5 Red Lipsticks That Convinced Me To Ditch My Go-To Tube

Cady Lang

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When it comes to my makeup routine, I’m somewhat of a one trick pony; since high school, I’ve stuck to variations of the same beauty look: winged liner, some mascara, and always, always a red lipstick when I want to get fancy. Trends may come and go, but I’ve remained faithful to one lipstick (Nars’ Red Lizard, a perfect, deep semi-matte red) for nearly a decade — that is, until now.

During this holiday season’s marathon of parties, after one particularly whiskey-soaked night, I woke up to a purse missing the brand-new tube of Red Lizard I had just purchased. Obviously heartbroken, but unwilling to fork over more money towards a new one just yet, I sought the help of one of our beauty editors to help me find some new red lipsticks to assuage the loss.

As fate would have it, she helped me find not just one, but five new red lipsticks that I absolutely love, ranging from retro and matte to creamy and lustrous. In fact, I’ve been having so much fun using these, that I haven’t even replaced my Red Lizard yet. Scroll through to see the red lipsticks that I’ll be using all holiday season long.


MAC’s Ruby Woo lipstick ($17) is a cult favorite and it’s no wonder because the extra matte blue-red lipstick is basically universally flattering. A quick swipe of this cherry red shade lasts all day and imparts the perfect retro matte finish.


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Initially, I was dubious about trying this glossy rouge — I don’t like slick lip products and the sheen of the color scared me. But after a successful trial run, I was hooked. This limited edition version of YSL’s Rouge Volupte Shine in Rouge in Rock ($36) not only imparted a beautiful true red, but also enveloped my lips in cushiony comfort. A moisturizing formula AND long-lasting color? Yes, please!

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Nars’ lip pencils are the ultimate multi-taskers; they line, prep, and finish your lips, which means that the ultra-rich pigment isn’t going anywhere. Their satin lip pencil in Majella ($26) was a good way for me to get out of my comfort zone; it’s still red, but a deeper, cooler red with a slight sheen. Plus the slim pencil shape is perfect for tossing into any small clutch or handbag – a must for the holiday season!


I have to confess, half of the reason why I love this lipstick is because of its adorable case. This limited-edition Rouge Pur Couture lipstick ($36) is a part of Yves Saint Laurent’s Kiss & Love collection (hence, all the lipstick kisses on the tube), and I tried it in the original red, Le Rouge. Nifty packaging aside, the creamy formula is super smooth and feels ultra-luxurious, much like its opulent case.

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Bite Beauty’s High Pigment lip pencil in Pomegranate ($24) might be small, but it definitely packs a punch. Not only does the deeply concentrated pigment wear well, but the formula is packed with vitamins and the super antioxidant, resveratrol. Apparently, each pencil has the same amount of resveratrol as five glasses of red wine. Who knew that fighting free radicals could look so good?