The Drugstore Red Lipsticks Our Editors LoveJanuary 27, 2023
A bold red lip looks amazing on everyone — but there are so many factors to settle on before finding your perfect match. Do you prefer a poppy orange-based red or a rich blue-based crimson? What about a matte, long-wearing finish versus a gloss or satin? Luckily, with the amount of drugstore options out there, you can experiment with a wide array of red lipsticks at an affordable price. Keep reading for our favorite red lip colors from the drugstore, from liquid lipsticks and traditional tubes to tinted balms.
How to Choose a Red Lipstick
The first step to picking a red lipstick is deciding on the undertone you’re going for, whether that be warm or cool-toned. Cool-toned reds have blue and pink undertones, and tend to look best on cool and neutral complexions. Warm-toned reds tend to look more orange, and are most flattering on neutral and warm complexions. Once you pick the undertone that suits your skin tone, you can decide on the formula and color saturation you’re after. A matte liquid lipstick or tube will give you bold, high-impact color, while a cream lipstick or stain can be blotted down for a sheer, subtle effect.
How to Wear Red Lipstick
You can wear red lipstick any way you’d like — with a matching red lip liner, a dark lip liner for an ombre lip look or no lip liner. Go minimalist with black mascara on the eyes, full brows and a red lip, or channel a retro vibe with winged eyeliner. If you don’t typically wear red lipstick, try applying it as the first step of your makeup routine, then build the rest of your look around it.
The Best Drugstore Red Lipsticks
L'Oréal Paris Color Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick in Le Rouge Determination
Drench your lips in bright, matte color with this true red pick.The skinny tube hugs your lips and allows you to carve out your lip line without reaching for a lip pencil, and the smooth matte finish feels velvety soft.
NYX Professional Makeup Smooth Whip Matte Lip Cream in Velvet Robe
Velvet Robe is a deep, muted red that makes for a cozy winter lip. If you typically go for berry lip shades, this is your perfect transition to red lipstick.
Maybelline New York SuperStay Vinyl Ink Longwear Liquid Lip Color in Red-Hot
A glossy red lip is undeniably bold — one wrong move could lead to serious smudging. This formula, however, has a glossy shine that’s totally transfer-proof. It lasts for up to 16 hours with absolutely no smudging, fading or bleeding.
NYX Professional Makeup Shine Loud High Shine Lip Color in On a Mission
On one end of this product, you’ll find an electrified pinky-red shade that withstands smudges and transfer for up to 16 hours. On the other is a clear, high-shine gloss to slick on top of the color.
L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick in Red Affair
This bright, true red lasts for up to 16 hours with a fade-proof, ultra matte finish. The pointed doe-foot applicator lets you easily carve out your lips without a liner, and it lasts through every meal (but still comes right off with an oil-based cleanser or makeup remover!).
Maybelline New York SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick in Hustler
Hustler is a warm, spiced red that’s a step up from your go-to brown lipstick. Swipe it on and blot it out for a hazy ’90s vibe.
L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Reds of Worth Satin Lipstick in Successful Red
There’s a shade of red for everyone in this red lipstick-exclusive collection. Infused with hydrating argan oil and vitamin E, the formula glides on with a satisfying slip and leaves lips feeling comfortable all day. For a bright, blue-based red, try the shade Successful Red.
NYX Professional Makeup Lip Lingerie XXL Long-Lasting Matte Liquid Lipstick in On Fuego
A bright warm-toned red brings out a summer glow like no other lip color. A single swipe provides rich color payoff and a smooth matte finish that won’t budge for up to 16 hours. It’s an editor favorite for its comfortable, non-drying formula.
L'Oréal Paris Rouge Signature Matte Lip Stain in I Don’t
A lip stain allows you to play with the intensity of your red lip. Prefer a sheer, popsicle-like finish? Apply a light layer and blot it down with a tissue. For full coverage, swipe on one to two coats.
Maybelline New York Color Sensational Ultimatte Slim Lipstick in More Scarlet
This lipstick has a lightweight, matte finish that feels like next to nothing on the lips. We like the shade More Scarlet, a fiery orange-toned red that will amp up the warmth in your skin tone.
Juvia’s Place The Reds Cherry Velvety Matte Lipstick in Afrik
Inside this gorgeous ombre tube, you’ll find a rich red lipstick that reviewers say has the staying power of a liquid lipstick with the comfort of a cream formula. Afrik is a bright, true red that stuns on every complexion.
J.Cat Beauty Flash Metal Metallic Matte Lip in Winter Cherry
Pick up this metallic red liquid lipstick before your next night out. It’s subtly reflective and flecked with tiny pieces of silver glitter for a party-ready lip.
Physicians Formula Nourishing Lipstick in Goji Berry
This formula hydrates with shea butter, vitamin E and coconut and jojoba oils and coats your lips in a brick red shimmer. After the shine wears off, a tint of color remains.
Milani Color Fetish Shine Lipstick in Roleplay
This hot orangey-red shade glides on more like a moisturizing balm than a lipstick, thanks to a blend of oils, including jojoba, grapeseed and apricot kernel. The color is sheer but buildable, so you can apply a light coat on the go and not worry too much about precise application.
FLOWER Beauty Petal Pout Lip Color in Ruby Rouge
If you find that most red lipsticks don’t have enough depth for your skin tone, try this striking crimson shade. It’s a dark red that feels silky on the lips and provides pigmented color payoff on first swipe.
ColourPop Fresh Kiss Hydrating Lip Creme in Scrunchie
Another deep, berry-toned red, Scrunchie comes in a creamy formula with the pigment of a lipstick and the comfort of a lip balm. For under $10, you can experiment with a range of reds.
Design: Juliana Campisi