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Best 12 Lipsticks for a Perfect Pout

The Glowsly editors independently test and choose the best products. We may receive commissions on purchases made from the affiliate links.

Lipstick is the cherry on top of any makeup look! From natural-looking “my lips but better” shades to head-turning crimsons, applying lipstick can elevate your style or totally transform it. Unlike lip gloss or balm, touching up your lipstick always feels glamorous and mature. 

In this post, we’ve selected the best lipsticks, with a focus on the best formulas and the most consistent shade ranges at any price point. Whether you’re looking to fill up your makeup bag with new shades or searching for one iconic red, you’ll find it on our list.  

Best lipstick overview:

How we chose the best lipsticks

To compile this list, we researched manufacturer specifications, including coverage, finish, shade range, and more to create a short list of the top lipsticks. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, ratings, and reviews to find the best lipstick for each category.

Our picks for the best lipsticks

Best overall
MAC Matte Lipstick

What we love

  • Comfortable matte formula
  • Iconic shades
  • Up to 10 hours of wear

What we don’t love

  • Selecting colors can be difficult

Over the last few decades, MAC has managed to perfect the matte lipstick formula. This makeup artist-favorite lipstick has a lusciously smooth formula that dries to a soft matte finish on the lips. It stays put for up to 10 hours without smudging or feathering, but it’s nourishing enough so as not to highlight dry patches. 

The range includes some of the world’s most popular lipstick shades, like Russian Red (made iconic by Madonna), Velvet Teddy, and Whirl (which happens to be one of our favorite MAC nudes). That said, some reviewers found it difficult to find their perfect shade from photos alone.

Coverage: Full | Finish: Matte | Shades: 34 | Type: Bullet

Best budget
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick

What we love

  • Very creamy and moisturizing
  • Massive shade range
  • Pigmented

What we don’t love

  • Not very longwearing

Revlon’s ultra-glossy, saturated formula is incredibly affordable yet it doesn’t feel like a budget formula at all! This massive range is filled with flattering, pigmented shades in a creamy formula that keeps the lips conditioned and moisturized. It’s a fantastic option if you find most lipsticks give you dry patches. That said, this formula isn’t quite as longwearing as some of the more matte options on this list.

Coverage: Full | Finish: Satin | Shades: 72 | Type: Bullet

Best drugstore
L’Oreal Colour Riche Satin Lipstick

What we love

  • Flattering natural finish
  • Conditioning ingredients
  • Massive shade range

What we don’t love

  • Not as longwearing as matte lipsticks

L’Oreal Colour Riche in Satin is the ultimate classic, a lipstick with a natural finish that comes in a charming golden tube. The creamy formula keeps the lips looking moist but not glossy, with ingredients like argan and sesame oils adding a conditioning touch. You get 52 shades to choose from, so you’ll have no problem finding a color to match your mood. It has decent longevity for a creamy lipstick, but don’t expect the same wear time as with a matte formula. 

Coverage: Full | Finish: Satin | Shades: 52 | Type: Bullet

Best long-lasting
Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

What we love

  • Very longwearing
  • Large shade range
  • Budget-friendly

What we don’t love

  • Difficult to remove
  • A little drying

Maybelline’s long-wearing formula is unbeatable when it comes to lipstick that lasts. The pigmented liquid dries down to a demi-matte finish that’s basically indestructible. You won’t need to worry about reapplying it even after a greasy lunch or post-work drinks. That said, you’ll need a strong makeup remover to get it off at the end of the day! The formula is very opaque and high coverage, with a ton of shades to choose from. Plus, the budget-friendly price means you can pick up as many shades as you wish.

Coverage: Full | Finish: Matte | Shades: 47 | Type: Liquid

Best lightweight
Merit Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick

What we love

  • Extremely lightweight and comfortable
  • Made with moisturizing oils
  • Buildable

What we don’t love

  • Small shade range

If you usually struggle with how lipsticks feel on your lips, this lightweight formula is very refreshing. It has a natural finish with a hint of sheen and ingredients like squalane and sunflower oil to keep the lips moist. The formula is also buildable, which means you can apply it lightly for a sheer look or build it up for more intensity. We’d love to see this shade range expand because at the moment it’s quite small. 

