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15 Best Red Lipsticks of All Time, According to Beauty Editors

These fiery shades are sure to wow.

red lipsticks
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Red lips instantly say "confident" in a single swipe. Whether it's a pretty shade of poppy or crisp crimson hue, a red lip is always a classic beauty move. But wearing a punchy lipstick can feel risky when you factor in the smudging and feathering and fading.

But with the right formula and flattering hue for your skin tone, plus a strategic application, you can wear bold reds without any worries. "If you are fair-skinned, opt for a cherry red hue with blue undertones; go with an orange-y red for olive skin; and try a deeper burgundy on dark skin," suggests makeup artist Grace Lee.

These are the best, most popular red lipsticks, according to Good Housekeeping beauty editors, including GH Institute Beauty Lab top-tested formulas, shades for beginners, matte finishes, plus colors from dark reds to apple, blue, and brick reds, and beyond.

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1
Best Classic Red Lipstick
Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Colour in Rouge Feu
Chanel
CHANEL macys.com
$40.00

This Chanel instant classic may be the Holy Grail of red lipstick shades. "It's the perfect true red with hints of orange that looks striking on skin and instantly brightens your face," says GH Beauty Director April Franzino. "Chanel's formula is the rare matte finish that feels comfortable and not drying — and has a hint of dimension (hence the "velvet" in the name), so it doesn't look flat or cakey," she says. 

  • Non-drying smooth matte finish
  • Crisp, bright color

  • Pricey
2
Best Value Red Liquid Lipstick
SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick in Pioneer
Maybelline New York
Maybelline New York amazon.com
$7.82

For a bargain red liquid lip color, Maybelline offers big bang for your buck. "As a beauty editor, I test out hundreds of products and have tried an endless amount of lipsticks," says GH's beauty editor "and in the 6+ years that I’ve worked in the industry, Maybelline's lipstick is the one I recommend to absolutely everyone." It checks all the boxes for a perfect red: "I can swipe it on in the morning and know that it will last throughout the day no matter what I do: hot yoga, dinner dates, and while babysitting my baby cousins — and it does not budge," she says.

  • Long-lasting
  • Affordably-priced
3
Best Red Lipstick for Dark Skin
Lipstick in Ruby Woo
MAC
MAC Cosmetics ulta.com
$19.00

If you ask makeup artists for the ultimate opaque red, there is a good chance they will say MAC's "Ruby Woo." The bold, blue-based pigment makes teeth whiter and brighter in seconds, plus, it looks flattering on everyone, especially dark skin tonesIt has quite the following: celebrity fans include Tracee Ellis Ross and Rita Ora. And MAC's customers rave about their love for the lipstick too: "I love this color and have stopped wearing all others," one reviewer said . "I just don't know how I've lived my life without Ruby Woo until now. It's a show-stopping lippy," another added.

  • Flatters deep skin tones
  • Highly-pigmented opaque finish
4
Best Drugstore Red Lipstick
Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire & Ice
Revlon
REVLON walmart.com
$6.39

This Revlon drugstore star has been a cult classic for decades. Besides its iconic vivid cherry hue, the formula is supercharged with vitamin E and avocado to keep lips lush, not dry or cakey. "Nothing else glides on or feels as good on my lips," a Walmart reviewer said. "I love the fact that it's very creamy and doesn't dry out my lips: It's long wearing and doesn't become gummy or sticky throughout the day," another raved. "Plus, the price can't be beat!"

  • Rich, creamy color
  • Bargain price
5
Best Red Lipstick for Beginners
Age Perfect Luminous Hydrating Lipstick in Flaming Carmin
L'Oreal Paris
L'Oréal Paris amazon.com
$8.49

Tiptoe your way into full-on red lipstick with L'Oréal Paris's lighter, more forgiving formula, a Good Housekeeping Seal star and GH Beauty Award winner. It has a treatment-serum core that contains hydrators like jojoba oil and vitamin E. In a clinical study, the lipstick kept lips moisturized for nine hours, and 81% of users found that it didn’t feather, per GH Beauty Lab data evaluation.

  • Light, softening formula
  • Resists feathering
  • Great value
6
Best Red Lipstick for Fair Skin
Swimmables Matte Liquid Lipstick in Portofino
Cargo Cosmetics
Cargo Cosmetics amazon.com
$18.00

Cargo Cosmetics' bright, punchy red liquid lipstick perfectly flatters GH's senior editor's fair skin. "The matte formula goes on smoothly with the ideal consistency, packing a serious punch of color," she says, adding that "it doesn’t dry out my lips, and stays put for hours — and I mean hours."

  • Red flatters light skin tones
  • Smooth and non-drying
  • Long-lasting
7
Best Blue Red Lipstick
Liquid Lipstick in American Doll
Anastasia Beverly Hills
Anastasia Beverly Hills nordstrom.com
$20.00

Love a blue-based red lipstick? This Anastasia Beverly Hills formula is a favorite of GH Institute Deputy Editor Jessica Teich. The rounded applicator makes it easy to trace lips evenly for a smooth, saturated finish. Teich describes the red shade as the perfect blue-red that's color-rich, non-drying, and transfer-resistant. Proof: "I accidentally wore it to a dental cleaning once (oops) and it didn't smudge," she raves. 

