After reviewing 3 lipsticks available in Britain, I was planning to do 3 American lipsticks but after ordering Maybelline's Empire Red off Ebay, I have been awaiting it's arrival to do the review and it still hasn't showed up.
Nevermind, instead I will review 2 more MAC lipsticks. In fact, these two are the most hyped red lipsticks of all and they are of course Russian Red and Ruby Woo (left to right in below photograph).
Starting with Russian Red, the least pink of the 2, it is a matte colour with amazing lasting power. The colour is blue-toned, yet not pink on my skin at all. When I have tried other apparent true-reds, they have either turned orange or pink on me, but Russian Red is neither. It is a bright true-red, though this may not be the case on everyone.
As I have said, it is matte so can be drying, therefore I recommend some lipbalm underneath if you want it to remain matte, or some clear lipgloss over the top if you prefer glossy looks. There is also a lipglass available from MAC with the same name so this may work over the top too, but I haven't tried it so couldn't vouch for it's performance.
Ruby Woo is even drier than Russian Red, it isn't easy to apply without lipbalm underneath as the texture is quite chalky and can drag on your lips if they are dry. It then sets after a few minutes, meaning minimal fading as it usually takes a make up remover to get rid of it.
The colour wasn't red enough for me, though. It turned slightly fuschia on my lips, maybe because of the texture, which I quite liked. Maybe there's too much yellow in my skin for it to be a true red. I didn't mind the colour, it was quite nice, but the pink undertone put me off because I just prefer red.
In conclusion, my favourite has to be Russian Red which is nothing but red on me. It is also less hard work as Ruby Woo requires a careful application and will not apply consistently without lipbalm due to the dryness.
I recommend you try the 2 lipsticks as both get lots of brilliant reviews and are retro, matte blue-toned shades. They would probably suit cool toned ladies best, though I am thinking if you have significant yellow undertones like myself, Russian Red may be better suited to you as it is the most universal of the 2 lipsticks and also less hard work.