The Best Red Lipsticks, According To Our Beauty Editors

As much as we love nude lipstick, sometimes we want a lip color that pops — especially through the colder months, when accessorizing is best done on the face. (What’s a statement coat without a bold lip?) But even though we’re constantly searching for ways to experiment with different shades and textures, red lipstick is one product that will never steer you wrong.

The good news: There are tons of red lip options on the market. The bad news: There are tons of red lip options on the market. When looking for the right one, you have to take into account formula, color, and your skin tone. So, we asked a few Refinery29 staffers to share their go-to reds. We’re talking about the ones that have lasted through long nights, gotten them compliments, and impressed them enough to become a permanent part of their makeup collection. Ahead, the red lip colors that have our hearts… for now.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Rouje Le Rouje Velours in Laura

“There’s some serious French-girl magic going on with this lipstick. While it looks fairly mauve in the bottle, on my lips, it has a surprisingly bright, cherry-meets-raspberry finish — a perfect shade for year-round wear. The creamy matte formula lends that ideal pillowy softness and the vintage-inspired bottle makes it feel like an heirloom.” — Jennifer Mulrow, beauty & fashion writer, branded content

Rouje Le Rouje Velours LAURA, $, available at Rouje

Surratt Automatique Lip Crayon in Alluring

“I toggle between a few red lipsticks — a bright red stain for summer and a deep, moody Bordeaux for the holidays — but this classic, vibrant red is the one I go back to time and time again. It goes on nice and crisp without liner, then lasts for hours without smudging, all the while looking like matte lipstick, as opposed to a liquid lipstick, which I often think appear too dry. What’s more, the tube is thin, so it fits in the smallest pocket or purse.” — Lexy Lebsack, senior beauty editor

Surratt Automatique Lip Crayon, $, available at Neiman Marcus

Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick in Pioneer

“Any time a bride asks me for the best red lipstick to wear for a wedding, I recommend this one. It’s a rich, flattering red that’s not too bright — and it seriously stays on through anything.” — Cat Quinn, beauty director

Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink Lip Color, $, available at Target

Nars Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil in Red Square

“I own a couple shades of Nars’ matte lip crayons, and I may as well toss all my other red lipsticks because I’m constantly going back to these two. The creamy, insanely pigmented formula glides on like butter and stays put for a couple hours before I need to reapply. Red Square is a gorgeous orangey-red that’s perfect for my olive skin, and Cruella is a true, rose-petal red that I reserve for special occasions and date night.” — Karina Hoshikawa, beauty & wellness market writer

NARS Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil, $, available at Sephora

Bobbi Brown Luxe Liquid Lip Velvet Matte in Red The News

“I always stayed away from red lipstick, because honestly, it was intimidating for me. But then, a makeup artist suggested I try this one out, and as hesitant as I was at first, I ended up loving it. It was the perfect red for my tan skin, and it was so easy to apply with its doe-foot applicator. Plus, it stays put through everything — I’m talking multiple cups of coffee. It’s the one lipstick my boyfriend isn’t afraid of kissing me with, and it’s red!” — Thatiana Diaz, senior beauty writer

Bobbi Brown Luxe Velvet Matte Liquid Lip, $, available at Saks Fifth Avenue

Kosas Weightless Lip Color Lipstick in Phoenix

“I’ve never met a Kosas lipstick that I didn’t love; the brand’s founder, Sheena Yaitanes, has perfected colors that magically look good on everyone. Phoenix is the most gorgeous, fiery red that somehow — also as if by magic — feels low-maintenance and wearable for every day (or at least two or three days a week). It’s warm, but not so warm that it skews orange, and the formula is super hydrating without sacrificing that velvety semi-matte finish. I stan… even if the shade name reminds me of Ben Affleck’s truly appalling back tattoo.”— Rachel Krause, deputy beauty director

Kosas Phoenix, $, available at Kosas

Too Faced Melted Matte Lipstick in Lady Balls

“Meet my power red. It’s the one I paint on when I need an extra boost of confidence before a long day at work, and the one I put on when date night with bae rolls around. Aside from its sexy, fire-engine pigment, which stands out on my medium complexion, this matte product stays on for hours. It has lasted me through many kisses, cocktails, and dinners — as a true partner-in-crime should.” — Aimee Simeon, beauty writer

Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Long Wear Matte Lipstick, $, available at Sephora

Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick in Heroine

“Ever since I discovered this lipstick in September, I feel like I’ve been the president of its fan club. I’m far from alone in loving it. Porn stars, brides, and teachers all clamor for this formula that can last through hours of eating, drinking, chit-chatting, and well, everything a porn star may do. While Pioneer is a favorite red shade for many, I’m more into Heroine, a red-orange that wakes up my face no matter how little I’ve slept.” — Rachel Lubitz, Senior Beauty Writer

MAC Russian Red Lipstick

“When it comes to red lipstick there is none more iconic than MAC. Ruby Woo, Russian Red, Lady Danger… I never met a MAC red that I didn’t like. But my favorite is Russian Red, because it’s a little deeper with a brick undertone. As with all MAC lipsticks, the matte lasts forever without feeling too drying. And every time I wear this one, I get the inevitable question: What lipstick is that?” — Jessica Cruel, Deputy Beauty Director

L’Oréal Colour Riche Red Lipcolour in Blake’s Red

“Honestly, someone could slap ‘Blake Lively’ on a battery and I’d buy it, but L’Oréal actually collaborated with the actress (and all-around goddess) to create this perfect red lipstick that is knock-me-out good. It’s matte, but not too dry; soft, but not too creamy; and I love everything about it.” — Samantha Sasso, Beauty Writer

Revlon Live Boldly Super Lustrous Fire and Ice Lipstick

“I keep this lipstick on display on my vanity — both because it’s my go-to red, but also because I love the message of this particular tube. Whenever I have a big meeting or am nervous about something, a swipe of this gives me the extra push I need to walk in with confidence — or, at the very least, fake it.” — Cat Quinn, Beauty Director

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

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