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Greatest Hits: MAC Russian Red Looks as Good on You as It Does on Madonna

By Wendy Rodewald-Sulz / September 23, 2014

Illustration: Jane Kirby

While we can’t get enough of shiny new beauty launches, sometimes it’s the products that have stood the test of time that really deserve the spotlight. In our Greatest Hits series, we take a closer look at the staples beauty insiders swear by.

The Icon

What it is: This intense, matte finish bluish red lip color has been a bestseller for almost a quarter of century. 

The Story

In 1984, Make-up Art Cosmetics was founded in Canada by makeup artist Frank Toskan and salon owner Frank Angelo. Within a few years, the line had become a cult favorite, and one famous fan was Madonna. The singer wore Russian Red onstage throughout her 1990 Blonde Ambition tour, and it’s been a top seller ever since.
In 2012, Russian Red was transformed into a Lip Glass and nail polish as part of the MAC Fashion Sets collection.
The brand’s motto, “All ages, all races, all sexes” is particularly suited to this iconic shade, which is as flattering on a Material Girl blonde as it is on Anne Hathaway, who wore the shade onscreen in The Devil Wears Prada.

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