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The Perfect Red Lipstick

Posted by on Apr 9, 2013

The Perfect Red Lipstick

As I posted last month on my Facebook page, I had recently put nine red lipsticks (from different brands) to the test in my search for the “perfect red” lipstick.  I am here now to give y’all my verdict, but first…


Why Search For The Perfect Red Lipstick?

If there is only one makeup product I will choose not to be without, it would probably be a red lipstick (next would be the BB Cream).  Only a red lipstick can make me feel like I’m all made up even if the rest of my face is totally bare.  I just usually put on my red lipstick, plus a pair of sunglasses and I’m a supermodel ready for the runway!

Although I really do believe that one can hardly ever go wrong with red lipstick (contrary to popular belief), I still think it’s necessary to find your perfect match, especially if you’re going for a look that will make a great, lasting impression.

Now, keep in mind that this post represents only my personal opinion and preference.  You might have a different opinion, especially if you have tried some of these lipsticks.  However, if you haven’t yet, and you’re also on your own search for the perfect red lipstick, I hope that this post inspires you to wanna try some of these brands and maybe eventually, it will lead you to your own perfect red lipstick.

The brands I’m featuring here are Shu Uemura, MAC, Laura Mercier, NARS and Smashbox — a little bit on the expensive side, I know, but these are my own trusted brands so I started with them.  Later on maybe I would do a Part 2 on this featuring their inexpensive counterparts or what we call the “drugstore brands”, so stay tuned for that.  :)


The Contenders

The Perfect Red Lipstick |

(Back Row, L-R) Shu Uemura M RD 165, Shu Uemura RD 170; (Center, L-R) Laura Mercier Red Amour, NARS Jungle Red, Laura Mercier Haute Red; (Front Row, L-R) MAC Dubonnet, MAC Ruby Woo, MAC Chili

The Perfect Red Lipstick |

Shu Uemura’s M RD 165

The Perfect Red Lipstick |

Shu Uemura’s RD 170

The Perfect Red Lipstick |

Laura Mercier’s Red Amour

The Perfect Red Lipstick |

Laura Mercier’s Haute Red

The Perfect Red Lipstick |

NARS’ Jungle Red

The Perfect Red Lipstick |

MAC’s Dubonnet

The Perfect Red Lipstick |

MAC’s Ruby Woo

The Perfect Red Lipstick |

MAC’s Chili

The Perfect Red Lipstick |

(L-R) MAC Dubonnet, MAC Ruby Woo, MAC Chili, Laura Mercier Haute Red, NARS Jungle Red, Laura Mercier Red Amour, Shu Uemura M RD 165, Shu Uemura RD 170

…and this one by Smashbox didn’t make it to the lineup since Smashbox ran out of stock at the time these photos were taken.

The Perfect Red Lipstick |

Smashbox Be Legendary Infrared Matte


Will The Perfect Red Lipstick Please Stand Up?

So which one is, in my opinion, the perfect red lisptick?


The Perfect Red Lipstick |

For me, it’s a tie between MAC Ruby Woo and Smashbox Be Legendary Infrared Matte

In what ways did these two red lipsticks stand out from the rest?

  • MAC Ruby Woothe shade is flattering on my skin tone and gives me a more radiant and fairer look; it has a velvety matte finish that doesn’t dry out my lips; its staying power is so much better than the other brands I tested; I give it a 10 for its WOW factor.
  • Smashbox Be Legendary Infrared Matte – the shade compliments my skin tone the same way that the MAC Ruby Woo does, only slightly deeper; although it says it’s “matte”, it felt moisturizing on the lips, yet somehow, it still leaves a matte finish; definitely doesn’t dry out my lips like most matte lipsticks do and it glides on the lips so smoothly; its most outstanding quality, in my opinion, is its staying power — I spent half an hour inside a steam room, took a shower and washed my face after, drank two cups of ginger tea and this lipstick stayed put!  Believe it or not!

So my verdict is in — MAC Ruby Woo and Smashbox Be Legendary Infrared Matte are two of the perfect red lipstick I’ve found so far!

How about you?  Have you found your perfect red lipstick?  What’s yours?  :)




About The Author: Myla “MyMy” Upshaw

Myla “MyMy” Upshaw is a stay-at-home mom who prides herself on her status as a Filipino Christian wife and mother and “domestic goddess”. She blogs about popular subjects for stay-at-home moms such as fashion, family, beauty, relationships, entrepreneurialism (“mompreneur”), movies, self-improvement, health & wellness as well as about her faith as a follower of Christ.

To learn more about Myla Upshaw, please click here:



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Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. jhessa

    wow buti naman natagpuan mo na ang ung perfect red lippies ms.myla…. i really want to try the ruby woo dati pa kaso lng nagdadalawang isip ako since mas madalas ako magcommute (you know what i mean).. =)

    • Myla Upshaw

      If you’re worried about that, Jhessa, you can either opt for a more toned-down red, or make sure you keep the rest of your makeup and outfit clean, simple but classy, or you can just put your red lipstick on after you get to your destination by making a quick stop at the ladies room. Hope this helps. :)

  2. Zild Ansay

    Hello ate my! Before I proceed to my comment, I would like to say I love LOOOOVE your reviews and other posts! They’re just very detailed and helpful! Even if I don’t have any of your products, I feel like I have them in my hands! Thank you for sharing these to us! Cheers to that!

