MAC Russian Red


634 reviews

87% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.4

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 4.4

Price: $$$


Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Olive NC20, black hair, brown eyes, non-pigmented lips for reference. (I finally got properly matched for you guys!)

I bought this without actually trying it on, relying on MUA reviews, swatches, and the fact that it looked gorgeous on Bond Girl Vesper Lynd (the beautiful Eva Green) in Casino Royale. I was really nervous to try it on when I got home--I usually stick to brick reds such as Viva Glam I, NYX Alabama, and NARS Cruella, because I thought they were easier to pull off, and I was afraid this would pull garish on me as per some of the previous reviewers.

But oh my goodness, for me Russian Red is THE Red! I actually think I'm done with trying other reds out there because this is the most flattering, most perfect, timeless, classic red lipstick I own. It's definitely a bit blue-toned--I've noticed that only cool lipsticks suit me--but not as much as Ruby Woo. It pulls deeper on me, while on others it can be very bright. For the majority though, Russian Red is very neutral, which makes it incredibly easy to pull off, and I've gotten several compliments!

With my other reds, I found that I had to balance everything between my skin, my eyes, and my cheeks so that nothing was too overpowering. However, with Russian Red, I'm perfectly happy with bronzer, just a contour in my crease, and winged liner in tribute to the pin up girl style of the 1950s. Since I go to school and have to get up at 5AM to get ready (Makeup priorities. I'm just saying), this makes for a very done up yet quick and simple look that isn't nearly too fussy or "too much" for the daytime--not that I've ever listened to that rule. I've even worn Russian Red without foundation and only undereye concealer, and therefore my hyperpigmentation showed through. Fortunately, it added a lovely casual vibe to the look to make it work with a t-shirt and jeans. I use Brick lip pencil (also seen on Vesper) underneath to just trace the outline of my lips when I want to look more polished.

The formula of Russian Red, I find, isn't as creamy as Diva, and isn't as dry as VG1, but as far as mattes go, isn't bad at all. It makes my teeth look pearly white, my skin practically glow, and contrasts wonderfully with my hair and eyes. (I really hope I don't come off as vain; I just enjoyed it that much!)

As for dupes, I own Revlon Really Red, Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Standout, and Milani Matte Confident, and in my eyes, Standout is the best alternative to Russian Red. Really Red isn't quite a dupe in my opinion as everyone claims: it's also a true red, but it's lighter and dips a toe into warm tones rather than cool--it's more tomato. Standout is maybe just a hair darker (but of course enough for me to still be dissatisfied lol), and can have the tendency to feather or bleed if you don't do well with emollient lipsticks, though it's just wonderfully creamy otherwise. I might pop this on over Russian Red to give my dry lips a little more life. Confident is a smidgen darker, and a hell of a lot drier--it broke on me, and that never happens. But all of these, especially Standout, are a good place to check if the brightness might be too loud for you.

All in all, if you're like me and you aren't satisfied with dupes and you love collecting reds, you definitely need Russian Red in your life. 100% will repurchase. (Plus it smells freakin' amazing.)

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool

Hair: Red, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Violet

This is, without a doubt, my favorite MAC lipstick. It's classic and bold without being obnoxious. If you're new to red lips, I suggest starting here - if this doesn't look amazing on you, it will at least give you a very good idea of what direction to go in. It lasts 6-7 hours on me under normal conditions. I recommend using a lip balm about 30 minutes before applying.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 4/10/2015 3:46:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

I have found this to be the perfect red for my skin tone. Just for reference I use Estée Lauder double wear foundation in softan. Mac nw 35 or 40.

on 4/2/2015 10:03:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I adore this lipstick shade- it is my favourite red of all time. Red has to be hardest shade to find that suits you and this one is perfect! I bought this for my wedding to do touch ups .... My make up artist used Ruby Woo on me, but I changed it to Russian Red. I find the darker tone more flattering and less garish. It can be a little drying so I tend to use a Chapstick underneath ...

on 4/1/2015 1:58:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Just like a little black dress, every woman should have it. My favorite red lipstick.

on 2/10/2015 7:59:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

Love MAC lipsticks. They don't give me any allergic reactions like some lipsticks do. They are long lasting. The fragrance is not overwhelming or offensive. And they have sooooo many color choices! Now about Russian Red as a color. It's a very good true red for when you want to really have a strong lip color. Not too orangy and doesn't turn pink after wearing it a while as some reds tend to do. I am not sure it's my "perfect" red. But it's certainly wearable and a very good one!

on 2/10/2015 7:34:00 PM

Age: Unknown

Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

A perfect red lip. I have very pale, olive-toned skin, and this is a flattering shade. Perhaps most importantly, it lasts a super-long time, and doesn't dry out your lips like "official" long-wear lipsticks do. It's simply a classic I've worn for decades (I first tried it after reading that it was Madonna's favorite lipstick in her 90s platinum-glam heyday).

on 1/28/2015 10:39:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Oily, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

My favorite red lipstick and go to for any night out! Buying this shade will be one of the best make up related decisions you'll ever make.

on 1/16/2015 7:32:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Oily, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

This is a sort of... Dark red but not maroon. Just a shade or two darker of a standard true red.
I would disagree about those that say it's blue based. I think they only look at the depth of the color an assume it's blue based. It actually.. Isn't. I'd say it's quite neutral, maybe a tad bit warm.
Compared to Ruby Woo it's a bit darker but when you look at Ruby Woo you can see that it has a blue undertone whereas Russian Red, it doesn't have it.
It's quite creamy for a matte lipstick but still matte if that makes sense?
Creamy when you put it on but not glossy and it's super pigmented.
I find that this color would work for a lot of people.
I'd say it's universally flattering whether you're fair or have a very deep complexion, cool toned, warm toned, neutral etc
Depending on your lipcolor and undertone it can look different.
I find on skin with more color, like my cousin who's an NW40 both Ruby Woo and Russian Red look the same.
Russian Red is an amazing color to have in a collection.
Definitely need to get it :)
I'll post swatches of it compared to Ruby Woo and Lady Danger

on 1/12/2015 11:02:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I'm finally a big girl with a big girl job and big girl money so I thought it was about time I splurged and bought some big girl cosmetics so I visited my local MAC store. Up until now NYX was my go to supplier of matte lipstick because they were cheap and highly pigmented and Alabama was my favorite red lip, I doubted it could get any better. That is until I tried Russian Red at the counter and holy crap, why haven't I had a MAC lipstick before?! It has a beautiful matte finish and the deep blue-based red pairs beautifully with my complexion (dark brown hair, pale skin and blue eyes). I wore it to work the day after I purchased it and got compliments from everyone, from the barista at Starbucks to my main supervisor. It is a little drying but not nearly as badly as other matte lips I've tried, and the color pay off is worth it.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Recommended for Medium Skin

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