Ok, I’m just going to go right ahead and say it:
This lipstick beats the pants off of MAC’s Ruby Woo.
Yep. This drugstore cheapie is truly a diamond in the rough. I’m your standard red lipstick fanatic, constantly on a crusade for the perfect red. My collection includes MAC Red, MAC Ruby Woo, Besame Cosmetics Red Hot Red, Besame Cosmetics Cherry Red, Revlon Cherry Blossom, and NARS Dragon Girl. The latter is probably my favourite of the bunch, but I’ll get back to you on that later in the week after I pick up a tube of Melt Cosmetics Belladonna 2 from a friend of mine who says it doesn’t suit her.
But, I digress. Stoplight Red knocked my socks off. It’s a blazing blue red that gives opaque coverage in one swipe. I have been wearing it over MAC Cherry lip liner to prevent feathering, but wearing it solo doesn’t actually cause Stoplight Red to feather much unless the weather is humid (it’s been so gross here in London of the past week.)
The packaging consists of a glossy black plastic tube with a transparent cap. It’s pretty light and unsophisticated, but this is a brand that’s used to the inside of 12 year old girls’ handbags; it’s not swish, it’s not trying to pretend to be swish. For the pocket change that this lipstick costs, all I care about is that the tube is safely portable. So far, no issues. The cap is secure and the body of the tube itself is strong enough. My one gripe about the packaging has to do with the bullet of product itself: it doesn’t twist down so that the tip of the lipstick recedes lower than the lip of the tube. This results in the lipstick smudging the inside of the cap. It looks a bit sloppy and can become messy if you’re not careful.
You can see what I’m talking about. It’s not a major offence, but it’s something that could be easily fixed by making the bullet fully retractable.
This is Stoplight Red retracted as far down as it will go. I’ve used it four or five times, so it’s a bit worn down, but not much. The bullet itself has a wide, slightly oblong plane. I prefer pointier bullets because it makes application easier. A lip brush would be ideal here.
From left: 1 pass of Stoplight Red, 2 passes of Stoplight Red, 1 pass of Ruby Woo. As you can see, Stoplight red is even bluer than Ruby Woo. It’s also more opaque and applies more evenly. The only way in which Ruby Woo is better is the fact that Stoplight Red never becomes completely matte. It’s marketed as having a matte finish, but is actually more of a satin.
Stoplight Red applied to my bare lips, straight from the tube. There’s no discernible scent or flavour.
In summary, this is an affordable product that gives a red lippie lover everything they could possibly want for $2.29. It goes for slightly higher here in the UK because you can only get it online (I bought this tube on Amazon.) The only con for me is the clumsy packaging.