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This awards season and fashion month, red lipstick has never looked better

red lipstick 2023
In 2023, red lipstick has never looked better Filippo Fortis/launchmetrics.com/spotlight - Getty Images

Presenting the perfect antidote to a long grey winter, red lipstick has been having quite the moment. While not a trend – red lipstick is to beauty what the black dress is to fashion; a classic choice with enduring appeal – it certainly embodies a mood right now, and for those looking to attract more joy it’s one empowering accessory.

With this year's award season and AW23 fashion month in full swing, many of us are inspired by the sartorial details presented at the shows, ceremonies, parties and premieres taking place – and already this year, countless A-listers have elevated their red carpet looks with red lipstick.

margot robbie red lipstick
Samir Hussein - Getty Images

Margot Robbie set the tone in early January, attending the London premiere of Babylon wearing a pillarbox red Valentino gown with lips in an exact match. Her beauty look, by artist Pati Dubroff, comprised two red lipsticks, one by Beauty Pie and another by Chanel. The matchy theme continued at the Critics’ Choice Awards, where fellow Hollywood actress Julia Garner paired a striking red lipstick to her outfit, a sheer dress by Ferragamo.

28th annual critics choice awards
Phillip Faraone/GA - Getty Images

Of course, lovers of monochromatic red were also treated to Rihanna's viral Super Bowl performance this month where she dressed top-to-toe in the hue with a baby bump-hugging look by Loewe, Alaïa by Pieter Mullier coats, MM6 Maison Margiela x Salomon trainers and her Fenty Beauty Icon Velvet Lipstick in shade ‘The MVP’.

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Back on the red carpets, red lipstick has also been used to contrast outfit colours. Take Amanda Seyfried’s Critics’ Choice look: she wore a luminous red which oozed the same energy as her bold metallic gown by Dior, as did HoYeon Jung at the BAFTAs, who paired Lancôme's striking L’Absolu Rouge Drama Ink shade 154 with a golden Louis Vuitton gown.

red lipstick 2023
Getty Images

Meanwhile, at the Grammys Taylor Swift donned her signature blue-red lip shade with a sparkling navy two-piece by Roberto Cavalli, and at the Tar premiere in London actress Sophie Kauer used red lips to enhance the romance of her delicate Giles Deacon dress. Her bullet of choice was the Pat McGrath Labs Matt Trance lipstick in the shade Elson 2, a vivid red inspired by British supermodel Karen Elson.

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Red lipstick has also popped up at the fashion week shows, sexing up a scene of otherwise deep vampy lips – as is de rigueur for the autumn/winter season. At David Koma make-up artist Patrick Glatthaar brought a new take on the beauty classic, giving models red glossy upper lips with red rhinestone-embellished under lips. "For me it looked like a velvet glitter lip on the runway," he told us.

red lipstick 2023
Filippo Fortis

Whether red lipstick is already your signature or it's employed to enhance an outfit or boost your mood, there’s a flattering formula – and way to wear it – for all. Below, find our pick of the best red lipsticks of all time, plus tips on how to wear it:

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