Coverage: Medium | Finish: Satin | Shades: 9 | Type: Bullet

Best splurge
Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté Shine Lipstick Balm

What we love

  • Very luxurious feel
  • Ultra-glossy and moisturizing
  • Buildable pigmentation

What we don’t love

  • Not a lot of staying power

An Yves Saint Laurent lipstick does not go unnoticed, thanks to its monogrammed gold tube and perfected, luxurious formula. This moisturizing, glossy lipstick leaves the leave the lips with a healthy-looking sheen and a flattering wash of color. It has a medium level of pigmentation, which means you can add additional layers for a more opaque look. 

For more splurge-worthy lippies, we’re also huge fans of Chanel’s lipstick range.

Coverage: Medium | Finish: Glossy | Shades: 30 | Type: Bullet

Best nudes
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution

What we love

  • Smooth, opaque formula
  • Luxurious packaging
  • Flattering, universal shade range

What we don’t love

  • Dry formula can flake on lips

This high-end lipstick range from Charlotte Tilbury has a dedicated cult following, especially amongst beauty editors. The golden bullets are ultra-luxe, and the formula is smooth and opaque. 

Anyone can find their perfect “my lips but better” lipstick within this range. Pillow Talk, a pinkish nude, is the most iconic shade thanks to its universally flattering hue, but most of the other colors are also classic options with a broad appeal.

Coverage: Full | Finish: Soft matte | Shades: 16 | Type: Bullet

Best lip cream
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream

what we love

  • Precise applicator
  • Budget-friendly
  • Creamy yet matte

What we don’t love

  • Can be drying

If you prefer liquid lipstick tubes but you don’t love the intense dry down, this affordable lip cream is a pleasure. This formula goes on with the same kind of slim doe-foot applicator that helps keep things precise! The formula itself is a pigmented cream that sits between liquid and bullet lipstick. It’s very  smooth, so it glides on easily with an elegant soft matte finish. That said, some reviewers mentioned that it can feel a little drying.

Coverage: Full | Finish: Soft matte | Shades: 18 | Type: Cream

Best soft matte
Rare Beauty Kind Words Matte Lipstick

What we love

  • Very comfortable feel
  • Longwearing
  • Non-drying matte finish

What we don’t love

  • Small shade range

Rare Beauty’s lipsticks are relative newcomers to the market, but they’re already generating a lot of excitement. Their creamy formula is a crowd-pleaser that feels very comfortable on the lips. Despite having a matte finish, they’re totally non-drying and wear well for most of the day. The color range is small, leaning toward nudes and soft shades. We’d love to see more bright or dramatic options.

Coverage: Full | Finish: Soft matte | Shades: 10 | Type: Bullet

Best vegan
Urban Decay Vice Lipstick

What we love

  • Pigmented shades
  • Comfortable, nourishing formula
  • Vegan-friendly

What we don’t love

  • Not transfer-proof

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you’ll be happy to know that Urban Decay’s Vice lipsticks are totally free from animal-derived ingredients. These high-end lippies have a pigmented, saturated formula and come in a range of trendy, flattering shades. From shiny to matte, each Vice has a comfortingly soft texture and plenty of hydrating ingredients. This formula is quite longwearing but keep in mind that it’s not transfer-proof.

Coverage: Full | Finish: Matte, cream, or shine | Shades: 35 | Type: Bullet

Best liquid lipstick
Fenty Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color

What we love

  • Natural, soft matte finish
  • Longwearing liquid formula
  • Saturated, universally-flattering shades

What we don’t love

  • Small shade range
  • Can smudge

From Fenty, this is everything we want out of a liquid lipstick. It has a very soft and natural matte finish and an intensely pigmented formula. While there aren’t many shades available, each one is designed to be universally flattering to suit all skin tones. The red Uncensored shade is a major standout thanks to its truly neutral undertone. The formula is very longwearing but some reviewers mentioned it can smudge.

