After 22 hours of research evaluating 118 products, we picked MAC Lipstick as our top choice.
We bet most women would agree that there's no better way to finish off a look than with a pop of the perfect lip color.
In fact, in a study conducted by Daily Mail, men said they are drawn to women's lips over any other facial feature. So why not accentuate your best feature with the best lipstick brand?
Hold up a sec:
Well, maybe you have tried to jump on the lipstick bandwagon but were entirely overwhelmed by the variety of brands, formulas, and shades. Well, you're not alone.
Here's the deal:
In order to make your search for the perfect lipstick easier, we've done the work for you—searching, reading reviews, and testing products to bring you a list of the best lipstick formulas out there.
And to sweeten the deal, we've categorized each pick to help you find exactly what you're looking for.
What's the bottom line?
And while you won't find anything on our list to help pump up your pout, if you're in search of a lip plumper to go with your new lipstick, we've got you covered there too!
Check out our picks below and let us know in the comments what your favorite picks are.
Rich in both color and hydration, the Omega 3, Vitamin E, and Argan Oil in this product will keep lips soft, smooth, and supple from morning to night.
Not the longest lasting—will start to fade after eating and drinking—but for a $5 lipstick you can definitely afford to reapply every few hours.
Ultra nourishing with ingredients like Omega 3, Vitamin E, and Argan Oil will soften and hydrate as for the most flawless, comfortable wear you’ll experience with a lip color. Softens and smooths while also delivering rich, intense color.
Pro tip: Pair with a L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner for a perfectly defined and contoured pout.
Whether you’re looking for a bold red or a subtle nude, L’Oreal offers a large spectrum of show-shopping shades that are highly pigmented and long lasting—24 to be exact!
While this lipstick isn’t the longest lasting on our list by any means, for a $5 drugstore lipstick it’s pretty amazing that this bad boy will deliver 8+ hours of wear and hydration—which is far more than you’d expect for a product at this price point.
At $5.67 per tube of lipstick, this product is one of the least expensive on our list. At that price you can afford to buy one in every color!
The NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil is available in a variety of vibrant colors that won't dry out your lips or end up on your teeth. Plus, it will last all day, no reapplication required.
Pretty lightweight compared to other expensive lip products, which really could be a pro or a con depending on what you prefer.
The jumbo crayon design of the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil combines the application of a lipstick with the convenience of a pencil. Use for lining, all-over lip color, or pairing with another lip product. The long lasting, non-drying formula instantly saturates lips with rich pigments, is enriched with emollients for a creamy texture, and sets to a gorgeous, velvety matte finish.
While the collection is known for its dark reds and dimensional nudes, this product is available in a total of 31 shades from nude, to pink, to deep red. A few of our favorites include Cruella and Belle De Jour.
A combination of unique silicones ensures long-lasting, seamless color for hours. And if you do feel the need to reapply, the pencil design makes touching up a breeze.
Ouch, $27 for a lip pencil is a little on the pricey side. However, a little goes a long way with this product, so it could be worse.
Looking for the ultimate matte pout? Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick has got you covered! This creamy-matte, full-coverage lip color is perfect for anyone looking for something relatively opaque with a touch of shine! Plus, the formula is light and fast-drying, so your lips won't get that sticky feeling experienced with most glosses.
Some reviewers report this lipstick doesn't have quite the staying power they hoped for. Also some reviewers aren't super fond of the scent and report that the gloss is a bit drying.
The creamy-matte, full coverage formula feels weightless on the lips, but is rich in color and pigmentation. Don't let that scare you though, this high quality liquid lipstick will not bleed or transfer and will stay in place for up to 6 hours of continuous wear. It even contains Vitamin E and avocado oil to hydrate and soften the lips.
Stila recently upped their game from 14 to a hefty 22 shades! While you really can't go wrong with any color they offer, Beso is a fan favorite. But order quick if you find it in stock, this kissable hue does not last long!
As the name suggests, the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick's weightless, color-rich formula will not bleed or feather, and the long-lasting color stays in place all day long.
