Cherry Lips, Crystal Skies...
I Tried Taylor-Inspired Red Lipsticks To Find The Best Shade For 1989

“We never go out of style.”

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Travis Kelce may be her new rumored BF, but fans know that Taylor Swift’s most compatible companion has always been her red lipstick. Throughout almost every era, she’s been sporting that “red lip classic” thing that Swifties like, but it was really around the OG 1989 release that the “Style” singer claimed “cherry lips” as her beauty essential. Now that 1989 (Taylor’s Version) is finally here, I and other Swifties are shopping the best red lipsticks to cop Taylor’s makeup look.

Ahead of my favorite album’s re-release on Oct. 27, I’ve been on the hunt for the best (and most Swift-worthy) red lipstick to wear. The perfect shade should be bold, while also having the staying power to last the entire Eras Tour set list. Basically, a longwear shade should “let you (be) bejeweled” and not smudge when you “kiss in cars and downtown bars.”

While Swift has kept her current 2023 go-to lipstick locked away like her vault songs, she previously mentioned in 2014 that she’s a fan of NARS’ Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in the shade Dragon Girl ($27). Another pick for Swift during the 2015 1989 era was MAC’s Ruby Woo Retro Matte Lipstick ($23), which she said was a “staple.” Luckily, those two shades are still around, but it seems Swift has moved on to other options recently.

After working with Pat McGrath on the “Bejeweled” music video in 2022, one of Swift’s red lipstick choices was the LiquiLUST: Legendary Wear Matte Lipstick in Elson 4. Pat McGrath Labs even had a now sold-out “Taylor-Made” Lip Kit for Swifties to recreate the look with the lipstick and PermaGel Ultra Lip Pencil in Deep Dive. The actual lipstick is still available at Sephora, though, but I had to investigate whether it’s really the best red lipstick for the 1989 (Taylor’s Version) era.

I tested it out and rated it against seven other popular red lipstick products to find the absolute best shade to wear while dancing to “Shake It Off (Taylor’s Version)” with your besties.

The Red Lipstick Taylor Swift Wore During Her Midnights Era

Knowing that this was the lipstick Swift wore in the “Bejeweled” music video and on the 2022 VMAs red carpet really made me excited to try it, and it did not disappoint. I can see why she loves the LiquiLUST: Legendary Wear Matte Lipstick, because it really does have a legendary long wear.

I wore this shade to an event in LA, and it stayed on the entire night — even after a few drinks. The shade is more on the cool-toned red side and is described as a “vivid blue red,” so if you’re looking for more of classic red for 1989, try Pat McGrath Labs’ MatteTrance Lipstick in Forbidden Love ($39).

Overall Score: 5/5

The Red Lipstick For Swifties On A Budget

After buying tickets to the Eras Tour and completing the 1989 (Taylor’s Version) deluxe album collection, you might be in search of a more budget-friendly red lipstick to get you through the era. If that’s the case, Revlon’s ColorStay Suede Ink Lipstick is a great drug store choice. I went with the shade Bread Winner, which I actually wore to the Eras Tour premiere.

I found the lipstick to be a bit sticky, but it provided a nice, natural-looking warmer red shade that had a matte finish. It’s not as vibrant and wore off after eating popcorn and candy during the movie, so you will need to reapply often. If you’re looking for a longer-lasting lipstick from Revlon, the ColorStay Satin Ink in Fired Up ($11) is a similar shade and meant to last 16 hours.

Overall Score: 3/5

The Red Lipstick For Anyone Looking For A Shiny Finish

Swift has typically gone for a more matte finish with her red lipsticks, but you may be looking for something that will “make the whole place shimmer.” If you’re a diamond whose gotta shine, go with Stila’s Stay All Day Long Wear Liquid Lipstick in the shade Beso. Not only does this longwear liquid lipstick have a shiny finish, but it’s also a classic red tone that dried quickly. However, this might be too drying if your lips tend to get chapped easily.

I applied a lip balm on top to help moisturize my lips and that helped a lot. This was another one of my favorites of the bunch, and while it may not be on Swift’s radar, it is one of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s favorite red lipsticks.

Overall Score: 4.5/5

The Red Lipstick For True Cherry Lips

Swift hasn’t shared the red lipstick she wears on the Eras Tour, but in 2022, Lady Gaga revealed that she wore her Haus Labs’ Atomic Shake Lip Lacquer during her Chromatica Ball tour, and the color didn’t transfer or fade. For the show, Lady Gaga wore Ruby Shine, which is more of a blue red. If you’re looking for a classic color, though, the Cherry Shine really fits the “cherry lips” that Swift sings about in “Blank Space.”

As much as I loved this color, the lacquer is a bit hard to work with. You really want to shake it before using, and even then, I found the application to be a bit messy. The even coat didn’t last all day for me, either, and ended a bit blotchy by the end of the night. However, there’s no denying that the initial shine is gorgeous.

Overall Score: 2.5/5

The Red Lipstick For A Warm-Toned Look

Swifties looking for a red lipstick that’s a budget option will like the Peripera Ink Airy Velvet Lip Tint in the shade Hotspot Red. This is meant to be a classic red, but it had more of a warm tone that was closer to a blood orange shade. The lip tint also has a matte finish, which is better for a subtle day look inspired by Swift rather than a night out with your squad. I loved how creamy it was, which made it feel more like a traditional lipstick or balm, but it required more applications since it’s not very long-lasting.

Overall Score: 3/5

The Red Lipstick That Supports Taylor Swift’s BFF

The 1989 era is also known as Swift’s squad era, but this time around, her group of besties looks a little different. However, the one constant has always been her BFF Selena Gomez. If you’re supportive of Swift and Gomez’s relationship, you’ll want to try wearing a red lipstick from Rare Beauty.

A hydrating choice is the Lip Soufflé Matte Lip Cream in Inspire. It has a matte finish, lands on the orange red side of the shade scale, and slightly stains your lips for an all day coverage. In fact, I wore this to Olivia Rodrigo’s surprise GUTS concert in LA, and it stayed on after eating tacos and drinking matcha lattes. However, you may need to do some touchups if you want to keep the vibrant color going.

Overall Score: 3.5/5

The Red Lipstick For A Classic Look With Your Rosy Cheeks

When I asked my friends their favorite red lipstick for the 1989 era, a few said they were fans of Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in the shade Always Red. If you’re looking for something that will last you an entire 1989 (Taylor’s Version) listening party, this liquid lipstick stays put. However, it can be a bit drying if your lips tend to get chapped. So, I would keep some lip balm around for your “Wildest Dreams”-inspired look of “red lips and rosy cheeks.”

Overall Score: 4/5

The Red Lipstick For Rihanna And Taylor Swift Fans

For a dupe of the Pat McGrath lipstick, you could go with Fenty Beauty’s Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color in Uncensored, which is just $28. I immediately fell in love with this lipstick the moment I put it on because it went on clean and dried quickly. It was matte, vibrant, and almost the same shade as Swift’s Pat McGrath Labs go-to.

Out of all the lipsticks I tried, this was my favorite. I wore it to a movie, where I was eating hot dogs and candy, and by the end of the night, my makeup looked exactly the same as it did when I left the house. Along with being long-lasting, I love the idea of wearing a Rihanna lipstick while channeling Swift. It’s like a “This Is What You Came For” reunion.

Overall Score: 5/5