9 Classic Red Lipsticks with a Cult Following
These red lipsticks will never go out of style.
Even if your regular makeup routine relies on affordable drugstore beauty buys, there's something so luxurious about waltzing into Sephora or a department store and treating yourself to a $20 tube of lipstick. And when you splurge on one in a timeless shade of red, you can rest assured that that momentary splurge will prove itself to be a worthwhile investment. For date nights, big events, or any day you need a little pick-me-up, a swipe of red lipstick is the ultimate low-effort, big-impact makeup move.
Overwhelmed by the sea of red lipstick options at Sephora, I decided to consult with our resident lipstick pros, Real Simple beauty editors Heather Muir and Anneke Knot. They filled me in on the red lipsticks that have garnered (many) thousands of fans over the years. Of course I couldn't keep this insider knowledge to myself—below are nine gorgeous red lipsticks with a cult following.
Charlotte Tillbury in Red Carpet Red
Charlotte Tilbury never fails to catch our attention, like when she launched a line of lipsticks inspired by Kate Middleton and Queen Elizabeth. And of course she makes a showstopping red that's garnered lots of attention. Red Carpet Red is just as the name implies: a classic ruby red with old Hollywood charm.
To buy: $34, charlottetilbury.com.
Glossier Generation G in Zip
Glossier has gained a devoted following over the past couple years, and the brand's sheer, matte Generation G lipstick is part of the reason. It's a wash of color that's somewhere in-between a lip stain and a lipstick, which creates a casual look. If you want a classic red but in a modern finish, this is the red lipstick for you.
To buy: $18, glossier.com.
MAC Retro Matte Lipstick, in Ruby Woo
A long-standing favorite red lipstick among professional makeup artists, M.A.C.'s Ruby Woo is the perfect red with blue undertones. If you're looking for a red that leans a bit cooler, you just found your perfect match. Plus, it also comes in a mini form so you can throw it into your purse.
To buy: $19, nordstrom.com.
NARS Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil, in Dragon Girl
L'Absolu Rouge Hydrating Shaping Lipcolor, in 189 Isabella
This hydrating, long-lasting lipstick is relatively matte with just a hint of sheen. For a rich red color that's timeless, you can't go wrong with 189 Isabella.
To buy: $32, neimanmarcus.com.
Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick, in Elson
Looking for a blue-red with serious wow factor? This lipstick is richly pigmented for bold color yet has a modern matte finish. In a tube adorned with an iconic gold lip design, this lipstick makes a statement even before you put it on.
To buy: $38, sephora.com.
Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Lip Color, in Pioneer
The most affordable lipstick on the list, this Maybelline option is a wearable red with just a hint of a berry hue. If you prefer liquid lipstick or want an option you can grab from your local drugstore, Pioneer is the pick.
To buy: $10, ulta.com.
Chanel Rouge Allure Lip Color in Pirate
The easiest way to channel effortless French-girl-inspired style? Just swipe on this classic red Chanel lipstick. The satin finish looks classic yet imparts a subtle dose of shine.
To buy: $38, nordstrom.com.
Stila Stay-All-Day Liquid Lipstick, in Beso
When Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez started wearing this vivid red shade on the campaign trail, this Stila lipstick started to fly off the shelves. For those who want a warmer red with a hint of orange, Beso is the go-to.
To buy: $22, amazon.com.