Red lips are a timeless and classic look for any occasion, and as the holidays are fast approaching, I thought that it would be the perfect opportunity to share my 5 favourite reds from my collection in no particular order.
MAC “Ruby Woo”
Ruby Woo was the only red lipstick I owned for a few years, and it remains one of my all-time favourites. It’s described as a “very matte vivid blue-red”, and is a Retro Matte formula, meaning that it is, as you would expect, extremely matte. The shade is indeed very vibrant without looking too clownish and is very opaque. The only gripe that I have with this lipstick has to do with its formula. While I prefer matte lipsticks and own several Retro Matte shades, they are very drying and slightly uncomfortable to wear. However, they are relatively long-lasting and don’t transfer much, so it’s a fair trade.
MAC Ruby Woo on NC40 skin
Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait “Luxure”
Luxure is described as a “deeper red for lust” and is essentially a creamy version of a liquid lipstick. While this shade of red can easily be replicated, its formula is what sets it apart. I have never come across a liquid lipstick formula as creamy, opaque, long-wearing, and comfortable as these while still being relatively matte. The only downside is its price, which is about $53-75 CAD depending on where you get it from. It used to be available at Sephora, however this specific product was removed from the Canadian stores and website and is now only available through Murale and Nordstrom. It definitely is a high-end item and is not necessary by any means, however if you’re looking to splurge on a truly luxurious product, Guerlain is where it’s at.
Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait in M27 Luxure on NC40 skin
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil “Cruella”
If you have a Beauty Insider card from Sephora, chances are you probably received this lip pencil as part of your birthday gift this year and know just how amazing it is. Cruella is described as a “scarlet red” and has a matte finish. The reason why I love this shade so much is because of how rich and opaque it is, and because of its incredible formula. The NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are some of my favourite products because of how nicely they apply and because of how they wear. They look like literal velvet on your lips and don’t feel crumbly or cakey on the lips if you have to reapply. Like any matte lip product, you will experience some sort of dryness, but I find that the dryness with these products is very minimal and is quite comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
Note: A few tips for the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, to sharpen them, use the Essence sharpener. It fits the pencil perfectly and is available at Shoppers Drug Mart for $2 or $3 CAD. If you find your pencil is a little difficult to sharpen (i.e. too soft), put it in the fridge for a few hours to harden the product and it should be good to go.
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella on NC40 skin
NARS “Fire Down Below”
I was on the hunt for the perfect brick red shade for what felt like an eternity, so when I stumbled upon Fire Down Below, I was relieved that I didn’t have to look any further. It is described as a “semi matte pure blood red”, which I believe is spot on. It’s a beautiful deep red that applies very smoothly, however it isn’t extremely opaque. It has a satin finish so it isn’t very drying, however it does transfer quite a bit and isn’t very long-lasting. Regardless, blood red shades like this one are, in my opinion, a little difficult to find. They tend to have purple undertones and look more burgundy, so finding a shade like this one that has just the right undertones was borderline miraculous in my eyes. I also love the name, which heightened my affinity to it.
NARS Fire Down Below on NC40 skin
MAC “Dark Side”
Dark Side is described as a “deep burgundy” and has an Amplified Creme finish. While this lipstick isn’t exactly a true red, I thought I’d include it because it pulls a little more red than purple in person. It is a gorgeous vampy shade that is very creamy and opaque upon application, and is very comfortable to wear. However, since it does have more of a creamy finish, it transfers very easily, but the shade leaves behind a stain on the lips so it won’t look completely ridiculous if it’s wiped off. If this shade is a little too intense, you can also blot the lipstick on the lips with a finger to leave behind a more subtle, wine stained look. I love how deep and glamorous the shade is.
MAC Dark Side on NC40 skin
Red Lips – Side by Side Swatches