MAC Unsung Heroes: MAC Red Lipstick

Published in: Lips, MAC Makeup, Unsung Heroes

mac red lipstick

The holidays are in full effect, y’all, and red lipsticks are in the mutha’ truckin’ house! Of course, I couldn’t forget to include one of the most party-poppin’ colors in MAC’s permanent line, the bright, bold, beautiful MAC Red ($14.50).


mac red lipstick

mac red lipstick swatches with ruby woo, lady danger, russian red and dubonnet
Swatches from the left: MAC Red, Ruby Woo, Lady Danger, Russian Red and Dubonnet

mac red lipstick

If you like MAC Russian Red, you just might love its cousin. πŸ™‚ A bright bluish red with the subtlest semblance of shine, MAC Red grooves on lips with a modicum of magenta that keeps it playful and always down to party.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


The MAC Unsung Heroes series features some of my favorite products from MAC’s permanent collection


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So far, 46 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Trisha says:

    It looks beautiful on you. πŸ™‚

    I think I’d go most for MAC Russian Red, then MAC Red.
    Trisha recently posted … Andalou Naturals Probiotic +C Renewal Cream and Luminous Eye Serum

  2. Vonvon says:

    You look gorgeous, Karen!

    I have Dubonnet, but the other 4 will be on my wish list now!
    Vonvon recently posted … Nail Polish Galore – Courtesy Of My Friend

  3. Chris25 says:

    I love when you red lipstick. It looks amazing on you!

  4. Sexy Sadie says:

    Lovely shade on you.
    I bought Such Flare and Runway Red earlier this fall, The RR is the favorite of them, though.

  5. Tiffany says:

    Red lipstick looks amazing on you! Mac Red and Russian Red are right up my alley…

    • Karen says:

      Thanks, Tiffany. Those are two great shades. Ya know, I just realized that if you combined them they’d look really nice, too…

      Anywho, hope you’re having a good Tuesday. Anything new out your way?

  6. Nina says:

    my fave red is ruby woo … but mac red is very pretty!

    also, something tells me i need dubonnet in my life…

    • Karen says:

      I think you should listen to that something. πŸ˜‰ Dubonnet is one of my favorite transition from fall-to-winter shades. It has a ’90s feel to it, too, so I feel all nostalgic when I have it on.

      How’s your day going?

      • Nina says:

        my workday was busy! πŸ™‚

        its gotten really cold here so i hibernated when i got home. like a mama bear LOL!

        im going to the mall this weekend. i believe im stopping by the MAC store to grab Dubonnet!

  7. corallista says:

    what a lovely red! I like this more than Lady Danger on u!
    corallista recently posted … Live chat with MAC Senior Artist Vimi Joshi : Blushes for Indian skin tone and more!

  8. TJ says:

    That color looks really good on you. I’m going to have to go down to my MAC boutique and take a closer look at it πŸ™‚

  9. Steph says:

    Yay! MAC Red is my red lipstick of choice! I’m jealous that you can wear all of them; Russian Red looks too orange-y on me.

  10. DanaJae says:

    I have such a hard time with red lipsick. I have Ruby Woo and it looks like my lips take over my whole face (and my lips aren’t that big). It just doesn’t blend well, sticks out to much.

    Karen, can you suggest a MAC red lipstick? I am and NW20 or NC25 with green eyes and blonde hair.

    • Karen says:

      Hi DanaJae,

      How funny — MBB reader Debra (her comment is below) has the same coloring as you, and she says that MAC Lady Bug is her favorite. I haven’t tried that particular shade yet, but it might be worth a go.

      Also, have you tried wearing Ruby Woo as a stain? Dab the lipstick directly onto your lips and then pat it down to blend it in. It’s a less extreme way of wearing it that looks more natural.

      • DanaJae says:

        Isn’t that funny! I read somewhere that paler ladies like me should stick to more blue based reds and stay away from orange ones.

        Hmmmmm I have not, but I will give it a try. Should I still use a liner or just maybe concealer under to keep from bleeding?


        • Alicia Daniel says:

          I love Russian Red and I am pale. If I wear reds that have an orange tint and not a blue tint it looks weird and my teeth become extremely yellow.

          I know when I first wore red lipstick it took me a while to get used to the brightness and how much it stood it but over time I loved it πŸ˜€

  11. Caitlin says:

    I’m jealous, too. Really, every shade of red is really flattering on you. My first red, suggested by a MAC sa and applied in the store, was so pink and I hated it. I bought a Rouge Dior in ARA Red, and as much as I like it.. I also think I look like a clown with it on! I’d love to have all of these shades but sadly I don’t think I’d be able to pull them off like you! πŸ™

    • Karen says:

      Hi Caitlin,

      Sorry to hear you haven’t had any luck with reds so far. I like to think that there’s a red out there for every girl, though. What is it that you don’t like about the shades you’ve tried? Do you feel like they look too extreme on you? Maybe we can find you something that you like…

  12. Debra says:

    I’d given up on wearing red lipstick but then I tried MAC Lady Bug and was won over! My lips are bow-shaped but thin, and I kept blaming the red lipstick for making me look all sorts of vile things. Well, my skin is cool (NW20-25) and I was using cool-toned reds. Wrong! Somber, death-like looks would ensue. Lady Bug is warmer and fun! I even prefer it to Dior Ara Red.

