Hi, my name is Kasey, and I am positively addicted to red lipsticks. Well, lipstick in general. But reds are my favorite.
(They do say that the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?)
Until a few years ago, though, I almost never wore lipstick. I didn’t think I could pull it off, or that it would be just too much on my face. I don’t really remember what inspired me to pick up that first $3 tube if pinky-mauve-y goodness—because I normally work in baby steps—but I’m willing to bet money Zooey Deschanel was involved. That girl has been one of my style icons for years.
Anywho, I’ve tried dozens of reds from dozens of brands since that fateful purchase, and I’ve narrowed my must -haves down to six tubes that I keep stocked so I’ll always have a red to suit my mood. (Side note: that count doesn’t include the six or seven different pinks, two fuchsias, three mauves, and a peach-y coral color that I adore but doesn’t go too well with my complexion. Glosses are a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.) In no particular order because I love them all, plus outtakes because I love you all that much:
Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter (Berry Smoothie): $4.99 at Target
This one’s my berry shade for days when I’m not really feeling too terribly bold; it’s a lot sheerer than I first expected, which is great for low-key days. It does take more than I care for to build up more opaque coverage, though, and can get a little gritty after a few hours. I will give this one props for not being too drying and lasting through my all-but-continual water sipping at work.
CoverGirl LipPerfection (Hot): $6.99 at Target
Stumbled across this one after trawling the internet for recommendations. It’s a bright fire engine red that goes on smoothly straight from the tube, which is a major plus because I’m just too lazy to bother with a brush most mornings. It’s not very drying—that’s is my lipstick deal breaker and I can’t count how many tubes I’ve tossed for that very reason—and can survive at least a few hours at work, but I do have to reapply at least once or twice to make sure I don’t inadvertently go to a meeting sporting a ’90s-era lip liner look.
Revlon Superlustrous Lipstick (Cherry Blossom): $4.79 at Target
This one is, hands down, my favorite red. I wasn’t initially sure about going with cherry red—I tried another cherry shade once that dipped a little too far into wine red territory for my tastes and made me look dreadful—but Ho-my-gawd, I’ve gone through multiple tubes of this one. It’s creamy, comparatively long-lasting, and doesn’t get gritty and crack as the day goes on. My coworkers have gotten pretty well inured to my bold lip habit, but this shade always gets a comment or two. I tend to wear it on days when I need a mood boost; I know I look good with this shade on, and that probably beams from my pores.
Estee Lauder Pure Color #65 (Exotic Orchid): $26 from Estee Lauder
This strawberry-red lovely came as part of those free gift with purchase bags that my grandmother occasionally sends me, and it’s rather out of my price range otherwise. It lasts forever, but it does tend to dry my lips enough that I usually wear a clear gloss over it. I really should wear this one more often; I totally fell in love with the color all over again as I was doing the shots for the collage!
MAC (Russian Red): $16 at MAC
My best friend talked me into splurging on this last time I visited her, and thank the powers that be for it. It’s a good, solid, brick red that I tend to use on days when I feel like schlubbing it up but have to go out in public at some point. It’s rather drying and doesn’t go on well from the tube, so I do have to use a lip brush and gloss with this one. Still, I keep it around as a fall-back option for those days when I just don’t freaking feel like being a presentable human being.
Maybelline SuperStay 24 Two-Step Color (All Day Cherry): $7.99 at Target
I’m on the fence about this one, honestly. I initially adored the color and wore it everywhere for a few weeks. It does what it promises and lasts for-freaking-ever, but most mornings I’m just not in the mood to wait a full minute for the color to dry completely before adding the conditioner topcoat. Plus, the color starts out a really pretty cherry/raspberry red, but gradually oxidizes or somehow morphs into a deep port wine color that just doesn’t suit me at all. The one time I tried this shade at work, I ended up looking like a wannabe bad girl from a ’90s after-school special. Fluorescent lights plus this shade…no bueno.
I’m totally open to recommendations for new shades if y’all have your own must-haves!
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PS: I was not joking about having a lipstick problem: