Last month I realized I had lost my favorite red lipstick (Illamasqua Maneater) and when I went to buy a new one I found out Sephora had stopped carrying it. I spent some time trying to hunt it down before finally admitting to myself that I needed to find a new signature red lipstick. Red lipstick is one of my favorite topics so I thought it would be a fun opportunity to do some research and find out our favorites. We asked for reccomendations on Instagram and Facebook and then went shopping. We tried 40 different lipsticks, everything from drugstore brands to makeup counter brands and even tried a few high-end designer brands. Here is what we found out. Click through for our list of 12 Best Lipsticks
I think the lipsticks can be categorized in three general pricepoint groups. 1. Drugstore $5-$11 2. Mid Range $14-$27 3. High End +$30 I was a little surprised at the quality of the lipsticks compared to the pricetag. Most of the drug store lipsticks weren’t great as expected. It was hard to find really good colors and the application felt waxy and low quality on a lot of them. But we found a few that were really exceptional and were comparable to the higher priced lipsticks. Most of the ones in the Mid Range Category were good and consistent, they came in great colors and felt nice to wear. In the mid range category we also discovered a few that were really innovative and long-wearing. We only tried 4 different types of high-end lipsticks and while the packaging felt more luxe we didn’t notice a huge improvement in quality compared to the midrange brands like MAC or NARS. I was expecting something special with the higher price tags and at least with the brands I tried they were pretty normal.
Color is a matter of personal preference and what looks good with your skin tone. The shade of red can run the gamut from something with bluish undertones to a brick red or even something kind of orangey. A few years ago my friend was helping me choose a lipstick and she says the key to finding a good one is to go somewhere like Sephora and spend a good 30-60 minutes trying on different colors to find the perfect lipstick for you. My personal favorites tend to run a true red or else have a tiny bit of orangey undertones which feel a little bright and on trend.
We tried lip pencils, lipsticks and even stains. Pencils are nice because they tend to wear longer, lipsticks are really easy to apply and the matte colors usually last longer than non matte colors. There are lots of new stains out right now and we were really impressed by how long they wear.
In general all the Mac and Nars were great colors and predictably good. I think my new favorite might be #1 below. It really stays on the whole day. I even kissed Paul with it on and there wasn’t a trace of it on him. For situations where I don’t want lipstick on all day I think my new favorite is #9 Nars Heat Wave. I also thought #6 and #11 were excellent and both can be found at a drugstore.
Here are our 12 favorite lipsticks we tried. I would love to hear YOUR favorite or if you have recommendations on ones we missed in the comments below.
1. Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick, Underage Red $19 – Best to Make Out In. This one was really impressive. It applies like a lip gloss (which can take some practice to perfect) but then dries into a beautiful matte color THAT IS EXTREMELY LONGWEARING. You can kiss your boyfriend without leaving any color on his face. Bonus: no parabens.
2. L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipcolour, British Red $5.99 – Best for a Budget. This one is a great color and applies evenly. But I love that it’s also so inexpensive. You can also pick it up at any drug store which is super convenient.
3. & 4. Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, Cruella & Red Square $25 – Easiest Application. I love these lip pencils because they’re SO easy to apply and don’t really come off after eating or kissing. The colors are also great: Red Square is the perfect bright red and Cruella is an awesome deep red.
7. & 8. Mac Matte Lipstick, Ruby Woo & Lady Danger $16 – Best Color. You can’t really go wrong with Mac. They’ve got classic colors that aren’t too matte and apply super smoothly. The price is also great for the quality.
9. Nars Lipstick, Heat Wave $26 – Best Texture. I love Nars lipstick – it’s enriched with Vitamin E so the colors goes on smooth and stays in tact. Heat Wave is one of my favorite colors. A+.
10. Illamasqua Lipstick, Flare $25 – Most Intense Color. I’ve been wearing this color forever. The orange tint feels super fresh. It glides on smoothly. I always keep a stick in my purse.
11. Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm, 210 Unapologetic $9.80 – Most Moisturizing. This one is a mix between a lip balm and lipstick so it makes your lips feel super soft. The crayon shape make is really easy to apply (plus, you don’t need a sharpener!) and it’s got an interesting minty taste.
12. Bite, Zinfandel $24 – Best Non-Toxic! Besides having awesome color, great texture and easy application, this one is TOTALLY safe enough to eat. It doesn’t have any parabens, sulfates or phthalates.
Photos by Paul Ferney & Alison Piepmeyer for Oh Happy Day. Special thanks to my friend Danielle Curtis for modeling!