MAC Unsung Heroes: Russian Red Lipglass

Published in: Lips, MAC Makeup, Unsung Heroes

mac russian red lipglass

Heads turn so fast when MAC Russian Red Lipstick ($14.50) enters a room that some of them get whiplash.


The blue-based red, long a favorite of MAC fans (like moi!), lives in the permanent line, but she also guest stars from time to time in limited edition releases like the MAC Wonder Woman Collection as a repromote shade.

I’ve loved the color for years, but I didn’t always know she had a sister, super shiny, highly pigmented MAC Russian Red Lipglass ($14.50).

If any product deserves a share of the MAC Unsung Heroes spotlight, it’s Russian Red Lipglass — one of my go-to colors to pair with cat eyes.

Just how red is it? Well, do you remember how red your cheeks got that time in gym class with the sit-ups (PROOOT!)? Yup, it’s even redder than that. πŸ™‚

mac russian red lipglass

mac russian red lipglass wand

mac russian red lipglass swatch

mac russian red lipglass

Being so pigmented and movable, she can be a little high maintenance, though, like many gorgeous girls, but that’s what patience is for. To keep it from migrating outside of my natural lip line, I always line my lips first with something like MAC Red Enriched ($14.50), nude MAC Subculture ($13) or a clear lip liner like L’Oreal Automatic Liner in Clear ($6).

When I’m out and about with Russian Red Lipglass, I bring my compact with me and check it often to make sure the product hasn’t danced onto my cheeks or chin, a lesson I learned the hard way…

Once, walking to the bus stop on a windy day, some of my hair got stuck in my gloss, so I pulled the strands away and tucked them haphazardly behind my ear. A little later on the bus, I could’ve sworn a cute guy across from me was giving me “the eye” (this was pre-El Hub), but, being a totally shy freakazoid when it comes to hotties, I buried my nose in the book I was reading and avoided eye contact for the rest of the 45-minute ride.


It wasn’t until I got to work that I realized why homeboy was checking me out… I had red streaks of gloss on my cheek. πŸ™‚

Random but semi-related story

One day a few years ago, El Hub and I were visiting our family in Hawaii when we decided to go to the beach. Since I didn’t feel like wearing my contacts that afternoon, I left my glasses at home and figured I’d just accept being semi-blind.

We were sitting on the beach when El Hub turned to me and said, “Do you want to go for a swim?”

“No,” I said, “not yet. But you go. I’ll be right here.” So off he went into the water.

After a few minutes sitting there in the sun, I also felt like cooling off, so down to the beach I went. As I was playing in the shallows, a boy swam up to me. I didn’t have my contacts on, but I could tell he was cute. “Hi,” he said, to which I replied by immediately diving into the water and swimming in the opposite direction.

When I got of the water and made my way back to our spot on the beach, El Hub was there waiting for me on our towel. “How was your swim?” he asked.

“Great,” I answered. “The water’s warm.”

He nodded, paused, and then almost sadly asked, “Why did you swim away from me so fast when I said hi?”

LOL! Yeah, I’m a dork… πŸ™‚

Even though Russian Red takes some tender loving care, I love her to pieces. I’ve seen the color on a range of skin tones, and I think she always looks great. She’s the reddest, shiniest, most heart-stopping gloss I know.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


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

P.S. Remember the MAC Packed to Go Travel Exclusives from a while back? Well, they’re finally available on the MAC website. If you need a quick refresher on the release, check out the following posts for reviews and swatches. πŸ™‚


Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 61 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Vijaya says:

    Yikes to that story about the guy on the bus! xP
    Vijaya recently posted … Linnaeus Cosmetics Review- The Lovely Cotinga Collection

  2. Ambrrr says:

    Hahaha, these are amazing and hilarious stories. I’m completely the same way when it comes to fellas.

    Russian Red Lipglass looks outstanding! I’ve been looking for something to go with my pin-up girl cat eye; this seems like an excellent choice.

