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The Perfect Red Lip For Every Makeup Aesthetic

By: Hana Tilksew


For a long time, I was terrified of red lipstick. My first experience with it was as a middle school dancer who was forced to wear the matte, drying kind for performances. As you can imagine, it was super unflattering, and 12-year-old me basically swore off red lipstick.

If you’ve been similarly traumatized, don’t be so quick to write off red lipstick forever. Over the past year, I’ve rediscovered red lippies and seen firsthand how much variety they can have. Here are my top recs for red lip products based on the aesthetic you want to achieve.


For a “your lips but better” look, the Naturium Phyto Glow Lip Balm in shade Goji (originally $10, currently on sale for $7) should be a staple in your routine. It’s hydrating with a yummy vanilla scent, and has just enough color to flush your lips without making it super obvious that you’re wearing makeup.

Marilyn Monroe

If you watch Old Hollywood movies and seethe with envy towards the somehow super glossy yet hyper-pigmented red lips of all the leading ladies, Glossier’s Ultralip in shade Fête ($20) is the perfect lipstick for you. It’s the perfect electric red for every skin tone, with a gorgeous reflective sheen.


When you want a quenching balm, shiny gloss, and punchy lipstick all at once but don’t have the time to apply several different products, the Summer Fridays Lip Balm in shade Cherry ($24) is perfect for you. This product is a cult favorite for a reason.

The All Nighter

lip close-up

Can’t be bothered to reapply your red lip throughout the day? Check out the Victoria Beckham Beauty Bitten Lip Tint in shade Je T’Aime ($38). This is also the perfect red lip if you’re going on a romantic date, since it’s dinner-proof and smooch-proof.


If you can’t leave the house without over-lining your lips, try the Chanel Le Crayon Lèvres Longwear Lip Pencil in shade Rouge Tender ($35). One thing that used to hold me back from wearing red lipstick in the past was the fear that it made my lips look smaller than my usual pink lipstick. But with this liner, you don’t have to choose between juicy red lips and a full mouth.

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