaped tip also providing precision application. Shade ‘302 Energetic’ is bound to brighten, from Dubai to Brighton.  

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Best True Red Lipstick

Gucci Rouge A Levres Mat Matte Lipstick ‘025*’ ‘Goldie Red’, £36

A universally flattering lipstick doesn't exis... oh hello, Gucci. Finding your signature shade is like discovering gold, luckily, we’ve done the digging for you. Gucci’s Rouge A Levres Mat Matte Lipstick in 025* Goldie Red is a fool-proof red with true neutral undertones. A pigment powerhouse with long-wearing capabilities inspired by iconic Hollywood movies means you’ll always be red-carpet ready, even if it’s only for your morning commute.

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Best Brick-Red Lipstick  

Guerlain Rouge G Luxurious Velvet Metal ‘214 Exotic Red’, £30

The height of the 90’s has rightfully come full circle, particularly the famous make-up looks. Brown lipstick may be Wonderwall, but if you ‘Wannabe’ paying homage to the decade, go for brick-red. One of the warmest shades of reds, this will complement those with yellow and orange skin tones. Guerlain Rouge G Luxurious Velvet Metal Lipstick in ‘214 Exotic Red’ is one for the make-up bag. Packed with mango butter and hyaluronic acid, this pigmented velvet matte lipstick hugs your lips with both colour and cushion, and is shaped to embellish the contours of the lips. With customisable cases that nod to the classic patterns of a Parisian wardrobe, it’ll add a touch of style to your lipstick and handbag. 

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Best Orange Red Lipstick

Hermès Rouge Hermes Matte Lipstick ‘46 Rouge Exotique’, £58

Packaged in the iconic orange Hermès box, the Hermès Rouge Matte Lipstick looks chic both on your lips and on your vanity. The bright, orange-pink undertones resemble that of a freshly squeezed pomegranate, sending you to a tropical paradise with every swipe (no boarding pass required). The best about this beauty? Its second-skin feel and silky texture hydrates your lips all-day long.  

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DIOR  Rouge Dior Couture Colour Matte Refillable Lipstick £34

Best Red Lipstick for Dark Skin 

Rouge Dior Couture Colour Matte Refillable Lipstick ‘999’, £34

The Rouge Dior Couture Colour Matte Refillable Lipstick in shade 999 is a beauty bag cult classic (honouring Christian Dior's first lipstick, 9, named after the fashion designer's lucky number). Its deep and rich tones complement darker skin tones while providing enough pigment to dress the lips for 16 hours. Available in four finishes; matte, satin, metallic and velvet, it doesn’t dry out your lips, (thanks to the red peony and pomegranate flower extracts) or bleed after a few hours. *ticks the ultimate red lip off the checklist*.   

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PRADA BEAUTY  Prada Monochrome Hyper Matte Lipstick

Best Red Lipstick for Fair Skin 

Prada Beauty Monochrome Hyper Matte Lipstick ‘R27’, £37

When Prada Beauty launched, they answered make-up lovers’ prayers with a fantastic matte red lipstick. The Monochrome Hyper Matte Lipstick in ‘R27’ delivers rich pigment in a refillable bullet that is packed with bifidus extract and jojoba oil, leaving a comfortable, moisturised feel on lips. Expect intense colour in one stroke with a non-drying matte finish – you may not need to reapply it but with its striking, sophisticated design, you’ll want to put it on display anyway.

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Best Red Liquid Lipstick

Gucci Beauty, Gloss à Lèvres ‘Teresina Red’, £33

There are so many benefits to using a liquid lipstick – precise application, long-lasting formulas and little risk of transferring. The Gucci Beauty Gloss à Lèvres in ‘Teresina Red’ gives you all of this and more. It’s formulated with a blend of hyaluronic acid, ginger roots and capsicum extracts to leave your lips coated in hydration and looking instantly plumper. Plus, it delivers a sheer finish with long-lasting shine, so you can control the saturation of the colour. Layer over bare lips for a subtle gloss effect or embrace an intense red hue by swiping it over lipstick.

Launching 1st February

Best Berry Red Lipstick

Hourglass Unlocked Soft Matte Lipstick ‘Deep Berry’, £37

If you’re looking for a lipstick that does it all, the Hourglass Unlocked Soft Matte Lipstick is the one. This vegan lip hero glides onto lips seamlessly with the help of lip-conditioning and priming ingredients, making it a great choice for when you need all-day coverage without the risk of feathering or bleeding. It also envelops lips in a full-coverage, buildable formula, so you can choose just how deep of a berry tone you’d like to sport. 

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Best Cherry Red Lipstick  

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Beauty Icon Lipstick ‘Cinematic Red’, £27

No lipstick hall of fame could exist without a Charlotte Tilbury lip bullet. The Hollywood Beauty Icon Lipstick in ‘Cinematic Red’ delivers a vivid cherry pigment with the hydrating, matte finish you know and love from the Matte Revolution line. But there’s more. This modern lipstick is formulated with 3D-effect pigments to help define and contour your lips, working hand in hand with your beloved Lip Cheat liners.

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Best Deep Red Lipstick 

Christian Louboutin Rouge Louboutin Velvet Matte ‘Retro Berry’, £73

Name a better combination than a red lip with red-soled heels – we’ll wait. The legacy of Christian Louboutin continues to live through in this red lipstick that is inspired by the signature red-sole. Encasing passion, power and the quintessential French style, this moisturising red lipstick is both enriching and bold. The sophisticated complex of natural oils and seed butters make this non-drying, highly-pigmented formula a must-have in your lipstick wardrobe.  

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