Calling a lipstick the best of all time is high praise. There are so many factors that go into categorizing a lipstick as the best. Many of those factors are based on personal opinion or consumer reviews. We’ve compiled a list of twenty-three lipsticks that we really feel are the best of all time. Keep reading to find out which ones we picked!
Best Lipsticks: Contents
23 Best Lipsticks to Buy
From matte to cream to metallic and more, check out our selection of the best lipsticks to buy!
With 40 shades to pick from, there’s a reason that Urban Decay’s Vice Lipstick is the best overall and number one on our list. Intense color payoff, a variety of finishes that are never drying, all in a compact bullet, are just a few reasons. Aloe vera, jojoba, avocado, and babassu oils work to nourish and hydrate the lips. Pick up our choice for the best lipstick overall at Nordstrom!
Well known for their liquid lipsticks and eyeliners, KVD Vegan Beauty gets our spot for the best liquid lipstick. With over 15,000 reviews on Sephora’s website and four out of five stars, it’s easily one of the most popular liquid lipsticks on the market. This lipstick has a broad range of colors, with a select seven in a convenient miniature size. Like all KVD products, they are vegan and cruelty-free. Pick it up at Sephora!
Boasting an intense range of colors, Maybelline’s Superstay Matte Ink gets our award for the best long-lasting option. Like a long-lasting ink, the inky formula is guaranteed to last up to sixteen hours, while the unique wand shape makes application a breeze. You can grab it for yourself at Ulta or Amazon.
I mentioned in our Best Long-Lasting Lipsticks article that I wore Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick during my wedding ceremony, and I stand by my opinion that it’s the best liquid matte lipstick you can find. The fully pigmented matte formula comes in twenty-eight stunning shades, all smudge-proof, weightless, and velvety matte. Take your pick for a spin today! It’s available at Sephora.
This matte lipstick from Charlotte Tilbury will answer your prayers for lips that appear wider and fuller without all the fuss of overlining. The formula is hydrating and long-lasting and uses 3D glow pigments to create the appearance of fuller, wider lips. Orchid extract provides a silky-smooth finish. The gold packaging is simple yet chic. Pick it up from Nordstrom!
For the best drugstore lipstick pick, there’s no better choice than L’Oréal’s lipstick. While it is a bargain at just under $6, this lipstick doesn’t slack when it comes to quality by any means. The shade range includes everything from nudes and berries to pinks and reds. This lipstick is enriched with vitamin E and argan oil to keep your lips soft and supple. This creamy-finish lipstick pairs perfectly with the L’Oréal Colour Riche Lipliner. Grab it from Amazon!
For years, I coveted MAC’s matte lipstick in Ruby Woo. I thought it was the perfect red, and really, that’s because it is. Ruby Woo is a cool-toned, deep red with blue undertones, providing a creamy matte finish. The formula is full-coverage, highly pigmented, and creamy matte. Besides, you’ll never have to worry about running out of Ruby Woo, as it is in the MAC permanent line. Pick it up from Nordstrom!
If you care about keeping your lips hydrated while also showcasing a burst of color, give the Oil-in-Stick from YSL a try. This lipstick is medium-coverage but high-shine, as it’s made with 65% essential oils. With continued application, your lips can appear healthier and more nourished, all while showcasing a gorgeous, sheer pop of color. Get it at Nordstrom!
For the creamiest finish in a lipstick we could find, check out KVD Beauty’s Studded Kiss Crème. Besides the incredibly cool packaging (I’m a sucker for good packaging!), this lipstick provides an ultra-creamy, weightless satin finish. As with all KVD Vegan Beauty products, it is formulated without parabens and is cruelty-free. With 21 high-pigment shades to choose from, there’s a color to suit everyone’s taste. Purchase at Sephora!
Available in just fourteen colors, this ultra-luxe bullet satin-finish lipstick won’t let you down when it comes to color payoff. The fine, rich texture of this lipstick won’t dry out or leave your lips feeling weighed down. Packaged in brushed, bronze metal, the Rouge Hermès is our choice when it comes to the best lipstick you can splurge on. You can get it at Nordstrom.
