Finding the perfect shade of ‘cherry red’ lipstick for that Instagram-worthy “POP” has had a fairly simple recipe; apply 1 coat of Ruby Woo, secure good lighting, add a filter. But there have to be better options without the extra work?! Our Sheen contributor tried out 5 popular brands to help you find your most perfect and brightest shade.

MAC Retro Matte Lipstick$18.50;

RATING: 4/5 stars

Ruby Woo is a signature, if not the most popular, bright-red shade among lipstick lovers. This tried and true lipstick has been proven to be a universally flattering shade on almost every skin tone. It’s not without its flaws, however; it can dry out your lips and become cakey, requiring a full reapplication during the day, and most definitely after you eat.

NYX Professional Makeup Matte Lipstick$5.99

RATING: 2/5 stars

NYX Matte Lipstick line normally has some great shades; however, Perfect Red is not one of my faves. Firstly, it’s a little too shiny to profess to be a matte lipstick, and secondly, it wipes off too easily. The shade itself isn’t a favorite of mine either, leaning toward a more coral tone than a bright red. However, for the price, it’s not a terrible backup to have in your makeup bag if you run out of your favorite red.

Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick$9.49

RATING: 4/5 stars

This has become a new favorite! Not only is it the brightest of all the shades, but it also possesses the staying power of permanent marker. Now, its ability to last through three meals will also mean that you’re going to have a tough time removing this red at the end of the night. It took makeup remover wipes, coconut oil, and lots of scrubbing to get this off my lips, but… it’s worth it.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, $22

RATING: 4/5 stars

I’ve wanted to try Beso since I read it was Adrienne’s Bailon’s go-to shade. The packaging is super pretty and I love to have it in my makeup bag. It also has good lasting power; I only had to dab small areas that had faded during the day and fill in my lips after eating. Beso has the same look and a slightly better-staying power than MAC, for $4 more.

CoverGirl Outlast All-Day Lipcolor in Ever Red-dy, $7.99

RATING: 2/5 stars

I came across this color on Ayesha Curry’s Instagram page. Now while this shade looked bright and bomb on her, it was light and almost sheer on me. I had to apply it a few times and still felt it wasn’t the thick, matte lipstick I was looking for. It comes with a top gloss applicator, so if you’re looking for a “lighter,” “glossier” look, you may enjoy this one. I ended up returning it.


Share your favorite reds, or if you’ve ever tried any of these colors, below!

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