    So, anyhoo, I have a few questions about these lipsticks. I’ve read other reviews about your two winners – MAC Ruby Woo and Smashbox Be Legendary Infrared Matte.

    According to most of the bloggers who reviewed these lippies, the MAC Ruby Woo was a bit drying on the lips (well, simply because it’s matte). They said it takes the moisture out from the lips, so you need to swipe a lipbalm first before putting it. But they also said that the staying power was truly amazing. You don’t need to retouch throughout the day.

    On the contrary, the Smashbox Be Legendary Infrared Matte was very moisturizing and buttery plus matte at the same time! They said it was always a difficulty to find a matte lipsticks with a good moisturizing effect on the lips but this lippie surpassed that kind of impression. But, they also said that the staying power wasn’t as excellent as the MAC Ruby Woo. It somehow fades when you eat, drink, do activities, etc. So you have to touch-up.

    I’m the kind of person now who admires matte lipsticks which have a very good lasting power and moisturizing effect. So, what can you say about this? Are these true (according to you)? :)

    Oh! And uhm… well, since it’s a tie, both a winner, which do you prefer to use? I mean.. If they’re like in front of you, what are you going to pick? Are you going to use the MAC or the Smashbox?Hahaha!

    PS. Truly sorry for the long comment. I had so many things to ask you! Hehehe! Thank you for reading this, oh my gosh.

    • Myla Upshaw

      Hi, Zild! Thank you so much for the comment. I don’t mind the length at all, I love questions… especially those that I know the answers to, haha! To answer your question, the Smashbox Be Legendary Infrared Matte does glide on more smoothly on the lips, unlike the MAC Ruby Woo, which feels drier. That’s exactly what I meant by the Smashbox lipstick being more “moisturizing” although it looks matte after the application. As for the MAC Ruby Woo drying out the lips, I understand how that could be the case for most women given its dry texture, but because I moisturize my lips first as part of my makeup routine anyway, I just naturally didn’t have that problem, so yeah, I would recommend moisturizing your lips first before application. Give it time to penetrate your lips and then blot out excess oil with a tissue so the lip color would have a better chance of sticking on your lips. :)

      Regarding the staying power of these two lipsticks though (as I’ve also mentioned), in my own experience, the Smashbox proved to have a better staying power than the MAC. I guess it also depends on how you eat, drink or do activities when you have your lipstick on. Any lip color for that matter wouldn’t stay on for long if you’re constantly rubbing, wiping or licking your lips, or if you’ve had three meals and six drinks and kissed your boyfriend passionately after (haha!). Like I said, in my experience, I went to the spa, had shower and all and the Smashbox lipstick stayed put. How much lip color got transferred on my table napkin while dining was also a good determining factor for me when comparing the staying power of these two lipsticks.

      For your last question, I’ve been using both colors interchangeably for quite a while now and in my observation, although MAC Ruby Woo has a greater “Wow!” factor (because of it being a little brighter), the Smashbox Be Legendary Infrared Matte looks more sophisticated/classy and it’s perfect for both day and evening wear. Although it has a slightly deeper shade than the MAC Ruby Woo, to the untrained eye, they look seemingly identical. So that’s like enjoying the best of both worlds if you choose to get the Smashbox — it’s the closest (shade) you can get to the MAC Ruby Woo but with the benefits of a lip moisturizer at the same time.

      Anyway, whichever color you choose to get, there’s always another way of making your lip color last for hours. Hope this helps. :)

  3. may

    Hi My! waht do you think ang bagay sakin?kse i have the mac ruby woo already.pero di ko masyado nagagamit esp sa nature ng work ko.pero gingamit ko siya pag may gatherings.i think maganda ang shu uemura m rd 165.what do you think?and i wanna ask you about that bb cream na bago ngayon.may mga freckles kse ako and uneven skin tone.ano sa tingin mo bagay sakin?

    • Myla Upshaw

      Hi, May! I’m very sorry for the delayed response. The Shu Uemura RD165 is a very gorgeous red! Dubbed as Shu’s “most perfect red” lip color, it’s a deeper shade than MAC’s Ruby Woo. In my humble opinion, it is the type of red that’s timeless and very sophisticated-looking. I liked how effortless it is to apply on the lips because of its smooth, satin-like texture, unlike the Ruby Woo which has the tendency to feel dry unless you moisturize your lips very well first. I would tell you not to expect so much on its staying power though. It gets wiped off easily especially while dining. Anyway, you can always refer to this post to overcome that very minor downside. :)

      About the BB Cream, I am an avid fan of Smashbox BB Cream. I also use MAC Prep + Prime BB cream once in a while too, and it’s also great! If your skin is extremely oily, then Neutrogena’s BB Cream can work wonders at mattifying at the same time. If your concern is the uneven tone, there’s the new CC Cream which is simply a BB Cream and a color-corrector in one. Chanel has a really good CC Cream, but Smashbox just recently came out with one and it’s also good. :)

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