Lipsticks of 2024, Tested & Reviewed by Editors and Makeup Artists

These are true makeup legends. 🐐🐐🐐

If there’s one thing the beauty world can agree on, it’s that swiping on a red lipstick is always fire. But navigating through the sea of shades, formats, and finishes to find your perfect red lipstick can be overwhelming to say the least. So to help you narrow down all your options, I tested and reviewed hundreds of red lipsticks—including long-lasting waterproof lipsticks, glossy red lipsticks, lipstick stains, and classic red lipstick bullets—to come up with this highly curated list of the 11 best red lipsticks of 2024. Here’s a sneak peek:

Best Red Lipstick Overall

MAC Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo

PROS
  • Blue-red shade looks great on all skin tones
  • Testers say it won’t fade or feather for up to 10 hours
CONS
  • Some reviewers say it doesn’t apply smoothly or evenly straight from the tube

MAC’s Ruby Woo has been around since 1999 and is arguably *the* most iconic red lipstick of all time. With cool blue undertones that make teeth look dazzling white and rich pigment that demands a double take, it’s no wonder everyone from ordinary people (hiii me) to celebrities like Taylor Swift are loyal fans. And even though it’s a matte lipstick, it won’t make your lips feel dry or flaky.

  • Size: 0.1 oz
  • Format: Cream
  • Finish: Matte
  • Cruelty-free? No

Glowing customer review: “I can never wear matte lip products without my lips looking like dried up prunes and feeling dry and chapped. But this? Perfection! It’s creamy and comfortable and even wearing it all day doesn’t dry my lips out. Beautiful color. Love this stuff!”

Super Stay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick in Dancer

2
Best Drugstore Red Lipstick

Maybelline New York Super Stay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick in Dancer

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PROS
  • Features a pointed doe foot applicator designed for precise application
  • Outperforms red lipsticks that are nearly five times the price
CONS
  • Can be difficult to remove (but an oil-based makeup remover will do the trick)
  • Some testers say it can feel a little sticky upon initial application

Everyone in my life will vouch that I’ve been loyal to this drugstore lipstick since it came out in 2017. The formula is practically glue-like in that it doesn’t budge throughout the day, no matter whether I eat the greasiest lunch or get caught in a literal rainstorm. And the color? Just a single coat blankets my lips in an rich, opaque matte. The icing on the cake is this brick-red shade that feels custom-made for warm undertones like mine.

  • Size: 0.17 oz
  • Format: Liquid
  • Finish: Matte
  • Cruelty-free? No

Glowing customer review: “Seriously lasts all day. I add a gloss after applying because I prefer that over a matte finish. I usually touch up after eating lunch in the center only but it’s not necessary, just something I like to do. I love this stuff!”

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Rouge Dior Forever Liquid Transfer-Proof Lipstick in 999 Forever Dior
3
Best Transfer-Proof Red Lipstick

Dior Rouge Dior Forever Liquid Transfer-Proof Lipstick in 999 Forever Dior

PROS
  • Iconic 999 shade also comes in other formats and finishes
  • Reviewers say it lives up to the 12-hour weartime claim
CONS
  • Pricey for the amount of product that you get

This red lipstick is undoubtedly expensive, but trust me and thousands of others: it’s worth every dollar. For special occasions, I reach for 999 Forever Dior, a classic red that rightfully earned its title as the most iconic Dior shade. The pigment level is off the charts but doesn’t feel heavy and the pointed applicator makes it easy to outline and fill in your lips. And the best part? It passes my ultimate lipstick longevity test—hours of kissing without transferring or smearing—with flying colors.

  • Size: 0.20 oz
  • Format: Liquid
  • Finish: Matte
  • Cruelty-free? No

Glowing customer review: “The formula doesn’t feel heavy or drying. The applicator is shaped like a teardrop which I was skeptical about, but it does an amazing job with giving a smooth, consistent, and precise layer of lipstick and the end is lovely for giving yourself a nice, pronounced cupid’s bow. I really enjoyed everything about this lipstick and I can’t wait to try other shades.”