    Have to say, though, Karen, you can wear red lipstick in probably any shade and look gor-ge-ous.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debra,

      Ooh, ooh, I was looking for an excuse to get Lady Bug! I might have to now after hearing you rave about it. πŸ™‚ Do you wear it alone, or with a lip liner?

  13. Victoria says:

    Red lipstick really suits you!

    Mac does some gorgeous shades of red which are often overlooked in favour of the LE products. I must take a closer look at some of the permanent items.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Victoria,

      I hope you do! There are lots of gems in the permanent line. Are you looking for anything in particular at the moment? Maybe I can recommend something.

  14. Jen says:

    Lady Danger and Dubonnet are calling my name.

    Karen, you look really good in red lipstick. All the reds you showed us, you look good in.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks, Jen. πŸ™‚ There are a few reds I have trubs with… the really, really dark ones make me look too goth, so I stick to the brighter shades.

      Anywho, I’m pretty sure you’d love either Lady Danger or Dubonnet. Both are great! Are you looking for a red for a certain occasion, or just ’cause?

  15. Marian says:

    Wowsa! That’s pretty!

  16. I love red lipstick, I’m so glad it’s becoming fashionable again (for a long time it was devilish hard to find.)

  17. Irene says:

    I love MAC Red! I went to MAC one day to check out Russian Red and walked out with MAC Red instead. I like both colors but love the way MAC Red looks against my pinkish skin tone more. I feel like it doesn’t get enough credit!

  18. Savannah says:

    I have MAC Red and I love it! Whenever I’m in need of a little glamour I glide this on.


  19. Michele DiCola says:

    I love Russian Red ; always did!

  20. I’d like to have a red lipstick that looks good on me. I’ve tried so many but they all look terrible on me. Actually, I think it’s just coz I have a small mouth and the red lipstick look only looks superb during Halloween.

    Like here:
    Bun Bun Makeup Tips recently posted … A Pencil That Works 3 Ways? Pupa Multiplay Triple Purpose Eye Pencil Could Be The Answer!

  21. Crystal says:

    I need this and Lady Danger, just beautiful! You look amazing!

  22. Erica says:

    I love MAC Red (special place in my heart, it was the first MAC lippie I ever bought!) but….does yours smell more of cinnamon than the usual vanilla? It sort of freaks me out!

  23. Marina says:

    Red looks hot on you! Thanks for putting all the swatches together, hard to say which one I like the best. Ruby Woo maybe?!
    Marina recently posted … Spring 2012 Makeup Collections: NARS, Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, shu uemura and Dolce & Gabbana

  24. Advah says:

    I’m still in love with my Chanel red (that was a lucky found, my ideal colour!) but all these reds you’ve been showing lately make me want to check out the MAC counter! My only problem is drawing the lip shape with the pencil, I always end up with a larger bottom lip and really thin upper lip. Should practice more. And wear red more often!

  25. peach_ says:

    I love it on you! Thanks for the comparison swatches, too. Very helpful. πŸ˜€

  26. Kim says:

    Dubonnet is definitely my favorite in the swatches. Of course, you know I’d be walking around all night with my hand covering my mouth if I ever wore red lipstick, but the day I do, it’ll most likely be Dubonnet! πŸ™‚ Btw, did you ever watch Designing Women? There is a scene from that show that my friends and I still quote and laugh about today. Anthony is impersonating Consuela (how on earth I remembered either name scares me in an early Alzheimer’s way!) and after laughing, covers his mouth, saying “excuse me, my teeth are enormous”. I always think of that when I think of wearing red lipstick. πŸ™‚

  27. Shawn says:

    I love the Russian Red lipstick color. It’s so me and now that I’ve seen it, I have to go and try it out at my MAC counter! I love lipglosses personally but will try this red when I’m ready.

  28. Moran says:

    Maybe you can help me with my choice of red?
    My first red lipstick has been Mac Ruby Woo, I absolutely love it. At the store I tried it along with Russian Red, both looked great but the Ruby Woo seemed to suit my complexion more. I guess it’s the blue-undertones (I’m NC/NW 15-20).

    I want to try a new red, and I am debating between a different MAC lipstick, and Illamasqua’s Box. I want a full pigment matte or semi-matte lip.
    What would you recommend for me?

    Thank you very much! I love your blog.

  29. Crown Princess says:

    Hi Karen! I own and love Mac Red. However, could you please do a little comparison of Mac Red with Mac Ronnie Red? Just wanted to know how close they are as they are both a little pink based.

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