I Own Over 200 Red Lipsticks—These Are the Very Best
Fact: I feel like a confident, unstoppable, gorgeous, fearless, badass, 26-year-old woman who can do anything when I'm wearing red lipstick. I'm beauty-obsessed and there's no other product in the world that has the same effect on me as red lipstick. The way it levels up my confidence is truly untouchable— so yeah, you can call it my signature. I discovered the effervescent powers of a good red my freshman year of college. I was that 18-year-old unabashedly walking into my mass media communications class with a bright red lipstick on at 8.a.m, just because I felt like it. The mood-boosting magic of red lipstick is a feeling everyone should experience. So I'm excited to share the wealth with my favourite shades of all time.
Here's the thing with reds: there are a lot of them. A line of lipsticks doesn't feel complete without some sort of red, so nearly every beauty brand has several of them. Don't judge me when I say this but a stack of red lipsticks are sitting in every corner of my room. The obsession is real. It's been a learning experience finding the right reds for my dark skin tone over the years. There's been a few bad apples in the bunch, but the good ones deserve some shine. This was not an easy task, but I've rounded up the very best red lipsticks for dark skin tones. You can quote me on these.
Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Bawse ($34)
OK, now that you're well-aware of the fact that I've tried lots of reds in my day, feast your eyes on my favorite red lipstick of all time, which I'm wearing in both of the photos above. This gem has won me jobs, dates, tons of "likes" on the 'Gram, and countless compliments. I've never met a matte more lightweight than this—you'll forget you're wearing this. What I'm most in love with is how this shade pops against my dark skin tone. The slay is unprecedented.
MAC Cosmetics MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo ($36)
It wouldn't be right if I didn't show love to the first red I fell in love with: Ruby Woo. This OG-red shade is a cult favourite for many women of color, because it's just the bomb. I discovered it in my teen years and haven't let go since. It's an unapologetically red hue that steals the spotlight. MAC has always known how to make a comfortable matte formula, that doesn't feel too tacky or drying on the lips.
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored ($36)
RiRi is my celeb bestie in my head and my homegirl nailed the perfect red with this one. When Rihanna uploaded her first ever lipstick tutorial unveiling this shade on Instagram I legitimately screamed. This universal red looked next-level and I knew I had to get it in my hands. I will say, proceed with caution if you're going to be eating a bunch. It has a tendency to transfer throughout the day. But rest assured your selfie will be fire.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Sarafine ($39)
If you can't tell by now, I love reds that saturate your lips in a bold burst of colour. This blue-based red does just that and outlasts every single thing it comes in contact with. I started wearing this red heavily in my college days, and still recommend it to all my friends. The pointy applicator makes it easy to ditch lip liner if you want.
Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color in Romance ($25)
It's pretty hard to beat a bold red for $24. This is one of those reds that comes through in the clutch when you're in a rush and need a lipstick you can find in the nearest drugstore that'll over-deliver. It's matte, velvety texture glides on a gorgeous, opaque hue in one sweep.
Stila Cosmetics Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso ($32)
This is another one of those oldie-but-goodie shades that stays at the front of my vanity. I love lipstick but I absolutely hate re-applying it. You can't talk about a non-budge formula without throwing this star player in the mix. Plus, the colour payoff is the truth and looks especially stunning on brown skin.
Nars Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil in Dragon Girl ($39)
This red was introduced to me by my lovely mentor, Kahlana Barfield, which means its reputation is nothing less than solid if it's endorsed by her (she's a legend in the beauty industry). Lip crayons conveniently take things back to the basics. You can control exactly how this shade will look on your lips and don't necessarily need a lip liner or even a super-steady hand. This red has blue undertones and leans on the fiery red-orange side of shades.
Dior Rouge Matte Lipstick in 999 ($52)
I was first acquainted to this luxury red after interviewing celebrity makeup artist to Meghan Markle, Jessica Alba, and more Daniel Martin. He pointed out the coral undertones of this shade, which makes it universally flattering on all skin tones (Aka a winner). I dubbed this my "special occasion red" I love wearing when I want to feel fancy. It sits so pretty on my lips and against my skin tone.