Lip Blur Soft-Matte Hydrating Lipstick in Classic
4
Best Blurring Red Lipstick

Saie Lip Blur Soft-Matte Hydrating Lipstick in Classic

PROS
  • Minimizes the look of lip lines and dry texturize
  • Formula is clean and packaging is recyclable
CONS
  • Some reviewers say it can tug/pull during application

My fave thing about this lipstick (besides its universally flattering blue-red hue and ultra-hydrating feel) is its versatility. When I’m in the mood for a gentle touch of color, I simply dab a lil onto my lips using my finger. But here’s the kicker—you can layer it on for a bolder, more intense, and ~completely~ opaque finish. Oh, and its blurring claim is legit. It uses moisturizing fruit wax to smooth your lips for a natural finish with zero harsh lines, like a soft-focus effect sans the filter.

  • Size: 0.07 oz
  • Format: Cream
  • Finish: Matte
  • Cruelty-free? Yes

Glowing customer review: “My favorite lip color right now. Goes on smoothly, amazing color and stays! This is fast becoming my favorite brand!!”

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Fenty Icon The Fill Semi-Matte Refillable Lipstick in MVP
5
Best Refillable Red Lipstick

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Fenty Icon The Fill Semi-Matte Refillable Lipstick in MVP

PROS
  • Contains hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrate lips
  • Refillable case is available in four different shades and finishes
CONS
  • Case and lipstick are sold separately

It’s no secret that Rihanna’s always one step ahead of the game in terms of innovation—and this refillable red lipstick is no exception. There are a few different stunning reds in the collection (including the orange-red Nosy Rosy and brown-ish red Grill Mast’r), but I personally love the classic blue-red that is MVP. And the satin finish? Well, it actually stays put all day, as vouched for by not only hundreds of you but yours truly as well. And finally, the refillable part. Choose from one of four different luxury cases and then refill it with the same shade or a new one once you run out.

  • Size: .134 oz
  • Format: Cream
  • Finish: Semi-matte
  • Cruelty-free? Yes

Glowing customer review: “What a beautiful beautiful lipstick from Fenty Beauty!! There is SO MUCH to love about this product. The fact that it is refillable for starters. Love the lipstick case… very luxe. The lipstick itself comes in so many gorgeous shades and is the perfect matte to satin ratio. Glides on beautifully. This is a definite win from Fenty!! Highly recommend!!”

Rouge Volupté Shine Lipstick Balm in Rouge Tuxedo
6
Best Red Lipstick Balm

YSL Beauty Rouge Volupté Shine Lipstick Balm in Rouge Tuxedo

PROS
  • Hydrates and conditions lips just like a balm for comfortable wear
CONS
  • Testers say the color doesn’t last very long so you’ll need to reapply it throughout the day

I don’t leave home without this red lipstick balm (yes, that’s a thing) from YSL—it’s really that good. The hydrating formula melts right into your lips and leaves behind a sheer-t0-medium, shiny red tint that’s perfect for everyday use.

  • Size: 0.11 oz
  • Format: Balm
  • Finish: Shiny
  • Cruelty-free? No

Glowing customer review: “The prettiest glossy shiny lipstick but absolutely not sticky, very juicy, tastes and smells amazing, my boyfriend loves to steal a kiss from me when I’m wearing it. the color is very buildable depending what you want for the day.”

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Powermatte High-Intensity Long-Lasting Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl
7
Best Red Lipstick Crayon

NARS Powermatte High-Intensity Long-Lasting Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl

PROS
  • Easy to apply with or without a mirror
CONS
  • Testers say the formula has a tendency to be drying

Dragon Girl from NARS is another classic vivid-red shade that belongs on any best red lipstick list. You can try the shade in multiple formats—including a traditional cream cream bullet, a fluffy matte mousse, high-impact liquid lipstick, and more—but I personally love this easy-to-use crayon. The full-coverage formula glides on creamy and dries down to a comfy matte that looks freshly applied for hours. And thanks to the chubby pencil format, you can use this bb as a lip liner or lipstick.