$22 for a lipstick isn't cheap, but it's pretty middle of the road for a good lip color.
Who is Charlotte Tilbury, you may ask? Well she's a celeb makeup artist, but beyond that, she certainly knows her stuff when it comes to lipstick. This product is designed to create the illusion of fuller, wider lips with lighting and pigmentation, regardless of lip size or shape. And trust us, it truly does not disappoint!
We wish there were a few more shades to choose from, but other than that this lipstick is pretty flawless.
The formula is uniquely infused with Orchid Extract, providing a cashmere finish and bold color without being the least big drying. The uniquely shaped stick is also great for coloring in the lines. Oh, and can we talk about that gorgeous rose gold case for a minute too? We seriously cannot get enough of this product.
While none of the 12 shades should be overlooked, Birkin Brown is by far one of the most popular hues given the recent spike in popularity of the 90s glam-tastic, chocolate berry look.
Not only does this lipstick moisturize and hydrate, the color-rich formula will last all day long without reapplication.
$34 makes this product one of the more expensive lipsticks on our list, but can you really put a price on the perfect matte lip? We think not. Plus, the longevity of wear means less application, so one tube may last longer than you would expect.
Affordable, long-lasting, and available in a total of 34 fun colors. Need we say more? Users actually rave that this stuff rivals Kylie Cosmetics.
Unfortunately, this product does not set well on dry or cracked lips.
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream goes on velvety smooth and delivers a burst of delightfully creamy color. Plus, the applicator makes precision application a breeze. And the best part? It sets to a stunning matte finish. Add to that the surprisingly sweet scent, and there is no question as to why this formula is such a fan favorite.
Available in a whopping 34 fun and flirty shades, we guarantee NYX offers something for every skin tone and occasion. If you're looking for a top seller, London is a fabulous nude shade that looks great on pretty much everyone.
While it feels very lightweight on your lips, this stuff is incredibly durable and reviewers report it lasts all day without requiring reapplication.
Umm at a price of $5 you really cannot go wrong with NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream. Heck, at that price you can afford to get one in every color!
If you would have told us before we started our research that Kylie would rank near MAC on our list of the best lipsticks, we probbbably would have told ya you were crazy. But, alas, we’ve gotta hand it to the girl. Kylie has somehow mastered both the formula and color pallet that everyone seems to be digging these days and has been able to do so at a fairly reasonable price. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not quite ready to go full Kylie and recommend the infamous lip kit, but we definitely think the liquid matte singles are worth a try.
A bit overly drying and has a tendency to settle into fine lines, giving lips a cracked appearance. Some also report a syrupy cherry scent, which, while not the most attractive, could be worse.
While the formula is a bit on the liquid-y side (some complain that it’s TOO watery), it does dry down in a matter of seconds and actually ends up being somewhat drying with continued wear. The bottle design could be better, as the applicator is easily overloaded to the point you need to scrape off some product before applying.
The pigmentation is intense, but still feels light weight and comfortable. It does transfer easily, but stays put in the lip line for a clean look from the time of application until you wipe it off.
There are currently 21 shades available on the website, and while the formula isn’t perfect the shade range is 100% on point. We would recommend Candy K as a good daytime color, or Ginger or Commando (you would, Kylie) for evening wear.
The staying power could be better on this lipstick, especially for a product at this price point. It will stay put for around 6-8 hours, but you may need to touch it up once or twice throughout the day as it begins to fade.
A single liquid lipstick is only $17, which isn’t the most expensive on our list.
The highly pigmented color dries instantly, stays fresh, and moves with your lips for more than 8 hours of wear.
The price. At nearly $40 for a lip stain makes this the most expensive product on our list.
The weightless, matte, liquid formula brought to you by YSL is one of the most comfortable stains we have ever encountered. A revolutionary formula for ultra-matte, high impact color with a lightweight, naked lip feel. Creates matte, tattoo-like color that is lightweight, yet non-drying, which makes the stain super comfortable.
The best part, the exclusive liner-like applicator allows you to precisely outline the lips for a perfectly defined look. Never feathers or spills over the lip line.
