Review: Shiseido Perfect Rouge Tender Sheer Lipstick in Natural Red

By Voxy  

For some reason I’ve been on a red lipstick kick lately. While out of town I picked up two red Guerlain Kiss Kiss lipsticks (reviews to come as soon as I can swatch them) and just yesterday I got a lipstick sampler with two red lippies in it. I now have more red lippies than I know what to do with.

Fortunately for me, red lips are super-hot this fall, so at the very least I will be trendy. Poor, but trendy. Students will pass me on campus and say, “Pfft! Typical absent-minded professor, wearing threadbare clothes from 1972 with holes in them. Nice lipstick, though.”

One of my favorite recent buys is the Shiseido Perfect Rouge Tender Sheer lipstick in Natural Red. Wasn’t someone asking a couple of months ago about whether or not there was a sheer red lipstick that would be a good starter red for someone who wasn’t yet red-dy (ha!) to take the plunge to a full-on scarlet? This is the answer to that problem: a sheer, gorgeous, mistake-proof, you-cannot-possibly-go-wrong-wearing-this-lipstick red.

That I even investigated these at all is purely due to the good PR that Inthelab gave Shiseido, which made me think maybe I should reconsider my former not-interested stance towards the brand. She should get a commission!

Shiseido’s Perfect Rouge Tender Sheers come in four colors: Tender (sheer petal pink), Natural Red (sheer deep red), Pout (sheer mauve rose), and Natural Wine (sheer burgundy wine, which I really want to try now). Natural Red looks terrifyingly dark in the tube but it really is sheer. One coat gives a slightly red glow to the lips, and two coats makes them positively pop.

Because it is sheer, it doesn’t stain as much as an opaque lipstick does, so expecting more than three or four hours out of this lippie is as futile as expecting Lindsay Lohan to stay out of jail for longer than six months at a stretch. After the shine has worn off, it leaves only a light stain, but the upside to that is that there’s little chance of it feathering or bleeding into fine lines. There is no scent that I can detect, and it feels very moisturizing. It fades evenly and doesn’t get crusty, so frequent touchups (while inconvenient) are not unpleasant or troublesome.

Close-up and swatch!

Naked lip:

Lip with two coats Shiseido Perfect Rouge Tender Sheer in Natural Red:


Shiseido Perfect Rouge Tender Sheer Lipstick in Natural Red: $25 (at Sephora, online only)

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Good. Price itself is excellent, but I wish it had a longer wearlength.

Purchase again? Yes.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

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  1. avatar K.Lee
    Posted January 12, 2012 at 12:18 am | Permalink | Reply

    That is my PERFECT red (I have two other reds I love) now, if only I could decide to fork up the $25 for it. LOL


  2. avatar an English adjunct
    Posted January 31, 2011 at 1:39 am | Permalink | Reply

    I just wanted to chime in and say: Today I bought the first successful red lipstick in my life, and it was the Natural Red! I came home from the Shiseido counter and immediately googled it and thus found your wonderful site (high time we academics had our own cosmetics site!).

    I had really almost given up finding the perfect “starter red,” after failed excursions to both the MAC store and Sephora…they were traumatizing, actually. But one swipe of Natural Red and all of us (me, my friend, the Shiseido saleslady) just stood there beaming happily. It was like turning a corner and coming home.

    I’m going to a convention this week so I especially wanted a pretty yet assertive lippie. Do you have any recommendations for a “starter pink” that would work well with a fair but yellowish complexion? I’m white (always have to buy the lightest shade foundation/concealer), but have strange underlying olive tones which means I can seldom wear pastels (those Lands End sweaters, e.g.–I call them “blonde colors”). I don’t think I could get away with coral or anything too orange, either.

    Thank you again for writing these hilarious and informative reviews–


  3. avatar a biologist
    Posted September 17, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I just got this–I’ve been on the hunt for a red lippie since the red lipstick post. The color is great, and I think it would work with a variety of skin tones. It has a nice creamy but not oily or sticky feel.

    I don’t usually wear full lipstick because it is a little too formal for my environment, but this is perfect for adding some color like the glosses I usually wear but looking a little more sophisticated and matte.

    (I also got the Stila kitten gloss & shadow, which is a much more typical lippie for me but not nearly so glam).


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted September 18, 2010 at 9:54 am | Permalink | Reply

      Yay! I’m so glad people are liking it!

      In related news, given my comparison of this lippie’s lasting power to how long Lindsay Lohan can stay out of jail, I hear she just failed her first drug test post-rehab. So, uh, there it is. ;)


      • avatar a biologist
        Posted October 20, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Follow up endorsement:
        I was told I had a beautiful smile this weekend while I was wearing this lipstick.

        It was in the course of giving me directions at a meeting, not as street harassment–in which case I would have wondered if my skirt was too short rather than crediting my lippie.


  4. avatar Francie
    Posted September 9, 2010 at 9:06 am | Permalink | Reply

    “Wasn’t someone asking a couple of months ago about whether or not there was a sheer red lipstick that would be a good starter red for someone who wasn’t yet red-dy (ha!) to take the plunge to a full-on scarlet? This is the answer to that problem: a sheer, gorgeous, mistake-proof, you-cannot-possibly-go-wrong-wearing-this-lipstick red.”

    Yeah, that was probably me. : )

    It does seem like the perfect solution to the red lipstick dilemma. I am now emboldened, after years of avoidance (inter-post-uality alert!), to approach a department store make-up counter. I’ll report back with results.

    On a related note, I found a very nice mauve in the L’Oreal Endless line, “Undeniably Mauve” #500. Overall, I like this line of lipsticks, not too shiny, not too heavy or sticky, and good staying power while lecturing and even eating. This color especially seems to wear well.


  5. avatar LadyStarlight
    Posted September 9, 2010 at 8:37 am | Permalink | Reply

    Oooo, that Shisedo is gorgeous! It’s on my list for my next trip to a large city with (hopefully) a real cosmetics counter!

    I think that comment about red glosses was from me, btw! I found the Cherries in the Glow you recommended and love it!


  6. avatar marigolds
    Posted September 7, 2010 at 10:27 am | Permalink | Reply

    This one is really, really pretty.


  7. avatar Inthelab
    Posted September 6, 2010 at 10:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    I’m here for my commission. I accept lipstick, moisturizers, eye shadows, …
    BTW, looks very nice on you. Sheers never last long on me; I still love ’em.


  8. avatar chaosbydesign
    Posted September 5, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Yay for red lipstick being ‘in’ for the fall! I love red lipstick (not that that is news to you), now I can wear all the new ones I acquired over summer *and* give the impression that I am fashionable!

    I’m tempted by this one. It looks great for work as it’s not too bright. I like the look of the ‘Tender’ shade as well.

    wearing threadbare clothes from 1972 with holes in them

    Heh. I think we all know you don’t dress like that ;)


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