It's Unanimous: These Are Officially the Best Red Lipsticks That Money Can Buy

Few makeup products out there are as powerful as a great lipstick. In times of economic dismay, sales of lipsticks soar. We think that's because a small splurge on a single lipstick, whether it's luxury or more affordable, has the power to make us feel really good about ourselves. Without a doubt, lipstick is far more than what meets the eye. And this power is especially evident in red lipstick.

Red lipstick is widely regarded as the foundation of every makeup collection. Makeup artists are always telling me that no matter how lazy you're feeling, a single swipe of red lipstick could be all you need to make yourself feel pulled together. Don't fancy applying a full face? Just keep things bare and apply a long-lasting red lipstick—that really is all it takes.



Having said that, the glaring issue with red lipstick is that so many of us struggle to find the right one. If I had a pound for every time someone told me they don't suit red lipstick, I'd be a very rich beauty editor. But there is a red out there for everyone—you just need to know what to look for.

International pro makeup artist at Dior Jamie Coombes tells me that shopping for the perfect red comes down to two simple things: undertone and texture. The best way to find your skin's undertone is to look at the colour of the veins on the back of your wrist. If the veins appear blue-ish purple, your undertone is cool. If they appear blue-ish green, you have a neutral undertone. Veins that present a more olive shade of green imply you have a wam undertone. "The best shades for people with cool-toned skin are those with a pink or blue undertone; blue-based cherry and berry shades will suit well. Neutral-toned skin is best suited to oranges, terracottas and brick reds. Finally, warmer tones need more depth, so try a deep cranberry or plum shade," advises Coombes.

Once you've identified the best tone of red for your skin type, it's time to think about your ideal texture. As a general rule, most lipsticks come in either a balm, satin or matte finish. "When choosing the right texture for you, take into consideration your lifestyle, habits and lip condition. I see lipstick like wearing your favourite pair of shoes: We model the ones that make us feel most comfortable," says Coombes. So now that you're armed with all the information you need to select the perfect red, keep scrolling for the 15 best red lipsticks money can buy, according to team Who What Wear. (We have tried them all.)

1. Hermès Rouge Hermès Matte Lipstick in Rouge Casaque

2. Dior Rouge Dior Forever Lipstick in Forever Dior


(Image credit: @ELEANORVOUSDEN)

3. MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo

4. Armani Lip Maestro in 307


(Image credit: @HANNAHALMASSI)

5. Victoria Beckham Beauty Posh Lipstick in Fire

6. Revlon Colorstay Matte Lite Crayon in Air Kiss

7. Lisa Eldridge True Velvet Lip Colour in Velvet Jazz

8. Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Liquid Lipstick in Hot Pepper


(Image credit: @SHANNONLAWLOR)

9. Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Walk of No Shame

10. Estée Lauder Pure Color Whipped Matte Liquid Lip in Love Fever

11. Nars Must Have Lipstick in Inappropriate Red

12. Dries Van Noten Matte Lipstick Refill in Archive Red

13. Maybelline Superstay 24 Matte Ink Lipstick in Pioneer

14. Westman Atelier Squeaky Clean Liquid Lip Balm in Pipsqueak

15. Guerlain Rouge G Satin Lipstick in 214

Next up, Hailey Bieber's makeup artist just schooled me on how to get fresh, glowing skin.

Freelance Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is a renowned beauty journalist and has contributed to Who What Wear’s beauty content since 2020. As a leading beauty editor, expert and brand consultant, she has over eight years of experience working for some of the industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear (of course), Glamour UK, Stylist, Refinery29 and Fabulous. Having also worked behind the scenes with some of the industry’s biggest brands and retailers, Shannon has a unique insight into what people really want from their beauty routines. Understanding that beauty lovers seek honest, open and responsible advice, she has it made her mission to demystify the intimidating world of beauty, taking a no-frills approach to the most relatable topics. While Shannon is the first to admit she doesn’t hold the answer to every beauty question out there, she is dedicated to sharing her expert insights in a bid to help. As a self-proclaimed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for easy-to-use, foolproof beauty products and has made it her mission to scope out the best of the best. When she’s not working, Shannon is likely soaking in the bath or giving no-holds-barred beauty reviews on Instagram from her bathroom floor.