my lipstick collection

So you wanna hear about some red lipsticks?

Look at all the pretty shinies (also please ignore the cat hair).  It should be noted that this is not my entire lipstick collection, just those that are or could arguably be called red and most likely are still being sold.  The whole point of this post is for red lipsticks that work well on a warmer skin tone, though many of these lipsticks will work on people with any skin tone really. It’s just a matter of personal taste.

Not-so-great swatch pictures ahoy – I could not get the lighting right for the life of me.


First up, we have the Milani lipsticks.  Their liquid lip crème formula (the top one up there) has one of the best liquid lipstick formulations out there, and even better it’s a drugstore brand, so it’s easy to find and affordable.  The top swatch is the Amore Matte Metallic Lip Crème in ‘My Soulmate’, which is, as the name says, a metallic deep red that dries super matte and doesn’t budge. It will wear off in the center after a while, but it’s a formula that can be re-applied.  The only thing with this one is that it’s not the most summery of colors, but that’s more of a matter of my personal tastes instead, so if you like it, wear it.

The next is the Milani Color Statement lipstick in ‘Black Cherry’, which is more of a deep dark plum-red that pulls more towards purple and maintains a glossy crème finish (aka this is not a kiss-proof formula).  It’s…okay.  It’s kind of dry, and you have to work to get it to be not patchy on the lips when applying it.  Even when I was doing the swatch on my arm there it kept pulling against the skin. Don’t let that sway you against buying other lipsticks from this line, however – I have a few other shades from the line that are a delight to wear (and one of my favorite, every day nude lipsticks as well).  But sometimes darker shades can be more finicky.  If you like this sort of color though stay tuned; I have a few other lipsticks that are similar to this that have a lot nicer formulas.


Our second drugstore offerings here are from Rimmel.  The first one is the Provocalips 16 Hour long lasting formula, in the shade ‘Heart Breaker’. This is one of those lipsticks that also comes with an attached lip balm, because long lasting = drier than the desert on your lips.  It does last a long time though.  The swatch doesn’t do this shade justice; it’s more of a brick red color that would work for an everyday red.

Then we have the Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick in ‘Kiss of Life’, and if I had to pick an affordable drugstore red lipstick above all others, this one would be it.  A warm, almost ripe tomato red (think orange undertones, though there’s no actual orange shades in the lipstick) it’s a wonderfully creamy matte formula that applies easily and lasts a long time, though it should be said that it is also not a kiss-proof formula.  This is a real classic red that looks crazy sexy when you’ve got it on, and you can pretend it’s the blood of your enemies as you take over the world in it too. ;)  If you can’t afford any of the higher end lipsticks and want something red, go straight to this one.


My darling Besame lipsticks, how I love you.  If you can afford it, and are looking for a good quality lipstick, this is where I would send you immediately.  Before I keep extolling their virtues, however, let’s actually get to the lipsticks. The formula is identical on all of these – a rich, opaque crème formula that goes on easy, whether you’re applying it straight from the bullet or with a lip brush.  The two lipliners at the top are pretty standard, though I do like the formula.  I don’t use lipliners a lot so when I do, I want them to be easy to apply.  ‘Cerise’ pulls a little more wine red/purple, while ‘Red’ is more brick toned, though it actually feels a little bit cooler toned than ‘Red Velvet’ down there (they do still work very well together though – I’ve worn that combo numerous times to get that lipstick to stick around for hours).

Okay, the lipsticks.  ‘Carmine’ is a bright orangey coral red, and it’s definitely a great summer shade.  When it starts to wear off a bit it will leave a nice orangey-red stain behind as well, which’ll get you a little more wear time out of this one.  

‘Noir Red’ is that dark plum-red again, similar to the Milani ‘Black Cherry’, though this shade is a little deeper and applies a lot nicer (though, admittedly, it’s not as easier as the lighter shades here – this seems to be something fairly common with darker shades in various brands in my experience, so I think we just have to accept that dark lipsticks require a little extra work).  As a side note, don’t be afraid of wearing wine/purple based tones if you like a darker lipstick look.  Purple is opposite yellow on the color wheel and will actually nicely compliment those yellow tones in your skin and work well with it.  

There’s not much that I can say about ‘Red Velvet’ that I haven’t already said, but suffice to say I would die on the hill of this red lipstick.  It’s my most favorite red lipstick ever, a slightly darker neutral red (with maybe a hint of a brick tone in it for warmth, though it just looks red on the mouth), applies like a dream, and long, LONG lasting.  This is the lipstick that Peggy Carter wears, so carry that spirit of bad-assness with you when you wear this shade.

When applying any of these lipsticks, it’s best to follow the company’s recommended “apply, blot, reapply, blot again” method of application.  It really does make a difference in the wear time and helps to keep it from bleeding.

I also own the shade ‘Merlot’ somewhere in my collection, though it seems to have walked off. Knowing my luck I’ll probably find it in a month and a half buried in some purse somewhere.  ‘Merlot’ is a red that’s similar to ‘Red Velvet’ in the depth of the tone, though it’s got some more of the winey tones in there.  I do recommend this shade for warm skin tones as well, but definitely take a look at other swatches online first before making your choice.


Nyx Cosmetics is one of my favorite drugstore brands, so I will always recommend them for a variety of lip products as well as their other cosmetics in general.  I do have a post somewhere on my blog featuring swatches of all the Nyx lipsticks I own also, so if you’re interested, let me know and I’ll dig it up.

