Best Red Lipsticks, from YSL, Lush, Tom Ford, ARTDECO, Ellis Faas, Revlon, Max Factor, Lancome, ELF and Ilamasqua!

By Emma | September 2 2012 | 19 Comments

red lips

Red lips are a massive trend for next season and I’m really happy about that because it means loads of lovely red lipsticks are headed our way. I can’t wait to check out the new Chanel line and those gorgeous YSL mattes are also calling my name. But I’ve also had a rummage through my stash and rediscovered some absolute gems that are already in my collection. It’s been very tricky but here are my top 10, ranging from budget to high end, nice to mass market and everything in between.


Red Lips

YSL Rouge Volupte Perle in Mysterious Red

YSL’s Rouge Volupte range is a firm favourite here at The Perles are slightly lighter in formulation than the originals but have the same soft, glide-on texture. This one, Mysterious Red, is a warm, deep brick red that is gorgeously glossy and lovely to wear. It’s €31 and you can see more here.

Lush Liquid Lipstick in Power

The liquid lipsticks from Lush’s Emotional Brilliance line are seriously impressive. They’re creamy, pigment packed, with good staying power and don’t dry out the lips. Power is a vivid orangey tomato red; shimmer provides depth and vibrance without looking OTT.

Tom Ford Cherry Lush

Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Colour in Cherry Lush

This is the jewel in the crown of my lipstick collection. Sleekly packaged (though mine is the old colour – they’re now brown instead of white and yes, it bothers me!) and reassuringly weighty, everything about this lipstick is sheer class. The shade itself, said to be Ford’s favourite, is a creamy strawberry red that is super pigmented with good lasting power. It’s (gulp) €45.

Dita Von Teese for ARTDECO Lip Laquer in Chinois

Opaque colour, velvety texture and high gloss finish, this is everything you’d expect from the queen of the red lip. The lip laquer,  €16.70, is a deep vampy red and it’s divine – just like the rest of the lip products in this collection. It’s well worth checking out.



Ellis Faas Creamy Lips in Ellis Red

Every piece created by Dutch make up artist Ellis Faas is based on a colour found naturally in the human body and as such, the thinking goes, should be universally flattering. This one, Ellis Red, is deep, dark and based on the colour of blood – but don’t let that put you off. Read more about this gorgeous niche brand here.

Lancôme Rouge in Love lipstick in Sequins d’Amour

I dubbed this one of the prettiest, most unique shades of red I’ve come across and my opinion hasn’t changed. Bright and beautiful, this is also featherlight, glossy and packed full of emollients so it feels lovely on the lips. Read the full review here.

best red lipstick

Max Factor Flipstick in Salsa Red

With an opaque satin at one end and a more shimmery shade at the other, these are intended to let you mix and match and create your unique shade. Mostly I don’t bother – I like the pinkish red side of Salsa Red fine just the way it is. It feels lovely and creamy and it’s €11.99.

Revlon Lip Butter in Candy Apple

This has totally stolen my heart. My favourite of the Lip Butters, this is a pretty coral red that because of the soft, sheer finish is perfect for everyday. It’s the only red I’m 100% comfortable wearing to the office. These are €11.25 in Boots but just €7 odd in Superdrug, so I know where I’ll be stocking up.

ELF Studio Matte Lip colour Rich Red

ELF Studio Matte Lip Colour in Rich Red

This is a gem – a creamy lip pencil in a gorgeous blue red shade that has just a hint of sheen, doesn’t dry out the lips and has good longevity too. It’s easy to apply and it was an absolute bargain at just €4. I want one in every colour.

Ilamasqua Lipstick in Box

It was a sad day when Ilamasqua pulled out of BT2 but my Box lipstick reminds me of happier times. A deep matte scarlet, this is intensely pigmented and packs a serious colour punch. The price I paid escapes me but it’s £15.50 from the Ilamasqua site.

Those are my faves – now what about yours? To the comments!


Lips, On a Budget, Reviews ,

19 Replies to "Best Red Lipsticks, from YSL, Lush, Tom Ford, ARTDECO, Ellis Faas, Revlon, Max Factor, Lancome, ELF and Ilamasqua!"

  • Fifibelle says:

    Ooooohhh I love red lippie!! Have a gorgeous Clarins Rouge Prodige one, its a fab brick red, quite matte so a bit drying but I luuuurrrrvee it!!!

  • Helz Nguyen says:

    That Elf lip pencil is definitely a great bargain.. wow, only for €4 and the color looks so rich and smooth! I wish we got ELF here. This post couldn’t come in better time, coz I’m planning to rock red lips this fall too :) and I think, blue tone red is all the way to go!

  • ladyjane says:

    Wow thats a lot of swatching!! Emma you can pull off a red lip like a pro, I just end up looking like homer hit me with his make up gun…… and thats with a barely there face and a lick of mascara

  • PinkPanther says:

    I always wear either Mac Red or Mac Ruby Woo. This post makes me think I should experiment with my reds more! Ilamasqua one looks particularly tempting.

  • Lisa says:

    Hee, we have similar taste in reds – I have the same Ellis Faas, the YSL, and the Lip Butter.

