8 mood-boosting red lipsticks 

One of the quickest ways to feel instantly put-together? A swipe of red lipstick. Not only can it elevate an otherwise simple outfit, but a strong red lip also holds the power to boost your mood and increase your confidence. It's no wonder then that sales of the stuff skyrocket during times of uncertainty.
But, without the ability to trial and test, how do you know which shade of red lipstick will suit you? An easy rule of thumb is, if you have fair skin then blue-red shades tend to look best, while orange-reds are more flattering on darker skin tones. Then, keep the rest of your makeup simple, and pair with strong brows, a little mascara and a flawless base for that easy French-girl chic. 

Looking for a new shade for 2021? We've picked out our favourite red lipsticks from the likes of Dior, Tom Ford and Charlotte Tilbury.

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Dior Rouge Dior


In the '40s Christian Dior created two red lipsticks to be used for his runway shows, called 9 and 99. Later he combined the two to form the perfect red, and voilà. It's so good that it's still the signature shade of the fashion house today.

Undertone: Blue-Red

Dior Rouge Dior in 999, £30


Giorgio Armani Rouge D'Armani Matte

Dior Forever

Lip products are a speciality of Armani Beauty and this is the most hydrating, long-lasting matte lipstick we've tried yet. Shade 400 is a true Hollywood red and not one to wear if you plan on blending in.

Undertone: Blue-Red

Giorgio Armani Rouge D'Armani Matte in 400, £31


NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Red Square

The Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils have been a beauty industry favourite for years and Red Square is the stand-out shade. It's a highly pigmented orange-based red - perfect if you want to make a statement.

Undertone: Orange-Red

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square, £22


Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution

Red Carpet Red

With their long-lasting formula and silky finish, Charlotte's Matte Revolution lipsticks are iconic.  Everyone knows (and loves) the shade Pillow Talk, but if you're a red lipstick girl Red Carpet Red won't disappoint.

Undertone: Blue-Red

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Red Carpet Red, £25


YSL The Slim

YSL The Slim

Last year YSL introduced The Slim and it has all the makings of a classic. The formula is a flawless matte, but the real draw is its amazing packaging and silhouette. The diamond-shaped bullet makes it easy to apply with perfect precision.

Undertone: Blue-Red

YSL The Slim in Rouge Extravagant, £30


MAC Retro Matte Lipstick

MAC Russian Red

You probably started your lipstick collection with MAC, and you're probably more than familiar with the shade Ruby Woo. A classic for a reason, it's the ultimate blue-based red and something of a makeup bag stalwart. 

Undertone: Blue-Red

MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo, £17.50


Tom Ford Lip Colour

Tom Ford Lip Colour

A Tom Ford lipstick looks as good in your handbag as it does on your lips, and you're unlikely to find many makeup items more coveted. Cherry Lush is a true, glossy red that lasts for hours. Try it once and you'll be hooked.

Undertone: Blue-Red

Tom Ford Lip Colour in Cherry Lush, £40


Guerlain KissKiss Shine Bloom Lipstick

Guerlain KissKiss Shine Bloom

The latest addition to the Guerlain lip portfolio, the KissKiss Shine Bloom range fall into the newest trend of lipsticks that pack a serious hydrating punch. With 24-hours hydration promised, the formula glides onto the skin, leaving lips feeling fresh, smooth and moisturised.

Undertone: Orange-Red

Guerlain KissKiss Shine Bloom in Poppy Kiss, £31