What woman doesn't love red lipstick? Even if they claim not to, there is a glamour and a cachet associated with it, and if you think you can't wear it, you envy those who can.
In my ongoing Nina Garcia's One Hundred series, number 72 is red lipstick. It seems I can't go to the drugstore without walking away with another one. And Sephora? Forget it. I am constantly on the lookout for the perfect matte red lipstick for myself.
Of course, Garcia is a name-dropper, and some of the ones she cites are Chanel Red No. 5, MAC Ruby Woo, Clinique Angel Red, CoverGirl Really Red, Lancome Red Desire, Anna Sui Rouge Chine, Mary Kay Red Salsa, Elizabeth Arden Slink, NARS Fire Down Below, and Trucco Blood. I have tried most, if not all, of these lipsticks, and not one has worked for me.
The thing with red lipstick is that there are so many factors that figure in to which one is right for you—the shape of your mouth, your skintone, your hair colour, your preferred wardrobe, and so on.
I have found my perfect shade: Revlon Matte Lipstick in Really Red. Runners up include MAC's Liza Red (part of the Liza line from a bunch of years ago, sadly discontinued—you might get the same colour out of Lady Bug but the finish is different) and Kat Von D's Painted Love Lipstick in Hellbent.
However, I wouldn't have gone anywhere near the Revlon lipstick ten years ago. My skin and style in my mid-twenties could never have carried off such a heavy, matte red slash of a mouth (no matter how much I wanted to channel Diana Vreeland). I was relegated to wearing more sheer, glossy reds, which didn't compete with my clear skin and bright eyes. (Oh, how I long for those days...)
If you are on the search for a signature red lipstick, fear not! The ideal one for you is out there. Much like shopping for the perfect pair of jeans, you have to try, try, and try some more. And if all else fails, take me with you!