Top two photos: Backstage with MAC at Kenneth Cole. Third photo: Backstage with MAC at Zac Posen. Last photo: Model at Alice and Olivia, makeup by Stila.

It’s no secret that I’m crazy about a red lip. I used to be all about a statement eye; smokey eyes were my signature when I was in my early 20s. But sensitive skin/eyes forced me to ease up on such frequent use of shadow and loads of liner, so I discovered a new main love for instant impact: bold lipstick. Red, in particular, makes me feel instantly pulled together – even on days when I feel like forgoing eye makeup completely. I have an arsenal of reds, and since seeing the perfect ombre red lip rendition at Kenneth Cole, I’ve been mixing darks and brights and doubling up on lip liners to recreate the dimensional look (I’ll post a tutorial, if you want). But we all have our favorites, and my most used tube in the bunch is MAC Russian Red: it’s matte but not too dry, cool but not too blue, and lasts forever.

The hunt for the perfect red lipstick seems to be a popular topic with strong opinions, so now I want to know: What’s your favorite red lipstick?