3 Glamorous Red Lipsticks (from the drugstore!)

I’ve always wanted to be the kind of girl who wore red lipstick all day, every day, even to the gym.  It sounds like a great combination of dedication, glamour and predictability. Unfortunately I get bored easily, and so switch my lipstick colors according to the season. Once a year, in December, I really do become a red lipstick girl, wearing it everywhere. The brilliant color stands out on chilly, bleak days and brightens up whatever I’m wearing.  Recently I’ve been obsessed with these three elegant, creamy, long-lasting red lipsticks. They look as good worn to the grocery store as they do at a party, and they’re cheap! Each one is sold at the drugstore for under $10.

Disclosure: I purchased all these lipsticks with my own money and I was not paid for this review, however there are affiliate links embedded into some of the links in the article. If you click on them to look at the product I will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in “Red Revival”

Words like “bombshell”, “retro” and “glamourpuss” come to mind upon applying this deep, cool, red lipstick. Although the advertisements show a shimmery red, it’s a true cream with no sparkle at all.

  • Staying power – impressive. It comes off on coffee cups and the like, but stays on lips for a few hours if you don’t eat or drink anything.
  • Feel on lips – creamy and smooth.
  • Bleed – minimal.
  • Smell – This lipstick smells almost buttery, but in a good way.

“In the Red” Super Lustrous Matte Lipstick by Revlon

I’m not normally a big fan of matte lipstick.  I don’t like the dry feeling, or look, on my lips. On the other hand I do like to try new things and after years of wearing shiny everything a matte shade is refreshing. I love the dark brick-red color.  It’s unusual but very sophisticated. Of the three lipsticks this one is my favorite choice for daytime.

  • Staying power – The lipstick stays on for a long time, but I reapply it often otherwise it stains my lips a weird reddish-brown.
  • Feel on lips –  This lipstick feels fairly dry but because it’s lightweight it’s not annoying.
  • Bleed – nonexistent.  It doesn’t budge, staying within the lip line nicely even without the addition of lip liner.
  • Smell – This lipstick smells softly of citrus.

Covergirl Lip Perfection Lipcolor in “Hot”

Not for the faint-hearted, this neon red is impossible to ignore and such a powerful statement that not much other makeup is needed to look completely “done”.

  • Staying power – amazing.  The color is so heavily pigmented that it stains your lips a bright cherry-pink. Even if the lipstick wears off a bit you don’t notice. It stays fresh looking for hours.
  • Feel on lips – Slightly dry, but not irritatingly so.
  • Bleed – I notice a slight bleeding into the fine lines around my mouth, but it’s minimal.
  • Smell – The lipstick has an appealing, old-fashioned lipstick smell.

Shop The Lipstick!

*Update July 2012: I noticed recently that Revlon’s “In the Red” has been discontinued since I did this review.  Sigh. Another great red lipstick one bites the dust! However, Revlon has replaced the color with another red matte lipstick called “Really Red”. This is the one in the affiliate link above.

Do you like red lipstick?  Do you have a favorite brand or color? What do you think of drugstore brand lipsticks? Would you try any of them?

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65 Responses to 3 Glamorous Red Lipsticks (from the drugstore!)

  1. brett December 3, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    just found your blog and am really enjoying it!
    I have a really hard time with red lips because I am so fair.
    I found a fab drugstore brand that is not so bright and easy for fair people like myself to wear it is…
    N.Y.C. Sheer Red

    • Heather Fonseca December 4, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

      Hi Brett. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I have only tried a couple of N.Y.C. products but I’ll have to check out the Sheer Red. I do love sheer red lipcolors, and they aren’t easy to find.

  2. Catherine December 3, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    I love it when people do makeup reviews! I’m a little (ok a lot) addicted to makeup and I’m always out to buy something new.

    I love red but with the right outfit – sometimes I feel like a clown with it on! I have so-so luck with drugstore makeup. I’m amazed that both Maybelline and Cover Girl worked for you – in my experience, Revlon and L’Oreal are usually better, especially with lipsticks. But I am going to have to give these options a try!
    Catherine recently posted..weekend wishlist: sweats, travel bag, gloves, killer heelsMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 4, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

      The Covergirl Lip Perfection line and the Maybelline Color Sensational lipsticks are fairly new additions having arrived on the scene in the last two years. I have other colors from both collections and I find them consistently long-wearing yet creamy. Figuring out which color to buy has been more challenging! Not being able to try them on makes it a bit of an adventure, but if I don’t like something I just return it. I’m glad you like the review, I love them too!

  3. Alexis of NorthOnHarper December 3, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

    What a great review! I think the CoverGirl looks so much fun! I wonder how it would look on me (reds are challenging because of my skin tones….)
    Alexis of NorthOnHarper recently posted..Eugenio Recuenco: Fairy TalesMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 4, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

      “Hot” is a lot of fun. If you try it let me know I’d love to know how it works for you. Just don’t buy any of the lipsticks at Target, they make returns difficult.