The first shade up there is the Butter Gloss in ‘Cherry Pie’, which is pretty much a maraschino cherry red. And it still looks red when applied as well, which is something that I’ve had some glosses fail at in the past (‘Why do you say you’re red when you’re looking hot pink on my lips?!’ *sobs piteously*).  Being a gloss, this isn’t long-lasting at all, but it is nicely shiny on the lips, and isn’t all that sticky for a gloss either.  Great for those days when you want some red lips, but don’t feel like doing the whole massive application process.  Just dab some on, smoosh the lips together, and go.

Second shade is Butter Lipstick in ‘Lifeguard’.  This shade is pretty similar to Besame’s ‘Red Velvet’, a solid red with brick undertones, though maybe a couple of shades lighter and a little more glossy/shiny.  Being such a sleek formula means it doesn’t last as long, but being a proper lipstick reapplication is never a problem.  So if Red Velvet is a little out of your budget range (as much as I love Besame, I’ll be the first to admit they ain’t cheap), then look for this wallet friendly shade instead.

I’m a little hesitant to mention this last one, because the High Voltage line has been discontinued, alas. But ‘Feline’ here is a nice, high gloss lipstick formula that’s the deep plum-red that’s similar to ‘Noir Red’ and ‘Black Cherry’.  It’s also a super opaque formula so the color is true to what you see in the tube.

Okay, I am looking at the Nyx website, and it looks like this line may not have been discontinued, just re-branded.  There’s a line available there called the Turnt Up! Lipstick which looks eerily similar to this one…and also has a color called ‘Feline’…which looks almost exactly like my tube here (and another tube of the High Voltage I have here in a different shade has a twin in this new line also).  So do with that info what you will and keep this product in mind if you want some plum-soaked lips.  

I know I also own the shade ‘Kitten Heels’ in the Liquid Suede line, which is a semi-matte bright hot red, but this shade does pull a little cool blue toned on me if I recall correctly. This is also another lipstick that’s walked off somewhere I don’t know, also, hence the lack of a swatch. @mcgregorswench, don’t you own this one though if I’m remembering right?  What do you think of the color?

And here are the lipsticks that I only own one red shade of from that line/brand, so I’m lumping all of those together.

First color is from Jordana’s Sweet Cream Matte line, in the shade ‘Red Velvet Cake’.  This lipstick comes with a massive caveat, however.  I’m including it here because the color is amazing, this truly velvety matte in a lovely deep red shade.  But the formula.  *sigh* I’ve never had a matte liquid lipstick that has bled around my lips as much as this one has, and so quickly as well (I’m getting older over here and I drink a lot of iced coffee out of straws – so yes, I have those tiny lines around my lips that makeup likes to worm its way into to try and make its way off of my face).  I may try it out again with a lipliner to see if that makes a difference, but using this liquid lipstick straight out of the tube without prepping the lips otherwise made me look a bit like the Joker.  Which makes me cry because this color is awesome.

The next color is Urban Decay’s Super Saturated Lip Color in the shade ‘Theodora’, which is another limited edition and now discontinued shade, but I like it, so I’m including it here. It pulls a little more orangey than the picture above implies, and it’s just this super glossy red slick for your lips that is hard to miss.  There may be similar to this out on the market these days, so keep your eyes open if you like the look of it.

The last is Revlon’s Colorburst Balm Stain in the shade ‘Romantic’.  Admittedly, my tube up there is ancient, and possibly had a different product line name when I bought it, but I wore this tube into the ground, so you can’t get more of a recommendation than that.  It’s a super comfortable stain that goes on glossy and looks like a lipstick at first, then when it wears off it leaves a nice red stain behind afterwards.  And while it looks like a nude up there in the swatch, don’t be fooled.  If you apply the stain lightly it looks a bit like a light brick color with orange undertones, but it’s easily built up to a nice, warm red on the lips.  This is a great every day red because it’s light and a little sheer, and leaves a nice flush behind that lingers for hours. Also drugstore brand, so yay for being affordable as well.

MAC, ‘Russian Red’. This lipstick is a classic, and with good reason.  Creamy smooth formula, rich warm, red color (a wee bit brighter than my swatch up there implies, actually), sleek matte finish.  There’s nothing trendy about it, no super-matte or glittery accents, just pure red with a great formula.  If you’re looking for a matte red lipstick, you really can’t go wrong with this one.

Next we have Be a Bombshell’s lip crayon in the color ‘Hot Damn’.  This one’s an interesting one, a strawberry red color with a hint of a metallic sheen to it.  It’s a semi-glossy formula, and is pretty easy to apply.  Long lasting as well, and I haven’t had problems with it bleeding on me either.  It’d be a good summery red, I think, and I’m a sucker for a little bit of sparkle on the lips too.

Finally, we have from Kat von D, one of her Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks in the shade ‘Vampira’ (yes, I admit I bought it because of the name, because that was one of my nicknames in college).  This is another one of those plum-red, oxblood type colors that gives me life. Super matte formula, so be careful when applying this one – if you slip up a little you won’t have much of a chance to fix it before it dries (aka learn from my mistakes).

In summary, these are the red lipsticks that I’ve found have worked really well with my pasty pale olive skin tone and hopefully, all of you out there can benefit from them too!  If you have any questions about any of the shades here, just shoot me an ask – trust me, I am always up for talking about makeup. :D