    • Karen says:

      Hey Ambrrr,

      This would pair perfectly with your cat eye. Do you ever wear false eyelashes? You could cut a pair into thirds and pop them on your outer corners… HOTNESS!

  3. larie says:

    Lol, I’m practically blind without glasses or contacts in, so I totally know how you feel! That beach story sounds like it could be me, for sure. Love the color on the lipglass! It’s so intense.
    larie recently posted … I Finally Bought a Lipstick- and its MAC

  4. Cute story about El Hub!!! I am such a plain gloss girl…I tend to use colored lipsticks and clear gloss on top. But this does look hot!
    Kajal Couture recently posted … Urban Decay Naked Palette – Natural Eye Looks

  5. Chris25 says:

    I think I want to try Russian Red lipstick. I have had my fair share of makeup mishap stories. I should really post some on my blog. πŸ˜›

  6. Trisha says:

    Oh man, that story is hilarious. He must have been so confused.

    Also, Russian Red looks awesome on you.
    Trisha recently posted … Giveaway- Lumixyl Topical Brightening System

  7. Jessi says:

    Oh Karen, you are just too adorable! Your stories always make me smile. i probably look silly sitting at my desk by myself with a big, stupid smile on. I have terrible eye sight also so I have a few similar contact- and glasses-less stories.
    Jessi recently posted … MAC Cremesheen Glass in Double Dare Is Better Than Viva Glam Cyndi Lipglass

  8. Nina says:

    love! the only liplass that covers my pigmented lips!

  9. Lauren says:

    I love the story about you and your husband, and how sad it made him that you swam away from him. (-:

  10. Rae says:

    Aww, Karen!! You and El Hubs sound so adorable ^^ I can’t even *imagine* you being super-shy around cute guys on busses – I’ve always seen you as the approachable, confident, and definitely hot blogger on the block πŸ˜›
    Rae recently posted … theBalm Shady Lady review- Jealous Jordana

  11. Sarah says:

    That color looks great on you.

    I had to give up contacts years ago do to allergies. I got LASIK in January. Not sure why I waited so long. I wear sunglasses more and you can actually see my eye makeup. Well worth it.

    • Karen says:

      Ahh, lucky! I asked my optometrist if I could do LASIK and she said I wasn’t a good candidate. Oh well… I actually don’t mind wearing glasses, usually. I feel like they suit my personality.

  12. Vonvon says:

    I think I should take a look at this and the lipstick version the next time I go to a MAC store/counter. Have been wearing quite a lot of bold lips lately. πŸ˜‰
    Vonvon recently posted … MAVALA The Little Pink Box

  13. Melissa says:

    Oh my god.. that is so bold! I’m a lipstick girl, I don’t even own one gloss! I’m amazed at the opacity of that lipglass.

  14. Gina says:

    LOL I have a similar story, Karen, except that my boyfriend did the mix up! We went on a trip with his family, and went down to the lobby of our hotel one morning for breakfast with his mom. I went to go get some food. When I came back, he was all red and his mom was hysterical. She explained that he saw a cute girl walking around, and was checking her out. When she turned around… it was me! HAH! We never let him live it down.

  15. KSlone says:

    Well spank my bum and call me Shirley! I didn’t know Russian Red was a gloss! How on EARTH have I missed it? Must have!

  16. Instant Karma (formerly L) says:

    Ah, I love Russian Red! It looks great on you πŸ™‚

  17. Stella says:

    Hello! I love that color! It is simply Gorgeous! And it looks just amazing on! Fabulous! Simply, fabulous! Thank you for everything and keep doing what you’re doing! :D:D

  18. Lucia says:

    haha I love your stories. I’ve been thinking about getting Russian Red lipstick/gloss, but do you think it’ll be too much if I wore it to a conservative event like a banquet for my college organization with neutral eyes? I’m wearing this white strapless satin dress with gray and black florals, so given my limited lipstick knowledge, I don’t even know if it’ll go with that kind of dress.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lucia,

      I think the red coupled with the shine might be a little too va-va-voom for a conservative event. Plus, you may not want to be fussing and worrying about your lips for the entire evening (pigmented red gloss is VERY high maintenance). How about a straight up Russian Red Lipstick? You’ll still have to be careful, but it’s much easier to wear in comparison to the gloss.

