Seeing Red

I’ve been wearing vibrant lipsticks for the past year or so after a long relationship with lip gloss. Don’t get me wrong- I love lip gloss but there comes a time when that shiny gooey-ness just does not cut it. At first, people would look at me funny. A few commented positively and I was a little self-conscious but there was no turning back.

My Red Lippy Compact!

I love red lipstick. I love, love, love it. Red lipstick is classic and bold. It says “Look at me” without being trashy. It is delicious. Today, I wore red lipstick to work.  I have several shades and consistencies. I have reds when I am feeling especially brave, reds for fun, and reds for the weekend. Sounds silly, I know, but red lipsticks are like pairs of shoes- you need a kick a$$ pair, a knocking around pair, and a pair for work.

I decided to sample seven (yes, seven) reds. The price range starts at $2.99 (NYX) and ends at $12 (Sephora brand). I didn’t choose MAC or Lipstick Queen lipsticks. I know MAC has very popular reds but figured a bunch of people probably have swatched them.

Seven Reds!

I honestly did not use any lip liner when trying out the reds. I can’t find this ELF pencil anymore, which is clear and creates a barrier between your lip and the rest of your face. Red lipstick is a creeper and this cuts it off at the pass. Let’s begin!

NYX Lip Smacking Colors in Fire LSS 599 is a smooth lipstick. It has a very light vanilla scent. So light in fact, it is hardly noticeable. When applied, it gives good coverage and a nice shine. It isn’t sticky or too thick but surprisingly long-lasting for a lipstick with such sheen. For $2.99 it is a good deal.

It’s more of a pinky red but totally work appropriate.

Brucci Lipstick might be an exclusively New York brand. I honestly do not know but have not seen it anywhere else. I’ve been wearing this brand forever and I mean this. I got my first Brucci lipstick when I was 5. It was a deep shimmering purple. Moving on… Brucci Lipstick in Marette’s Red #106 goes on smooth. This is another lipstick with a light, though slightly perfumy scent. Marette’s Red seems like another slightly pink but deeper red. It will be $3.49 well spent.

Brucci also makes the best nail polish. THE BEST.

Now, onto a more sheer shade. I have been a fan of Revlon‘s Lip Butters since they were released. I like their buildable color and if you wear a lip liner, the color becomes more opaque. I happen to like Cherry Tart #070. It is very moisturizing and shiny. It gives the lips a sweet glow. The only downside is that it needs to be reapplied pretty often. That’s okay because I like it so much. It is around $7.99 at most mass retailers.

Sheer lips… perfect for downtime.

One of my favorite colors of all time is L’Oreal‘s British Red #350. The gold tube is always classy and one swipe of this color means business. This is a true, Union Jack red! The lipstick smells strongly of violets but that is fine with me. I have to say that this has very good staying power and good coverage. It is not for the faint of heart.

I applied with a light touch. A little bit of a heavy hand and you are ready for anything.

The last three lipsticks are all Sephora Rouge Cream Lipstick.  I have to admit, I am a little partial. For $12.00, Sephora provides a high quality lipstick with good pigmentation. The scent of the lipstick is kind of sweet, like grapes or moscato if you’re feeling fancy.

First up is Rouge Cream R05 aka Hot Tango. When my sister and I found this color last fall it was like “AHHHH” (sing that in an angelic voice.) It is a bright pink red and it will turn heads. Trust me. It has a nice satin finish and good lasting power.

Hot Tango on my lips. SYTYCD in a tube.

It Girl R06 is described as a “muted coral tangerine.” That is way too complicated for me and when I wear it, it looks like an orange based red. My sister bought me this after we read a review about the color. I was a little scared that an orangey red would look terrible and that she wasted $12, but alas, I get the most wear out of this one. My sister, who is paler than me, actually wore it as Envy Adams fairly recently. She was afraid that she would have the same issue but with her blond wig, it looked good.

I’m puckering up like a fish.

Finally, we get to the last red lipstick… Valentine R09… it is magenta! Blue based since magenta is purple-y, Valentine is a color that I adore. It’s a little more fun. It is my “Who do you think you’re talking to?” color.


A few things… a clear liner works wonders. It helps keep the color in place. You can fill your lip in, too, and the color will not be altered.

-Finding a perfect red may take a few tries. MAC’s Ruby Woo is touted as a universal red. I have it and it is great! Check it out.

-Stains are a good way to try reds. I happen to like Revlon’s Just Bitten Lipstain in Flame.

-Red is a high maintenance color. Don’t be shy to reapply! (Thanks CD!) In fact, you will have to a few times to maintain the look.

-Be not afraid. Try it. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to wear it again BUT I’m pretty sure you will.

Primp On! XOXO


9 thoughts on “Seeing Red

  1. I learno something new on here everyday, I stay away from lip liners as no matter how I use them I always end up looking like a 90’s pornstar but Im 33 and my lips sometimes bleed when I use strong colours. I had never heard of clear lip liners and I have an ebay tab open now looking for one.
    I have also only recently starting wearing red, my brain work weird and whenever I see a red lippy I think of my friend who wears more of it on her teeth than her lips, not pretty, I’m getting my head away from that and have a few reds myself now which I am enjoying playing around with.
    I love the L’oreal one you have, it looks great with the light handed application.

  2. I love red lipstick! They don’t always love me being a fair skinned redhead but I persevere. One thing I have a problem with is scent. The scented lipsticks cause an allergic reaction which while it doesn’t kill me is annoying… Itchy sore throat.
    Any suggestions for fragrance free lipsticks?

    • Well… Paula Dorf is fragrance free. I also like Clinique. I’m trying to think if Lipstick Queen has fragrance and I don’t think so- there are some great matte reds in that line. I will research! Or try a stain- those usually have no scent.

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