5 Red Lips for Femme Fatales

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

I love a good red lip. Even after getting into makeup, it took me years to confidently leave the house wearing red lipstick, but once I did there was no going back and now the sky’s the limit. Bright red, orange red, dark red, sheer red, matte red – I’ll wear all of it whether it’s supposed to be flattering on me or not! To match my previous post on 5 nude lip products for pale people, I thought I’d do one for red lips too so that I can share some of my favourite red lippies with you.

I’ve included a little bit of variety again in terms of formula, type of product and so on, but some of these products may be more suited to some undertones and skin tones than others. For the most part, I think other pale folks will look fantastic in these shades and I think most darker complexions will look lovely in these products too, but if you’re a stickler for getting the right base to your red lipstick (i.e. blue-based, orange-based, true red etc.) you might want to try these out for yourself just to be sure.

All of the below are also cruelty free (and those with non-cruelty free parent companies marked with an asterisk) but unfortunately I don’t think any are vegan, so please let me know if there are any great vegan red lip products I should try!

 Now, on to the lipsticks...


GOSH Velvet Touch Lipstick in Lambada was one of the first red lipsticks I ever bought. I’d heard everybody raving about GOSH’s lipsticks a few years back, so I thought I’d give this one a go as my first foray into bold lips. It’s a crème formula that has a fair bit of shine to it, and it doesn’t go on quite as opaque as some higher end brands, but it’s nonetheless a lovely colour.

This is a bright, fire engine red that’s more of a neutral red and doesn’t have much of a blue or orange undertone. It doesn’t have the most staying power though and will move and smudge throughout the day and as you can see from the lip swatch above, it is semi-sheer unless you pack it on, so lip pencils are a must if you want a bolder, more statement lip. If you’re just getting into reds though this is a great starter product and it’s one I still use when I fancy red, but without the opacity some of the next few products give me.


Next up is the Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in F-Bomb*. This is another bright, classic red that leans slightly more towards the orange side of the spectrum but is still relatively neutral compared to some of the other reds in their range. Urban Decay’s lipsticks are some of the best I’ve ever tried, and this one is no exception – it’s super pigmented, lasts for ages and for some reason these lipsticks are all really easy to apply! I’m not sure if it’s the shape of the product that allows for easy, clean lines without needing a lip brush, but something about it is working for me either way.

This can smudge or bleed if you’re going to be eating or drinking much, so I would advise using a lip liner with it if you are, but otherwise this is a very low maintenance red and can be easily worn all day with a few touch-ups. This one is a lot pricier than GOSH’s Lambada, but you get much higher quality for the money.


Another Urban Decay product, but this time in a pencil form is their 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in the shade 69*. This is a classic, blue-based pinup red that (like most lip pencils) goes on matte and lasts a hell of a long time. This is another low maintenance red as it stays better than F-Bomb does on its own, and it has the bonus of actually being a lip liner so it’s easy to line and overdraw my lips with nice, clean lines. Like F-Bomb, this can last all day with only a few touch-ups, but it’s worth exfoliating and using a lip balm beforehand.

I’m not certain that this or the F-Bomb lipstick are still available at the moment as I understand Urban Decay have been repackaging and possibly refomulating their lip range recently though, and I haven’t tried any of their newer stuff.


The first liquid lipstick of the bunch is something a little different in a darker, merlot shade of red: theBalm’s Meet Matt(e) Hughes liquid lipstick in Adoring. When I first heard that theBalm was bringing out liquid lipsticks, I lost my shit because I already loved them as a brand and I was just waiting for a good, cruelty free brand I liked to release them. I got my hands on this one for a Christmas present, and it’s wonderful. The formula is so lightweight it’s easy to forget you’re wearing a dark lip, it has a decent doe foot applicator for easy application, and it lasts really well.

Again, eating and drinking can cause it to fade around the middle, but it can easily be reapplied over itself without horrible clumps and other grossness, so this isn’t a problem. This is a lot darker than the other reds featured in this post, but it’s a fantastic lipstick that would look killer on a lot of other pale people and darker complexions alike. Plus, it smells like peppermint!


Finally, we have my new favourite lip product! The Colourpop Ultra Matte in Creeper was love at first sight, and this is now my most worn red lip. A bright, true red that dries matte, it’s both a bold statement and easy as hell to wear because this shit does not budge. Granted, eating a greasy burger will cause some product to transfer around your face, but the damage is minuscule compared to other lip products and is easy to fix. If you want a red lip to slap on and forget about for a long day, this is your winner. It’s also so opaque and long lasting that you don’t need a lip liner - I can overdraw my lips just with this and it won’t budge on the outside until I try to remove it, and even then I struggle to get it off.  I will definitely pay the annoying extra shipping fees to have some other company get a Colourpop order delivered to the UK for me just for this lipstick when it runs out.

Left to Right: GOSH Velvet Touch Lipstick in Lambada, Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in F-Bomb, Urban Decay 24/7 Lip Liner in 69, theBalm Meet Matt(e) Hughes in Adoring, Colourpop Ultra Matte in Creeper
As you can see there’s a bit of a range here in formula, opacity and shade so hopefully there’s at least one new product I might have peaked your interest in! Excuse the tiny swatch photo, but it was one of those days where every photo turned out blurry and, well, after a while you get bored of fighting with your camera. Oops. Adoring looks a little bit streakier and less opaque in the swatch and although it can be very slightly streaky on the lips, this generally isn’t a problem unless you’ve literally just applied lip balm, and it’s layerable so you can easily achieve your desired intensity.

Let me know what your favourite red lip products are!

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