There’s nothing more classic than a strong, crimson pout. But many vibrant-hued lipsticks are packed with lip-drying chemicals, “accidental ingredients” like lead, and mineral-oil bases meant to lubricate bike chains not your lips. Is it possible to find a red lipstick that’s both highly natural and high-performance? We put seven reds to the test.
Keep reading for five lead- and paraben- free red lipsticks.
Shade we tried: Siren Tryst 412
Best for: Creating a matte, bee-stung look.
This red weighs in somewhere between a lip balm and a stain, but the color lasts for hours and fades naturally and evenly. Even better, it comes in 16 shades.
What’s in it: Seventy percent certified organic ingredients, wildcrafted botanicals, no chemicals, and beeswax and jojoba for base ingredients. Made with wind power, and sold in sleek yet biodegradable packaging.
Shade we tried: Aster
Best for: Anti-aging ingredients and a matte finish.
Chantecaille’s claim that color lasts for six hours is a stretch, but it does have reasonably good holding power.
What’s in it: Papaya, orchid, and sugar extracts soften lips and are work like anti-aging ingredients. Chantecaille doesn’t use fragrance or petrochemicals, making it a prestige brand with cleaner ingredient list. And the lipstick, housed in a slim tube, looks as posh as it feels.
Shade we tried: Cindy
Best for: Creating a glamorous look and lip-conditioning ingredients.
This soft, pretty red lives up to its promise to keep lips soft and tinted for hours. Built-in SPF 18 makes it a great summer choice, and it comes in a whopping twenty-six colors.
What’s in it: With antioxidants, smoothers like castor oil and beeswax, and anti-inflammatories like borage seed oil, this lipstick packs a lot of conditioning into one little tube. No FD&C dyes or synthetic preservatives are used.
Kjaer Weis Lipstick, $56
Shade we tried: Adore
Best for: Moisturizing while giving a dewy, pretty hue.
This luxe lipstick rolls on smooth and feels super nourishing. The color lasts for about three hours—definitely not all day, but it does dry quickly so it won’t leave lip prints on anyone you’re kissing goodbye (or your teeth).
What’s in it: Made with beeswax, jojoba seed oil, almond oil, and rose rubiginosa seed oil, everything is certified organic and at least 95 percent is sourced from organic farms.
Shade we tried: Worth
Best for: A night out—it has a little shimmer to it.
The Axiology lipstick almost acts as a lipstick and lip-gloss two-in-one—the high-quality oils used to make it really up the shine factor. The tone is rich— so prepare for your pout to stand out—but the color is so lovely that it’s definitely a good thing.
What’s in it: Axiology zeroed in on lipstick—it’s the only beauty product they sell—so they’ve perfected their all-natural, organic ingredient list. Inside this one: candelilla wax, avocado oil, castor oil, avocado butter, grape seed oil, coconut oil, vitamin E oil, elderberry extract, and sweet orange oil.
Originally posted May 31, 2011. Updated October 25, 2016.