Monday, 6 January 2014

Take Three: Red Lipsticks (MAC, Too Faced, Make Up For Ever)

Hello everybody! It's the first Monday back to work after Christmas...major sad face. I hope all of you manage to have a good day, despite work.

Today I wanted to share with you a comparison post about three red lipsticks I currently own: MAC's Ruby Woo, Too Faced's Red Stiletto and Make Up Forever's N45.

Sometimes I feel like I really love a new product I'm using...until I compare it to an old favourite and often it doesn't quite stand up to the oldies but goodies, so instead of reviewing each of these separately I thought I'd pick them apart side by side and see which one rules supreme.

I'm fairly new to sporting such bright reds on my lips and I know it's pretty much the most daunting lip colour (except Candy Yum Yum, perhaps?) so I've picked a range of finishes and colour intensities so hopefully there'll be something for everyone.

So, up on the hit list today we have Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Natural in N45, MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo and Too Faced La Creme in Stiletto Red:


Although you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, a pretty aesthetic to go with the product inside is never a bad thing. So let's have a gander.

The MUFE is a mini but it's a replica of the full size version and I'm not blown away by the packaging. It's not a total fail but there's nothing inspiring about it. It also doesn't feel particularly luxurious and doesn't look any fancier in my lipstick rack than MUA's offerings.

Ruby Woo comes in the classic MAC bullet and I think I'm always going to love this packaging. Sleek, neat and stylish, they just look great.

However, for me the winner in the packaging stakes has to be my Too Faced pick. I've fallen head over heels for this entire range of lip sticks and have a growing collection (Stiletto Red is the newest addition, incidentally). It feels deliciously heavy when you pick it up and it's nice and slim, making it easy to pop into even the teeniest of clutches. The lid closes nice and softly and these come in such a lovely box (click here to have a look - it really is a gorgeous design), it's almost a shame to unbox them.

Now, let's take a closer took at the formulas and wearability.

First up, Make Up Forever:


The formula of this is billed as hydrating and initially is does feel moisturising on the lips. However, I did find it start to dry out quite quickly once I'd applied it. The colour is much more sheer than it appears in the bullet - it came out quite pink on me and definitely wasn't the vibrant, intense red I was hoping for.


Unfortunately this one isn't particularly long-wearing, which I think is a major must for red lipstick. When I've worn it in the past with lip primer and lip liner it's stayed for maybe 3-4 hours but without that it's gone within a couple, which is a shame.


One of the most loved shades in MAC's repertoire, Ruby Woo is a staple in so many cosmetic bags and it's so easy to see why. Bold and bright, it will always make a statement and the matte formula gives it that little something different.

As it's a matte formula it can be a little drying but I haven't found it a problem on my usually dry lips, as long as I use a good balm. It can be a little tricky to apply perfectly as I find it's quite dry in the tube but once it gets going it has a lovely velvety texture.


This one lasts and lasts, which is great. I've worn this for a whole day of work before and barely had to touch it up, which is an absolutely godsend. For me it'll last through the odd drink from a bottle of water and a quite breakfast without smudging - though on a night out I don't think it would fare quite so well. Unfortunately, once this smudges, it really smudges and good luck trying to remove the tell tale red smears from around the corner of your mouth!


The formula of all of the Too Faced La Creme lipsticks is creamy and hydrating, a bit like a high quality version of the Revlon Lip Butters. I'm absolutely head over heels for these and this red shade is just gorgeous. The formula is just great - moisturising enough to avoid the dreaded 'red lipstick settling into the lip flakes' and with a lovely glossy shine to finish.


The best thing about this lipstick is the wearability. It's a perfect red for anybody who doesn't have time for constant touch ups and is a dream for those who wants to swipe on their lipstick at the beginning of the day and not look at it again until lunch time, or even later. This will last on me for hours and hours and wears into the lips naturally, so once it fades it still looks pretty. It does stain a little bit as well, leaving your lips looking flushed right until the end of the day.

And for a true comparison, here's a side by side shot
My favourite of the bunch is undoubtedly the Too Faced Stiletto Red; it's low-maintenance, lasts for hours and is a great red for my pale skin and blue eyes. It works perfectly with a natural eye but I'm very tempted to pair it with some smokey eye action on a night out - who says you can't do bold lips and eyes at the same time? Pah!

Ruby Woo is definitely the one to make people stop and stare but it also requires a higher level of upkeep than the others because of the matte finish. It's absolutely worth checking it if you haven't before, though, as I find myself reaching for it time and time again.

Unfortunately I was pretty disappointed with the Make Up For Ever choice. It's not the worst red lipstick I've tried but it's a bit wishy washy colour-wise and the formula isn't the best. As I said, with lip primer, lip liner and the works it lasts nicely but against Stiletto Red and Ruby Woo, it's at the bottom of the class.

So, which of these is your favourite? Have you tried any of them before? Tell me, what reds do you think I'm missing from my make up bag?

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