Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vintage Red Lipstick Comparison

The most asked question I get is "What color lipstick are you wearing?" 
I do have a nice selection of Red lippies as I wear a red shade everyday.  I have swatched the 10 I own for you today and will also give their pros and cons.

For me, A typical red lipstick for vintage purposes must be bright in color and matte in texture. Most of these colors are matte and suit my very fair blue toned skin color.  My raves and rants are based on *my* opinion only so what I dislike may not be the general consesus for everyone.

(Please click for huge photos)

Photo taken in natural light. 
From Left to Right: 
Revlon Cherries In The Snow, Illamasqua Encounter, MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme, Jordana Scarlett Red, MAC Ruby Woo, Besame Red Hot Red, MAC Kanga Rouge, Sleek Stiletto, Evil Shades Devilista and MAC Russian Red.

(Click for huge pics)
Revlon Cherries, Illamasqua Encounter, MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme, Jordana Scarlett Red and MAC Ruby Woo.

First up, Revlon Cherries in the Snow. This is a creme and is a Raspberry Pink rather than a red. It's not the best on me and I have only used it once. It is popular in vintage circles so have included it for color comparisons.   It is nice and creamy, but also quite shiny.  $8 US, $18 AUD.

Illamasqua Encounter is a rich brick Red and a matte. It's very opaque and needs only one swipe. In comparison, it's the closest to Ruby Woo.  15.50 GBP but currently on sale for 7.50 GBP.

MAC Pro is a bright red and a long wearing creme. If you want a creme version of Ruby Woo, then consider this one.  It does last all day which is great, BUT it is certainly shiny and for this reason I don't reach for it often. $20 US, $39 AUD.

Jordana Scarlett Red is the one I use every day when I'm staying home. It lasts and has the color vibrancy of a MAC lippie. The con is that it needs several layers before it reaches said color vibrancy. The best part? It costs $1.99 US!

MAC Ruby Woo.   This is MY color. This shade of Red looks the prettiest on me and it's my most used lipstick. The first con is that it is very drying, so be sure to do a dab of lipbalm underneath. The second con is that because it is a dry lipstick, it does 'ball' on the lips and will need to be retouched up with a fresh layer even tho the color hasn't shifted much on the lips. I quite happily put up with these little nigglies.  RRP $20 US, $39 AUD.

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Besame Red Hot Red, MAC Kanga Rouge, Sleek Stiletto, Evil Shades Devilista and MAC Russian Red

Besame Red Hot Red. Comes beautifully packed in a gold engraved bullet tube and velvet pouch, so you will quite happily touch up your lips all day in public. This is a very smooth, creme formula and applies in one coat. Advertised as the color Marilyn Monroe wore.  Con: a teeny tiny bit shiny for me and it would have been perfect if more matte in finish.  $22 US.

MAC Kanga Rouge.  Dame Edna has great taste in lippie!  Kanga-Rouge is a fiery bright red, wonderfully creamy and applies in one quick coat. Matches MAC Cherry lipliner perfectly. This is a cream and I reach for this one when in a 'shiny mood'.   Con: it's been discontinued but an still be found on eBay sometimes.  I paid $14 US.

Sleek Stiletto. I love Sleek products as the pigmentation in everything is of a very high quality for very small dollars. Stiletto is a warm brick red and a matte. The closest in color to this is MAC Russian Red. This color lasts all day on my lips and if I didn't already have 2 backups of Russian Red, this would probably take it's place. Cons: It does require a couple of coats to become rich in color. $6 US.

Evil Shades Devilista. This is the creamiest and most pigmented of all my red lipsticks....insanely so. You need a very light one coat for it to become a very dark Brick red matte. Because it is the darkest red I own, I reserve this for night time use. Con: Discontinued.

And lastly, the famed MAC Russian Red. It does deserve it's fame as it really is a gorgeous lipstick. The texture is perfect, it doesn't dry or ball on the lips and lasts literally all day. It also suits both blue and yellow skin tones. When asked which red lipstick I recommend, I always say Russian Red. I also get stopped the most when wearing this by ladies asking what color it is. Matches MAC Brick lipliner. $19 US, $39 AU.

I hope this was of some use to those in search of the 'perfect' Vintage Red.  My search for red lippie is very far from over, I do have several Illamsquas I would love to try and Besame has a couple more I have added to my list.  There are also small branded Companies like Rockalily that apparently have gorgeous reds.  Anyone got any more suggestions for me?

I would love to know what Reds you guys wear and what YOUR perfect shade of Red is.


  1. What's the name of the shade of MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme? It looks a little like Perpetual Flame, but I'm not sure.

  2. I have the Rockalily Hot Rod Red and I love it, unlike a lot of matte lipsticks it is not at all drying. JOJO x

  3. Wow. Thanks for such an amazing swatch comparison. Out of all of them I would want to purchase the Evil Shades one but of course it's discontinued. Story of my life. :)
    My go-to red is Revlon Black Cherry. I like it because I can wear it with red lip liner for a brighter red or put smudged black lipliner on and get a really deep red. I haven't bought a MAC lippie in a while but I might have to go try these you swatched.
    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Urban Decay Jezebel is gorgeous and has always been my favourite red. Sadly, I think it's discontinued, I got a couple when I found it because I love it so much.

  5. I have Revlon's Just Bitten lipstain in Gothic, which is a pretty balanced loud true red and wonderfully smudge-proof. It's not incredibly matte with the moisturize-y thing on top, but I prefer a smidgen of shine. Although it doesn't look so great if my lips are dry at all.

  6. Wow - what a fabulous and comprehensive range of reds you have! Sarah xxx

  7. I have Mac russian red and to me it doesnt suit yellow skin tones at all, my skin is very pale but in yellow tone and Russian red looks very warm on me, no blue pigments at all, I was acutally disappointed, because on every person I know it looks like a cool shade of red, just not on me :(

  8. You have a really nice selection of reds. I just recently bought MAC's Russian Red. I really like it. I like a blue based red the most. I also love Revlon Red. It's a lipstick I've worn since I started wearing reds. I also love Devilista by Evil Shades. It's so pigmented & gorgeous. I also have a red by the Lipstick Queen. Sorry but I forget the shade name. I'm too lazy to get up & look for it!

  9. I have a very bad feeling that it might be DC'ed but Revlon Strawberry Suede is one of my favorite retro red lippies. It's super matte, super pigmented, and very vibrant. It's perfect! *hugs tube* Loved this post btw! <3


Thanks so much for commenting! I read each and every one, even if I am slow to respond sometimes!