  4. Paula December 3, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Love your reviews and I TRUST your opinions!
    I love red lipstick, but have found that with age, it is tougher to wear! Bummer. Easier with a tan, but in the winter? I have to find just the right shade. course, I’m wearing purple right now…lol
    Paula recently posted..A Real Mash-upMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 4, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

      It does get harder with age. I used to be able to wear almost any shade of lipstick, but now I have to be more careful. I usually shop for drugstore brand makeup at ULTA because their return policy is very generous. Essentially if you don’t like something and you have the receipt it’s easy to return. I got lucky with these three!

  5. Andrea
    December 3, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    Revlon and Covergirl look the best to me, and these photos are very pretty and professional!

    • Heather Fonseca December 4, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

      Thank you Andrea! I’m glad you like the photos. The ones on your blog are spectacular!

  6. citizen rosebud
    December 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    Thanks for doing a lipstick review on drugstore brands, because that is what I buy, and you can’t often try the color first. I LOVE red lipstick. Revlon made a series of lipsticks last year named after different movies stars and the Penelope Cruz was so perfect for my skin tone (I’m olive skinned and the cool blue reds often turn pink on me) so I bought 3 tubes of it. Then the mamacita tried it, loved it, so I bought one for her two. I down to 2, and don’t know what I’ll do when it’s gone as it is perfectly rich, red and bright.
    citizen rosebud recently posted..Tongues Waggin’My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 4, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

      Hopefully you can find something similar before you run out! I don’t remember that line, but I probably wasn’t paying attention. It sounds great though.

  7. Lauren Nicole
    December 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    This is such a great and honest review. I really like the hot by covergirl shade. Thank you for this review. I really enjoy wearing red lipstick. (wear it almost every day,) and now I know which one to purchase when I’m all out.
    Lauren Nicole recently posted..Instagram ObsessedMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 4, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

      Hi Lauren and thank you for stopping by my blog. The “hot” shade is really something, especially in real life! It’s the closest I’ve ever come to finding a neon red.

  8. Sylvia
    December 3, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

    Great review. You certainly look very glamorous in all of these, although 1 and 2 are my favorites on you. Bright red lipstick can be a challenge to 40+ women but I don’t think that applies to you yet 🙂
    Sylvia recently posted..Sunday style: show me your Sunday best!My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 4, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

      I plan on hanging on to red lipstick for as long as possible! At some point I’m sure I’ll have to graduate to something less vibrant, even now I find I can no longer wear the really dark colors I used to like. Sigh.

    December 4, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    They all look great and rich in colour. I’ve tried Maybelline & Revlon product before in the past. Perhaps, I’ll give it a go once more. I like the way Maybelline one looks …
    FASHION TALES recently posted..Weekend Shouts + Links à la ModeMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 4, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

      I have a few other lipsticks from the Maybelline Color Sensation line and they’re all excellent lipsticks. The first collection of colors didn’t really do it for me, but they seem to add new colors every season. If you try it and like it please let me know! I’d like to know what you think of it.

  10. Leia December 5, 2011 at 3:30 am #

    They all look wonderful! My current faves are Chanel No. 65 ‘Fire’ (wearing it right now, versatile and great for day, lovely soft texture too) and MAC ‘Russian Red’ – very fiery and perfect for standing out/special events.

    • Heather Fonseca December 5, 2011 at 10:02 am #

      I love all the bright lip colors you wear on your blog too. Unfortunately I’ve never had a Chanel lipstick to call my own, but maybe one day. I’ve read that Covergirl’s “Hot” shade is a drugstore double for MAC’s Russian Red, but I haven’t checked to find out.

  11. Veronica of Best of Palm Beach December 5, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    I love all of them and red looks amazing on you. My favorite would be “hot” by covergirl. I am about to run out my red smashbox lipstick. Red is my go to color. I don’t experiment much with makeup, so I love red because it instantly makes you look “made up” without much effort.
    Veronica of Best of Palm Beach recently posted..Vintage Find: Chanel 2.55 Classic Flap BagMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 5, 2011 at 10:00 am #

      There are a lot of good red lipsticks out there. One would think that red is red is red, but it’s amazing how different they can all be! I have one tube of smashbox lipstick and it is an eternal favorite. I love the way it smells.

  12. SACRAMENTO December 5, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    You look more beautiful than any model could, ahhhhhhhhhhhh Heather!!!
    I do not use lip stick, I have very thin lips so I focus on my eyes intead, LOL
    SACRAMENTO recently posted..Spanish women- Slippers & Miu MiuMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

      Thank you so much Sacramento! I will have to do an eye shadow review next.

  13. Mary Ann
    December 5, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

    Great review – thanks for testing and swatching all these! The Maybelline one reminds me of my MAC Red and the Revlon one reminds me of my MAC Viva Glam 1. 😉
    Mary Ann recently posted..Outfit Of The Day: Rockin’ Around The Christmas TreeMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

      Of all the lipsticks I have I don’t have any Mac, and I don’t know why. They always look so beautiful but the sales people are always so busy I’ve never gotten the attention I need to purchase something. Thanks for stopping by my blog Mary Ann! I hope to see you again here soon.

