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Every Girl Needs to Be Well Red: The Perfect Holiday Lip

Photo by Scarlett V. Brooks

Have I gone too far with this pun? Pat says this is straight up a dad joke. But I do believe every woman needs a great red lipstick in their arsenal. It’s no secret that I am a Lipsense lover. Red Lantern is currently my favorite red, but I’ll be showing Blue-Red, created by request of Christina Aguilera and is by far the most bold beautiful red in the world. Ok let’s step back and be a little more scientific in our processing of the battle of the reds. I have recorded myself applying each red on my ITV channel @mandiesdiary but I’ll be posting a little review of each and a beginning of the day and after 6 hours. No lip product should be expected to hold up beyond that the way I read coffee. I’m breaking this down into two categories, drugstore brands and high end brands. But I also tried three types: traditional lipstick, liquid lipstick, and lip stain. Let’s get this party started!


Maybelline Lipstick in Red Revival $6

At under $6 this is by far the cheapest. The color is beautiful. I won’t deny that, but it’s hard to apply. Without an applicator putting on dark colors with precision is very tricky. This was the hardest and if you watch the ITV video you’ll see that I struggled. The color is a rich red somewhere between what I would consider Scarlett O’Hara red and a ruby. It’s vibrant and feels soft and moist for hours. It immediately was all over anything I ate or drank. My coffee cup was completely covered and as a result it ended up all over my face and I kept having to dab it off. However, that didn’t immediately remove the color from my lips. Below are my beginning and end photos. You can see though that it melted away, but pretty slowly. While it was all over everything it wasn't completely gone 6 hours later so combined with it's price I’d give this a B.

Revlon Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in Top Tomato $9

This is the lip product I wore if I wanted vibrant lasting color before Lipsense. It’s called lipstick but it is a stain and dries your lips out like a stain. I was pretty disappointed with the results as I used to have so much love for this product. The formula obviously hasn’t changed in the last 5 years. It’s much easier to apply than lipstick with it’s applicator and it doesn’t dry quickly like Lipsense so you have some time to play. You don’t have to build the color as much. I did two coats each lip. However, it has no sealer so you have to let it dry for about 20 min. After that it stays strong for quite some time and through regular eating and drinking. But it starts to fade along the inside waterline of your lips and it went faster than I wanted it to. In all fairness I was eating wings, but this ombre wasn’t pretty. The color was more ruby then I remember it being and not and it had a little sparkle, neither of which showed up in the photo because it has such a matte, dry finish. Not very tomato. Overall I am giving this a C.

L'Oreal Paris Infallible Pro Last 2 Step Lipstick, Infallible Red $13

Normally, this runs you $13, but Amazon has a $3 coupon right now. This is a product I tried 10+ years ago and said no thanks. They’ve improved it significantly. Like big time. The color and application were somewhere in between the Revlon and Maybelline. It is more liquid lipstick then stain but has an applicator. The sealer is more like chap-stick than the gloss that Lipsense uses. I was blown away with this not only not ending up all over my beer but also not being destroyed by ribs (it was a BBQ kind of weekend). In the photo I puckered out my bottom lip to show you that’s the only place this lipstick had melted away. For $13 this drugstore brand gets an A.

Higher End Brands

Mellow Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lip Paint $16-18

Mellow is somewhere in between because it’s only online. The link above is to Walmart, who’s price on this color was a little less when I wrote this, but here’s the Amazon link. You can also go onto their website and buy directly from there and it's 40% off the rest of December with the code: MERRY. I’d highly recommend the gel pencil in ruby under this. As annoying as online only is this color is everything and no not just because it’s called Paris. It’s a thick creamy application that requires precision and I really like it over the gel pencil. It’s a bright matte red. It doesn't last as long as the L’Oreal or Lipsense but it held up to the others that weren’t gone or bleeding immediately. It does rub off on coffee cups though, all over coffee cups but doesn't end up back on your face. I did this run without the liner, just FYI. Overall I give this a B+.

