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Best Drugstore Red Lipsticks

The 8 Best Drugstore Red Lipsticks

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By Maria Cassano
Amazon

You don’t need to spend tons of money to find bold pigments and long-lasting wear. The best drugstore red lipsticks offer both of those things for a great price — and despite the word “drugstore,” you can actually get them all online. When it comes to choosing any great lipstick, there are two main factors you’ll first need to narrow down: the formula and the color.

The formula consists of the ingredients, the finish, and the consistency. For example, if you’re looking for a moisturizing lipstick, you’ll probably want to choose a cream or satin option with hydrating natural oils. Matte lipsticks, on the other hand, tend to have quick-drying ingredients that improve the lasting power and create a non-glossy finish, but are also usually less nourishing on dry lips. No matter what you’re looking for, you can get them as sticks, liquids, or pencils — whatever’s easiest for you.

Color is largely a matter of personal preference, but to help narrow down the countless shades in the category of “red lipsticks,” consider the undertones. Red lipsticks can be cool, moody blue-based; warm, vibrant orange-based; or cool, fun pink-based. They can also be “clean red,” which is a color that’s pure red throughout and has neutral undertones. (Note that not all brands advertise a shade’s undertones, so the bullets listed below are based on reviewer feedback.) Some people choose to narrow things down using their skin tone, but I prefer to just pick a color I like and give it a shot — especially when the options are this affordable — since shades tend to look a little different on everyone.

No matter what you’re looking for, scroll down for tried-and-loved lipsticks that are all less than $10.

1. The Red Lipstick That Looks Great On Everyone

The reason why Maybelline’s Made For All lipstick is so revolutionary is because it’s specifically designed to look great on everyone. The carefully selected pigments were tested on 50 diverse skin tones, so you know all of the shades are truly versatile, especially the red. In terms of the formula, this one is matte and long-lasting, but still moisturizing and easy to apply.

  • Finish: Matte
  • Undertone: Clean Red

One reviewer wrote: “This is the only red lipstick you will ever need. It’s a vibrant, true red that looks fantastic on and doesn’t permanently stain your lips like some reds do. I don’t know how they do it, but it looks completely different on me and my daughter. We both wore it and it worked just as well with her cool, fair, blonde coloring as it did with my warm, red-haired coloring. I’m over the moon with this lipstick.”

2. The Best Budget Red Lipstick

Even though it costs $2 a tube, wet n wild’s Mega Last lipstick has earned an overall four out of five stars from reviewers. Its high-shine finish is hydrating, creamy, and buildable, but still lasts without feathering, caking, or bleeding. The Fire-Fighting shade has orange undertones, but there are other reds with other bases to choose from within this line.

  • Finish: Gloss
  • Undertone: Orange

One reviewer wrote: “I am an avid lipstick collector, from luxury to drugstore. Personally bought this [because] I liked the white packaging (most drugstore lipsticks aren't really pretty [in my opinion]), and for $2-3 why not. Fire-Fighting is actually a really fun red, moisturizing and buildable color-wise.”

3. The Fan-Favorite Matte Lipstick

With more than 17,000 reviews and an overall rating of 4.3 stars, it’s clear that NYX’s matte lipstick is one of the most popular drugstore options on the market. No matter what shade they choose, reviewers appreciate the formula because it’s rich, highly pigmented, smooth-gliding, and stays put for hours. It’s also very matte without being overly drying and the formula is vegan and cruelty-free. Alabama is a dark, slightly warm red that gets compared to MAC’s Viva Glam I, but there are tons more reds within the line including clean red Perfect Red.

  • Finish: Matte
  • Undertone: Orange

One reviewer wrote: “This lipstick is a beautiful color. It suits my warm medium skin tone well. [...] On me, it looks like a true red. The formula is nice.”

4. A $3 Hydrating Satin Formula

Affordable lipsticks can often be a bit drying, but e.l.f.’s Srsly Satin lipstick is formulated with hydrating ingredients like macadamia seed oil, jojoba oil, and meadowfoam seed oil. All of them aim to lock in moisture and soften lips while simultaneously offering bold color. However, this cruelty-free formula might not be the most long-lasting option.

  • Finish: Satin
  • Undertone: Clean Red

One reviewer wrote: “Absolutely new fave lipstick of mine! The color is gorgeous + the product applies super smoothly (it even feels a bit moisturizing)!”

5. A Beloved Cream Formula

Blue-based reds tend to have a darker, moodier feel, and often work best for people with cooler skin undertones. Revlon’s Super Lustrous lipstick in Love Is On has been called “the perfect retro blue-toned bright red” because it’s bold yet versatile. It’s also infused with vitamin E and avocado oil for moisture and has a creamy but long-lasting texture. However, if you like the creamy Super Lustrous formula but would prefer another shade, there are lots and lots to choose from.

  • Finish: Cream
  • Undertone: Blue

One reviewer wrote: “This is an incredible lipstick, goes on smooth and silky, stays on but isn't dry at all. And the color! A true blue-red. I'm going to order another one.”

6. The Best Red Lipstick Crayon

Personally, I prefer lipstick crayons (or lipstick pencils) because they make for a more precise application and can be sharpened to your preferred point. With 16,000-plus reviews, Maybelline’s SuperStay Ink crayon is one of the most popular options. The matte formula is smudge- and transfer-resistant, and the draw-on design even comes with a built-in sharpener. (It’s even been called a comparable alternative to the pricier NARS lip pencils.) If you don’t love this red, the line has several others to choose from.

  • Finish: Matte
  • Undertone: Orange

One reviewer wrote: “I’ve been a fan of the SuperStay crayons for a while and I think this may be my favorite color yet. It’s got a big impact that lasts for hours and has become my go to lip color.”

7. The Best Matte Liquid Lipstick For 16-Hour Wear

Once dried, liquid lipsticks are known for their unparalleled staying power — and Maybelline’s SuperStay Matte Ink liquid lipstick has over 50,000 reviews for a reason: It truly does last all day. The arrow-shaped applicator makes the bold, saturated color easy to apply. The matte finish resists smudging, creasing, and transferring for up to 16 hours. There’s also a range of reds with warm, cool, and neutral undertones.

  • Finish: Matte
  • Undertone: Blue

One reviewer wrote: “This stuff DOES NOT BUDGE. I put on two thin coats of this at around 2pm and it did not come off completely until around 11am the next day. That was after eating two full meals, drinks, dessert, and washing my face twice before bed.”

8. A Long-Lasting Glossy Red

Most long-lasting liquid lipsticks dry into a matte finish, but if you love gloss, go with Rimmel London’s Provocalips. This one has dual-sided brushes (a saturated color and a glossy top coat) for pigment and shine — but it’s still food- and transfer-proof for up to 16 hours of color. It’s also not drying or tight-feeling, which explains its overall rating of 4.5 stars.

  • Finish: Gloss
  • Undertone: Pink

One reviewer wrote: “I can't believe that it lasts all day long and doesn't smudge off at all. It seriously is amazing and such a good color! The one side is color and the other side helps give your lips a glossy smooth look.”