Fifties Fashion & Beauty

Doing Your Makeup Vintage: 9 Retro Reds! – Revised with Ratings!

Welcome to Doing Your Makeup Vintage!

I’m Retro Dee and I have more makeup tips for all you gals who love the retro 1950’s look as much as I do!

Lipstick was more popular than ever in the 1950’s and red was the go-to color for fashionable ladies.  Luscious red lips popped out at audiences on the Big Screen when Technicolor movies became more prevalent. Inspired by Hollywood beauties such as Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, more and more women were painting their own lips a bright, bold red.

Circa 1950’s ad for Cutex Stay Fast lipstick says that it “stays on after eating, smoking and even kissing.” (Note the smooth, bullet shape of the lipstick)

A matte finish was in vogue, but some cremes were used as well. These days, makeup companies know that those vintage retro reds will never go out of style. And that’s good news for us, who appreciate the timeless glamour of the Best Era Ever.

So today we’re going to have a look at 9 great retro red lipsticks on the current-day market that you can add to your makeup collection.

So without further ado, here they are:

9 Retro Reds!

Lipsticks are rated on a scale of 1-10

1. MAC –  Lipstick Matte in “Russian Red”

This was one of the first ones I bought when I decided to go full-on retro. It’s a fantastic blue-red that makes your teeth look whiter and stays on fairly well. It’s not drying and has great color payoff. It’s darker than it is bright, and although it’s technically a matte, it does have a bit of cream-like finish to it.

Price Point: Medium $18 USD

Overall Rating: 7

MAC Lipstick Matte in “Russian Red”

2. Lorac  –  Alter Ego Lipstick in “Pin Up”

Color-wise, this is the red in my collection with the most orange in it. But it still isn’t super orange. I personally only wear either neutral or cool reds, because I want to keep my teeth looking as white as possible, so I avoid shades with yellow undertones. That said, this is a great lipstick! Bright, non-drying and lasts fairly well.

Price Point: Medium $18 USD

Overall Rating: 8

Lorac Alter Ego Lipstick in “Pin Up”

3. Urban Decay  –  Vice Lipstick Comfort Matte in “Doubt”

This is a deep medium to dark red matte color. It goes on smooth and isn’t too drying. The ring on the tube broke off on the bottom, but it still works. I consider this my medium shade, not too bright and not too dark. This is the one I reach for when I want a real, true blue red.

Price Point: Medium $18 USD

Overall Rating: 8

Urban Decay  –  Vice Lipstick Comfort Matte in “Doubt”

4. Urban Decay –  Vice Lipstick Comfort Matte in “Bad Blood”

Another blue red in Urban Decay’s Vice Comfort Matte Collection is “Bad Blood”. This is a darker, deeper red than “Doubt”. A little too dark for my taste, but great if that’s what you’re going for. It’s good for that dramatic look.

Price Point: Low (for the mini)

Overall Rating: 7.5

Urban Decay –  Vice Lipstick Comfort Matte in “Bad Blood”

5. Winky Lux  –  Matte Lip Velour in “Heart”

Winky Lux lipstick is the best lipstick discovery for me this year. Although I’m not wild about their bullet-shaped tubes that don’t stand up on their own, their lipstick formula is fantastic. Not at all drying and goes on creamy; yet is still a matte! “Heart” is a classic red with slightly blue undertones and is bright enough to wear all year round. I mentioned this brand in a previous post: How To Do Your Makeup Retro 50’s in 6 Simple Steps

Price Point: Medium $18 USD

Overall Rating: 9

Winky Lux Matte Lip Velour in “Heart”

6. MAC – Powder Kiss Lipstick in “Shocking Revelation”

MAC came out with this new formula only recently. Unlike their famous shade “Ruby Woo”, the mattes in this collection especially aim to be comfortable and non-drying. Powder Kiss is definitely less drying than many mattes, but it’s not perfect. The color is rather muted, and looks almost like it has a soft filter to it, rather than full-on, bold color. You can build it up a bit to get more color out of it. I use this shade for when I want a retro red that is a little softer and doesn’t pack quite a punch. It’s an interesting formula and they’ve already changed the colors that are available. I’m not sure “Shocking Revelation” is still on the market, but they have another red shade that’s very similar.

Overall, I’m not a fan of this type of formula, which is why I give it a lowish rating. But if you like the blurred look this is a good lipstick. However, be advised, that “fuzzed-out” soft look for lipstick is not 50’s-style.

Price Point: Medium $21 USD

Overall Rating: 5

MAC Powder Kiss Lipstick in “Shocking Revelation”

7. Revlon –  Super Lustrous Lipstick in “Certainly Red” (740)

This and the color below have been on the market for many years. How many years, you ask? Since 1951! Yes, “Certainly Red” and “Love That Red” (below) are true classics and have been offered by Revlon for almost 70 years. These lipsticks are cream formulas and do not have a matte finish. Not all lipsticks in the 50’s were matte! “Certainly Red” is certainly red, as the name suggests, and has blue undertones.

Price Point: Low $8.49 USD

Overall Rating: 6

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in “Love That Red”

8. Revlon –  Super Lustrous Lipstick in “Love That Red” (725)

Like its sister shade, “Certainly Red,” “Love That Red” is another 70-year-old classic that is true and tried. This shade is a pretty maraschino cherry red with some slight orange undertones. Being a drug store brand, Revlon is a lot less expensive than higher end lipsticks. This also means the quality is lower. I find these less creamy and not as easy to apply as pricier brands. They’re more drying too, even though these are not matte. But if you want to wear shades that actually existed back in the fabulous fifties and you don’t want to break the bank, these are a great choice.

Price Point: Low $8.49 USD

Overall Rating: 5

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in “Certainly Red”

9. Anastasia Beverly Hills –  Matte Lipstick in “Ruby”

I’d been wanting to try the ABH matte lipstick line so I chose their reddest red, “Ruby”. This shade is a gorgeous Technicolor blue-red, but sadly, it is rather drying. The formula tugs and it transfers easily. I don’t think lipstick is ABH’s forté.

Price Point: Medium $18 USD

Overall Rating: 4

Anastasia Beverly Hills Matte Lipstick in “Ruby”

So there you have nine lipsticks in that classic retro red. I still have plenty of reds by various brands that I want to try, so stay tuned for a review on those, which I no doubt will acquire eventually!

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– Retro Dee

Disclaimer: I DO NOT get paid or compensated in any way for endorsing any companies or products, nor am I affiliated with any companies or products. All opinions are my own.

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