Let’s talk about the best red lipstick that money can buy. I managed to whittle it down to the 5 best red lipsticks (and threw in a few bonus choices).
I love red lipsticks. I blame Gwen Stefani. I wanted to be her in the late 90’s. Her signature red lip and winged liner were my beauty ideal and that hasn’t really changed. I still just want to be a ginger Gwen Stefani. The shade doesn’t matter to me much, as long as it is red. Bright, fiery orange reds. Cool, classic blue reds. Deep, vampy blood reds. Brown brick reds. I might call all the red lipsticks in my collection the best. I may have a lot of them, but there are almost no true dupes in my collection. It turns out that if I had to whittle my collection down to 5, I wouldn’t have any red liquid lipsticks. Don’t worry if those are your favorite type, I included some bonus favorites at the end.
These lipsticks are all gluten-free to the best of my knowledge. I use tools like Skin Safe Products to verify ingredients or google every ingredient to check what it is derived from. I am not a doctor, and this is not medical advice. If you have allergies or Celiac disease, talk to your doctor about what is right for you and always, always patch test.
Best Red Lipsticks (according to me)
This list is in no particular order, but these reds are on high rotation in my lipstick collection this fall.
This red lipstick was a total surprise. Glossier’s aesthetic is a bit more minimal than I usually go for make-up, but this product got stellar reviews on YouTube, so I thought I would give it a try. It is a true red, so not warm or cool (blue). This product is high shine and feels extra lush. It stays slightly tacky, but the shine lasts for a few hours (unlike gloss). Your lips really do look like vinyl. The sponge top applicator takes a lot of click to get the color out the first time, but it is worth it as it helps spread the product evenly. The color can be fully opaque or a little sheer, depending how much product you apply at once. Glossier states that this lip product is gluten-free on the product page.
My Icon Is just happens to be the first color I bought from this line. I was totally a sucker for the packaging – it’s incredibly elegant. Plus, you can always just buy refills (they work without the fancy holder) or swap refills in and out of your one holder. This is a classic blue-red that looks good on just about anyone. (If you cant afford Hourglass, Maybelline has a color dupe – but it isn’t as long wearing or as fun to carry…) It is long wearing compared to other bullet lipstick formulas and doesn’t feather. It does need to be touched up after eating or a few hours, but you can confidently go a while without checking in. Hourglass is not a gluten-free makeup brand, but they do state that there are no gluten ingredients in the confessions lipsticks in their FAQs.
It wouldn’t be a best lipstick list without a red from Red Apple Lipstick. Red Apple’s lipsticks are incredibly comfortable to wear – almost like wearing lip balm. This formula wears well, doesn’t feather and actually benefits your lips. This is another blue-red, but this shade straddles the line between red and a deep, rich pink. They have a few other reds, but this is my favorite because it has an interesting twist on a classic color. All of Red Apple Lipstick’s products are gluten-free and carefully sourced.
(Full disclosure: I’m FB friends with the owners, but I have no financial gain from talking about the lipstick. If I thought it was anything less than great, I’d let you know.)
This formula is incredible. It feels like nothing on your lips at all and creamy at the same time. This is also the only fiery red on the list (which might surprise some of you). The shine lasts pretty well – it never fully dries down – but somehow it manages to last for quite a while. Kosas touts it’s ingredient transparency and this product is packed full of good for your skin ingredients meant to hydrate all day. The color is vibrant and warm – enough to brighten my day. Sephora only stocks part of the line in stores, but this color is one that can be bought in store (if you want a cool red, they have one called Electra). The entire line is gluten-free & egg-free (I had no idea that was a think in makeup) as well as free of a variety of other things.
As I write this, these lipsticks are sold out, but have a tentative restock date of October 2019. Lisa Eldridge is a makeup legend and currently works as the Chief Creative Officer of Lancôme and makeup artist to the stars. And the creator of the best lipstick formula ever. Designed to look like velvet, even the tube is textured/flocked to look look like fabric before you put it on. It’s opaque in one swipe and creamy when applied. As it dries down, it never gets less comfortable to wear. You’ll notice that this is the only matte in the top 5 – Lisa ruined all other matte lipsticks for me with this formula. (Both times these have restocked, they have sold out in a hurry. You might want to sign up for her email list if you’re interested in grabbing one for yourself). The color is a rich, blue red that flatters anyone who wears it. It was really hard choosing which one of the 3 reds to put on the list, but the universality of this color makes it the winner. Lisa makes no claims about gluten status, but a search of each ingredient left me confident that these lipsticks had no gluten-derived ingredients.
These reds, on a different day, might have been at the top. These are top-notch formulas in great shades that I wear regularly.
Someone once told me that this was Gwen Stefani’s signature lipstick for years, so naturally I needed to have it. It’s a comfortable matte and the crayon format means you can get liner like precision and lipstick like coverage. Nars has removed gluten-free product information from it’s US sites, but European sites for the brand do claim the products are gluten-free. I checked Skin Safe and the shade Cruella from these pencils are listed as gluten-free and the ingredients list is the same between Cruella and Dragon Girl except for pigments.
This shade was sold out for months in Sephora and Ulta. I finally got my hands on a mini in either a Sephora Play or Allure box and I love it. It’s a thin, runny formula that dries down pretty weightless. It has great staying power and doesn’t crumble. Starwoman is a vivid blue-red that is a bit more bold than than a classic red. (Same note for Nars as above – a different shade is marked gf on Skin Safe products and the ingredients lists match up to the pigments)
Huda Beauty Matte Liquid Lipstick, Alluring, not available new, Mamacita is a close dupe, $22
This one isn’t fair – I tried to find somewhere to buy this color, but it was an exclusive in the July 2019 Allure box. Huda’s shade Mamacita looks to be a close match, if not the same shade repackaged. The brand states that all of their lipsticks are gluten free.