    NARS have some fabulous reds – off the top of my head, I love the matte lip pencils in Red Square (orange-red) and Cruella (deep scarlet), and the regular lippie in, er, all the ones named after trains (Shanghai Express, Transeurope Express, and Trans Siberian). Fabulous colours and really long lasting without being drying.

  • Emma says:

    Thanks for the suggestions guys! Will check ‘em out. Can never have too many red lippies…

  • BerG says:

    Am envious of your lovely collection of red lipstick’s. Recently bought the Rimmel, Kate Moss red lipstick for under a fiver and its really good. Was an impulse buy bought waiting on my prescription. Its a blue based red, which suit me better.

    I have the Tom Ford, Cherry Lush and its one of my prized posessions. Truly a splurge but for the payoff factor it was worth it.

  • red razors says:

    Mac ruby woo :) i’ve only started wearing lipstick in the last couple of months. I got ruby woo on impulse, having read a lot of good things about it. And i love it. The texture, the colour, how matte it is, how it stains more than slicks on.

  • LoCo says:

    Have the lip butter and Kate moss one and mac factor . Also have a red YSL glossy stain which is quite good for wearing day to day. The Tom Ford one looks amazing.

  • Ginger says:

    Two tips, one for pricier and one for cheaper.

    Expensive red: Lipstick Queen. The maker, Poppy King, is probably the world expert (OK, apart from Dita Van Teese) on red lipstick. She’s a one-woman crusade to persuade every woman in the world that, yes, there *is* a red for everyone. Her blue-based reds are particularly good on cool-toned (a.k.a. pale blue) folks. Even redheads like me :)

    Here’s some softer, gentler, subtler ones, for beginner reds:
    1. Medieval: a red-tinted just-bitten wash of colour. Amazing stuff. This was my first proper red, back in 2006. I’ve worn it off and on most of the time ever since.
    2. “Rouge” in the Saint version (still quite rich) and in the Sinner one (very dense pigment)

    The last time I bought LQ in Ireland was Harvey Nicks Dundrum sometime between 2006 and 2008; check there, otherwise online (I’ve got it online before and after, as it’s cheaper) like SpaceNK.

    Cheap red: same tone (on me) as Medieval:
    Silk Naturals Kisser Slicker in “Bitten” (online only: cheap as chips, amazing formulations, decently-priced postage, and about a bazillion other colours in lippies, eyeshadows, etc.: inc. lots of “clones”/”dupes” of classics like the MAC reds).

  • Grace says:

    i love the revlon candy apple! it is red enough to make you feel great and yet you can get away with wearing it even when you’ve hardly any other make up on! amazing!

  • Ginger says:

    Oooh! Also: in Boots: the Poppy King red lippies for No. 7 (that’s the same Ms King of Lipstick Queen).

  • Cait says:

    I rarely wear red lipstick seeing as I work in a very casual environment in terms of dress, but recently I wanted a red lipstick and discovered I only have one and it’s awful! So this is a great post for me! This is also the second time recently that you’ve shown something has been over-priced in Boots. I’m so disappointed. I’ll have to find a Superdrug.

  • OtherMary says:

    I couldn’t believe my luck when I managed to find long-discontinued Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Dragon after searching three airports and five shops. I also found Coromandel which is Dragon’s warm sister. I don’t think I’ll need another red as long as I have these. My other handful of reds I’ve already put away.

    Revlon Lip Butter in Candy Apple is the best of the cheapies.

  • Lisa says:

    Oh yeah, seconding the Poppy King Lipstick Queen recs – her reds are great too. Saint Rouge is a lovely subtle red for daytime. Love Medieval as well though it’s more like a red-tinted balm on me than anything with more colour payoff, as I have fairly pigmented lips anyway.

    Other cheapie rec: the red one of the new Revlon lip crayon tint balm things, it’s quite strongly pigmented for a stain, a lovely shade, lasts well, and smells minty.

  • littlesis says:

    My top reds are Kate Moss for Rimmel’s one, really nice to wear, not too drying and looks gorgeous. Rouge D’Armani’s 400 is an absolute stunner, not quite matte but not shiny. It’s stunning.

  • Louise says:

    This is the best post ever, I’ve been back about 5 times, I want them all!

  • Sinead says:

    Mac Russian Red is the only lipstick I ever wear. It’s a matte blue red that doesn’t budge all night. I can’t recommend it highly enough. I always get tons of compliments on it and girls often ask me how I get away with not touching it up! :-) I have to say the Revlon lip butter sounds very tempting for the day though!

  • Carla N. says:

    Red lipsticks, how do I love thee?
    Let me count the reds: I’m currently wearing Illamasqua Box, and plan to wear Ellis Red this weekend.
    I also own: MAC Powerhouse, MAC Russian Red, MAC Ruby Woo, MAC Runaway Red, MAC Port Red, MAC Classic Dame, MAC Ladybug, MAC Cockney, and Rouge Bunny Rouge Raw Silence.
    Yes, I TOTALLY need therapy! :)

Leave a Reply

Content © and partners