• Anastasia Pentias

TBN: Beauty Classics Edition- My Top 5 Red Lipsticks

When I was younger, I was a lot more adventurous with my style, both clothes and makeup-wise. I was really into red lips and my staples were Chanel and YSL. When I entered my thirties (that stage between very young and suddenly-not-so-young), I felt red lips weighed my face down and made me look older. Now that I'm almost 40, I'm past that point. Μy face is certainly not very young any more, I'm A-OK with that and a red lip is suddenly back in my beauty routine. Because, really, who am I kidding? Might as well wear the red lip.

Why wear red lipstick? For me, it's not because of its sexy, iconic status, nor because it signals Parisian chic. It's not the most flattering look for the face either, so why is red lipstick a constant classic? I think it's because of its boldness. A red lip gives you confidence especially on a day when you might need it; that extra spring in your step. Your face looks more dynamic and you look stronger. Contrary to popular belief, it's actually the single easiest makeup look; even if you wear it alone you still look very polished.

All five favourites stay true to colour for hours, that is my priority. Here they are, below, in order of preference. I only have reference photos for the first two because I have not repurchased the rest but I definitely would recommend all five.

1. Pat McGrath, Elson

This is not my favourite colour BUT this formula is epic, legendary, out-of-this-world good. It is very easy to apply, super smooth even on very cracked lips (yes, really), it keeps your lips hydrated, is stable, does not bleed into my (ex-)smoker's lines. It does everything you need it to but never dreamed to hope for. Strangely, I prefer it without lip liner. But if you decide to wear it with a lip liner for extra longevity, I would highly recommend skipping Pat McGrath's own gel liner for the Essence Stay True 6h Lip Liner. It's amazing and only one ninth of the price.

2. MAC, Russian Red

My most beloved shade, this is exactly right for me: a deeper, warmer red. The formula, however, is not stellar. Like almost all longer-lasting red lipsticks, it's drying with repeated use. This desperately needs a lip liner, otherwise it gets into my wrinkles.

3. KIKO, Unlimited Double Touch, 115 Fire Red

If ever there was a comfortable, long-lasting red lipstick, it would be this one. It stays on for hours, does not bleed and, thanks to the second, top coat, never dries your lips. This is not my favourite tone ever, it's a bit bright for me, but I recommend it to everyone because IT'S SO DARN EASY AND DEPENDABLE. This is genius for work, you put it on and forget about it. It's the only transfer-proof formula in this lot. An excellent product.

4. MAC, Ruby Woo

This was a regular choice in my twenties and a universally adored shade. It is cooler-toned than Russian Red and the colour is brighter, leaning to cherry. It's so popular for good reason: despite its cooler base, it does flatter almost everyone and is a fun, bright red. Also needs a lip liner, my favourite is MAC's Cherry.

5. Charlotte Tilbury, Love Liberty

Charlotte Tilbury is the best when it comes to nudes and berry-toned lipsticks. Her reds are not particularly good on me, they are slightly patchy and less flattering as shades. A notable exception is Love Liberty, probably so glorious because it is a berry-red. This is for those who are reluctant to commit to a full-on red lipstick. It's a very wearable red; muted, sweet and flattering, thanks to the berry undertone. Very chic and universally flattering. I ended up giving it away because it didn't suit my personal everyday needs: I either opted for Bond Girl, my true berry favourite from the range, or a true, shocking red instead. But that doesn't mean I think any less of it, this is a truly special shade.

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photos via https://m.shop.nordstrom.com, https://www.kikocosmetics.com, https://www.temptalia.com

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