  19. Siena says:

    I love this post!! I love the lipglass, i love the stories, I love the travel exclusives!!
    Well I’m getting all of these that I can (except for the gloss on my face, hopefully). πŸ˜€

  20. Rosie says:

    What a beautiful color! I was wondering, would you recommend a red gloss that’s less high maintenance? I’m something of a lazy gal.

  21. Camila says:

    Hey Karen, have to say that red lips look gorgeous on you! X

  22. Grace says:

    I LOVE this gloss! I orginally bought Russian Red lipstick, but it turns orange on my lips, so it was suggested I try the gloss and VOILA….beautiful red glossy lips!!

  23. Kim says:

    I was just thinking of Russian Red this AM! OMG, I laughed at both the sit-ups in gym and the El Hub story. Before I got laser eye surgery, I was in the same boat. One night, the Hubs had the TV on in our bedroom and it was about 10 ft away (and small). I didn’t have my contacts in and I was like “hey, is that David Duchovny?” (shows how long ago this happened). He was like “um, nooooo, it’s a werewolf….”. I highly recommend the eye surgery! HAHA!

  24. Rhapsode says:

    “He nodded, paused, and then almost sadly asked, Ò€œWhy did you swim away from me so fast when I said hi?Ò€”

    Hahaha. This is why I check your blog obsessively every day (or every few hours, sometimes, when I’m at work–shhh.) More stories to come, yes? πŸ˜€

    As for lip gloss on cheeks; I’ve done much worse. It’s usually at dark parties, though, so it’s only once the boy comes outside with me that they realize. Love the look of horror that they get on their faces upon seeing red lipstick smeared like I just caught a mouse and ate it. Love it.
    Rhapsode recently posted … Help Mother Earth Live Long And Prosper- Zoyas Earth Day Promo!

  25. Rhapsode says:

    Also, regarding whiplash; when my brother did an internship near Hollywood, he said there were so many gorgeous women he got a case of semi-permanent whiplash injury.

    As for me, I got whiplash while practicing for my college’s pole dancing club (yes, a college pole dancing club–we were written up in the news.) I’d just gotten back from winter vacation and hadn’t exercised a bit. Got up there to practice, took a spin, then had to be walked over to the infirmary, where I was given muscle relaxants. Never did go back to club again.
    Rhapsode recently posted … Help Mother Earth Live Long And Prosper- Zoyas Earth Day Promo!

  26. Geri says:

    NYX’s plush red is an awesome shiny red gloss too! It’s super pigmented and it’s cheap as heck. The only downside is that it kinda smells like cherry cough medicine. I think I will be picking up a tube of Russian Red eventually though, I’m such a sucker for MAC.

  27. DarkDesire says:

    lmao what a great story about yyou and El hub, I really had to laugh out loud reading it^^
    DarkDesire recently posted … Haul- Lip Service Hollywood Geisha The Concubine Top Fuchsia

  28. Lena says:

    tis why i love your blog karen. that you’re a dork. like me. πŸ˜€

  29. Phyrra says:

    Russian Red was one of my first bright reds! Love it!
    Phyrra recently posted … Rose Gold

  30. Valbona Prokshi says:

    The story you shared was cute, funny, and innocent. Hahaha!

  31. Zin says:

    Karen, I must know where you got that necklace! It’s gorgeous!

  32. Mona says:

    I found your fabulous blog after googling MAC Russian Red. RR was my first true red lipstick. It was also my second and my third (of which I still have half a tube left). My fourth red is L’Oreal’s Penelope Cruz Red #320, which I’m sad to learn has been discontinued in favor of the Evangeline Lilly one (although I might give that a try one day soon). Red lipsticks make my day!

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