I really only wear MAC, with a few miscellaneous dupes when they pop up on the horizon for cheap. I prefer a graphic look and MAC lippies are heavily-pigmented and full of obedient waxes that generally don't flee toward your earlobes or retreat into the old-lady creases that you definitely don't have because you're only (insert age here).
Just a word on the pics- we use DSLRs to document all swatches, remove colour casts with professional software and are able to present colours as relatively true-to-life. In all my lipstick reviews I intend to use MAC Russian Red as a baseline comparison, because it is so widely familiar and a gold standard to many.
MAC Ruffian Red. Yes, I know it was limited edition but that's not the point. It is the shit, and still possibly my favorite red ever and I'm not alone in that. It deserves to be memorialized, and bitches, this is MAC, so a reissue is about 2 months away at any given point on the calendar. I am drying your tears with my words.
STAR RATING * * * * *
SHADE: A central red, pulling slightly toward warm/orange with a rich, velvety tomato soup hue. The only other comparison I can think of is rather gory; newly-spilled, highly-oxygenated blood sitting on concrete under high-key streetlight. Life-red.
TEXTURE: off-matte. Ruby woo is a 10/10 full matte. Ruffian Red- 9/10. Thickly pigmented. Densely, almost completely opaque. Comfortable.
STAYING POWER: On me (no base, no liner, nonsmoker, no eating) 5 hours without need to touch up or reapply. Faint staining, very little/no feathering.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Everyone. Really. I cannot think of a toning that would not benefit from Ruffian Red. Warm enough for olive and African complexions, centre-red enough for everyone else. Perhaps not for those with blue/burgundy dye jobs, but that's about all I can think of.
COMMENTS: In some lights, notably indoor fluorescent, Ruffian Red pulls far more orange and may appear so on some internet pics and poorly-toned photographs in general. But don't let this fool you- it is red, and uniquely so in its chameleonic ability to flatter and pimp practically everyone who throws it on. Looks grown up, and a small warning here- you need to be grown to pull this off; not for tweens, teens or the congenitally meek. It is inherently dramatic, recalling the sinister plush of the theatre curtains dressing Lynch's Twin Peaks cycle, or that shade of red that is the eternal companion to gold in so many Asian traditions. Rangda red. Enough said.
FLASHED OUTDOORS NATURAL OUTDOOR LIGHTING
L-R: russian red, ruffian red, chili, ruby woo