I’ve encountered lots of shades of red over the years, and here are my top five favorites.
Motives by Loren Ridinger Rich Formula Lipstick in Venetian Red 
This is about as classic as a red lip gets. Just the right shade of red—not too warm and not too cool—and a nice rich, satin finish. I love this formula, too, because it’s very creamy and leaves my lips hydrated. Sometimes darker lipsticks tend to crease and crack depending on the formula, but this one stays supple all day long. So if you’re looking for a nice classic red, this is it.
BH Cosmetics Creme Luxe Lipstick in Moody Merlot 
Lately I have been hooked on this red! It’s a nice deep shade of red—more on the warm side—and it pairs perfectly with just a simple liner and some mascara. And the photo doesn’t do it justice: You have to see this color in person to see just how striking it is. I’m obsessed!
Lime Crime Velvetines in Suedeberry 
If a red/orange is on your radar, look no further! The moment I tried on Suedeberry by Lime Crime, I knew I had to have it. It’s opaque like a lipstick would be but it comes in a tube with a doe foot applicator. Although it dries to a matte finish, my lips never get dry with this stuff. The color is just so bright and beautiful; it’s perfect if you’re looking for something that’ll make you stand out! And it’s just the right color if you want something playful and daytime appropriate.
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl 
I’ve been raving about this one for years. Here’s another matte formula that comes in jumbo pencil form with a color I haven’t seen anywhere else. It’s both bright and subdued, which is a tough combination to make. This is the kind of red I would wear with even bare eyes! It’s just such a unique color and the fact that it’s matte just makes it that much more beautiful.
Givenchy Le Rouge in 306 Carmin Escarpin 
Here’s another great option if you’re going for a red that’s got a tinge of orange to it. This warm and bright red is probably the most smooth and supple formula I’ve ever tried. And again, it’s bright but it’s not offensive; it still has a subtleness to it that I look for in a bright colored lipstick.
Miss Maven