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‘We tried out 10 different shades of red lipstick under R180. This is how they looked on two different skin tones’

Make every day a red-letter, red-lipstick day!

Finding the right shade of red lipstick for your skin tone can be such a daunting task when you have no idea what you’re looking for. The good news is that we’ve done the hard work for you. GH team members Ashanté Dlamini-Mthembu and Gaynor Siljeur tried out 10 different lipsticks – all under R180 – to help you find your perfect shade.

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1. Brand: Beauty Treats Dainty Matte Lipstick in 01 

Price: R34,95, Dis-Chem

Ashanté: This product has virtually no colour at all, even after multiple layers of application, but it makes for a great lip balm for everyday wear. 

Gaynor: This product feels dry when applying it, and it doesn’t feel as though the colour would last long on my lips.

2. Brand: Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Colour in Red Velvet

Price: R49,95, Clicks

Ashanté: The lipstick applicator isn’t as sturdy as some of the others, but the colour is surprisingly bolder and brighter than expected.

Gaynor: I’m not too fond of this shade. The lipstick isn’t smooth on my lips and it needed a lot of reapplying before I got the colour to pop on my lips. 

3. Brand: Essence Matt Matt Matt Lipstick in Kiss Me If You Can

Price: R49,95, Clicks

Ashanté: This one feels great, and I like the deep red tone against my skin.

Gaynor: I love the deep shade and the smoothness on my lips. 

4. Brand: L.A. Girl Matte Flat Velvet Lipstick in Gossip

Price: R49,95, Dis-Chem

Ashanté: This lipstick has a nice creamy finish and the colour is quite mild. It’s great for a subtle makeup look.

Gaynor: This lipstick feels too pasty for me, and I had to apply it twice to get a nice solid shade of red.

5. Brand: Essence Ultra Last Instant Colours Lipstick in Cherry Sweet

Price: R49,95, Clicks

Ashanté: This product had more of a balm look and feel than a lipstick. I prefer a colour with a bit more pop.

Gaynor: This products feels very smooth and moisturising on the lips. For me, the true red colour is not intense enough to label it a lipstick.

6. Brand: Catrice Cosmetics Ultimate Lip Colour in Red My Lips

Price: R79,95,  Dis-Chem

Ashanté: This shade is not as bright as it looks in the packaging. It feels smooth on my lips. 

Gaynor: It feels smooth and I love the colour with my skin tone.

7. Brand: Yardley Stayfast Liquid Matte Lip Vinyl in Engine Red

Price: R95,95, Clicks

Ashanté: This is an incredibly bold red lipstick, but I prefer something a little more moist – I found it very dry. It’s quite difficult to remove, so I suggest using a Vaseline balm as a base.

Gaynor: This bold shade of red looks good with any skin tone, and it really sticks, so be prepared for stained lips. 

7. Brand: Yardley Stayfast Liquid Matte Lip Vinyl in Engine Red

Price: R115, Dis-Chem

Ashanté: This has such a nice smooth, glossy finish and the colour appears very easily after one application.

Gaynor: It has a great, deep red colour that feels nice and moisturising. I love this shade.

9. Brand: Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick in Heroine

Price: R159, Zando

Ashanté: This product is too sticky and would definitely need a balm as a base before application. The shade is very neon against my skin tone and quite hard to remove. 

Gaynor: It’s a great bright colour for a night out, but it’s more pink than red. It’s a bit too sticky for my liking. 

10. Brand: L’Oréal Paris Color Riche in Retro Red

Price: R179,95, Dis-Chem

Ashanté: This particular shade appears to have a pink undertone against my skin and it feels a bit too pasty for me.

Gaynor: This wasn’t the smoothest finish on my lips, but it has a lovely matt look.

Here are five more shades we tried between R290 and R335:

1. Brand: Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipstick 714

Price: R292,55, Foschini

Ashanté: This isn’t the most vibrant colour, despite the way it looks through the packaging. It also feels quite oily on application, but dries after a while. 

Gaynor: This shade is not as deep a red as I would like, but it’s really smooth on application and leaves my lips feeling moisturised.

2. Brand: Clinique Pop Lacquer Lip Colour + Primer in Lava Pop

Price: R295, Clicks

Ashanté: This has a very sticky glossy finish, and it’s not as pigmented as it looks in the packaging. It left a great tint on my lips, though. 

Gaynor: This product is much too glossy for me. I can already see my hair getting stuck on my lips on a windy day!

3. Brand: M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Life’s Blood

Price: R300, M.A.C

Ashanté: This has a nice nourishing creaminess. The shade is highly pigmented and makes my lips look plumper. I love this for a dramatic look.

Gaynor: This product feels AMAZING on my lips. It has a nice deep red shade, which I love with my skin tone.

4. Brand: Smashbox Be Legendary Liquid Lip in Bad Apple

Price: R332,90, Foschini

Ashanté: This product has such a great pigment. It has a sticky/tacky feel at first, but then it dries in about three to five minutes with a lovely deep red matt.

Gaynor: It goes on really smoothly and has a lovely rich tone of red. This is definitely one of my favourite shades.

5. Brand: Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in Miss Conduct

Price: R332,90, Foschini

Ashanté: This one has a great pigment that applies very easily – one coat is sufficient. The product also leaves a smooth, nourishing finish for allday wear.

Gaynor: This is my favourite shade! The deep, dark colour really complements my light skin tone. 

PHOTO: iStock/PhonlamaiPhoto


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