The 10 Best Red Lipsticks of All Time

There are no shortage of red lipsticks out there, yet only a handful of shades achieve icon status. So, what makes a red lipstick timeless? Intense, opaque color payoff, a creamy texture, and a long-wear formula that stays on without drying up and flaking on your lips are a few important requirements.

Some household names include MAC's Ruby Woo, the gateway shade for many diehard red lipstick fans, and Revlon's Revlon's Fire and Ice, an affordable orange-red color that's so popular, one bullet is sold every four minutes in the U.S.

Whether you're new to red lipstick or in the market for a new go-to shade, the most timeless red lipsticks come in a range of formulations and finishes, from creamy satin to chunky matte pencil. Ahead, a definitive list of the best red lipstick shades of all time.

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MAC Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo

If you grew up near a mall, chances are your introduction to makeup products took place at the MAC counter in your local department store— and your first red lipstick was the brand’s Ruby Woo. The famous shade remains a popular choice because of its comfortable semi-matte finish and high-color payoff.

Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored

The first red lipstick from Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty is a liquid matte universal shade that does not move until you wipe it off at night.

Pat McGrath Labs Mattetrance Lipstick in Elson

Any red lipstick legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath launches is guaranteed to be major. Elson is a red inspired by supermodel Karen Elson’s signature hair color. The finish is an opaque matte, but the creamy texture allows it to go on smooth. 

Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in Always Red

There are a ton of affordable gems to be found in Sephora’s in-house makeup line, including this beauty editor-favorite liquid lip stain.  The creamy formula dries down to a stain that wears comfortably and lasts all day.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire and Ice

Proof that Revlon’s Fire and Ice is the best affordable orangey-red out there? One tube sells every four minutes across America.

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl

This velvety deep red crayon looks amazing across all skin tones. Even though it’s a pencil, the color glides on smooth and doesn’t get chalky. 

Dior Rouge Dior Refillable Lipstick in 999

Dior’s 999 shade is iconic because it looks beautiful on everyone. As for the actual formula, it’s infused with moisturizing ingredients so that its soft, creamy texture holds all day. Now, the popular formula comes in a refillable tube. 

InStyle Badass Lipstick in Better Off Red

We’d find ourselves regularly swiping on this lipstick even if we didn’t create it. Better Off Red offers high pigment and a smooth texture that glides on effortlessly, coating lips with a natural cream finish. 

The Lip Bar Vegan Matte Liquid Lipstick in Bawse Lady

Liquid lipsticks are notorious for being dry as hell and getting flaky, but you don’t have to worry about this best-selling tube from The Lip Bar sucking all of the moisture out of your lips. It goes on smooth like a gloss and dries down to a comfortable matte that doesn’t fade or bleed. No wonder Michelle Obama is a fan.  

Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour in Pirate

Chanel has a handful of gorgeous red lipsticks, but this matte shade is a cult-favorite for good reason. Pirate offers full, intense coverage that doesn’t fade or settle into lips, which can emphasize dryness.  

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