If the adorable kiss imprints on the lipstick bullet weren’t enough to entice you to pick up Buxom’s lipstick, hopefully, our seal of approval as best plumping lipstick is. This lipstick uses hyaluronic acid and conditioning oils to fill, smooth, and hydrate your lips. The teardrop-shaped tip allows for control for a drag-free application. For full-force, full-coverage lips, pick up Buxom’s Full Force at Nordstrom!
Our choice for the best pigmented option is wonderfully affordable, with over 22 choices for a high-pigment payoff. The Soft Matte Lip Cream from NYX is a sort of hybrid, feeling like a mix of gloss and lipstick. This lip cream is light and airy on the lips, the creamy mousse texture packing a punch when it comes to pigmentation. There is a slightly sweet scent to this formula that is reminiscent of sugar cookies, and the formula dries down matte. You can try all 22 shades at Ulta or Amazon.
While I’m a huge fan of show-stopping red, or a bright, sunny coral, occasionally, the mood strikes for a subtler shade. Huda Beauty’s lipstick line features several gorgeous neutral shades in both warm and cool tones to suit any skin tone. Anniversary is a golden beige with hints of pink, while Last Night is a cool chocolate brown. Additional neutrals include cool-toned beige pinks, including a peachy nude in the shade Interview. Anything but boring, these neutrals will not disappoint. Pick up these, or any of Huda Beauty’s impressive lipsticks, from Sephora!
YSL makes our list again, this time with the best lip stain. The Tatouage Couture Lip Stain provides a weightless, matte finish in a range of high-impact shades. Nigella Sativa Seed Oil keeps the lips from drying out, while the unique, slanted applicator allows for a controlled application that won’t feather or bleed. Promising up to eight hours of wear, this lip stain will be there for you through breakfast, lunch, and beyond. You can grab it from Sephora!
While matte lipsticks often reign supreme, mixing up your finish every now and then can leave you pleasantly surprised. Uoma’s Beauty Black Magic Metallic Shine lipsticks win our choice for the best metallic options with their stunning collection of six intense metallic shades. Brilliantly shiny yet wearable, these lipsticks are formulated with brazil nut oil to keep the lips moisturized while providing a stunning pigment that won’t fade. You can find them online on Amazon, and in select stores at Ulta.
Have you ever thought about how much packaging could be saved if we made things like lipsticks refillable? With Dior’s Rouge Dior Lipstick, you don’t have to wonder anymore! This lipstick is long-wearing, providing up to sixteen hours of coverage! Red peony extract helps to preserve hydration, while the pomegranate flower softens and nourishes lips. When the bullet is close to being finished, remember not to throw the packaging away. You can find the bullet, and the refill, at Nordstrom!
If you haven’t tried any products from Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez, your first purchase should be this lip cream. It is made with a nourishing blend of lotus, gardenia, white waterlily, and vitamin E. The whipped mousse formula provides lightweight, rich color that will not cake or flake! This lip cream is also vegan and formulated without parabens or sulfates. Each shade is titled with an uplifting term – such as Selena’s signature color, Inspire. You can snag Inspire and all the other shades at Sephora!
While many of the formulas on our list are what you would call lightweight, we feel the best lightweight lipstick on the market at the moment is the NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment. This liquid pigment applies like ink to the lips, drying down to an ultra-matte finish that is flexible and moves with your lips. For the best application, consider using a lip liner before applying. You can pick up any of these rockin’ shades at Sephora.
While nudes, pinks, and reds are great choices for every day, sometimes you need to add a little spice. For the coolest “unnatural” colors, check out Fenty Beauty’s Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick. The shade range does include reds, pinks, and berries, but then there are standout shades like Midnight Wasabi – a wicked green, and Clapback – a true navy. And don’t forget F’N Black – rich navy black! These shades are long-wearing, and picked by Rihanna herself to ensure they are universally flattering. Get them at Sephora!
If the stunning packaging wasn’t enough to reel you in, the formula and shade range of Pat McGrath’s lipstick will. The supersaturated lipstick delivers opaque color while remaining lightweight. One stroke is all you’ll need with this full-coverage lipstick. You can grab it from Sephora.
