Ten of the best red lipsticks

Need a quick fix? Lift your spirits – and your smile – with these scarlet beauties

Right through history – be it during war times or a downturn in economic stability – red lipstick has always been used as a way to lift one’s spirit and countenance. So for those who are yet to discover the magic of a red lipstick, now is as good a time as any. “Everyone has a red,” they say. Trite but actually, more than ever, it is true. Broadly speaking, the key finishes are creamy, shiny and (my personal favourite) matte. Mattes of old have (justifiably) gained a reputation for being brilliant for colour payoff but so drying they turn your lips to sandpaper. The new formulations, however, are much more sophisticated than their predecessors, so you can expect a deep, rich long-lasting pigment that doesn’t compromise on comfort. The breadth of tones available is also impressive. The red lipstick is, contrary to popular belief, not monolithic. You can get a bluey red, said to be pretty universal (Byredo is a good example of this); a brownish red (Lisa Eldridge’s Cinnabar, Mac’s Viva Glam 1); an orangey red (Confidence by Kjaer Weis); a pinky red (Valentino’s Spike Red)… essentially there is something for everyone. You just need to try them and see what clicks. That said, if the idea of an opaque red still feels like too big a step, try Violette FR’s Bisou Balm. This will give you just a hint of red and a less intense starting point.

1. Kjaer Weis Lipstick in Confidence £44, net-a-porter.com
2. Violette FR Bisou Balm in Betisse £24, violettefr.com
3. Too Faced Lady Bold Lipstick £22, selfridges.com
4. Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipstick £39, cultbeauty.co.uk
5. Valentino Rosso Valentino in Spike Red £40, valentino-beauty.co.uk
6. Byredo Mad Red £35, byredo.com
7. Vieve Modern Matte Lipstick in Muse £19, cultbeauty.co.uk
8. Pat McGrath Matte Trance Lipstick in Elson
£35, selfridges.com
9. Lisa Eldridge Velvet Lipstick in Cinnabar
£26, lisaeldridge.com
10. Mac Viva Glam 1 Lipstick £17.50, maccosmetics.co.uk

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