April 18, 2011

My absolute favourite red lipstick (ever!)

Day 108 of Vintage 365


Actress Carole Lombard - who is perhaps best known for her role in the classic 1936 comedy My Man Godfrey - once said, "I live by a man's code, designed to fit a man's world, yet at the same time I never forget that a woman's first job is to choose the right shade of lipstick."

While much has changed since Lombard uttered those words, and perhaps - I like to think at least - she might be pleased to know that many strives have been made towards equality, I enjoy this quote because there is a lot of truth to fact that picking the right shade of lipstick is an important job and one that can go a long way towards the over-all success of one's daily look.

In peering into my make-up case (a lovely black train case my wonderful mother tracked down for me in my hometown of 30,000 people, when I'd had no luck finding one out here in Toronto!) one would see an assortment of lipsticks in shades spanning dusty rose to richly saturated Bordeaux, yet there would be no missing my beloved and oft used tub that stands out as my favourite shade of all: MAC's Russian Red.

I experimented with a lot of different reds over the years, trying both drugstore and (moderately priced) department store brands, and while I founds some that were certainly satisfactory, it wasn't until I twisted the cap off and applied my first swipe of Russian Red a couple of years ago that I knew I'd found my perfect shade of crimson.

Having pale skin (with pink undertones) and red hair, I often found that reds looked either too yellow on me (or occasionally, too blue), and I strove to find a shade that would come across, taking my colouring into consideration, as a true red. In Russian Red, with it's thick, lush formula and incredible staying power, I discovered the exact red I'd been searching for since I first started wearing lipstick at the tender age of 14.

I'm by no means alone in my adoration of this scarlet hue though. I know that oodles of vintage loving gals and women of all walks of life enjoy this sharp, bold (but in no way, shape or form "costume-y") red, too. I've seen women of all different skin tones pull of this commanding red with great success, and think that it is by far one of the most classic (read: equal parts pin-up girl and modern fashionista alike worthy), deeply beautiful lipsticks of all time.

Aside from just being a fantastic shade of rich red, this particular lippy is a winner in my books because of its smooth texture, matte finish, and awesome staying power (I find that if I apply it overtop of red lip liner or lip stain, blot, then apply a second coat, I'll be able to go for several hours before I need to reply again, even if I have something to eat or drink).

While it costs a bit more then some of the drugstore brands, I feel that I get great value for my money and am happy to pay the $17.00 or so a tub of Russian Red runs me here in Canada at my local MAC make-up counter (one lippy, I find, will last several months even when applied - and reapplied - nearly every day).

As well, I've yet to find a single garment in my wardrobe that I can't successfully pair Russian Red with, including red shirts (while red lippy with a red top by seem like too much red, if you've found the right shade of both and keep the rest of your make-up on the more understated side, the two can actually work together beautifully), which means that this wonderful MAC lipstick gives me tons of make-up mileage.

If you've been on the hunt for the perfect shade of red lipstick, and haven't given this gem a whirl yet, I highly suggest treating yourself to a tub of MAC's Russian Red. Since finding it, it's become the only red lipstick I buy or wear any more (the sultry yet sophisticated shade has such a terrific vintage - particularly 1950s - vibe to it), and MAC better believe that I'll be a loyal customer of this great shade so long as they sell it.

I like to think that if she was still with us today (tragically she died at the age of 33 in an airplane crash) Carole Lombard would find her all-important first beauty step of the day made easier by having a trusty tub of Russian Red in her make-up bag, just as I know it's definitely helped to make mine.


  1. I do love the pigment of russian red but it is sooo drying on my lips. Do you have a way you make it less chalky on your own lips?

  2. Thank you thank you thank you! I am STILL looking for THE perfect shade no matter having gone through possibly every single brand that has come my way, luxury and supermarket alike. Unfortunately MAC is not sold here, but internet to the rescue, apparently it can be ordered online. :) LOVE!


  3. Wow - vamp red - it's looks so luscious. IT's ages since I wore red lipstick and it doesn't really match my skin tone - so it's been one of those colours I've been wishing I could carry off well, but can't.

  4. You're so right. The wrong shade of lipstick really can be a bad thing! I haven't tried MAC's Russian Red yet. I went to go buy it after hearing other vintage bloggers recommend it, but got Lady Bug instead as it had a bit more pink to it, which I thought worked a little better as I don't have pretty, fair skin. I still want to try Russain Red though!

  5. I've heard amazing things about it but I don't know if it would work with my pale, cool tone.

  6. Yep! That's my favorite also! It's a gorgeous shade of red!

  7. I must try this! I, too, am a pale redhead and so I have struggled with red shades over the years. This one sounds promising. :)

  8. Its really my favorite, but i also have fun with lady danger and ruby woo, from mac too! Red red red! :)

  9. when I was younger, I wore red lipstick all the time. Now that I'm 50, though, I feel it's a bit too bold for me. I still love it, but I feel like I need slightly less dark colors...perhaps something a bit frosted. So, I mostly use a wine color, overcoated with a a frosted pink...or a brown overcoated with a coppery tan.

    I want to be age appropriate, and although I look at least 10 years younger than I am, I don't want to appear that I am trying to be too young. Any thoughts on that? Do you think red is too bold a color for someone my age?

    Thanks for your input!!