Revlon has long been associated with budget beauty, so it’s no surprise it wins Best Budget on our list. Revlon’s Super Lustrous Lipstick comes in up to 82 shades, ranging in colors and a variety of finishes. With most shades coming in at under $5, you could easily get carried away. The Super Lustrous Lipstick is infused with avocado oil and vitamin E to provide a creamy finish that won’t drag or tug at the lips. At this price, you can try all four finishes (Classic Super Lustrous in cream or pearl, Super Lustrous Luscious Mattes, or Super Lustrous Glass Shine) in multiple colors! You can get our pick for the best budget lipstick on Aamzon.
If you have a hard time making choices when it comes to your lip color, you’ll have plenty to choose from with NARS. NARS Lipsticks feature up to 32 shades in satin, sheer, and matte finishes. Passion fruit seed and moringa oils moisturize lips and lock in color for a long-wearing, hydrating application that packs a punch of color. NARS Lipsticks are formulated without Sulfates SLS & SLES, parabens, and other harmful ingredients. You can pick up one (or more!) of these vibrant shades at Sephora.
Last but certainly not least, this lipstick from Kosas uses clean ingredients, is cruelty-free, and “leaping bunny certified.” The formula includes a mix of oils (green tea, grapeseed, rosehip, sweet orange) and butter (shea and mango seed) to moisturize and nourish. This lipstick delivers high-impact color with a super smooth finish. You can easily achieve a stain effect or layer more product for added intensity. You can purchase it at Sephora.
What to Look for in the Best Lipstick for You?
With so many options available, how do you pick the perfect lipstick for you? Here are a few important points to consider!
Choose Your Best Formula
Lipstick formula is huge when picking the best one for you.
- If you’re looking for a long-wear formula that you won’t need to touch up, a matte lipstick or stain will be your best friend.
- If you have dry lips, a matte lipstick could dry your lips out even further. In this scenario, a satin or cream finish can give you similar staying power, with more hydration.
- If you are testing the waters with lipstick, a low-key sheer formula you can quickly build on will be perfect.
Skin Tone and Undertone
When choosing the best lipstick for you, you can take your skin tone and undertone into account to make a more informed decision. A person’s skin tone will usually fall somewhere between the categories of light, medium, tan, deep, or dark. Depending on where you land, specific colors may compliment your skin tone more than others.
Undertones are the range of shades underneath your skin tone. The most common undertones are cool, neutral, and warm.
A quick, easy trick to finding your undertone is to check the veins on the inside of your wrist. If your veins appear blue or purple under your skin, you most likely have a cool undertone. If they seem more green or yellow, you most likely have a warm undertone. If they are somewhere in between or have difficulty determining the color, you are most likely neutral.
You can also test this with jewelry. If you feel you are more suited to silver jewelry, opt for cool tones. If gold jewelry complements you more, then warm undertones are for you. If both work, you guessed it – go for neutral!
Determine Lip Shape/ Size
You may not think of it right away, but your lip shape and size can be a real factor in choosing a lipstick. For instance, reds and deeper colors will often make thinner lips look even smaller. If you have thinner lips, you can opt for a plumping lipstick. If you have larger lips, you could choose a darker shade to downplay it (only if you want to, of course!).
Some people love bold, bright colors for every day, and others prefer more muted colors. When picking your lipstick color palette, try to figure out which category you fall into.
If you work in an environment where bold, blue lipstick is appropriate, and you love it, go for it! If your office is more conservative, cultivating a neutral palette may be your best choice. That being said, you can do a mix! Just don’t buy that bright orange or black lipstick if they don’t fit your style!
Consider Your Teeth
When trying to find the best lipstick for you, remember that all of us have varying features, and teeth are no exception.
- For nudes, stick to a pink-toned lipstick for a more significant whitening effect.
- Bold berry tones will also help in masking any stains on your teeth.
- Reds can be great for making your teeth even whiter, as long as you stick along the lines of a cool, blue-toned red (think Fenty Beauty’s Lip Stunna Paint in Uncensored or MAC Ruby Woo!).
- In short, lipstick colors with blue, cool undertones are some of the best options for those of us who don’t have a Hollywood bright smile.
If you are lucky enough to have a bright, white smile, then you may not need to pay as much attention to your lipstick choice. If this is the case, you can match more based on your undertones and other specific needs.
Photos via Instagram