As a beauty fanatic I truly believe every woman (or man, no judgement here) needs at least one red lipstick in their makeup bag! Skin colour and whether you have warm or cool undertones may be factors in helping you decide which shade of red you’re drawn to and best suited to but in this post I’m going to be talking about the best dupe I have found for Ruby Woo from MAC if you aren’t the biggest fan of the retro matte formula.
What makes Ruby Woo so great?
If you aren’t already aware as to why Ruby Woo has cult status here’s a bit of background. Ruby Woo is described as a vivid blue-red and the shade is very inclusive, suiting a range of skin tones from fair to deep. For many, including myself, it is the perfect classic red, it’s not too warm or too cool and it doesn’t pull orange, berry or burgundy, it’s straight up red. It is also the kind of red that makes your teeth look white… who doesn’t want that?!
Meet the Dupe: Ruby You – MAC
No, that’s not a typo and you may think I’m cheating a little with this dupe but it has everything I know and love about the original Ruby Woo with a few minor differences. In 2021 MAC introduced Ruby’s Crew, launching their world famous red lipstick in fan-favourite formulas including powder kiss liquid lip colour and a tinted lipglass. I’ll be comparing the original Ruby Woo to Ruby You and sharing swatches. I do see a place for the both of these in my collection and won’t be getting rid of either. However, if you’re on the hunt for a good red or know someone who is, this post will help distinguish between the two.
L-R: Ruby You and Ruby Woo
Formula & Longevity
Ruby Woo has a retro matte formula giving it a completely matte, velvety finish. This means it is long wearing with intense colour payoff. The lipstick will get you through the day/night without needing major touch ups and does last when eating and drinking. It is supposedly kiss proof as well, I’ve never put this to the test but I imagine if you’re giving someone a quick peck on the check it’s fine. I’ve touched my fingers to my lips when wearing Ruby Woo and they have always come away clean.
Ruby You is part of the Love Me lipstick line. It is a weightless, argan-oil infused formula that gives an instant hit of colour and all day moisture with a soft, satin finish. If you have dry lips you will prefer this formula as it glides on and is the best parts of MAC’s satin, amplified and lustre finishes all rolled into one. As there is more slip with Ruby You I do advise a lip liner (I recommend a lip liner with all red lipsticks) to help the colour fade more evenly throughout the day. If you are eating or drinking this may need to be reapplied and checked during the day, it won’t give as much longevity as Ruby Woo. On the lips the difference isn’t obvious but in the arm swatches you will see Ruby You has more shine.
Ruby Woo comes in the standard black bullet packaging. It also has special red packaging with the shade name on the bullet as part of the Ruby’s Crew launch but I’m not sure if that packaging will be permanent or is available for a limited time only.
Ruby You follows the look of the rest of the Love Me line, a shiny ombre bullet showcasing the colour family each shade is from: nudes, purples or reds. This is my first Love Me lipstick from the reds and the packaging is beautiful! I have a few other lipsticks from the Love Me range and I think the packaging is some of the prettiest in my makeup collection. This packaging also makes the lipstick easy to identify in your makeup bag/drawer.
Ruby Woo in the regular black bullet will set you back $35 (NZD) and $38 (NZD) in the special red packaging.
Ruby You will set you back $38 (NZD) – a little more expensive but worth it for the packaging I feel.
Both of these lipsticks are easy to apply and control. There is less glide with Ruby Woo purely down to the formula. If you have dry lips I would also recommend applying a small amount of lip balm to the lips 10-20 minutes beforehand to help Ruby Woo go on easier. This still gives the velvety matte finish and precise application without giving the lipstick too much slip. If the lipstick is applied directly after the balm it can be harder to control and get precise lines. Ruby Woo is pretty much opaque with one layer and doesn’t require much building up. Ruby You glides over the lips but I need to apply two-three layers to get opaque, even coverage. Ruby You is easier to maneouvre to get into the corners of the mouth due to its formula.
Top: Ruby Woo
Bottom: Ruby You
(Both shades applied over Olive lip liner from xoBeauty)
Top: Ruby You
Bottom: Ruby Woo
Now that you’ve read about both shades, who should purchase each one? If you don’t mind a matte lipstick formula, want to save a little bit of money and want colour that lasts all day, go for Ruby Woo. If your lips are on the drier side, you want a red that is soft, easy to apply and re-applying lipstick throughout the day doesn’t bother you, go for Ruby You.
To be honest you can’t go wrong with either of these. The colour is identical, both are comfortable, pigmented and have good longevity. What you like in a lipstick will ultimately determine which is right for you.