Ravishing Red Lipsticks (from the Drugstore!)

Red lips suggest all sorts of sexy things and always have. Women have been staining their mouths red for centuries, maybe longer. These days we have lipsticks, chubby lip crayons, long-lasting gels and lip glosses to help create that red pout we find so appealing.  Last year I published a post on my favorite red lipsticks from the drugstore.  Since then one of the colors I reviewed has been discontinued and I’ve found more colors I like so I thought it would be fun to create another post on the subject.

Wearing Red Lipstick

Personally I find red very easy to wear, but I’m a child of the 1980’s when bright colors and heavy makeup was the fashion. I’ve never really forgotten the look, or let go of it. I’m surprised when I talk to people who say red lipstick is tacky or inappropriate for women over a certain age. For me it’s just normal: a kind of everyday glamour that improves my mood and finishes my look. It doesn’t matter if I’m wearing jeans or an evening dress, red always works.

The trick to wearing red is to start with your skin. I personally think red needs a clean canvas to really set it off. I like wearing a sheer foundation, a hint of blush and dusting of powder for a clean, clear complexion. (Check out my favorite foundations here.) Next apply the red lipstick. At this point you might be done. Red lipstick is a statement all on it’s own and a lot of eye makeup isn’t necessary. Sometimes all I wear with bright red lips is mascara. If you’d like more detailed information here is a good tutorial on how to wear red lipstick.

So here are three more favorite red lipsticks from my favorite beauty emporium: the local drugstore!

Disclosure: I purchased all of these products with my own money and was not compensated for the post by the brands I recommend, however there are affiliate links embedded in some of the links and images below. If you click on them I will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!

The Lipsticks

From left to right: Rosey Nude, Smoulder and Blazing Lavared drugstore lipstick

Natural Red Lips

My most wearable red lipstick, the one I grab when I can’t decide if I want to make a statement or be more natural, isn’t a lipstick at all.  It’s a chubby pencil by Sonia Kashuk and it’s called Velvety Matte Lip Crayon in Rosey Nude 10. (I’m wearing it in the first photo.) The funny thing is it’s more of a brick-red than a rosy-red, and it’s definitely not nude.

  • Color – a natural looking brick-red
  • Staying Power – Stays put for several hours
  • Feel – Rather dry, but not uncomfortable
  • Bleed – This lipstick does not bleed at all.
  • Scent – The color part is unscented, but the pencil is made of wood and it kind of smells like it.
  • Price – $7.59 at Target

Sheer and shiny bright red lipstick

Boots Sheer Temptation in Smoulder is a beautiful, sheer, classic red. It’s a lipstick that looks like a gloss and perfect for those times when you want a subtle red lip. Like most glosses it needs to be reapplied frequently.

  • Color – Bright true red
  • Staying Power – Like most glosses the color doesn’t stay for very long.
  • Feel – Smooth and creamy
  • Bleed – It honestly doesn’t last long enough to bleed!
  • Scent – No scent
  • Price – $9.99

Sparkly Orange-Red Lipstick

L’Oreal Color Riche Lipstick in Blazing Lava #303 is a fun, sheer, sparkly orange-red lipstick. I usually wear it in the summer and early fall, but it’s a great color year-round.

  • Color – Sparkly red-orange
  • Staying Power – This lasts on my lips for a few hours.
  • Feel – Creamy
  • Bleed – I haven’t noticed any bleed wearing this lipstick.
  • Scent – a classic, old-fashioned lipstick smell
  • Price – $9

Three red lipsticks from the drugstore

Shop the Lipstick!

Click on an image below to buy the lipstick online.

What do you think of red lipstick? Do you wear it? Would you try one of these lipsticks?

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42 Responses to Ravishing Red Lipsticks (from the Drugstore!)

  1. SACRAMENTO January 21, 2013 at 1:05 am #

    You have the perfect lips for lipstick, dear Heather.
    My girls wont leave the house without, but I never wear any because I have no lips, lol.
    Have a lovely Monday, dear friend
    SACRAMENTO recently posted..Building a Better BlogMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca January 21, 2013 at 9:30 am #

      Thanks Sacramento! We’re given what we’re given, and we have to work with it. I like lipstick because my lips are a nice feature, but we’re all different, and that’s what makes us interesting. (:

  2. Marla January 21, 2013 at 3:01 am #

    I am not a fan of red on myself. Never even wore it as a younger woman. I love it on you though. So sexy and classy. I just think it suits some people more than others.

    • Heather Fonseca January 21, 2013 at 9:28 am #

      My goal is to get everyone I know to try red lipstick at least once. I promise, there’s one out there for everyone!