  • Easy to use applicator
  • Rich blue-red shade
  • Smudge resistant and non-drying
8
Best Orange Red Lipstick
Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick in Fire
Laura Mercier
Laura Mercier sephora.com
$30.00

One of the best of the GH Beauty Lab's longwear lipstick test, Laura Mercier's matte crayon scored highest at staying put and comes in the perfect vibrant shade of orange-red. It was top in the Lab’s test of color transfer on cups after the sipping of a hot drink, and among testers for smear and transfer resistance throughout the day. Users noted how easy the twist-up wand was to apply. "The color was great and I got compliments," one said. 

  • Bold, vibrant color
  • Smear- and transfer-resistant
  • Easy precise application

  • Pricey
9
Best Matte Red Lipstick
Luxe Matte Lipstick in Red Carpet
Bobbi Brown
Bobbi Brown nordstrom.com
$38.00

Bobbi Brown’s plush matte finish formula won the Good Housekeeping’s long-wear lipstick test for its true color that stayed in place, in addition to not smearing or fading in Lab assessments of color transfer to cups after a hot drink. "The color payoff was great and I appreciated how matte it is, which helps with longevity and smearing," a tester commented. "I was also impressed at how little it transferred throughout the day on my cup and straw." 

  • Smear- and fade-resistant
  • Opaque matte finish

  • Pricey
10
Best Dark Red Lipstick
Rouge Pur Couture The Slim Matte Lipstick in Red Enigma
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent nordstrom.com
$39.00

A GH Beauty Lab test winner, YSL's luxe lipstick offers deep, vampy red shades in a non-drying matte formula. This matte bullet is made with skin conditioners and scored the highest for not drying out lips. “Coverage was so full, I didn’t need lip liner,” a tester said. Another added, "It was really easy to apply to my top lip and the color was beautifully vibrant, and it also lasted through lunch!"

  • Richly pigmented deep shades
  • Non-drying matte finish
  • Long-lasting

  • Pricey
11
Best Apple Red Lipstick
Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color in Uncensored
Fenty Beauty
Fenty Beauty sephora.com
$25.00

Instantly energize your face with a slick of this bright, true apple red. While it may feel weightless on lips, it has strong staying power, remaining smooth and vibrant from morning til night. A Sephora reviewer's take: "This is truly a perfect, universal red. No more guessing or trying out shades to match your undertones." Another fan exclaimed, "This is the best lipstick formula I have ever had!" Pro tip: Shake it before you use it and keep in mind, a little bit goes a long way. 

  • True apple red color
  • Feels light on lips
  • Long-lasting
12
Best Cherry Red Lipstick
Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Kitten Heels
NYX Cosmetics
NYX Professional Makeup amazon.com
$7.00

This classic cherry red from NYX Professional Makeup, a winner of the GH Beauty Lab’s liquid lipstick test, proved to have serious staying power. Thanks to its pointed sponge-tip wand, the formula (in 24 shades) was best with testers for precise, even application. It also ranked highly for resisting transfer in Beauty Lab digital imaging evaluation after users sipped hot drinks.  “The color stayed on through a meal!” 

  • Bold color
  • Applies precisely and evenly
  • Resists transfer
  • Great value
13
Best Brick Red Lipstick
Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Freckle Fiesta
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna sephora.com
$18.00

If you love brick and rust reds, look no further than this spicy crimson from Fenty Beauty, in a formula that was a top performer in GH Beauty Lab testing for being long-lasting. In Lab evaluations,  the color was still strong after five hours. Its rich pigment “stayed on even during a cleaning at the dentist!” a tester marveled.

  • Rich color
  • Long-lasting
14
Best Bright Red Lipstick
Gel Semi-Matte Lipstick in Poppy Please
Mary Kay
Mary Kay marykay.com
$18.00

Mary Kay's fade-resistant lipstick impressed the GH Beauty Lab with its ultra smooth application, velvety finish, and super rich shade. Not only does the jojoba butter-infused Good Housekeeping Seal-holder softens lips, but the color in the tube will also stay true, as confirmed by 89% of testers. GH's beauty director love this bright, poppy red for a standout look. 

  • Smooth velvet finish
  • Vibrant color
  • Softening formula
15
Best Red Lipstick Pencil
Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil in Dragon Girl
NARS
NARS nordstrom.com
$20.25

Prefer a pencil? This insider favorite NARS matte crayon gives you the same convenience of a precise pencil with the payoff of a lush lipstick. Considered to be universally flattering, the famed shade is the perfect balance of both a warm and cool toned red. One fan referred to it as "the perfect matte" noting that " the staying power can't be beat," even after eating and drinking all day long.

  • Precise application
  • Balanced red shade
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