Sure, we believe red lipstick should be a perennial makeup staple in every woman's beauty regimen. But if there were ever a time to definitely paint your pout in red, Valentine's Day would have to be it. Since the hue has come to symbolize love, passion and desire, what better moment to reflect those amorous adjectives than on February 14? Whether you're a seasoned pro at wearing this cardinal color or just testing it out for the first time, we've found the perfect red lipsticks to fit anyone.
Maybelline Color Sensational Lipcolor in Red Revival ($7.49) is pure glamour in a tube. The slightly deeper cherry hue lends it a retro vibe that's perfect for channeling your inner Dita Von Teese. The formula is richly pigmented and has a beautiful satiny finish.
Urban Decay Super Saturated High-Gloss Lip Color in Adrenaline ($19) is packaged in an easy, chubby pencil that makes application a breeze for this all-in-one lip liner-lipstick-lip gloss hybrid. This vibrant raspberry-red shade with pink shimmer works best on those with cool undertones. It has a slightly gritty texture from the jam-packed micro-sparkles that's quickly remedied with a swipe of lip balm.
Lipstick Queen Rouge Sinner Lipstick ($20) is a darker brick hue that looks ravishing on deeper yellow-toned skin. Although it has a semi-matte texture, this lipstick keeps pouts feeling soft and supple. The seriously saturated color impressively lasts hours on end, even though it's not specifically marketed as a long-lasting formula.
L'Oréal Paris Infallible Le Rouge in Refined Ruby ($9.99) is perfect for those coffee drinkers and double-cheek kissers who are looking for an enduring lipstick. And even though this one lasts a good six-plus hours, the formula feels surprisingly nondrying. The slightly berry-red hue that's packed with shine swipes on with a creamy texture. It does get a bit tacky as the durable formula sets, but it never feels uncomfortably heavy or arid.
MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo ($15) is not for the faint of heart. This true red lipstick with just a smidgen of blue undertones is so matte, it makes lips practically leap off your face. We've never met a single person who looked bad in Ruby Woo (and we mean never). Tip: Just be sure your lips are thoroughly moisturized and exfoliated before applying the shade due to its drier texture.
Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour in Incandescente ($34) is a fiery hot tomato lipstick that looks striking on lighter warm-toned complexions (especially blondes). The dramatic color has a buttery texture that feels luxurious on lips, and its lovely satin finish keeps the mouth moisturized throughout its wear.
Lancôme L'Absolu Nu Replenishing and Enhancing Lipcolor in Rouge Resille ($30) is a vampier wine-red that's ideal for pale brunettes or even dark complexions. It has a sheerer, glossy formula that cloaks lips in a delicate but buildable veil of color with just enough drama to keep the look sexy and mischievous.
NARS Lipstick in Jungle Red ($15) is a vivid vermilion pinup-esque lipstick that's just begging to be paired with black winged liner. The undertones read a teensy bit warm, and the formula provides intense pigment that's opaque in a single swipe with a semi-matte finish.
Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani Sheer Lipstick in 400 ($32) has a sheer formula that makes it the perfect gateway red to gutsier shades. (Read: it's a red lipstick on training wheels.) This translucent strawberry shade feels like a comfortable heavy balm with a glossy finish. The result is lips that almost look stained rather than lacquered.
YSL Rouge Pur Couture Golden Lustre in Rouge Helios ($34) is a fire-engine red that's flecked with subtle golden shimmer for added radiance. The formula leans toward the sheerer side of the opacity spectrum, which—combined with its coral undertones and soft lustre—makes it more wearable for every day without making you feel too self-conscious.
Photo: Courtesy of the brands