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In Search of the Best Red Lip Tint

The YesStyle Beauty Lab

Clockwise from left: KARADIUM’s Movie Star Air Mousse Velvet in Red Carpet; peripera’s Ink the Gelato in Lively Red; CANDY LAB Cream-pop The Velvet Lip Color in Blind Kiss

You either love a red lip or you don’t (how could you not?), but if you do, there’s no greater joy than finding that perfect red lippie without breaking the bank. My goal this time is to locate a true red – something that will give my look an instant shot of adrenaline. The opposite of the MLBB trend, in short.

I road-tested three lip tints that all claim to give bright red finishes while also being long-lasting and non-flaking. These are no small claims, so let’s find out whether they hit the mark!

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Introducing…Three Red Lip Tints

First on my list is KARADIUM’s Movie Star Air Mousse Velvet in Red Carpet. Billed as a classic red, it’s what I imagine old-time movie sirens would wear to premieres. Next, we have CANDY LAB’s Cream-pop The Velvet Lip Color in Blind Kiss. This one’s pitched as “the perfect red” and a “vividly pigmented, silky-smooth creamy lip color with velvet-matte finish” that would last for eight hours without drying your lips out. Finally, we have peripera’s Ink the Gelato in Lively Red, an “apple red” with purportedly superb color payoff and longevity. For someone who loves a bold lip, I felt spoilt for choice – as if I’ve got all my favorite toys in the same room!

An Electrifying Red: The packaging of this one is a stunner. It comes with a very sparkly cap paired with a sleek tube, exuding subtle sophistication in keeping with the brand’s image. The tint itself was equally satisfactory on several counts. It glided on in thick, velvety strokes, producing a super-matte finish. The color is a highly pigmented, full-blooded red that amped up my look no end. I do have slight reservations: the color is so shockingly rich and intense that it produced a very stark and overdramatic contrast between my lips and my complexion. Its resilience, however, was commendable – it didn’t budge from morning till noon, and that was only because I ate a bowl of vermicelli for lunch. To me, this is more of a special-occasion red to whip out when you really need to vamp it up, or when you want to rescue yourself from a dark mood.

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A Dramatic Red: I love a lip product that’s well named, so “Blind Kiss” already marks this out as a winner. Extra points also for the bold, pop art-inspired tube. This went on even more smoothly than KARADIUM’s Red Carpet, thanks to an angled brush, which made for easy application, and an exceedingly creamy texture. The finishing was on the matte side, but not so matte that it sucked the life out of my lips – there’s still the faintest hint of juiciness and shine. The product also smelled pleasingly of candy. Although it’s a shade deeper than KARADIUM’s Red Carpet, it’s also more lightweight, therefore producing a more nuanced effect without compromising on any of the drama. All in all, it does everything a true red lipstick should do – pulling your look together even when you’re wearing otherwise minimal makeup. A definite keeper!

A Low-Key Red:This one comes in one of peripera’s signature red-tinted vials, and is probably closest to what lip tints originally claim to do: give a natural, long-lasting wash of color. Texture-wise, it’s very watery. I had to apply many coatings to get a solid pop of color as it was hard to build up an even layer on my lips. It also left a slight sense of stickiness that did not fade until half an hour after application. However, I have to say it’s supremely suited to everyday wear, giving lips a flush of color that’s reddish rather than truly red. If you’re looking for the red lip tint to end all red lip tints, this probably wouldn’t be your first choice, but if you’re simply looking for a semi-bright daytime lip product that doesn’t feel too intimidating or dramatic, this would be an excellent purchase.

The Verdict

KARADIUM’s Red Carpet CANDY LAB’S Blind Kiss peripera’s Lively Red
Color intensity ***** **** **
Long-lasting wear **** **** ***
Pliability **** ***** **
Smudge-proof ***** ***** ****

(* are given out of 5)

To be honest, I’m more of a traditional lipstick person than a liquid lipstick person. I love a good ol’ waxy swipe, and have never really gotten used to poking at my lips with an applicator. But these beautiful lippies, with their vibrant colors and brilliant lightweight formulations, have me sold.

For top spot, I’m torn between KARADIUM’s Red Carpet and CANDY LAB’s Blind Kiss. Both pass the “true red” test, especially with a second coating. Both are reasonably long-lasting, although perhaps not as impressively as hyped. Transfer is also mercifully minimal. I’d give CANDY LAB’s a slight edge, just because it strikes the right balance between “wow” and wearable while also being a tad smoother. peripera’s subtle, rosy Lively Red may be the perfect product for some, but its color is too light to qualify as the “true red” that I’m looking for.

All three have negligible moisturizing and revitalizing properties, but I really wouldn’t expect a highly pigmented lip tint to deliver constant hydration. The fact that they didn’t leave my lips dry and chapped after a long day is good enough for me.

And so my search for the best red lip tint comes to a temporary end with happy results. This doesn’t mean I won’t start hunting around again very soon – but till then, I have a new addition to my makeup pouch, CANDY LAB’s Blind Kiss!

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