MAC Russian Red Lipstick Review

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MAC Russian Red Lipstick

MAC Russian Red lipstick is one of MAC Cosmetics’ bestselling lipsticks. It is so famous that almost every woman wants to have it in her makeup collection. That includes me, although it took me a few years before I finally warmed up to red lipsticks. So it’s only now that I finally bought it, along with the other bestselling MAC red lipstick, Ruby Woo. 😀

I didn’t even bother swatching it on my arm at the store because I knew that I will definitely love the shade. The only question in my mind was “Will it be drying on my lips?” given that it is of matte formula.

Most of MAC’s matte and retro matte lipsticks are drying on the lips. So I knew that I will really have to prep my lips before I apply Russian Red. But I’m willing to go to all the trouble just to wear it on my lips.

MAC describes their LIPSTICKS:

Colour plus texture for the lips. Stands out on the runway. Simmers on the street! What made M•A•C famous.

MAC Russian Red Lipstick

MAC Russian Red is classified as an intense bluish red with a matte finish. I don’t find it too matte, though. In fact it’s even a bit creamy. It’s a creamy matte lipstick, just like Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte lip color and Maybelline Creamy Matte lipsticks.

Even though it’s described as a bluish red, it’s not overly cool-toned. I believe it’s more of a neutral true red. It may look cool-toned in some, and warm-toned in others. How Russian Red will look on your lips depends on your skintone and undertone, plus your natural lip color as well.

MAC Russian Red Lipstick Swatches

MAC Russian Red (Matte) lipstick looks pretty dark in the bullet, but it’s not as dark once swatched. I always expect a matte lipstick to be very pigmented, and this one didn’t disappoint. Lightly swatched with 1 swipe, it’s already semi-opaque. When applied on the lips, 1 layer is enough to give an opaque coverage. But I still apply 3 layers for a more opaque and even finish, and to make it last longer, too.

Because Russian Red has a creamy matte texture, it’s very easy to apply. It glides easily across the lips without any tugging and it doesn’t settle into lip lines. I also don’t experience it feathering on my lips. If you want to have more defined lip color, then you can use a matching red lip liner underneath it. This will also help the color last longer.

MAC Russian Red Lipstick

I find that MAC Russian Red accentuates dry and flaky patches on the lips, so it would be advisable to exfoliate the lips beforehand. I would also recommend to apply a moisturizing lip balm underneath for those with really dry lips. Even though it’s not drying on my lips, it’s not hydrating either. So I still use a lip balm, plus my favorite lip primer, MAC Prep+Prime Lip.

Surprisingly, Russian Red feels lightweight on the lips, not at all like a typical matte lipstick. It feels like I’ve got nothing on my lips, but the stares and second-glances I get tell me otherwise.

I love that it makes my teeth appear whiter, but most cool-toned red lipsticks do that. Another thing that’s great about MAC Russian Red is that it lasts and lasts. It’s able to withstand drinking and eating, even greasy foods. Well, not all color stays put, but it’s not completely wiped off. It wears well over 6 hours on my lips, and when I use it over a lip primer and liner I get up to 8 hours of wear time. Pretty awesome, if you ask me.

MAC Russian Red Lipstick Lip Swatches

On my lips, Russian Red is more of a neutral true red. It’s not bright nor dark, and it’s a red lipstick that I can wear any time of the day. For daytime, though, I only wear it as a lip stain. But for nights out, it looks gorgeous full-on! I don’t know why I waited this long to finally buy it. A really big mistake not buying it sooner, lol!

MAC Russian Red Lipstick Swatches

Color and texture comparison swatches from L-R:
A – MAC Russian Red
B – MAC Ruby Woo
C – Inglot 408 Matte
D – Chanel Pirate lipstick

MAC Russian Red Lipstick
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A classic red that every woman should have on her makeup collection. Russian Red can also be Asian Red, American Red, African Red, anybody’s red, really! It is such a universally flattering red lip color that will go with any skintone and undertone. 😉

Pigmented lips or not, this will definitely cover your lips with beautiful color and finish that you won’t be able to stop checking yourself out in the mirror every few minutes.

I bought MAC Russian Red Lipstick from MAC in Glorietta 4, Makati for Php1,000.

Do you also like true reds like MAC Russian Red lipstick? Don’t have it yet in your collection? What are you waiting for?

Alyssa Melanie



  1. I bought the russian red and i love it! Best red lipstick for me. Not too striking. At first I was unsure of what to buy between the ruby woo and the russian.. But thanks to this article!

    • Thanks Kathleen! I’m glad that you love Russian Red too. Both Ruby Woo and Russian Red are awesome, but I’m leaning more towards the brighter of the two which is Ruby Woo. Although on days when I don’t feel like wearing a vibrant shade, then it’s Russian Red for me too. 😀

  2. This is so far the best red lipstick for me! Long lasting and striking! Wore this one during our Company’s Anniversary Party and even after eating, it did not come off! Amazing! Recommended for those who don’t like to retouch and fearless!

  3. Hi. I’ve been wearing MAC lipstick for 10 yrs. Russian Red is my go-to whenever I need to dash out the house without putting full makeup on. It gives me a pretty color boost. I continue to love MAC lipsticks.

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