Red: It's a classic for a reason—because it looks good on everyone. But that's because there's not just one red. There's something blue-based, then there're the cherries, fuchsias, bricks...there's plenty of room to find what's flattering, but what it really comes down to is feeling. Do you want a classic red lip that screams vintage vamp, or are you feeling more J.Crew? The choice is yours and the options are endless, which is why you'll need more than one red at your disposal at any given moment. Here are 15 of the best—but we probably missed your favorite, so sound off in the comments.
Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in Amsterdam: A brick red verging on berry, without skewing too red or too pink. The kind of red you take home to meet the parents.
Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in Mascate: A touch edgier than Amsterdam—Mascate is a vibrant, easy to apply starter red.
NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Electra: NOT a starter red. The kind of satin-y fire engine shade that drugstore lip dreams are made of.
Tom Ford Lip Color in Cherry Lush: A Maraschino-tinged red with a nostalgic shine.
Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte Lip Color in Red Carpet: A deeper and more mature shade—think an updated Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot.
Nars Audacious Lipstick in Lana: Your summery shade of red, featuring strong hues of electric orange.
Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipstick in Red Door Red: From the woman who made makeup elegant (and who knows her reds), an iconic shade that was probably popular in the 20s (based not on facts but on an educated guess).
Rouge Dior Couture Voluptuous Care Lipstick in Trafalgar: Bright poppy red—perfect for those attracted to Lana but put off by orange lipstick.
MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo: Needs no description.
MAC Lipstick in Russian Red: Ruby Woo's vampier older sister.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Lovemarc Lip Gel in Showstopper: A good, shiny red for classic lipstick diehards who are maybe intrigued by liquid lipstick, but don't want to commit. Also, a great crimson red.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Lovemarc Lip Gel in Surrender Dorothy: The best shade name on this list—a floral, youthful red.
Dolce & Gabbana Passion Duo Gloss Fusion Lipstick in Infatuation: The essential date-night red.
Revlon Matte Lipstick in Really Red: Sometimes, the best reds clock in at under $8. Really Red is a bright, simple matte scarlet...
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Cherry Blossom: ...and Cherry Blossom is a beautiful candy apple color. The beauty being, of course, that you don't have to pick just one.
Megan Williams photographed by Tom Newton. Makeup by Annie Kreighbaum.