I've been on a seemingly never-ending quest for the best red lipstick—currently I have a grand total of five red lippies in my handbag (they all suit different moods and outfits, okay?). The iconic shade has been around for roughly 5000 years (shout-out to Wikipedia for the knowledge) and has been popular during the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Famously, flappers wore it in the 1920s, thanks to advancements in technology giving us the lipstick bullet, and it became ubiquitous in Hollywood with the likes of Marilyn Monroe elevating it to its iconic status.
As a result, the red lipstick will never leave our makeup bags. But as with everything these days, there are so many incredible options that it's hard to find the right one for you. We turned to today's biggest stars to see what they put on their lips in a bid to uncover the best red lipsticks out there. We've even tested out a few of the latest launches so you can shop more updated versions. (Spoiler: A red lip crayon is all the rage right now.) Keep scrolling to see which red lipsticks the A-list loves, plus some of our favourites right now.
Now we have it on good authority that Kendall Jenner likes to wear Restless, a lipstick she created with Estée Lauder. Of course, like her sisters, the selling power of the Kardashian/Jenner family means that this red lipstick is already sold out (sad face). Instead, try the Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Envious (£26) for a similar hue.
Queen Bey is another celeb who is keen to switch up her lip colour. According to her makeup artist, Sir John, she "loves a red lip. It's her go-to pick-me-up." She also goes for a slightly orangey shade (as it suits darker skin tones). Try Lord & Berry Vogue Lipstick in Red (£8) to re-create this look.
There are few people in the world of celebrity who are as dedicated to the red lip colour as Gwen Stefani. While other A-listers might change their lip colour depending on their mood, Stefani's swipe of rouge has become her signature look. The best way to re-create it? Using two lipsticks. First, she starts with a matte base from L'Oréal's Infallible line. However, the shade she uses isn't available in the UK, so opt for L'Oréal Infallible Ombre Matte Lipstick in Disturb 006 (£8). Then go over the top in something a little glossier like MAC's Lipglass in Russian Red (£16).
Kim Kardashian West reveals a lot about her makeup and skincare routines on her app, and when she discussed her favourite lip colours, it was no different. While she's often in her signature nude lip, she says she loves a few different colours to help her lips pop: "I usually like to keep my lips neutral, but ultra-colorful shades are so fun for spring." As for her red, she tends to go for a slightly orangey shade (again, it looks best on olive skin tones) in the form of Christian Louboutin Sheer Voile Lip Colour in Escatin (£70).
The Byrdie Edit
Want more red lipstick recomendations? Well, as seasoned wearers ourselves, we've amassed collections that practically catalogue every red lipstick ever made. Which means we are pretty well-equipped with the knowledge to suggest some rather great options too. We've whittled down our favourites to bring you this: a list of the 7 creamiest, most high-pigment, easy-to-apply sticks of the punchiest, most universally-flattering shades that are Byrdie editor approved. Stick to this path, and you just won't go wrong with your next purchase. Click through to find the best red lipsticks we keep coming back to.
Miraculously, this lipstick doesn't cake in the creases, nor does it creep away from the lip line. In fact, we'd go as far to say that you won't find a better lipstick for a fiver anywhere. Promise.
Like butter, this creamy bullet smooths onto lips like a dream, and this deep, dulled-down red looks just as great on dark skin tones as it does on paler skin tones. A great all-rounder.
The super-tiny nib, the pointed tip and the long, pen-like tube of this lipstick make application a doddle, and the shades (there are 30, including plenty of reds) are soft, not garish.
The bullet of this lipstick has been engineered to perfectly follow the contours of the lips, and you need no more than one coat to get enough colour payoff.
This liquid lipstick has an abundance of colour intensity without any of that tight and dry uncomfortable feeling so many of them can have. The finish is flatteringly matte: It's not chalkboard matte—it's more like the texture of a cashmere jumper.
Another brilliant Korean import, Touch in Sol has started to infiltrate every aspect of our beauty routines, but this lipstick is especially impressive. It contains mango, shea butter and coconut butter, which covers lips in a blanket of moisture that not even the coldest frost could dry out.
Chanel's lipsticks are undeniably chic, and the click of the tube closing is so satisfying that it's almost pornographic. This pillar box red shade (which launches 3 November) is as timeless as the brand itself, and there's none of that weird drag as you pull it across the lips
Next up! The ultimate guide to picking the best nude lipsticks for your skin tone.
Opening Image: Mango