The 22 beautiful shades serve up potent color with a powdery and long-lasting finish.
YSL’s new liquid matte lip stain, Tatouage Couture, is not only one of the most comfortable products on our list, but it’s also one of the longest lasting.
At $37 for a .2-ounce bottle, this is one of the most expensive lip colors on our list. However, for a comfortable, long-lasting and highly-pigmented color we think that it’s well worth the investment.
Vibrant color, full coverage, intense pigment, and a matte finish in an easy-to-apply liquid formula— would more could you ask for in a lipstick.
The staying power isn’t quite as extensive as many of the other products on our list.
A full coverage, highly pigmented liquid formula that dries down to a weightless, matte finish. We also love the double-sided, round tip, flat applicator, as it distributes the perfect amount of product with precision.
Available in nearly 30 shades that vary from gorgeous light nudes, to sultry dark beige and brown. The beat red Tulip color is a fan favorite, but reviewers also rave about the mauve Allison as well. These colors are super versatile and can also be layered for a custom look.
Pro tip: Create a plumper look by applying a lighter shade onto the center of the lips and then lining the lips with something a bit deeper.
While you can expect a single application to provide smudge-proof coverage for hours, it definitely is not the longest lasting product on our list. For a vibrant, intense pigment you should expect to have to reapply several times throughout the day (however, at $20 this definitely isn’t a deal breaker.
Snag a tube on Amazon right now for $20, which is a steal considering this color is often sold out online and we’ve seen the price as high as $80—so stock up while you can!
This liquid lipstick goes on opaque, dries matte, and lasts for hours! As an added bonus it’s vegan and cruelty-free—which we can’t get enough of. Also, the bold, matte and metallic shades are highly pigmented and totally unique—perfect if you’re looking to make a statement!
Some reviewers found this to be a bit drying and other reported quality control issues when purchasing from Amazon.
Jeffree Star’s Velour Liquid Lipstick is a cult favorite and best-selling matte liquid lip that glides on smoothly leaving your lips looking fresh, bold, and beautiful. This product is full coverage, but sets quickly and feels light on the lips. This lipstick stays put and will not dry out lips, making it perfect for both every day wear or a special occasion.
The Velour Liquid Lipstick is available in TONS of different shades (over 70 to be exact) , but we’re partial to Calabasas. Named after Jeffree Star’s home city, this burn cranberry sienna compliments any and every skin tone.
Not only is this high-pigmented color very full-coverage, but the signature long-wear formula lasts and lasts without having to be reapplied. The velvety, matte finish is transfer proof and won’t rub off like other matte liquids currently on the market.
Available for just under $30 on Amazon, or snag it for $18 on the Jeffree Star website. For just under .2 ounces, that price is pretty on par for quality lip color. So if you’re on the market for something bold and unique, you definitely need to give Jeffree Star a try!
Kat Von D's Everlasting Liquid Lipstick truly embodies everything you could ever ask for in a lip color. Color-rich? Check. Smooth application? Check. Killer range of hues? Check, check, anddd check. If you're looking for a long-lasting liquid lipstick you've really gotta give this product a try.
A bit too shiny for the likes of some.
Kat Von D has brought you a totally life-proof lipstick with this everlasting lip color. It glides over lips like gloss, but sets quickly. However, it is a bit on the shimmery side, so if you're looking for something matte try the Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick Matte (equally as amazing). We also can't forget that the moisture rich formula is packed with natural ingredients such as Vitamin E and Sunflower Seed Wax to keep lips soft and smooth..
As an added bonus, the packaging is super sexy. Oh, and did we mention it's vegan and cruelty-free? Seriously, this product has got it all.
Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick is available in a record breaking 43 to-die-for shades, the largest variety of any product on our list. Though every single color is flawless, if you're looking for the best mauve lipstick on the market, you cannot go wrong with Lolita. Gorgeous!
Now, the longevity category is where this product really shines. This lip color stays for a full 24-hours with little to no reapplication needed. (But with a name like "Everlasting Liquid Lipstick" are you really surprised?)