stila All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso $23

This went bonkers when AOC said she wears this red during congressional hearings. I intend to watch the next one because there is no way it is’t all over her water glass. Don’t get me wrong. This is a true and fabulous rich red, but honey it doesn’t stay all morning let alone all day. I have linked you to Ulta because they have a generous return policy. But if you have a prime account and you know you’re going to keep and don’t want to pay shipping here is the Amazon link. The pictures say everything else I would need to. It’s a beautiful color meant to be looked at and not touched. I give this a C. (I wish I hadn't worn the same things and take the pictures in similar places with this and the Revlon because it was really hard to figure out which went where.)

Pat McGrath Labs Mattenterance Obsessed! $38

This is a classic case of an internet fail. It’s supposed to be the color that Emily in Paris wears during her Audrey Hepburn moment but either the makeup artist or the reporter got the color wrong. That said, having started off the day irritated that it wasn’t the right color from the show, it was perfect for our experiment. It’s an orange based red, bright red coral color. I can’t completely link this to the lipstick, but my husband said I looked nice. Ok about it’s rating. Tricky, it’s expensive, it lasts, it got on everything. Everything. B I guess. The first picture was 9 and the last at 5. I drank a lot of tea in between. It was a tea kind of day. Come 5pm you can see what the lack of caffeine to me.

tarte The Lip Sculptor in Harlequin $24 + S&H

This has been the most berry-like color I have tried so far and it’s a beautiful color. Unfortunately, I wish this had not been what I was wearing while taking pictures all day because it just kept bleeding off my lips. If you want a lipstick and a gloss for $30 in the same container then it’s a good product. Otherwise, it’s just nothing special and for some odd reason tarte doesn’t sell all their products in the same stores online or in physical retail so this puppy is on QVC right now. Neither the stock photo or mine really display the color. It's less bright then in my photo and less dark in the stock. If you click on the link QVC will show someone applying and that color is pretty accurate. I give it a C.

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in Le Rouge $38

This is literally the gold standard in high end reds and it is beautiful, from the packaging to the feel, it luxurious. The color is a beautiful bold true ruby red, with a lot of shine. Again the color is a bit off in the photo (it snowed the last two days and my skylights are covered so I had to use artificial color). It last a long time. I was out taking photos in the snow drinking coffee and it held on for as long as it could. It also held on to my coffee cup. Due to the high price I am giving this a B. I want a little more from a $38 lipstick.

Lipsense in Blu-Red $25

So at the end of the day Lipsense is an MLM and you should go through a dealer, as my husband refers to her. Becca is awesome and always makes sure I have the newest reds. I tried not to lean so heavy towards it, but it was too hard. I am really not a huge fan of MLMs but there just isn’t a comparable product. This red packs so much punch it should be called Ali Red. This color is tricky to apply to be sure. Watch my YoutTube video (just below the before and after picture), it was a real quality production, lol. But hot damn it’s beautiful and it doesn’t budge all day. The first is when I put it on in the morning. The second is at the end of the day but a new swipe of gloss (which is colorless and just a sealer). That’s all that needs to be said: A+. Watch the video if you want instructions but please read on about my dress from a boutique with a heart warming story.

This beautiful dress I am wearing is from Sweet Elizabeth Jane boutique in Ellicott City, MD. Please check them out, they have beautiful things from clothes to kitchen gadgets and gifts. They were completely wiped out by the horrible floods in the historic town. My shoes are Dolce & Gabbana from a few seasons ago, these are their current nude strappy sandal heels and they're wicked on sale. These are a very cute pair similar to mine with an easier to live with price tag. These go a bit higher for almost a gladiator look and these have block heels that are probably easier to walk in.


he book I'm holing in my photographs is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and you can buy my beautifully color illustrated junior library copy or the original illustrated copy on Amazon. Though I used reading as a pun, all girls should read Little Women, as it is an exquisite piece of literature and every young woman should journey through life with Jo. I also found this inscription from my Aunt Nancy in the book from 1994.

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