I'm sorry to say I'm going to inflict more MAC onto you today. Honestly, I'm not an employee! They have done some amazing reds in the past and continue to so this is why I am constantly talking about them and name dropping. I promise to be truthful though, if I don't like it, I will say so.
There'll be no trouble with that with my next 3 lipsticks as I like all 3 of them. All 3 are limited edition MAC frost finish lipsticks that are no longer available. Sorry. They are so nice though so I feel I have to tell you about them in case one of them might end up being your perfect red. They are (L-R below): Port Red, Racy, and Ruby Darling.
Port Red is my favourite MAC lipstick, along with Viva Glam. It is a darker, but still deep and bright red which is slightly mettallic on the lips. It is quite blue/cool toned but doesn't go pink on my NC25 yellow toned skin, it's just the perfect ruby red. A note to all girls similar skintone as me - try seek this one out and try it!
Not only is it a beautiful shade, the lasting power is fairly good, beaten only by the much more drying matte MAC lippies. It is not for the faint hearted as it is so bright, but it is incredibly retro and sexy looking so I will continue trying to find back ups of this so I will never run out ever in my life.
Racy is more toned down than Port Red as it is more warm toned. It's still quite bright though, but not quite in-your-face, so perfect for those who want to stand out but not THAT much. It is still flattering though, with a slight copper undertone which makes it a bit more universally flattering than Port Red, but slightly less retro unfortunately.
Ruby Darling is great for all you shy girls out there. I find it a little bit too brown and muted, though many people have raved about it's magnificance on Makeupalley.com so it must work for the majority. It has a slight red shimmer which makes it stunning, otherwise it's just a red toned brown in my opinion.
As I have said, unless you are after a daytime red or just general muted red, I don't think this is the true retro red that many search high and low for. I will wear it on a daytime basis but for the nighttime, I prefer something that stands out more.
(Top to Bottom - Port Red, Racy, Ruby Darling)
My conclusion is that if you are looking for a brighter red, I would go for either Port Red or Racy. Port Red is my favourite of the 2 though as it is much brighter. I can see it going pink on some with darker skintones though, so beware. Ruby Darling is perfect for daytime looks and for anyone wanting a red thats not so harsh.
Unfortunately all 3 of these lipsticks were limited edition so hard to get hold of, it's such a shame as they are all great in their own way. If you think you want to try these colours from seeing my above swatch, I would try Ebay or swap sites like the one I mentioned earlier. I promise to do more attainable lipsticks next time.