  • Size: 0.09 oz
  • Format: Crayon/pencil
  • Finish: Matte
  • Cruelty-free? No

Glowing customer review: “LOVE! No strong odor or flavor. Can be put on lightly or heavy. Bold without being fake. I just love this red. I’m pale with brown/grey hair and green eyes and feel confident when wearing this lipstick.”

Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour in 99 Pirate
8
Best Dark Red Lipstick

Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour in 99 Pirate

PROS
  • Infused with sweet almond oil to help smooth and moisturize lips
  • Even though it feels lightweight, the color-payoff is super intense
CONS
  • Some testers say the finish is more semi-matte than satin or luminous

If you’re in the market for a new deep-red lipstick, look no further than this stunning shade from Chanel. 99 Pirate is loved by makeup artists, celebs, and beauty editors for its ability to look gorge on all skin tones and not dry out your lips in the process.

  • Size: 0.12 oz
  • Format: Cream
  • Finish: Satin
  • Cruelty-free? No

Glowing customer review: “I only buy Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour because the colours are deep and rich and the product lasts all day. It lasts through eating, through exercising, through working and playing. Once I apply my lip color in the morning, I’m good to go and never have to worry about it again. After using this product, you’ll be sold for life and won’t waste money on any other lip color.”

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Speak Love Moisture Matte Lipstick in Rich AF
9
Best Moisturizing Matte Red Lipstick

LYS Beauty Speak Love Moisture Matte Lipstick in Rich AF

PROS
  • Has plumping and hydrating properties
  • Formula is vegan and made with clean ingredients
  • Testers love the ultra-slim design
CONS
  • Reviewers say it has more of a satin that true-matte finish

The first time I swiped on this red lipstick, I gasped. The pigment? Ridiculously intense and opaque. And the texture? The silkiest matte ever—so smooth and creamy that it’s practically wet. Living up to its name, it’s a classic blue-red lipstick, but not your run-of-the-mill red lipstick. It feels more like a moisturizing lip treatment, packing a hydrating punch with hyaluronic acid and chia seed oil.

  • Size: .05 oz
  • Format: Cream
  • Finish: Matte
  • Cruelty-free? Yes

Glowing customer review: “I really don’t think I can express how much I love the formula of these lipsticks! They are so buttery smooth and so pigmented! Also LYS packaging is so cute! What more could a girl ask for? If you haven’t purchased them already, what are you waiting for?”

Major Headlines Matte Suede Lipstick in That's Why She's Late
10
Best Velvet-Matte Red Lipstick

Patrick Ta Major Headlines Matte Suede Lipstick in That’s Why She’s Late

PROS
  • Long-lasting without being drying
  • Velvety finish adds nice dimension to lips
CONS
  • The bullet is delicate; it broke for a handful of shoppers

Major shoutout to celebrity makeup artist Patrick Ta for creating a red lipstick that doesn’t just look incredible on lips, it feels incredible on them too. The cool-toned, fire-engine red hue delivers max color payoff in just a few swipes, and the matte finish is nice and velvety so won’t suck all the moisture from your lips. Taylor Swift is also a fan of this one—need I say any more?

  • Size: 0.14 oz
  • Format: Cream
  • Finish: Matte
  • Cruelty-free? Yes

Glowing customer review: “Everything I want in a matte lipstick and more. I was so impressed. The formula is hydrating and feels like velvet on your lips. It stays put without creasing, a lipstick you can wear without a lip liner. I’ve literally been wanting a matte lipstick that doesn’t feel drying and the color pigment is just beautiful. It’s also very easy to use. I usually take forever to put my lipstick on and this was the fastest most seamless application.”

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Fluffmatte Lipstick in Major
11
Best Lightweight Red Lipstick

Sunnies Face Fluffmatte Lipstick in Major

PROS
  • Well-balance red hue complements all skin tones
  • Ultra light texture feels like you’re wearing nothing on your lips
CONS
  • Reviewers say they wish it were more long-lasting

I’m kicking myself for not trying this lipstick sooner because I would have been wearing it every damn day. It’s genuinely weightless, delivering super rich pigment that feels like a whisper on my lips. I love recommending it to those who usually avoid matte lipstick due to its heaviness and dryness. Plus, it complements every skin tone—what more could you ask for?

