Focus On: MAC Russian Red

Finish: Matte / Intense bluish-red

Rating: lippie2lippie2lippie2lippie2 (4 out of 5)

Russian Red was recommended to me by several who knew I was hunting for the perfect red lipstick . . . unfortunately, this AIN’T it! While it may look okay in the pictures, in person, this is truly bright and I feel like it strikes too much contrast against my pale complexion. There are better reds out there, in my opinion, for those of us with fair skin. That was my only reason for taking off one lippie on the rating scale. Other than that, I am very impressed by the matte finish and I feel if you have a more tan complexion, and darker, you could easily pull this one off. The blue tint in the lipstick will also make your teeth appear whiter. My hunt continues!

What are the Best Eyeshadows to Pair with Russian Red?

Combo worn: Lithe pigment on inner half of lid, Naked Dark pigment on outer half of lid, Chocolate Brown pigment in outer corners, lightly.

As Russian Red is such a BRIGHT color, the eyes should remain neutral so as to let your lips do the talking (and believe me, they will)! In the above look I opted for a barely there combo using some of MAC’s pigments and you can see how nicely the two play with one another. I have received some questions about how to wear blue eyeshadow with red lips, and it is possible to do so as long as you keep the blue either very light or contained to a small portion of the eye, say in the outer corners. Just don’t slather your lid in bright blue eyeshadow, like Drew Carey’s Mimi would! 😉

15 thoughts on “Focus On: MAC Russian Red

  1. Wow! That is one bright lipstick. It really takes over everything on the face. I guess we both are still searching for our red lipstick.

  2. christine dittmann


    I searched also a while for my perfect red. At least I find it in Mac lipmix crimson. I love the Color!

  3. My absolutely perfect red is Viva Glam I. I am fair skinned with red hair and freckles, and this lipstick is just, well, perfect for me. It also doesn’t make my lips look smaller, which is often the case with other reds.

  4. Wow-those are some red lips-Looks good on you but I have seen some of your other bright lip shades that are more flattering. Brick O’la was one of them and Captive was the other in your Pin Up look. I certainly can not wear Russian Red-maybe someone with a darker complexion and in their mid twenties can. Although Gwen Stefani does wear a bright red. Oh well-Looking forward to your next lippie review.

      1. BLECK-Rofl
        I just mailed my blush and mineralize shadow containers-12 altogether so I get two free lippies-I chose Capricious and Jubilee-any thoughts on those?

        1. LOL! 😉
          Alright!! Love free lippies!
          I haven’t tried those but I am gearing up for another lipstick sample haul so I’ll have to try those and let you know – if you don’t let me know first! Ha!

  5. Ahh, red lippie…One of the great loves of my life!! 😉 i know you’re not an everyday red-lippie wearer, but Russian Red looks gorgeous on you. My go-to shade (since college, 2001) has been Ruby Woo. Quite similar to Russian Red, but i find it a bit less “shocking”. (Though pretty sure “shocking” is what i was initially going for when i started wearing read…LoL!)… Other top fav red shades include Mark.’s “Cha-Cha”, Avon’s “Poppy Love” & “Red Reveal”, and the new Urban Decay Super Saturated Lip color in “F-Bomb” (probably similar to the red in the Theodora palette… And im going to try “Viva Glam”, thanks to Karin’s review! Cheers to all my fellow red-lipped ladies! 🙂

  6. I have Russian Red and cannot get over the matte, drabness for my colouring…for me the best red is Ramblas Red, which leans pink, I suggest a sample would be good to try…also lasts an age on the lips and wears off ‘cleanly’ and ‘evenly’ if you know what I mean??!!!

  7. I agree with lots of above.

    I prefer a more warm red lipstick and bought Lady Bug which is not as bright and more yellowbased. I use it with Redd lippencil for a sheer look and Cherry lip pencil for a brighter and cooler look.

    My next red buy will be Viva Glam 1 with Brick lip pencil. So sofisticated and vintage!

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