The 8 Best Red Lipsticks That Are So Flattering

While I was more adventurous with makeup in my 20s, at 35, I’ve reached the point where I just want to stick to shades and formulas that I know look good on me. Experimentation has fallen by the wayside, for the most part. So what that means for lip color is that I stick to neutrals with pink undertones. This may sound boring, but I like being able to reach into my collection of lip colors knowing that any one I pick out will work for any given occasion. That said, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t get the itch to experiment with different shades from time to time.

I’ve always thought that red lipstick doesn’t quite suit me, especially as I’ve gotten a little older. I find that it makes my lips look thinner, my skin look washed-out, it highlights imperfections, the list goes on… But then I see women significantly older than me expertly pulling off a red lip, and I just feel confused. I’m a big admirer of the French-girl way of wearing red lipstick—smudgy, blotted, and imperfect (see Jeanne Damas), so maybe that could help me? That and the perfect shade of universally flattering red. 

I asked eight of the best beauty brands on the market (as in Tom Ford, Glossier, Charlotte Tilbury, and more) to send me their most flattering red (I read many, many reviews to narrow it down), and they did not disappoint. I’m definitely not throwing out my nude lip color collection anytime soon, but I’ve been converted into a red-lipstick devotee.

Keep scrolling to read about my experience with the top eight surprisingly non-aging red lipsticks, and see how they look IRL on yours truly.