I. Love. Lipstick.
My first lipstick experience was at my friend Dominque’s beauty parlour birthday party in the first grade. I was hooked. I mean, I loved to colour – and wasn’t allowed to colour on myself – so the very idea that there were adults who were allowed to draw on their face just filled me with wonder.
Since then, I feel like I’ve been on a continual quest for the perfect red lipstick. It’s iconic, it’s fun, it’s sexy, and – in my opinion – takes a certain confidence to pull off. I’ve kissed a few frogs in this quest, so to save you from doing the same I’d like to offer up my humble opinions on some of the brands and shades on offer at the moment. (I do all my make-up shopping in Boots, so apart from the one M.A.C. suggestion, these are all basic drug-store options – leaves some room in the budget for experimentation!)
M.A.C. Russian Red (€19.50)
I feel like most people opt for Ruby Woo as their go-to M.A.C. red – it’s lovely, but doesn’t work as well with my colouring. My favourite thing about M.A.C. is how matte they are – I’m not a shiny lipped person by any means. However, they can be quite drying so keep that in mind if you tend towards dry lips. (I’d also highly reccommend “Diva” if you’re looking for a deeper, more wine-coloured red).
Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet (€12.49)
A new favourite – they’re not kidding when they say this is velvetty. It feels incredibly soft going on. The coverage/staying power isn’t ideal, but with some blotting and reapplying this is a gorgeous, blood red colour.
This is your best bet in terms of price and quality. The staying power is great, the colour is vibrant, and it’s matte without being too drying. It’s got a funny cranberry scent that I kind of dig, but be warned in case it isn’t you’re thing.
This lip colour WILL NOT COME OFF. Which is great for a night out – but you will need some serious make-up remover. For me, the 14 hour version is preferable, but if you really want to put it on and forget about it, go for the 24 hour.
This one is a little less matte than the others, but not shiny – it lives in a good in between space. It’s a slightly more retro red – very bright – and goes on smoothly. Staying power only so-so.
Revlon Colourburst Matte Balm (€10.99)
Unforutnately, there’s not a great red in these, but for all your other colours it’s a great option. They’re matte but still moisturizing, and so easy to put on. To be honest, the giant crayon aspect is probably a big part of what makes these so appealing to me. This is the cheap version of the wildly popular Clinique Chubby Stick; the extra money does make a difference – the Chubby Stick has a stronger pigment and is, to me, a better moisturizer, but if you want to test the waters the Revlon versions (both matte and regular) are decent alternatives.
THIS IS CALLED APOCALIPS WHAT MORE COULD YOU ASK FOR
(Being a lcquer, this is definitely not matte so, you know, be prepared to drink with a straw and opt for air kisses – but great, vibrant colour, and a bit of shine once and awhile is fun. It’s not super-shiny so you won’t get the wet look [which I personally can’t abide]).
I’d give this one a miss, to be honest. I found that while the colour was nice and bright, it just kind of…smeared across the lips, rather than offering penetrating colour.
I’ll end with this – a lot of people might feel that a red lip should be reserved for ladies of the night, or at the very least, the night. I say NAY. A bold lip and tiny sweep of eye-liner and mascara can be a great every-day look, so long as you find the shade that works for you.
Remember to blot, darlings.
Bonus – Rocky Horror Lips