Right at $20, this lipstick definitely won't break the bank.
As a surprise to no one, Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer is our top lip gloss overall. Even if you’re not typically a fan of lip gloss, this luminizer is sure to win you over. Oh, and on top of that, Rihanna said she created this product because she “wanted the girls to get kissed more”—so if that’s what you’re looking for click that “Get It” link now!
Only available in three shades. However, Rihanna created Fenty Beauty to serve a more diverse population of makeup lovers, so these colors are designed to complement all skin tones and types.
Created with shea butter, and free of parabens and phthalates, to condition and smooth. Perfectly formulated with a hint of color and shimmer to deliver that high-impact glossy look, without feeling gritty or sticky on the lips. Something else we love about this product is the size of the wand—the XXL design means your gloss will go on smooth and flawless without the need for multiple applications, meaning less wasted product.
Really, this is the only area where we see any room for improvement. Right now this gloss only comes in three shades: clear, shimmering pink, and rose nude. The good news is, however, these colors are curated to perfectly complement the largest range of skin tones possible, so we’re confident you will be able to find a shade that looks great on your complexion.
Not the longest staying power compared to other products on our list, but should last at least 3-4 hours—through eating, drinking, and talking—before it needs to be reapplied.
At $18, this lip gloss is pricier than a number of Faves on our list, but that is a small price to pay for a versatile product that has been ranked as a best-selling gloss by top beauty authorities, including Allure and Glamour (and, of course, us).
Endorsed by beauty brands such as USA Today and Cosmo, the innovative formula of Too Faced Melted Matte goes on like a gloss, but dries to an ultra-matte opaque finish. Additionally, this lipstick is infused with a no-sting lip plumper and filler for color that provides a full, rich, kissable finish every time.
Goes on heavy, almost clumpy, yet still requires multiple coats for an opaque finish. Also features a slightly chemical scent that isn’t our favorite.
The formula is thick and slightly drying, which, while maybe not the most comfortable, creates a visually smoothing effect that will give you a flawless look from sunup to sundown. While the small, doe-foot applicator wand works fabulously in coating your lips, the top of the bottle lacks suction so be cautious or you will end up with wasted product.
Comes in 20 shades ranging in color from fuchsia to jet black, but do beware of the intensity of this formula. While it may take several coats to reach your desired finish, this lip color has serious staying power and garish intensity. So be cautious with your color selection if you’re new to the world of darker shades.
While this lip color will stay in place for 8+ hours, it will likely begin to flake at the corners by the end of the day.
$23 for .23 ounces of product is actually a great deal, making this one of the more reasonably priced options on our list.
We’re not gonna lie, one of the reasons this lip stain landed at the top of our list is because of what this Elle beauty writer had to say about the extensive staying power of this bad boy. Any product that can hold up through a make out and tacos definitely deserves a top spot in our book.
The price...$30 for .08 ounces is a lot for a single product.
Preservative and mineral-oil free, this delicate, matte lip cream is a bit mousse-y upon application, but will quickly transform to a powdery, matte finish within moments. Plus, the unique felt tip applicator feels fantastic on the lips and dispenses color in a way that allows you to build each layer in a way which allows you to customize the color to be as sheer or moderate as you like.
Available in 14 on-trend shades in a range of rose hues, from nudes to deeper statement colors. Our favorites are Copper Pink or Honey Nude. And, if you’re into darker shades, this product out performs many competitors in coverage. So definitely give this product a try if you’re looking for a deep purple or cranberry without the appearance of bare spots or patches.
Expect this lip color to stain and moisturize for up to 8 hours. Let’s be honest, if it can withstand messy tacos and a make out, this lip color can hold up through just about anything!
At $30, this is one of the most expensive products on our list. However, for the quality formula, extensive shade variety, and excellent staying power you will not regret shelling out a bit more for a product of this caliber.
Let's be real, lipstick is the iconic product that made MAC famous. MAC lipstick is formulated to shade, define, and showcase the lips, creating a high-fashion, matte texture. As they say, once you go MAC you'll never go back.
