Sep 09 2016

Shiseido Red Queen Rouge Rouge Lipstick Review & Swatches


There’s quite a bit of red this season! As much as the search for the perfect Nude Lip is a life long quest, the same can be said of a Red. Wouldn’t you say? One of the reasons I am so impressed with Shiseido’s recent Rouge Rouge Lipstick collection (permanent) release is due in part to its complete dedication to the color red. Shiseido’s story behind this collection focuses on the power of red, it’s ability to energize the spirit and engage the senses and its importance in various cultures. Every lipstick in the Rouge Rouge collection looked beautiful. You can bet I wanted to scoop them all up in my grubby makeup addict hands. But, practicality winning over, I settled for one – the kind of “red” that usually gets me going: Shiseido Red Queen.


Shiseido Red Queen Review Swatches


Shiseido Red Queen Review Swatches


Shiseido says: Envelop lips in vibrant red color, lasting luster and rich moisture. Rouge Rouge is the go to collection of creamy moisturizing lipsticks in an extraordinary spectrum of reds. Using Vibrant Red Color Technology, Shiseido has exclusively developed sixteen of the most flattering shades-nuanced, intense, unforgettable with a red for everyone.

More promises from this formula:

  • Vibrant Red Color Technology works in five different ways to deliver the perfect red color pigment to lips.
  • Fit and Bond Powder adheres to lips for perfect color and finish that does not fade.
  • S Hyaluronic Acid Complex and S Hydro-Wrap Vitalizing DE EX deliver rich moisture for smooth shapely-looking lips.

A creamy, moisturizing lipstick that offers vibrant color and lasting luster? What’s not to like. The sixteen shades in the collection range from show stopping vibrant bright reds to more subdued pinks.

What also caught my eye when I saw Shiseido Red Queen was the striking red packaging and unique design of the bullet. Mao Komai, designer of the Rouge Rouge packaging says that “the minimalist and calculated straight lines combined with the soft curved lines express the femininity and strength characteristic of modern women. For the color (Emotion) I chose the most prominent of black. The red seen on the box symbolizes Makeup, Emotion, and SHISEIDO”. For me, the shape of the bullet, combined with the smooth magnetic closure, bring to mind the drawing a sword from its sheath. Not that I’ve ever drawn a sword – but that is the imagery this packaging evokes for me.


Shiseido Red Queen Review Swatches
Shiseido Red Queen Review Swatches


Shiseido Red Queen Review Swatches


Shiseido Red Queen (RD716) is a very deep, warm pink with plum and brown undertones. Shiseido describes it as “a formal pinkish red-brown” color…”intended to suggest a subtle power with its discreet but noble, red shade.” I absolutely adore shades like this. Speaking of which, based on online photos, I’d actually expected it to be pinker but glad it wasn’t. Which brings me a little digression if you’ll indulge me.

The photos of Red Queen on the Sephora and Shiseido websites, as well as a few swatches I’ve seen, show more pink to the shade than mine do. My Red Queen is not as pink as those photos. Despite knowing this as I sat there looking at it in my hand, I still doubted myself. I agonized over my photos thinking they were off. I even retook them several times in different lighting – with similar results. At one point, I was holding the lipstick in and out of my window watching the light catch in it different ways. I must have looked nuts.

I’ll put it this way, to my eye, Red Queen (mine anyway) looks more or less like it does in my photos. It appears deeper, more plummy-brown indoors and a little more pink outdoors in the sunlight. Regardless, you all know that lighting, skin tone and the like can make swatches of the same product look different. Lately, I’ve been taking my photos in natural light and use a combination of natural light and a small ring light for lip swatches.


Shiseido Red Queen Review Swatches


Shiseido Red Queen Review Swatches

Shiseido Red Queen (Flash)

Shiseido Red Queen Review Swatches

Shiseido Red Queen (No Flash)

Shiseido Red Queen Review Swatches
Shiseido Red Queen Review Swatches

Anyway, moving on with the review. Red Queen applied smoothly and evenly with full color coverage in one swipe. It has a very creamy texture without being heavy or too emollient. I really like the way the lipstick hugs the lips making them look plump and luscious. You can tell when you apply it that is not going to migrate out of the lip area (and it didn’t). In fact, the formula reminds me of a MAC Sheen Supreme – but lighter yet richer somehow. Actually, Artistic Director of Shiseido Dick Page said it best “…Rouge Rouge has a sense of translucency while still possessing a great depth of color.”

It wore well about 4-6 hours (Shiseido only promises 4!), without eating, which is about the same and longer than some mattes. Fades very evenly. If you eat a heavy meal, you’re most likely going to have to reapply though I could get away without doing so if I was careful (no greasy fries and burgers). What is truly impressive about the formula is the fact that it feels moisturizing the whole time you’re wearing it. You don’t often get that along with a long (ish) wear time.

Can you tell I’m a fan? Shiseido Red Queen retails for $28.00 USD, you can find the collection at Sephora, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and similar retailers. Eventually, I’m going to add Hushed Tones and Poppy to my collection.





The product(s) mentioned were purchased with the author’s own money. The thoughts and opinions expressed are the author’s alone. Post may contain affiliate links. For more information see Disclaimer here.





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  1. The lipstick looks so chic! And I love the shade, perfect for Autumn! x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

  2. That is such a gorgeous shade on you, Kimmy! I haven’t bought much lipsticks recently because I have way too many but I am definitely tempted to check this out.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  3. I NEED this! I love Shiseido Rouge Perfect lipsticks and I feel like this is a more amped up version! The shade Red Queen is on my wish list, along with Rose Crush and Liaison. Your swatches are swaying me toward Red Queen – it just looks so wearable!

    • Kate on September 9, 2016 at 1:29 pm
    • Reply

    This is lovely – you can’t beat a great red! x

    Kate Louise Blogs

  4. I’ve been getting more into red-y lip colors on myself lately (something I never thought I’d say). This is a very beautiful shade! Just perfect for transitioning into Autumn.

    Nida | Caked To The Nines

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