The Best Lipstick
Our Review Process
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There’s more pressure than ever to expertly apply cosmetics. Social media makes it seem as though everyone knows how to achieve perfectly plumped lips without ever having taken a makeup tutorial. In fact, most online makeup content comes from those who have more extreme makeup styles, possibly leading consumers to think everyone’s going bold with their cosmetics.
But there’s plenty of room for those who prefer to keep things more subtle. You can find lipsticks in a wide range of colors, going from neutrals to vibrant reds and everything in between. But the most important feature in a lipstick is whether it looks good with your skin tones. Not everyone can pull off all colors of lipstick. If you aren’t sure what lipstick colors look best on you, it might be worth it to schedule a makeover at your favorite beauty counter. An expert can help guide you to the best colors for you. Once you have that information, you can use it to shop for lipsticks on your own.
To get the best look for your skin color, first determine your skin tones. Then try options within that color family until you find the exact shade.
- Cool undertones: Those with cool undertones have a pink, red or blue hue to your skin. This skin type tends to sunburn easily. Look for rosy nude, pink nude or taupe-beige nudes. If you’re going for red lipstick, veer more toward cherry red.
- Warm undertones: Does your skin have a yellow, golden or olive hue? If so, you might be warm-toned. You’ll look great in warm lipstick shades like orange, bright red and terracotta brown.
- Neutral undertones: Neutral-toned skin has a pinkish-yellow undertone. If you have fair skin with pinkish-yellow undertones, you’ll look great in pink lipstick hues, and medium skin looks better in mauve shades. For darker skin colors with pinkish-yellow undertones, berry colors look best.
Our Picks For The Top Lipsticks
Omega 3 & Vitamin E Lipstick
Hydrate while you look great with this lipstick, which features Omega 3, Vitamin E and Argan Oil to keep your lips soft. You can choose from a variety of colors, including nudes that will go with a variety of clothing colors and styles. If you prefer heavy pigmentation, you can choose matte colors versus creamy colors that prioritize keeping your l...
Extra DurableThis lipstick will last for several hours, even with light eating and drinking.
Maybelline New York
Hydrating Cream Finish Lipstick
With a wide range of colors, you can find the shade of lipstick that looks best on you. The formula includes shea butter to not only hydrate but also help prevent feathering or bleeding. You can also find matching lipliner and add some gloss to your look with this manufacturer’s wide range of lip cosmetics.
Comfortable DesignShea butter is built into this lipstick to give you creamy results that keep you comfortable while you’re wearing it.
ColorStay Food-Proof Longwear Lipstick
Built for all-day wear, this lipstick resists fading even while eating and drinking. You’ll get the moisturizing power of shea butter, aloe and Vitamin E to keep your lips soft and comfortable. You can get 20 different looks with the 20 highly pigmented colors.
Subtle ResultsYou’ll get a soft, subtle look with this lipstick, available in a variety of nude tones, as well as more vivid ones.
Wet n Wild
Cruelty-Free Buildable Color Lipstick
Start light and gradually go darker with this lipstick that is designed for buildable color. The formula is rich and creamy to keep your lips smooth and soft while you’re wearing. Cruelty-free manufacturing makes this product great for vegans.
Portable OptionThe small format makes this a great lipstick to keep in your purse or bag to have handy wherever you go.
What to Look For
- Lipstick has a relatively long shelf life. A stick of lipstick can last for up to three years if stored in a cool, dark environment. Exposure to heat and light can affect its longevity.
- If you’re having trouble narrowing down the right color for your skin tones, you can find lipstick samplers that will let you try out different shades. This can also be a great way to change up your lipstick colors based on what you’re wearing.
- Some lipsticks can dry out the lips, but there are plenty of options that hydrate while they make you look great. Look for lipsticks with moisturizers like shea butter, Vitamin E and argan oil. These ingredients not only help keep your lips feeling great, but they also often ensure the lipstick goes on smoothly.
- There are many color options when it comes to lipstick. As you’re searching for a color that looks great with your skin tones, consider that you might sometimes be in the mood for something bolder, while other occasions will call for a more subdued tone. Make sure your cosmetics supply is stocked with both.
- Some prefer to layer their lipstick. Instead of a glossy or creamy lipstick, you might prefer a matte that you can pair with a gloss that gives it that extra shine.
- Lip liner is an important step in applying lipstick, particularly if you’re planning for all-day wear. If you opt for lip liner, make sure you master blending techniques so it doesn’t show as your lipstick starts to fade.
- If you’re vegan, look for lipsticks that promise to eliminate animal testing. Even those who aren’t vegan might prefer a lipstick that is labeled cruelty free for social consciousness reasons.
- If you like to take your lipstick everywhere with you, make sure you have a place to store it where it won’t be exposed to extreme heat.
More to Explore
Throughout history, consumers have dealt with one major problem when it comes to lip color. As soon as you drink or eat, you risk rubbing off the makeup you’ve worked hard to apply. That’s where long-wear lip color can come in.
But how does this lipstick stay in place when encountering contact with objects? Manufacturers either use dyes or a base color with a clear top coat to keep the color as long as possible. Unfortunately, these products can tend to dry out the lips, which is why manufacturers have begun adding moisturizers to balance out those effects. Some experts recommend alternating long-lasting lip color with products that prioritize hydration to ensure your lips stay moisturized.