The Ultimate Guide to Buying Red Lipstick

Red Lipstick Buying Guide

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Red Lipstick


The Ultimate Guide to Buying Red Lipstick

Red lipstick is a wonderful way to express your personality and inject a classic beauty look into your daily life. Choosing the right red lipstick for you takes time and also understand your skintone. This guide will help you buy the right lipstick for your budget and lifestyle – in terms of colour palette, choose the right one for your skintone with your own research as all of our skin colours are different.

Red Lipstick Buying Checklist

This is the checklist that you need before you start shopping for the red lipstick of your dreams. Whether you are buying online or in-store, make sure that you copy and paste this checklist and keep it with you:

  • Debit Card or Credit Card to make the purchase
  • Look for voucher codes/coupons to decrease the price
  • Colour and shade range – always choose a brand with red lipstick shades
  • Budget – Ensure that you have the budget to buy the red lipstick you want
  • Screenshots of red lipsticks from your favourite influencers

How much should I spend on buying red lipstick?

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One of my favourite red lipsticks that I think would suit my tribe is Russian Red by MAC. This has been around for years and the company does refresh it from time to time. It’s the closest I have seen from MAC to a true red that can transcend different skintones without looking garish. This red lipstick is $18.50 if you purchased on MAC’s website here or you can look for similar red lipstick colours by opting to buy on this site.

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Another delectable choice that you can consider is Giorgio Armani Beauty Ecstasy Lipstick in the shade called Four Hundred. The price is steeper at $38 however it is definitely one of the most richly-manufactured lipsticks due to how the pigment was pressed during the manufacturing process (trust me, I come from a cosmetics background). I love how vibrant this particular shade of red is from Giorgio Armani is and I can see it working well on all skintones. I think this Armani Red is more for nightime dates and events as opposed to being a daytime red lipstick like Russian Red. If you are looking for an affordable alternative, try some from this brand

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I’ve explained before that Tom Ford lipsticks are not for the faint-hearted. This option is called Cherry Lush, and it is a gorgeous shade of red with touches of cherry pink to give you that flush of girly-femininity. Priced at $54 as you know by now, this is one of the most expensive options in our guide however I think Tom Ford lipsticks last for a longtime. They are worth a purchase if you want a lipstick that will last a long time. Another thing that makes Tom Ford lipsticks unique is the fact that you can put a little on but the pigment is superstar bright. Check out Tom Ford Cherry Lush or click here to try a similar red lipstick without the Tom Ford pricetag.

As you can see from these 3 examples, the prices of red lipsticks depends on the brand, pigment and how much product is in the packaging. I think the best value for money comes from independent beauty brands like IGXO and MAC, but I love the allure of Tom Ford and Giorgio Armani.

Which brands should I buy from?

The brands for buying red lipstick are best described in the following categories:

  • Reliable
  • Luxury

Reliable brands are ones such as MAC Cosmetics. This company has a lot of choice when it comes to lipstick with a wide variety of colours. Other reliable brands that are affordable include Rimmel, Bourjois and NYX. In terms of pricing, this is a brand that you can also try if you want solid red lipstick.

Luxury brands are more expensive but you can see some small differences in how the pigment looks on your lips. Luxury brands that I like for red lipstick include YSL, Estee Lauder and Tom Ford.

Should I also buy Lip liners?

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Lip liners are what makes your lips look feather-smooth and soft without being heavy. Lip liners are worth the purchase if you like your lips to look soft, smooth and effortless. Sometimes, lipstick can make your lips look heavy and too layered – lip liner takes the pressure off and brings the look together. For some amazing lipstick + lip liner choices, have a look here and keep reading this guide.

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Givenchy Crayon Lèvres Lip Liner – Corail Décolleté No.5

One of my favourite choices in the world of lip liners is this one from Givenchy. I adore this lip liner because it is full of vitamins which many other pencil lip liners don’t have. I like that Givenchy wanted to create a lip liner that will not dry out and that will give your lips a foundation of Vitamin E enrichment. The lip liner is $29, and you can buy it here. If you prefer more affordable options for red lip liner, you can also have a look at some of the options on this website. I like the idea of balancing luxury lip liners such as Givenchy and also having more affordable choices such as this lipliner in order to keep your pocketbook happy. Lip liners need to help amplify your lips, they shouldn’t make your lips even more cracked or damaged if you are not currently taking care of them. Before purchasing lipsticks and lipliners, ensure that you always exfoliate your lips.

Buy Red Lipstick Online vs Instore – PROS & CONS


MAC Red Lipsticks from left: Ruby Woo, Russian Red, and Lady Danger

There is a lot of debate about buying makeup online but so many of us are making the transition to doing this online. Let’s get into the Pros & Cons of buying red lipstick online:


  • You don’t have to go yourself physically to a store
  • Efficient to get it shipped to your home or office
  • You can find more deals online for red lipstick


  • You can’t test out the lipstick physically
  • Shades look different online than they do in natural light in a store


  • You can test swatches on your wrist with tester lipsticks
  • You can see other shades and hues that may not be available online


  • It can take a while to get yourself ready and to pay for transport to go shopping to buy red lipstick
  • It is more draining going to physical stores

My view is that you should buy red lipstick in the way that makes you the most comfortable. I love being able to go to a cosmetics counter and try a lipstick out for myself because I am discerning about my tastes in terms of the types of red lipsticks that I want to wear. I also like going to buy physically because I like seeing what other options are available. However, it is so satisfying ordering a red lipstick you have been waiting for and unwrapping it in the post. Whether you want to purchase in-store or online, make sure that you buy red lipstick according to your budget and don’t impulse shop.

How to budget for red lipstick shopping

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Buying red lipstick requires you to have an eagle-eye when it comes to managing your finances and making sure that you don’t overspend. Everyone has different finance levels and I have covered the importance of creating a budget in previous buying guides for Chanel and Cartier. When you are deciding to buy a red lipstick, just make sure to do the following:

  • Don’t buy too many red lipsticks of the same shade range: This is not a good allocation of your beauty budget. If you love true reds, buy one true red lipstick and then contrast that with a pinky-red or an orange-red from a more affordable brand. This will avoid you overspending and having a box full of red lipsticks that are all from the same colour palette.
  • Have a maximum limit that you are willing to spend: For red lipsticks, I think a solid maximum is $100. This way you can buy one luxury option, and more affordable red lipsticks to add some variety to your look.
  • Don’t feel pressured to impulse shop: Impulse shopping is one way that you can end up feeling really guilty about your finances. Whether you are buying a $10 lipstick or $1,000 necklace, never ever impulse shop. Instead think carefully about why you want to buy a red lipstick and then buy online only when you are satisfied about making the purchase.
  • Shop online with a debit card: Using a debit card for online shopping is a good way for staying within your budget.
  • Use cash if you are a superspender: We all have different spending personalities when it comes to shopping. If you are a spender by nature, try and use cash instead to minimise the chance of overspending.

With this Ultimate Guide to Buying Red Lipstick, I hope you feel empowered and driven to make the buying choice that will make you feel beautiful and that is within your budget. Whether you love high-end red lipsticks or affordable lipsticks, you can always contact me whenever you want to ask questions on what you should buy. Don’t forget to sign up for my shopping newsletter if you liked this guide.

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