The only problem reviewers report is that there are so many colors and finishes to choose from that it's nearly impossible to get just one!
The MAC formula is known for being highly pigmented, creamy, and long-lasting. We love that this product goes on so smooth you won't even remember you're wearing lipstick at all. While MAC lipstick is available in a variety of finishes—including frost, glaze, and satin—our personal favorite is the original matt finish.
MAC lipstick is available in literally hundreds of shades, so we could not even begin to name them all. Two of our favorites are Ruby Woo and Kinda Sexy, but you truly cannot go wrong with any lip color from MAC.
Well, as one user put it, MAC stays put through "many sips of wine." Really, what more could you ask for?
At $17 you won't want to run out and buy every color, but we promise this high quality, long-lasting product is well worth the investment.
We all came across eye-catching ads of Rihanna’s “Uncensored” red lipstick or Taylor Swift’s “Dragon Girl” lipstick, showing delicate, sensual lips. Since Natalie Portman’s campaign for Red Dior in 2016, it seems red became the go-to-color.
But there are, in fact, thousands of ways to make your lips luscious, hot, and juicy.
In this guide, we explore shades, textures, colors, composition, and give artistry advice to take your lips to the next level, from a Portman’s classic red to a Bowie’s Ziggy-inspired universe.
Beyond fashion, lips are associated with kisses, and for this reason, they are the sexiest part of the face. That is why picking up the right lipstick is essential if you want to look your best.
Finally, some lipsticks enable you to kiss, and others don’t. And if your lipstick goes wrong, your significant other might end up with it on his face.
TYPES OF LIPSTICKS
Satin and sheer lipsticks are suitable for everyday wear. Formulated with higher oil content, sheer lipsticks are non-drying, leaving the lips moisturized. You may have to apply your sheer lipstick often as it wears off throughout the day or the night.
Gloss lipsticks bring a glamorous, fresh, and fruity touch to your lips. Eye-catching, they make your lips attractive, unmissable. Gloss lipsticks offer a younger look to any lips and tend to be used during the summertime, yet are invited to winter parties, too.
Cream lipsticks are nourishing lipsticks made of a high concentration of vitamin E. They are well balanced between texture and gloss while having a more exceptional wax composition and staying power.
Stain lipsticks have high impact and low maintenance and make your look perfect throughout the day. With vibrant colors and shades, they fit busy, sophisticated women with confidence.
Matte lipsticks are the most ultimate lipsticks as they blend light and dark shadows over a perfect color. Matte lipsticks are made to last and embrace your lips into every detail — and fit any women with style and glamour. Deprived of gloss, these lipsticks are enigmatic.
DETERMINE YOUR SKIN TONE
Getting the right lipstick depends on your skin color, on the occasion, on the season, and your style. As a general rule, you may apply a lipstick of darker tone to your natural skin color during the day. To enhance the color more, go for even darker during the night. So what are the hottest hues for the sexiest lips?
Find out about your skin tone: Your skin tone is the color of your skin and may change according to the seasons. Is your skin tone warm or cold? To find out, examine the veins inside of your wrists, and look at their colors. If your veins appear blue, then you have a cool tone, and if they appear green, you have a warm tone. You may also be a neutral tone that stands in between.
Warm skin tone: Choose a vibrant palette with vivid colors. For example, warm red, red with purple tones, orange, or berry pink may suit you if you have a warm skin tone. Play with textures from glossy to stain. Dimensional nudes lipsticks may be a good choice for warm skin tones as well.
Cool skin tone: Go for a darker color palette that echoes your skin tone, such as burgundy, dark red, brown, dark pink or mauve, or natural. Enjoy emollients-rich lipsticks that preserve the hydration of your lips as well as sheer lipsticks for their oil-content base formulation.
Winter vs. summer: In the summertime, your skin tone may change. Pick up vivid colors from vibrant red to bubbly orange. Invite glossy lipsticks to bring a touch of fantasy. During winter, enhance your lips with darker shades, neutral colors, or velvet tones. And, try cream lipsticks to protect your lips.
