Oh, Russian Red, where do we begin?
Russian Red is a cult classic among MAC's endless array of lipsticks and it's not hard to imagine why. I would describe the color of Russian Red as being a cooler tone, medium-to-dark, rich red shade. I'll be totally honest- I didn't think I would like this color. MAC's Ruby Woo is my ultimate go-to and by comparison, since Russian Red is a bit darker, I assumed that it would be more subdued, if not dull. Boy, was I wrong! Russian Red actually has a depth that many reds lack. Though it is slightly darker than my beloved Ruby Woo, there isn't any discernable brown in the formula which seems kind of hard to find in reds of a more "brick" variety. It's exactly the color that I had wished NARS Cruella would have been, for instance. There's a reason why it's so popular and that boils down to the fact that Russian Red is a very versatile color that I can see being flattering on a multitude of skin tones.
On the downside, Russian Red is NOT the most low maintenance red I've ever encountered - this is coming from someone who is loyal to classic lipstick formulations and only wears red. I know that a lot of people love them and laud them for their longevity, but I'm not a fan of liquid lipsticks, so I'm not making any unfair comparisons here. Although Russian Red is a matte formula, I don't personally find it matte enough. I usually have to blot it down significantly to get rid of the extremely mobile cream texture that it imparts on the lips. Others will find that the softer, more creamy finish of Russian Red will make it more comfortable for them to wear in terms of not drying their lips out. However, I feel like this lipstick is exceptionally prone to bleeding. I could not eat or drink anything the entire time this lipstick is on me and it would still bleed. I find that it particularly wears and bleeds in the outer corners of my lips which is something that I personally can't stand. Would I purchase Russian Red again? Maybe. The color is fantastic but the wear is a little too high maintenance for me.