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A striking swipe of red has been my beauty signature since forever, and for excellent reason.  

One quick slick holds so much transformative power, delivering polish, energy and, crucially, the illusion of effort. 

 Surpassing a string of well-meaning boyfriends, my greatest love affair is with red lipstick, and I've honed in on a few of my all-time favourites, just in time for Valentine's Day.

 READ: The 10 best lip plumpers of 2023, tried & tested

How we chose:

  • Performance and personal testimony: The red lipsticks chosen below are products that I (Hello! Fashion's resident beauty obsessive Orin Carlin) personally really rate.  
  • Shade: The lip products I've selected are all centred around the theme of red, varying in undertones, but united in the fact that they are striking and standout.   
  • Quality: I've put heaps of red lipsticks to the test to find those with the most wearable, comfy finishes, flattering hues and enduring formulas.  

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Hello! Fashion shares the best red lipsticks for Valentine's Day and beyond: 

  • Best Red Lipsticks

    Red lipstick - Mac

    Matte Lipstick in 'Lady Danger'



    MAC's iconic 'Lady Danger' requires no introduction. The energising orange-red shade is infinitely pretty. I actually love it for a pared-down makeup moment – think loose beachy waves and gentle wash of bronzer for supper on holiday – but the warmth of the shade also works really beautifully alongside navy. MAC is renowned for its creamy mattes, and you'd be hard pressed to find a comfier no-shine finish. 

  • Red lipstick - Charlotte Tilbury

    Airbrush Flawless Lip Blur in 'Flame Blur'

    Charlotte Tilbury


    Velvety matte.

    Bold and cushiony, this liquid matte lipstick by Charlotte Tilbury is almost featherlight, a total joy to wear. I can't bear how many matte formulas cling to textural imperfections, but this velvety formula is extremely forgiving. This is a great choice for red lipstick novices – if you don't want a super crisp outline, you can simply blur the edges for a slightly softer effect.

  • Red lipstick - & Other Stories

    Maquis de Nuit Lipstick



    For an unexpectedly affordable, luxe-looking raspberry red, & Other Stories' 'Maquis de Nuit' has me hooked. The formula is infused with cold-pressed Mirabelle plum seed oil for a gorgeous, nourishing feel – rich and balmy rather than slippery. The colour is lovely if you're going blue-based but be aware that the satin formula will likely need touching up later on in the evening so don't leave the bullet at home.

  • Red lipstick - Victoria Beckham

    Bitten Lip Tint in 'Je T'Aime'



    For the naturally red-averse, let Victoria Beckham's Bitten Lip Tint tempt you. First of all, it won't budge – like at all – which is very reassuring if you've previously avoided red lips pertaining to practical reasons. The initial hit of colour is flush-like, and buildable should you so desire. 'Je T'Aime' is a lovely, muted raspberry – I have to say, I do prefer it on others, particularly those with deep olive complexions as it can look a bit blue on me. But it's idyllic for those wanting to ease themselves in gently. 

  • Red lipstick - Nars

    Powermatte Lip Pigment in 'Vain'




    Rich pigment combines with an endurance-focused matte formula to deliver a liquid lipstick that is categorically high impact. Nars' Powermatte Lip Pigment in the shade 'Vain' is both vampy and elegant, sitting comfortably in the deeper, more burgundy-esque region of reds. The tapered doe-foot applicator allows for the utmost precision but know that you're not afforded loads of playtime (the time taken before its sets in place), so you'll need a steady hand. 

  • Red lipstick - Rare Beauty

    Lip Soufflé Matte Lip Cream in 'Inspire'

    Rare Beauty


    Creamy matte.

    If I were going on a first date, this would 100% be my red lipstick of choice. Rare Beauty's 'Inspire' Lip Soufflé is creamy, weightless and unbelievably flattering. The gentle, coral-adjacent shade is a guaranteed complexion perker-upper, and yet, the effect is assured, never try-hard, and certainly more laid-back than other more richly pigmented formulas, making it perfect for an easy-breezy first impression.

Why you should trust me: 

Orin Carlin is Hello! Fashion’s SEO Content Writer. Promising to leave no stone unturned in the name of fashion and beauty journalism, she is the proud creator of our ‘Try The Trend’ series. With a particular interest in formula innovation, microtrends, royal and bridal beauty, perfume, rituals, treatments, fashion history and vintage icons, she can either be found interviewing major industry names (previous subjects include Georgia May JaggerMary Greenwell and Sam McKnight) or scouring the internet for must-have pieces. It's not just a job; it's a personal quest to unearth noteworthy pieces that resonate with style and beauty enthusiasts.

HELLO!'s selection is editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items our editors love and approve of. HELLO! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. To find out more visit our FAQ page.