  3. Pam
    January 21, 2013 at 4:35 am #

    In that top picture, you are certainly a great advertisement for red lipstick! You look amazing in that color!
    Pam recently posted..Green Curtains, Goodwill, and Oh Rhett!My Profile

  4. nofearoffashion January 21, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    I am a big fan of red lipstick. Always wear it. I use The Lipstick by Sensai / Kanebo. The only type that does not creap in the folds around my mouth.
    But lately I am also looking at a more dark red/purple or preferably a dark brown lipstick.
    Found one by Lancome, but… creases around mouth etc. My husband gave me a compliment on the colour though. I have to ask him whether I should re-think my red lipstick or did he just make that compliment because it was something different after all these years?
    And I agree with Pam… your lips in red: perfect.
    nofearoffashion recently posted..Last article on my grey boyfriend jacketMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca January 21, 2013 at 9:26 am #

      Thank you Greetje. I’ve never tried Sensai lipstick, in fact I don’t know if it’s sold here. I haven’t bought any high-end brand lipstick in ages mostly because I find so many good ones at the drugstore. I can’t bring myself to spend more than $6 on lipstick! If you have a hard time finding lipstick that doesn’t bleed try out the one’s I’ve suggested. None of them bleed. Also good are all of Revlon’s Matte lipsticks. They last for hours and do not creep around. Lipstick should not bleed or creep! It should stay on the lips. A good lip pencil helps. Again, I like Revlon’s lip pencils. Be sure to let us know if you find a good brown.

  5. Shybiker January 21, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    Great post: you present useful information.

    I love red lippy and reject the notion that older women can’t wear it. Then again, I reject the notion that men can’t wear it! Red is a natural and exciting shade; it creates an accent that all of us can use at times. Red looks especially good on you.
    Shybiker recently posted..Summing UpMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca January 21, 2013 at 9:22 am #

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you like the post and find the information useful. Let me know if you try any of the lipsticks and what you think of them.

    January 21, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    You look gorgeous!
    Nice options. Another one to try: Maybelline Color Sensation “Red Revival” is a beautiful color, terrific formula.
    I agree about having a clean canvas and minimal eye make up.

    • Heather Fonseca January 21, 2013 at 9:43 am #

      I have “Red Revival” too, and I agree it’s a beautiful, deep, blood red and a terrific formula. It’s another one that doesn’t bleed and wow, what a statement that color makes!

  7. Shanti January 21, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    That is a beautiful photo of you! beautiful colors here. Myself, I usually go for softer colors on my lips, but some of the models that you see on my blog love red……and it always looks wonderful in photos!

    • Heather Fonseca January 23, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

      It’s true. Red looks great in photos. Glad you like the images!

  8. Oh to Be a Muse
    January 21, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    Thanks so much for this post because I’m one of those people who are a bit afraid of red lipstick. But I do think the red-orange color by L’Oreal might be the best choice for me.
    Oh to Be a Muse recently posted..Lookbook: Frills and Cheap ThrillsMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca January 23, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

      Try it! It’s not expensive and that one is pretty sheer.

  9. Alexis Grace January 21, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    Ooohhh– I love a chubby pencil for lips! This looks like a great everyday red…. nice!

    • Heather Fonseca January 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

      It is a great everyday lipstick. I wear it a lot.

  10. Diane Cayton-Hakey January 21, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    There was a time I would never wear red lipstick, but as I’ve gotten older I find that I wear it much more often and enjoy looking at my red lips when I do. My husband prefers I wear pink but what does he know about fashion? LOL
    Diane Cayton-Hakey recently posted..Pretend LandMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca January 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

      Hi Diane. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Lipstick colors go in and out of fashion. Nude lips have been popular for a long, long time, but now bright colors are really coming in again. I’m glad you’re wearing more red! It’s fun.

  11. amanda January 21, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    I love a red lip but rarely am bold enough to wear one myself. Maybe I will use your challenge for inspiration!


    • Heather Fonseca January 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

      Please try it Amanda! The first few days were kind of weird even for me, and I like red lipstick. But now I’m getting really used to it. The Sonia Kashuk one I recommend in this post is a really pretty, natural color.

  12. Annette January 21, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    This red lipstick is perfect for you – I couldn’t imagine your classic style without it 🙂
    I should use red lipstick more often, especially with a LBD for going out.
    Thanks for the reminder!


    • Heather Fonseca January 23, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

      Thanks Annette! Glad you like the post.

  13. Rae January 21, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    I am 50 years old with fair skin with salt and pepper hair, can I wear red lipstick?

