Looking for the perfect red? Here, we give you 11 that deserve all your attention

A confidence booster, intimidating, sexy, savage, powerful, feminine — a few words that have been used over the years to describe a classic red lipstick. I first tried the colour at the age of 16 and it quickly became my signature. Today, the beauty community knows me as the founder of The Red Lipstick Club and is unfazed when I show up wearing a bold pout to everything from brunch events to late evening product launches — in fact, they expect it. I even created my own shade not too long ago; more on that ahead.

While you will spot me wearing a lot of red lipstick on the Instagram page, the name stands for how good the colour makes me feel, translating into my purpose of sharing verified product recommendations with my community. Talking about the ones that make me feel good across makeup, skincare, haircare and fragrance as well. I often get asked about how I wear red as often as I do and if it’s ever been an intimidating shade for me. Truth be told, it’s the one colour that makes me feel my most confident, like I could walk into any room and own it.

The power of a red lipstick is unparalleled and it really comes down to finding your true red. If you’re on the fence about wanting to try it, the best way to do so is to start with a tinted lip balm or lip oil and get comfortable. Once you’re there, pick a red that’s muted, not too bright or intense and wear it as a soft, blurred hint of colour, gradually working your way up to a full pout. While there seem to be rules that experts talk about when picking lipsticks for your complexion, with reds, it really is about personal choice. The beauty of the colour lies in the fact that every red really does work for every skin tone, it just depends on which colour you’re personally drawn to. 

I’m not very big on liquid lipsticks, I enjoy applying mine straight from the bullet. I also tend to pick cool-toned reds as opposed to the warmer, yellower ones. And my absolute favourite texture is a velvet matte that hydrates my lips and keeps them looking plump without drying them out. Below, I list the 11 red lipsticks I always have on rotation, no matter the time of day or occasion. You’ll notice my favourite characteristics across all of the below. And trust me, you can’t go wrong with a single one of these beauties.

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Le Lion de Chanel in Rouge Triomphal

There’s something about a Chanel red that doesn’t compare to any other brand. From the packaging to the incredible formulas and shades, everything feels special and extremely luxurious, and you simply cannot go wrong. This has been my go-to red over the last six months and people around me have always been inquisitive about what I’m wearing. And that’s the biggest compliment of them all.

Tinge x Anjan Sachar Velvet Matte Lipstick in Savage

I couldn’t possibly talk about my favourite red lipsticks without mentioning my own shade, Savage, that I co-created with Indian makeup brand Tinge. While this isn’t available anymore, it will forever be special to me. A pink-red with a vanilla scent, it’s a colour that works for every skin tone and the finish is a beautiful velvet cream that turns to matte with a single tissue dab. The formula is very nourishing with an oil, wax and butter blend and is intensely pigmented ensuring that your pout stays soft and full of colour all day long.

M.A.C Cosmetics Satin Lipstick in MAC Red

While most red lipstick lovers list Ruby Woo as one of their top picks, MAC Red holds a special place in my heart. It was the first red lipstick I ever tried, and bought, in my teens and is the reason the colour has become my signature today. It’s a bold, creamy, pink-red that’s not for the faint hearted. 

Colorbar x Jacqueline Sinful Matte Lipcolor in Mistress

A controversial shade name no doubt, this is a red that I always get asked about. The soft matte formula makes it my favourite red lipstick by an Indian brand — it goes on smoothly and stays put through many, many drinks and truffle fries. 

Also Read : Fun Facts About Red Lipstick Every Beautiholic Must Know

Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Paint-On Liquid Lipcolor in Controversial 

This one is a bright cherry red, warmer than I usually go for but one of those shades I wore for a long time. If you enjoy wearing liquid matte lipsticks that really pack a punch without overdrying your lips, you’ll love this one. 

Etude House Powder Rouge Tint in Mute Red

I’ve come to love powdery, mousse like lipsticks and this is a tube I reach out for very often. It leaves a soft, blurred finish on your lips that almost looks effortless. P.S. this one isn’t kissproof!

M.A.C Powder Kiss Velvet Blur Slim Stick in Ruby New

This particular range by M.A.C is undoubtedly my current favourite because of how buttery soft it feels on my lips. As the name suggests, it’s a newer version of the Ruby Woo, and in my opinion, a much better one, thanks to the brilliant velvet finish. 

Kiko Milano Velvet Passion Matte Lipstick in 311

I’ve been a fan of Kiko Milano ever since I first tried the brand 7 years ago. The beauty of this red is that it looks like you’re wearing a bold matte lipstick, but it feels absolutely weightless. It’s also more on the warmer side without being too bright.

Givenchy Le Rouge Interdit Intense Silk in 333

This is the most recent entrant to my top reds. It’s a soft matte formula — can you tell this is my go-to finish? — and the shade is a brick-like red that works even for someone who’s just dabbling into the colour. Use it as a light tint and work your way up to a full pout.

Simply Nam Comfort Wear Matte Lipstick in Poonam

This one’s a much darker, almost wine coloured red (it reminds me of a glass of my favourite Cabernet Sauvignon), and not one I usually go for. But it deserves a mention for its super comfortable matte formula. Me aside, my mother is obsessed with this one and owns almost every colour from the range!

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Extreme in Pivoine Noire

This formula is a lot more matte than the Allure Velvet — the ‘Extreme’ in the name is clue enough — but an incredibly soft formula nonetheless. The classic Chanel black casing has a matte finish for this range and it’s just one of those things you have to touch to experience. And one you’ll definitely love to own and use.

When it comes to application, I will always recommend using a lip scrub to make sure your delicate skin is buffed and prepped well. If you’re worried about getting the shape right — red lipstick can be hard to clean without messing up your makeup if you make an error in application — start by using a lip liner in a colour close to that of your lips, get the shape right and then fill it in with your red. And if you ever feel like you’re struggling to find your colour, hit me up on Instagram and I’ll sort you out!


  • Anjan Sachar

    Anjan Sachar is a multifaceted beauty editor, content strategist, and event curator, and she is also the founder of The Red Lipstick Club. Beyond her professional pursuits, Anjan enjoys baking, culinary exploration, savouring new beverages, and travelling whenever possible. She lives by the mantra: "Nothing happens to you, it happens for you." Follow her inspiring journey at https://www.instagram.com/theredlipstickclub/

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