Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Love red lips? Here's a guide to the best products

Red lipstick is my thing. And while it's (thankfully) hip to wear red at this moment, I've basically been addicted for years. When gloss became the lip decor du jour a few years back, I tried to conform. Naturally, I failed, because while I agree that smoky eyes pair best with nude lips, I feel naked without a strong splash of color on my lips.

Best drugstore reds: Revlon Fire & Ice and Orange Flip ($8)

Revlon makes the best drugstore-brand reds, hands down. I'm hard-pressed to choose between my two favorites: Revlon's Super Lustrous lipstick in "Fire & Ice," a long-lasting and classic hue; and Revlon's "Orange Flip." Paired with my favorite red lip-liner, "Orange Flip" becomes that just-right hue of orange-red that manages to flatter and brighten all skin tones.

Best glossy red: Star Gloss in Ooh La La Red ($18)

For those who aren't yet ready to sport a full-on matte-red lipstick, a shimmering gloss can be the ideal way to add some color to your lips without going full force. Girlactik glosses are among the best glosses around, with a touch of sparkle and enough tack to stay on your lips without bleeding outside the lip lines.

Best designer red: Dolce & Gabbana Lipstick in Attractive Monica and Italian Monica ($33)

Head to Sephora and nab your choice of these most flattering reds inspired by Monica Bellucci, the Italian actress and Dolce & Gabbana muse. Available in hues created by MUA Pat McGrath, these creamy lipsticks are all pretty addictive, but I particularly love Attractive Monica, a cool red and Italian Monica, a warm red.

Best long-wear red: Make Up For Ever AQUA ROUGE Waterproof Liquid Lip Color ($24)

This two-step product is unbelievably long lasting and available in "red," a fire-engine worthy hue whose boring name belies its fabulousness. Apply the matte hue first and then slick on the transparent top coat for extreme shine with absolutely no feathering. Get it at Sephora.

Best eco-chic red: True Balance Red from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics ($18)

One-hundred percent vegan and cruelty-free, OCC Lip Tar combines the longevity of a lipstick with the slickness of a gloss. Lip Tar goes on shiny but dries to a satin finish. Keep in mind, just the tiniest drop will do, plus the color lasts for hours.

— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of, a guide to the best in local beauty. Need beauty advice? Tweet up with Carolyn at @tampabaypretty.