  • Size: 0.11 oz
  • Format: Cream
  • Finish: Matte
  • Cruelty-free? Yes

Glowing customer review: “This lipstick has a really lovely plush matte formula. It wears comfortably on lips with an airy, powdery light thin texture. They are like a cloud on the lips!”

What red lipstick do celebrities wear?
 

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Celebrities’ red lipstick choices are as diverse as they are, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few things they generally agree on. According to celebrity makeup artist Emily Amick, “When it comes to red carpet glam, celebs usually opt for a long-wearing lip formula.” She adds that they also prefer one with enough pigment to shine bright under the relentless flash of approximately a zillion camera bulbs. And MAC’s Ruby Woo—our best red lipstick overall— is a regular favorite among celebs like Taylor Swift, Angelina Jolie, Tracee Ellis Ross, and more.

What shade of red lipstick is best for me?
 

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What shade of red lipstick is best for you isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. Before grabbing any red lipstick from the beauty aisle (virtual or real), you should research. After all, your skin’s undertones, lipstick preferences, and budget all play a role, which I’ll break down in more detail below:

How to choose the best red lipstick:
 

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Determine your undertones.

Check out the veins on your neck or wrists. Are they blue or purple? If so, you likely have cool undertones. According to Amick, that means your red lipstick should be pink, cranberry, or blue-based. Now, if your veins are more green, that means you probably have warm undertones. In this case, Amick suggests a red lipstick with hints of brown or orange like “brick red” or “burnt orange.” Your veins could also have a mix case of both colors, in which case, you have a neutral skin-tone. And lucky for you, that means any shade of lipstick will look like it’s tailor-made for you.

Decide on your ideal finish.

On the hunt for a red lipstick that’ll stay put through hours or eating and drinking? Or perhaps you’re leaning towards something soft and comfy with a little shine? These are the questions Amick suggests mulling over before tossing any random red lipstick into your real or virtual shopping cart. “If you want an intense, opaque lip that lasts all night, you’ll probably want to go for a lip liner-lipstick combo,” she says, adding that a red lipstick with a matte finish is typically the way to go for longevity. On the flip side, she suggests a formula that’s easy to swipe on, like a balmy red lipstick if your biggest concern is comfort.

Commit to a spending cap.

Before you start shopping for red lipstick, take a beat to set your budget. That way, if you’re clicking through online shops, you can set your price range in the search preferences. Whether you’re heading to your local drugstore or to Sephora (both red lipstick treasure troves, as our list proves), keep this in mind: the price tag doesn’t always tell the full story. Just because one red lipstick is pricier doesn’t automatically make it better, and vice versa. Then, from a selection of red lipsticks that align with your budget, you can zero in on the perfect red that aligns with your wants and needs.

Meet the expert:
 

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  • Emily Amick is a makeup artist based in New York, NY. Amick’s portfolio spans a diverse range of accomplishments, including everything from high-fashion editorial shoots and to working with celebrities for red carpet appearances and events.
Why trust Cosmopolitan?
 

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Marisa Petrarca is a contributing beauty writer for Cosmopolitan with over five years of experience researching and writing about makeup, skin, and hair, ranging from from skin-tightening cream to non-comdeogenic foundations. For this piece, she discussed red lipstick with makeup artist Emily Amick and dove into reviews, research, and her makeup stockpile to recommend the best products.

Marisa Petrarca is a contributing beauty writer for Cosmopolitan.com. In the rare case that she’s not working on a story, you can find her testing new makeup, skin, or hair launches, binge-watching bad reality TV, or diligently working (but failing) to get her inbox to zero. Her work has appeared on The Zoe Report, POPSUGAR, and GRAZIA USA, among others. Follow her on Instagram for corgi photos and shameless self-promotion.

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