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These Are The Best Red Lipsticks To Add To Your Winter Arsenal

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Join TZR editors for Main Squeeze, the series dedicated to sharing beloved beauty products — be they bold, effective, or simply fun — that make our week just a little bit better. Ahead, Team TZR spotlights their favorite red lipsticks of the moment.

Few makeup staples evoke the feeling of red lipstick. Bold, pigmented, confident, and sexy, the hue has a way of bringing out main character energy like no other. But like any essential makeup product, finding the right shade is key. You see, red is a color that can drastically vary in appearance. The warm and cool undertones create a spectrum that ranges from fuchsia to bright and fiery scarlet or moody oxblood. That said, selecting the best red lipstick for your complexion can be difficult. Color aside, the perfect bullet also needs to be long-wearing and vibrant.

As one of the most classic and iconic looks, most people have experienced the trials that come along with red lipstick shopping. The options are truly endless. So, when you’re looking for a new favorite, it’s only natural to feel intimidated. From opaque formulas to sheer stains and matte and vinyl finishes, searching can get overwhelming. Fortunately, the TZR team is a decisive bunch and here to help. Collectively, they’ve tried and tested more than a few to find their perfect red lipstick.

Ahead, the editors’ most beloved crimson bullets. Whether you’re looking for comfort, vivid pigment, long-wearing, or transfer resistance, the below picks are a good place to start.

“This moisturizing lipstick from Dior offers the same bold pigment as a matte, but it has a slightly glossy finish that doesn't settle into any cracks or flakes. Thanks to the bevy of hydrating natural ingredients, it glides on like a breeze, yet it doesn't bleed if you don't use a liner. This brick red shade feels slightly '90s and is an edgier alternative to a traditional crimson lip.”— Erin Lukas, deputy beauty editor, TZR

“This red lipstick from Patrick Ta is perfect in every way. The shade is a true red with a blue-based undertone, and the matte finish is velvety, not drying. It's my go-to red lipstick that gives a highly-pigmented finish, but it can be dabbed and blended out for more of a blurred look, too.”— Faith Xue, executive beauty director, lifestyle, BDG

“It can be a challenge to find your ideal shade of red lipstick — especially one that stays put. When I tried Violette_FR's Petal Bouche Matte in Amour Fou, I had an a-ha moment. This was it, this was the one I've been searching for. The crimson red shade and matte finish, that doesn't dry out your lips, is a game changer. But I must warn you, it's not the easiest to put on. What I found works for me is to use a separate lip brush and dab it onto the wand so you're working with less product; it’s more forgiving and less pigmented that way. Then layer on to the intensity you desire.”— Kathy Lee, editor-in-chief, TZR

“Guerlain's Flame Red is about as Old Hollywood as it gets — which is usually my goal when using this lipstick color in general. The matte isn't powdery or hard to apply, which goes on the lips as smoothly as a dewier-finish counterpart. The shade itself is on the warmer side, a true crimson with a pretty orange undertone that makes me look a little more awake than I actually am. Of course, the fact that refills fit in the Rouge G customizable cases are a nice bonus factor.”— Amanda Ross, beauty editor, TZR

“Though I love a solid red bullet as much as the next, I adore a liquid lipstick that delivers a punch of color and glides onto my lips like a dream. The Lip Bar’s Bawse Lady is one of my favorites because it feels like a gloss but dries down nice and matte. It’s also extremely easy to apply — thanks to the nubby applicator that’s not too big to fit into the corners of my mouth nor too small to fully fill in my lips.”—Jessica Fields, beauty writer, TZR

“Stila’s Stay All Day Long Wear Liquid Lipstick will always be one of my favorite formulas, thanks to its comfortable feel and ultra-pigmented finish. During the holiday season, I wear the Beso red shade on repeat. This baby truly doesn’t budge, even after it’s been on my lips for hours.”— Kelsey Stewart, associate fashion editor, TZR

“While everyone is leaning towards moodier reds for the colder months, I still find myself reaching for my tried-and-true coral. This shade of red has been my secret weapon for years as it complements my fair/olive complexion perfectly and gives any look an instant upgrade (even if I'm going super minimal with the rest of my makeup). Lately, I've been loving this pick from Ilia as it's super pigmented and has great color payoff but keeps my lips feeling soft and hydrated.”— Angela Melero, executive editor

“Fact: No one does reds like Armani. While the brand offers a handful of crimson shades with various undertones, you can't go wrong with 400, a classic, universal red. I love the pointed tip of the bullet, which makes it easy to apply precisely, and the slightly satin finish ensures even coverage.”— Lukas

“Virtually every other red lipstick I've tried is categorized more on the formal end of the spectrum. It was hard to find one that felt casual enough (on me) to pair with T-shirts and jeans until I tried this sheer, soft-matte color from Glossier a few years ago. It started out as a summertime favorite thanks to how long-lasting it is even through eating and drinking, but the vibrant, warm red quickly became a year-round favorite. What makes it feel so everyday comfortable is the velvety, blurring finish that really kind of becomes one with your lips.”— Ross

“Lisa Eldridge's lipsticks feel creamy-smooth, almost like a matte balm instead of a lipstick. The shade Velvet Ribbon is a super-saturated neutral red that pops on my skin — it's a brighter red that feels cushiony on my lips and always earns me compliments.”— Xue

“Slim, square-shaped bullets are quickly becoming a favorite in my makeup stash. I love how sleek the thin stick looks, but the precise application you can achieve with it is what’s most impressive. YSL Beauty’s velvet matte is one that I reach for often. It gives me a soft look, is comfortable, and I don’t have to worry about touching up throughout the day.”— Fields

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