Coverage: Full | Finish: Soft matte | Shades: 7 | Type: Liquid

Best sheer
Kosas Wet Stick

What we love

  • Healthy, glossy finish
  • Very moisturizing
  • Easy to apply

What we don’t love

  • Small shade range

If you’re after a bullet lipstick with a gloss-like finish, Kosas delivers. This sheer formula gives the lips a delicate tint of color but goes on with the quick precision of lipstick. It has a nourishing, balm-like formula with ingredients like ceramides, squalane, and hyaluronic acid. It’s vegan and free from controversial ingredients. The shade range is a little small, although the sheer coverage means that most shades are universally flattering.

Coverage: Sheer | Finish: Glossy | Shades: 12 | Type: Bullet

The products on everybody’s lips 

From the drugstore to luxury brands, there are so many excellent lipsticks to choose from. Our top pick, MAC’s Matte Lipstick range, is a time-tested formula that’s comfortable, elegant, and comes in an excellent selection of iconic, wearable shades. You can safely stick to the classic, or branch out with any of the other outstanding options on our list! 

How to pick the right lipstick for you

When choosing your ideal lipstick (or lipsticks!), the key factors to consider are the type of lipstick, its finish, and the coverage level. 


  • Natural/satin. Satin lipsticks have a slightly reflective but natural finish that’s universally flattering. They usually have medium longevity and may require touch-ups throughout the day. 
  • Soft matte. This finish isn’t very reflective but it doesn’t look too dry — it’s a very sophisticated option. Soft matte formulas are often fairly long-lasting and should feel comfortable on the lips. 
  • Matte. Ultra-matte lipsticks look very flat and non-reflective. They can feel drying but often offer the best longevity. 
  • Glossy. High-sheen lipsticks are very popular these days, offering the lips a plump, hydrated look. They’re usually very moisturizing but may require more frequent reapplications. 


  • Bullet. These roll-up sticks are a classic, portable option that’s great for a quick application even on the go. That said, they’re not great for precision (lip liner is a must). 
  • Liquid. These lipsticks come in a tube, with a gloss-like applicator. They glide over the lips and allow for high precision, and then set down to become very long-lasting. Liquid formulas usually have a matte finish once they dry down. 
  • Cream. Cream lipsticks are between a liquid and a bullet lipstick. They often come in tubes with a doe-foot applicator, and have a soft texture that’s thicker than gloss. Unlike liquid lipstick, they usually take a little longer to dry down, aren’t as long-lasting, but often feel more comfortable on the lips. 


  • High. Most lipsticks are very pigmented, to cover the lips with an opaque layer of color in one swipe. This is excellent especially if you prefer shades that are very different from your natural lip color. 
  • Medium. These lipsticks are very versatile. You can blend them out for a more sheer or stained look, but you can also build them up for fuller coverage. 
  • Low. Sheer lipsticks are almost like tinted balms that offer a light wash of color over the lips. They’re great for a subtle tint or a more natural look. 


MAC is probably the world’s most popular lipstick brand thanks to its fantastic reputation for quality and color selection. If you’re more of a budget shopper, Revlon’s lipsticks are also extremely popular. 

What lipstick does Oprah wear?

As a major celebrity who usually gets her makeup done professionally, Oprah wears many different lipsticks. For example, during her iconic interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, she wore a custom look that was created with four different lipsticks Anastasia Beverly Hills, Kevyn Aucoin, and even Maybelline. 

What lipstick is in style for 2023?

In 2023, the go-to lipstick style is either soft matte like our pick from MAC or a little glossy like our pick from Revlon. The go-to colors are natural-looking nude pinks or peaches but raspberries, mauves, and reds are also still in style. For those who like a more dramatic look, we’re seeing the return of the ombré lip achieved by combining darker lipstick shades on the perimeter of the lips and lighter shades in the center.