  14. Mary Jo
    December 6, 2011 at 12:12 am #

    Love red lipstick. I wear Dex but have a Nars red lip pencil on the way–can’t wait!

    xo Mary Jo
    Mary Jo recently posted..my style iconMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 6, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

      The Nars lip pencils come in the most gorgeous colors. What color did you get? I’ve never heard of the brand “Dex”. Where do you find it?

  15. Natasha
    December 6, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    I want to add Rimmel’s Screamer to the list. I don’t even know if they have it anymore but I only use this lipstick for really special occasions.
    Natasha recently posted..15 Suggestions to Keep You Forever YoungMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 7, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

      I’ve had a couple Rimmel lipsticks before and I do like the. Love the names too! I had one called “Celeb” that was a bright pink-peach but I misplaced it somewhere. I’ll have to check out “Screamer”.

  16. Stacey - Total City Girl
    December 7, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    I remember the days of wearing bright red – red lipstick, red nail polish, red dresses. Now it’s definitely more muted. I’ve been wearign lipcolor from teh drugstore – a brand called NYC It’s a 2 sided thing – lip color on one side and a clear top coat on the other. I really like it.
    Stacey – Total City Girl recently posted..{Holiday Mini Session} Laura & FabioMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 10, 2011 at 9:56 am #

      NYC has some great offerings, and they’re imminently affordable! I haven’t sen the 2 sided thing though.

  17. anne
    December 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    How great to see your smiling face featured in the Links a La Mode! Congrats!
    anne recently posted..fashion challenge: neutrals – cognac thursdayMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 10, 2011 at 9:47 am #

      Thank you Anne! I’m very glad I was chosen and that they used my photo in the banner too.

  18. Dana December 8, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    My favorite is #2! It looks great on you! Thanks for sharing!


    • Heather Fonseca December 10, 2011 at 9:39 am #

      Thanks Dana! I’m glad you liked it.

  19. Jillian December 9, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    Always get most of my makeup from the drugstore. Love how you’ve shown them here. Spirited, indeed!
    xx. Jillian

    • Heather Fonseca December 10, 2011 at 9:22 am #

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  20. Beryl December 11, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    I love CVS Drugstore’s Nuance Line by Salma Hayek – Color Vibrance Lipstick in Paprika. Very rich red. Great feeling texture and nice and moist which is very important for this dry Tulsa climate.

    • Heather Fonseca December 12, 2011 at 10:50 am #

      I was looking at the Salma Hayek collection at CVS the other day and wondering about it. The colors are certainly beautiful. I’ll have to try one myself! Thanks for the tip.

  21. The Tiny closet December 12, 2011 at 12:24 am #

    great post! I love red lips for day wear. Its classic glam and those shades look beautiful on you! Thanks for the review. I have been looking for less expensive good quality lipstick recently so I will have to check further in to those lines. They all look fab!

    The Tiny closet recently posted..Shoes You Don’t Bring Home to MamaMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 12, 2011 at 10:42 am #

      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I hope you like the lipsticks. If you do try one out please send me a note and tell me how they worked out for you!

  22. Jenny December 13, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    Great post! Found you on IFB… looking forward to following your blog!


  23. Jenny December 13, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

    I think I like the covergirl the best…love red lipstick! Looking forward to following your blog – found you on IFB 🙂

    Jenny recently posted..Pregnant in HeelsMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 13, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

      Hi Jenny, Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I hope to see you around! Red lipstick is pretty fab, and it’s pretty amazing how many different shades of red there are out there.

  24. P.K. Cravens December 19, 2011 at 7:04 am #

    Thanks for this. I love a red liptstick. I remember my Mom didn’t fell dressed until she put her lipstick on. She had skim-milk skin and red hair. Lipstick really set off her complexion.
    P.K. Cravens recently posted..Lumber Jill dressMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

      I bet your mother looked amazing in red lipstick! Thanks so much for stopping by.

  25. Bkmint October 16, 2012 at 7:39 am #

    Thank you so very much for doing this red lipstick review! YOU ARE APPRECIATED! The pictures are what I have been searching for and you did a great job with these. I am looking for the perfect red lipstick and you just narrowed down my search to “HOT” and “In the Red” thanks again!

    • Heather Fonseca October 17, 2012 at 10:41 am #

      I’m so glad you like the review. Unfortunately I think “In the Red” has been discontinued. It’s too bad because it’s a great color! I noticed they have another matte red in the line though.

  26. anne the SpyGirl
    February 22, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    I bought the CG Hot yesterday! Maybe I’ll give it a spin tomorrow…
    anne the SpyGirl recently posted..A Breath of Fresh Air — Fitness for Mind, Body, and SoulMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca February 25, 2013 at 10:29 am #

      And it looked fabulous on you Anne! I love that it doesn’t wear off, like ever.


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