    • Heather Fonseca January 23, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

      Hi Rae. Yes, I think you can wear red lipstick. You might want to start with something sheer and glossy like the Boots one I recommend. It’s not as much of a commitment as the other colors. You can also visit a Clinique counter and try on some of their colors to see what you like. All their lipsticks are good. Personally I think women with white or salt and pepper hair look fabulous in red lipstick!

  14. Stacey - Total City Girl
    January 21, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    You look very glamorous but for me I find it hard to wear red because my skin is sooooo white! I would look like a vampire! 🙂
    Stacey – Total City Girl recently posted..Photography Project: Chabad + Botanical GardensMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca January 23, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

      Try one anyway! Just for fun. Next time you’re at a Mac counter. It might be that a warm red would look good.

  15. Adiel
    January 22, 2013 at 12:11 am #

    I totally want to try that lip pencil!
    Adiel recently posted..Pretty BasicMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca January 23, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

      Try it! Let me know if you like it if you do.

  16. Tamika D.
    January 22, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    Love this red on you. Cuteness! I’m still on the hunt for the perfect red or combo.
    Tamika D. recently posted..Fab Frugal Finds: Handmade SaleMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca January 23, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

      Thanks Tamika! One of the things I like about drugstore makeup is that I can buy a few rather than just one, that way I can have a lot of perfect colors for different situations.

  17. Trina January 22, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    You are the prefect advertisement and motivator for wearing RED lipstick. I keep a tube in my purse but rarely put it on. I’m going to join this challenge and for the next three weeks wear only red. Thanks for sharing your favorites, I’m going to try out the Sonia Kashuk, I almost purchased the Nars velvet Matte Lip Pencil (have you tried it?), but the price of this one seems like a winner.

    • Heather Fonseca January 23, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

      Hi Trina! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment too. I’m so excited you’re taking part in the challenge! Let me know how it goes.
      Yes, I have the Nars velvet matte lip pencil in Cruella. The color is GORGEOUS. However, it does bleed a tiny bit. Sonia Kashuk’s colors are more natural, but they last a long time and don’t bleed.

    January 23, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    Never liked red lipsticks but then one day… became one of my fave. I believe that we can wear those at any age – and the older we get, the dressier and more elegant it looks…
    THE DIVINITUS recently posted..20130121My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca January 25, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

      This is so true, and something I hadn’t considered before. Honestly, I’ve been wearing red lipstick since I was 15. At that time I was in love with a color from Lancome called “Flame”. I loved it so much I still remember the name of the color! Anyway, even though I wore it then, I do feel like it’s easier to wear red now that I’m older. I feel like I can carry it off better now.

  19. Sylvia
    January 23, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

    Inspired by your post (reading it while having lunch in shopping center) I went to Sephora to see if I could find that pencil. Noone has ever heard of that brand, so tried getting one from Clinque, but no stock. At least I tried. Will be looking out for one! I can’t join the challenge (yet) as I need a more subtle red….
    Sylvia recently posted..Highlights and trends of the prefall 2013 collectionsMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca January 25, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

      Hi Sylvia. Sonia Kashuk is only sold at Target here in the states, and I’m not sure you have Target stores where you are. If you like the idea of a chubby matte pencil and there’s a Sephora near you try Nars. They have a gorgeous color called “Cruella”. It’s not subtle but it’s really gorgeous. I’m sure they have other reds too. Clinique is always good for lipstick.

  20. Ylenia
    January 24, 2013 at 12:04 am #

    I love red lipstick but I do not like to be at the center of attention.
    So, I can feel uncomfortable wearing it. But I try to balance it wearing it with a classic outfit or something not too much eyecatching.
    To be honest, I like red lipstick, very much.
    I recently bought Rouge Allure n.9 ‘Lover’ from Chanel and couldnt be more happier!!

    I think I am going to follow this challenge and I may take part at it!
    now following you on Twitter 🙂

    Love, Ylenia from Longuette

    • Heather Fonseca January 25, 2013 at 11:59 am #

      Hi Ylenia! Please let me know how it goes with your own red lipstick challenge. If you use the hashtag I’ll follow along. It’s definitely a noticeable thing though. I’ve had a lot of people comment on either the lipstick or tell me I look glamorous, even if I’m just wearing jeans. Red does something!

  21. Cara April 18, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    I went through the same issue with red lipstick but embrace it to the fullest now. It makes everything an event! These are such great options. I recently discovered Kate Moss for Rimmel #12. It is the perfect in between of a matte and gloss red.

    xx Cara

    • Heather Fonseca April 18, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

      Rimmel’s lipsticks are surprisingly nice. I’m glad you’re embracing red lipstick! I love it.