HOW TO TRY YOUR LIPSTICK
First of all, you need to pick your favorite shade and brand. Then, try the lipstick by applying it to your wrist. Look at how the color evolves and if it fits your skin tone and style.
Enjoy the texture and let it evolve for a couple of minutes. If your skin appears dry, then you may move to a more luxurious formula.
Second, you can check your lipstick against your clothing to find out if it’s a good match for your style. Hold it against your clothes and determine if the lipstick color works well with your color scheme.
If you wear darker clothes, you may go for brown, purple, and dark red lipsticks. If you wear warm or yellow clothes, you can go for orange, pink, and vivid red.
DETERMINE YOUR LIPS HYDRATATION
You may choose a lipstick according to the hydration of your lips. Are your lips naturally well hydrated or tend to dehydrate?
Choose glossy and matte lipsticks if your lips are well hydrated. If your lips tend to dehydrate, apply a hydrating lip cream before your lipstick, or choose a cream lipstick which has a higher concentration of emollients and oils.
FOR WHICH OCCASION?
For casual wear: For grocery shopping or going to appointments during the day, pick up an easy to apply lipstick and choose a color that fits your skin tone. Don’t go too creative as you are not attending a fashion show. All you want is simplicity and harmony. Dare to wear red only if you feel comfortable with it. Remember, red is your secret weapon, so use it efficiently.
For work: Choosing a lipstick for work is easy. You need to highlight your lips without getting too much attention (unless you want to sign a new contract or negotiate a pay increase). Pick up matte lipsticks or neutral colors if you are in a meeting that lasts longer, so you don’t have to leave the meeting to reapply your lipstick.
For an event: You may go outside any convention and bring a Bowie touch to your lips. Go for dark green or blue lipsticks for a punk attitude. Paint your lips with squid ink for a look inspired by the Fifth Element. Enjoy frosted lipsticks for a very glamorous Fashion Week inspired look, the Bowie way.
WHAT ARE THE BEST LIPSTICKS FOR KISSES?
Kissing is part of our romantic life, and then the question may be, “How can I kiss my boyfriend with a lipstick?”. Without kissing, there’s no romance. But do you choose the best lipstick for kissing?
Most lipsticks won’t leave without a mark on your boyfriend’s lips. If he is comfortable with it, then fine. But what if your boyfriend is tired of wearing the trace of your lipsticks on his cheeks or lips? Then, matte lipsticks can be a great choice as they have a good staying power (you won’t need to reapply them too often).
They also leave little trace on a glass of wine or your boyfriend’s lips. If your boyfriend is uncomfortable with your lipstick, wear a natural nude or a glossy version, which will be more discreet.
WHICH LIPSTICKS TO CHOOSE FOR SMALL LIPS?
Not everyone is born with Angelina Jolie’s full, beautiful lips. If you have small lips, you may want to enhance them by giving them an instant fill.
Go for a sophisticated brown peach, mauve, pink, or plum lipstick, which makes thin lips sensual. Make sure the colors you choose fit your skin tone but are not too bright either. Play with crayon lipsticks to draw an extra layer above your lips, so they appear thicker.
WHICH LIPSTICKS TO CHOOSE FOR BIG LIPS?
If you have the same lips as Scarlett Johannson, don’t go too excessive. Choose a candy pink lipstick for an elegant look and a flattering red to preserve the harmony of your lips. And if you go for the no-makeup look, and prefer a low-key chic style, go for a nude or natural lipstick. Avoid lip enhancer and crayon lipsticks not to overwhelm your lips.
Always bring your lipstick with you, whether to work or at a party. Your lipstick is your best companion and tool for the ultimate touch of feminity.
Second, in case you need it, you may have to reapply your lipstick, especially if you leave in a metropolis like Tokyo or New York, where long-distance prevents you from reaching home quickly.
Pick up a travel size of your lipstick if you travel and need multiple varieties of shades at your fingertips on the plane. Lipsticks are one of the most flattering cosmetics, keep reading to find the freshest trends and colors on our Faveable list.