Thursday, January 17, 2013

Red Lipstick for Darker Skin Tones: Swatches and Tips for Choosing one

Hello everyone! :)
Today I have swatched some of the red lipstick I collected on my quest to find the perfect red lip. There are two true reds, two pinkish-reds, and a wine red liquid lipstick as well as a wine lip liner.

Left to Right: Covergirl 335 Tempt Seduction, Estee Lauder Pure Color 16 Cheating Heart, Rimmel London Kate Moss Lasting Finish 11, MAC Viva Glam I, and Maybelline Super Stay 24 2-Step Color Everlasting Wine

Here is a picture of the lip liner I swatched, Loreal Infallible Never Fail Lipliner in Red/Wine.
                                       (picture from
Loreal Infallible Never Fail Lipliner in Red Wine

There ended up being two pink-ish reds (the Covergirl and Estee Lauder lipsticks), two true reds (Rimmel and MAC), and the wine-colored Maybelline liquid lipstick. The Loreal lipliner was pretty wine-colored, but on my lips, it does seem a little pink or berry-colored. All of these types of reds look great on brown skin tones. Orange-reds can look great on some people, but it is very bright, and some people may feel too shy to wear something so bold. I've discovered that orange-reds do not look good on me.

Left to Right: CoverGirl 335 Tempt SeductionEstee Lauder Pure Color 16 Cheating HeartRimmel London Kate Moss Lasting Finish 11MAC Viva Glam I, and Maybelline Super Stay 24 2-Step Color Everlasting Wine

Loreal Infallible Never Fail Lipliner in Red/Wine
I was not a big fan of the CoverGirl and Estee Lauder lipsticks: first of all, they were pinker than I wanted, and second of all, they both bleed a lot, especially the Estee Lauder one. The Estee Lauder one also transfers a lot. If you wipe your face even a little bit, the lip color will smudge outside the lines. Also, the stain that these lipsticks left on your lips was very pink.

I really wanted to like the Rimmel Kate Moss lipstick; I'd seen such great reviews, and I loved the classy packaging. At first, when I put on the color, I loved it. The color didn't seem too pink. However, after the lipstick wears off, the stain that this lipstick leaves on your lips is much, much more pink than the original color the lipstick was. (The lipstick originally looks like the swatch above.) Also, this lipstick bleeds.

MAC Viva Glam I is my perfect red lipstick. It wasn't too bright: the person at the counter steered me from Russian Red to this one because it is a slightly darker version of Russian Red. This color also last around 4 hours. After eating a meal, even if the lipstick had worn off, I had a nice stain that matched the original red that my lips had been.

I bought the Maybelline Super Stay lip color for a semi-formal event in December because I wanted a wine-colored lip that would last. The color and the staying power of this product was AMAZING. Some people have complained of it being too drying, but I slathered my lips with the lip balm provided ("step 2"), and I have never had that problem. The color literally lasts 12 hours, through eating and drinking, and still looks like it did the moment you put it on. It also does not transfer at all, so you can kiss your boyfriend with it on! The only downside is that I had to use an oil-based makeup remover to remove the product. If you want a wine-colored lip, but really want an actual lipstick, I would recommend MAC Pro Longwear Lip Creme in Endless Drama. The color is rich and lasts around 4 hours. It isn't drying. However, it does transfer easily.

I also really like Loreal Infallible Never Fail Lipliner in Red/Wine. The color wasn't drying and did not bleed. It gave a very pretty matte lip that left a slight stain after eating and drinking. This color lasted for about 3 to 4 hours. 

-Maybelline Super Stay 24 Lip color
-MAC Viva Glam I or Endless Drama (This is a Pro Longwear Lip Creme)

1. Go to a MAC counter. MAC has a wide selection of many types of reds, and you can try them on here and see what kind of red you like: a berry red, an orange- or blue-based red, or a wine. 

2. Decide if you want to buy a MAC lipstick or a drugstore lipstick. I'd recommend buying a MAC one for a few reasons:
  • They're excellent red lipsticks. With red lipsticks, you get what you pay for. MAC lipsticks wear for a long time, and the lip stain is strong and is the same color as the original lipstick.
  • You may spend $17 trying to find a drugstore product you like.

If you decide to get a drug store lipstick, use Google to find swatches of the lipsticks before you get them, or try Googling for dupes of the MAC colors you like. If you don't like Maybelline Super Stay Lip color, I'd recommend going with a long-lasting lip liner like the Loreal one I swatched. Lip liners have great staying power, don't bleed, and can be easier to apply than lipsticks while still giving you a matte lip. Also, at least with the Loreal lip liner, you don't have to worry about the stain being a different color than the original color. 

Let me know if you have any questions!!


  1. Great post - I myself am just getting into the red lip - started with my Tarte lipsurgence but these are some great options!

    I also nominated your blog for a Liebster Award :) The info is on my blog post.

    1. Thanks for the nomination!!!! We are super flattered!

  2. Hello there! I could have sworn I've visited this web site before but after browsing through a few of the articles I realized it's new to me.
    Nonetheless, I'm definitely happy I came across it and I'll be bookmarking it and checking back
    my page: grumpy cat

    1. I'm glad you like it!! Look forward to hearing more from you in the future! :)