Best Matte Red Lipstick | WETM


Which matte red lipstick is the best?

If there’s one sensational lip product you should have in your makeup collection, it’s red matte lipstick. And make no mistake: there’s a shade for everyone.

With so many shades to choose from – and especially if you’re new to red matte lipstick – you should be ready to try several colors. Mac Cosmetics Retro Matte Lipstick In Ruby Woo, one of the best selling lipsticks of all time, is highly pigmented and lasts all day.

What to know before buying matte red lipstick

What is a matte lipstick

Matte lipstick has a shine-free finish because it has a higher concentration of wax than oil. That said, it’s far from dull – matte is a bold formula choice as it’s so saturated in color.

Not only do most matte lipsticks require fewer swipes to achieve opaque color, but they also offer longer wear times than cream or satin lipsticks. This is partly due to their ultra-dry formulas, which cause the pigment to stick to the lips instead of migrating or transferring.

shades of red

From Dior to Revlon, just about every makeup brand has at least one shade of matte lipstick in their collection. Some brands, like MAC Cosmetics, even have dedicated “red” collections with a few matte red hues.

When exploring the wide world of matte red lipsticks, you might be surprised at the variety. To narrow down your choices, it helps to categorize shades of red by undertone. Some shades are cooler with blue undertones, while others are warmer with orange undertones. And somewhere in between are rosy reds, with hints of berries, fuchsia or magenta.

What to Look for in a Quality Matte Red Lipstick


In the past, most matte red lipsticks were available as classic formulas. Although still popular, matte red shades are now also a staple in liquid and mousse lipstick collections. Formula preference is subjective and usually comes down to the overall wear experience.

  • Ball: These formulas generally have the longest wear times because they dry out more than others. You may end up with chapped or feathery lips, which are hard to conceal unless you completely wipe off the lipstick and reapply.
  • Liquid: Liquid lipsticks are more nourishing than bullet formulas, making them less likely to leave lips chapped. Because their wear times aren’t as long, you’ll need to reapply them every few hours.
  • Moss: These luxurious formulas fall somewhere between liquid and bullet lipsticks in terms of dryness. Although the mousse is meant to be a lightweight formula, some varieties feel thick or sticky.

wearing time

Wear time refers to how long a lipstick lasts before reapplication is needed. Most matte lipsticks stay put for up to eight hours, and some formulas last up to 16 hours or more. Because reds are more saturated than most, they generally last longer than other shades.

Moisturizing ingredients

Several matte red lipsticks are infused with moisturizing ingredients that keep lips soft and smooth. Some of the more popular ingredients include hyaluronic acid, shea butter, and lanolin. Many prestige and luxury matte lipsticks contain flower and plant extracts, ranging from red peony to avocado. While these ingredients soothe lips and minimize chapping, they sometimes reduce wear time.

How much you can expect to spend on matte red lipstick

The drugstore red matte lipsticks cost between $4 and $14, while you’ll pay between $18 and $28 for the prestige formulas. Matte red lipsticks made by luxury makeup brands are the most expensive, ranging from $30 to $65.

Matte Red Lipstick FAQ

Should I use a lip liner with matte red lipstick?

A. Many people apply lip liner with red matte lipstick to help it stay put longer. The lip liner also creates a “border” around the lips which minimizes smudging and transfer. Some lip liners also intensify the color of the lipstick.

What does matte red lipstick look like on camera?

A. The matte red lipstick doesn’t reflect light, eliminating excess shine on camera. Because their color is saturated, it highlights your lips when you speak and, depending on the shade, can make your teeth appear whiter.

What is the best matte red lipstick to buy?

Red matte lipstick top

Mac Cosmetics Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo

What do you want to know: Ruby Woo, a universally flattering shade, is one of the best-selling lipsticks in the world.

What you will love: The shade has blue undertones that flatter all skin tones. It’s a fade-resistant formula that won’t come off when you eat or drink, and it rarely needs reapplying during the day. The formula is made without harsh chemicals.

What you should consider: It’s a drying formula that can leave your lips chapped later in the day.

Or buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty and Macy’s

Top matte lipstick for the money

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Mousse In 815 Red Hot

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Mousse In 815 Red Hot

What do you want to know: Revlon’s economy formula doesn’t compromise wear time, as it stays put for at least 8 hours.

What you will love: Although it’s a matte formula, it’s creamier and less drying than other options. It doesn’t take more than a few swipes to get a bright red. The formula is less likely to feather and transfer than other liquid matte options.

What you should consider: Color may fade or transfer after several hours and reapplication is required.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Dior Rouge Dior Refillable Lipstick In 951 Cabaret

Dior Rouge Dior Refillable Lipstick In 951 Cabaret

What do you want to know: This luxurious red matte lipstick is one of the most popular shades in the collection.

What you will love: Cabaret is a rich brick red hue that can be worn day or night. It’s infused with red peony extract to nourish and soften lips. The unique shape of the bullet lipstick offers easy application around the arch of the lip and the corners of the mouth.

What you should consider: A few people said the color fades much sooner than expected.

Or buy: Sold by Sephora

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Sian Babish written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

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