Think you can’t rock red lipstick in your 40s and beyond? Think again. A vast array of colors and formulas means that any woman can find a color and finish that looks and feels good.
Since many of us are battling fine lines, dryness, and thinning skin, prep and the right tools are important, says Rachel Weingarten, former celebrity makeup artist and founder of Beauty Counter Culture. She starts with her favorite lip primer, Geurlain’s KissKiss Uplift, to create a smooth surface so lipstick goes on evenly and lasts longer. Next up is lip liner in a shade that matches your skin tone. Lip liner acts as a barrier to keep lipstick or gloss from creeping beyond the lip line. “It’s like paint primer. It helps you fix the shape of your lips and create an even application,” Weingarten says. We like Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat.
Once you’ve prepped your kisser, it’s time for the right shade and texture. Whether you want to go bold and fiery or barely there, with a stain or with full-on coverage, there is a red out there for you — we promise!
Benefit Rose-Tinted Benetint Lip & Cheek Stain
One of the biggest hurdles with red lipstick is finding one that won’t bleed into fine lines. For that issue in particular, Weingarten suggests a lip stain like Benefit’s cult favorite, which creates a bright effect without thickness.
City Lips Plumping Gloss in Red Velvet
Feeling a bit naughty? This sassy gloss has become our go-to for a night out because of its deep, opaque color and glossy finish. Bonus points for the hyaluronic acid and oligopeptides that subtly pump up the volume and help with natural collagen production.
Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner in Bang Bang Red
Sometimes all you want is a touch of red. This tinted tube lets you adjust the intensity by layering — or not — so you can go from understated to va-va-voom in no time. It’s packed with moisturizing, organic ingredients like sesame seed oil, vitamin E, jojoba, and grape seed extract to ward off dryness and soothe your smacker.
The Sexiest Beauty Matteshine Lipstick in Ravage Me Red
This classic red with deep neutral undertones went on like a dream and lasted through several glasses of prosecco. Plus, it has sodium hyaluronate to draw in moisture, vitamins C and E to help combat free-radical damage, and sunflower oil to help nourish and protect.
Kismet Burnout Semi-Matte Lipstick
The universally flattering blue-red lipstick doesn’t bleed and is made with beeswax, carnauba wax, and jojoba oil to keep lips moisturized and happy. Even better? It made our teeth look whiter.
Dr. Hauschka Lipstick in Amaryllis
This all-natural lipstick smells as good as it looks, with rose petals and almond oil to keep lips moisturized. We fell hard for the flattering brownish red that really pops on fair skin.
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella
Here’s a classic long-wearing red that doubles as a lip liner and gets us compliments every time we wear it.
Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick in Rouge Charnel
No list of red lipsticks would be complete without a coveted tube from the famed fashion designer’s makeup line. This non-drying number has a soft matte finish.
Sacha Cohen is founder and president of Grassfed Media. She looks stunning in red lipstick.