MAC's Ruby Woo is the standard bearer for red lipstick among many women. Its blue undertones enable it to suit women with the deepest black afro to those with the blondest strands.
When I first started getting into makeup I tried and tried to like MAC's Ruby Woo, seeing it on women whom I would stop to compliment (I am that chick- if I like what you're wearing I will stop you and let you know #playitforward), but in store I would struggle to purchase it as it was well, dry. Dry as hell. I really hated the way the dryness highlighted very line / wrinkle and it settled on my lips. I searched online for dupes of the colour in an attempt to circumvent the dry texture but ended up purchasing it early in the summer 2017. My online search was frustrated in the the fact that dupes were shown on skin shades that were very dissimilar to that of my own. The shades came out different on me and so I thought it was important to post the lipsticks that I considered to be the closest to MAC's Ruby Woo.
The closest dupe in terms of both colour and finish is hands down L'Oreal's Blake's Pure red. I discovered this by accident whilst getting ready. I had been rushing to get ready and Ruby Woo was tugging at my lips, frustrated I threw the bullet down and searched for another red I thought would be impact on my all back outfit - had it of been the height of summer I would have rocked MAC's Lady Danger. I had searched for Blake's Red after seeing it on a post by Erica from the Glamorous Gleam (check her out, I love her), eventually purchasing it from eBay as it is no longer in Superdrug. I placed the colour on top and it was a perfect match down to the finish. In my opinion the Pure red is better as it is less drying that Ruby Woo, as you can see from the above swatch, it doesn't settle into lines as readily as Ruby Woo which is why it appears slightly glossier. However, they are a perfect match.
The other lipsticks are close matches, although their moisturising formulas make them appear glossy in the picture. Wet n Wild's Spotlight Red and E.L.F's Ruby Red have excellent pigmentation, with E.L.F's Rich Red settling down to a nice stain on my lips after a few hours of wear.
I make sure I exfoliate my lips before wearing Ruby Woo. With these reds I need to ensure that I line my lips and apply with a lip brush - blotting in-between to build up the colour and intensity. I also make sure to moisturise my lips with carmex / blistex first, blotting off any excess. This helps to keep some of the dryness at bay for a few hours.
What are your favourite reds?