Done right, a red lip is one of the most classic, confidence-boosting, can’t-stop-staring-at-how-gorgeous-it-is beauty looks. But there’s not a lot of room for mistakes. Anything that’s too drying or prone to bleeding, fading or budging can make even the most expensive red suddenly look like a total mess. And then, of course, there’s the challenge of finding the perfect shade—you want your red lip to make the right statement: chic, not loud.
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Even after years as a beauty editor, seemingly trying everything out there, it’s been hard to find the right red that fits all the criteria. But my search finally ended when I came across Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Project Chimp ($20). This ultra-light matte liquid lip is best described as a rusty red, warm brick hue with some brown undertones that has more depth than a traditional true red. The product is exceptionally smooth going on but has a slight grip that prevents the color from moving anywhere except where you put it. The liquid dries matte (not so matte that it looks like it could crack) but still keeps lips hydrated and soft throughout the day. Once dry, the product is completely transfer resistant with 24-hour wear time. Unless you put a balm on top of it, the product doesn’t come off at all.
A great product on its own is enough to make me recommend it, but there’s more to this story than just a great red lip. Kat Von D made news earlier this summer for reformulating her entire product line to be vegan and has committed to donating 20 percent of sales of this particular shade to Project Chimps, a nonprofit that rescues chimpanzees used in medical and cosmetic testing. A to-die-for shade plus a great cause—now that’s what I call the perfect beauty product.