The hidden gem of the lipstick world – purple lipstick. Can it be intense? Sure, but that is the beauty of a shade of purple lipstick. Touted as “the new red,” this is the statement color that never fully disappears – purple lipstick makes its cyclical rounds with a breath of reinvigorating fresh air at each renewal.
You can go very dramatic with very little effort or just enjoy the depth of color provided by a single swipe. What few people may realize is that there is a shade of purple lipstick for every person, one that flatters and excites (and is surprisingly easy to find). How is this possible for such a strong statement color?
Most shades of purple are berry based, and everyone can find a berry color that looks amazing on them. To help you with your search, we’ve included our top 17 picks of the best purple lipstick shades, as well as tips for picking the right one for your skin tone and channelling purple lips with class. Even though each is classified as purple, the shades are very different, and each complements multiple skin tones flawlessly.
Purple Lipstick Guide: Contents
If you are already into adorning your pout with the perfect shade of purple, perhaps you can find another complimentary shade below. Let us know if you have a favorite that you’d like to recommend that didn’t make our list.
1. Fenty Beauty By Rihanna Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Violet Fury
Rihanna created an ultra-slim lipstick that provides a petal-soft matte finish and long-lasting wear in great colors like this vivid shade of violet known as Violet Fury. The ultra-slim tube is easy to handle and belies the incredible unexpected depth of color held within it.
The Violet Fury shade is amazing, matte and brilliantly pigmented in a super-light, creamy texture that stays without feather, bleeding or smudging throughout the day. Order yours from Sephora!
2. MAC Purple Lipstick in Heroine
MAC lipsticks offer up Heroine, a multidimensional purple lipstick that is the ideal MAC matte. The color is long-lasting and nearly universally flattering, even for such a strong color. The perfect matte puts the color on full display without a distracting shine allowing for every included hue that creates this purple to shine though in a perfect display. Order yours from Nordstrom!
3. NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Amethyst
NYX Professional Makeup’s purple lipstick is designed to glide on and deposit a perfect amount of color to your lips. The bright, dreamy shade of Amethyst dries to set into a picture-perfect matte finish that ideally shows off the vibrancy of the color. This formula is waterproof and velvety soft. Get your tube of this long-wear violet lipstick from Ulta Beauty!
4. Lipstick Queen Dating Game Purple Lipstick in Mr. Right Now
Lipstick Queen’s ‘Dating Game’ collection brings in shades named after possible suitors, and Mr. Right Now is the bold, electrifying shade that will match your expectations of fun and style. The medium-cover purple lipstick can be built up to be completely opaque very easily.
The formula includes vitamin E and shea butter for a soft feeling every time you apply it to your lips. Furthermore, the lipstick deeply nourishes your lips while adding an ideal deposit of beautiful bright purple to your lips. Pick up yours from Net-a-Porter!
5. Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Roxy
Kat Von D’s liquid lipsticks are known for their smooth all-day wear and ideal matte finish. The color Roxy is the perfect bright, grapey purple lipstick color to create a stand-out look. The color deposits are fantastically bright and long-lasting, thanks to how deeply pigmented each tube of lipstick is designed to be.
Even better, the formula for this lipstick is designed to provide a lightweight feel and applies like a gloss before drying to a perfect matte. Get yours from Sephora!
6. Christian Louboutin Silky Satin Lip Colour in Ronron
Encased in the signature gold tone vial that can also be worn as a necklace, Christian Louboutin’s lipstick in Ronron is a deep yet bright purple lipstick that is incredibly eye-catching. The satin finish is flattering with just the right hint of shine in the blue-toned purple lipstick to catch the light and perfectly flatter your skin tone, especially if your skin tone is on the cooler side. You can order a tube for yourself from Net-a-Porter.
7. Urban Decay Vice Purple Lipstick in Twitch
Twitch is a bold, bright purple lipstick in the Vice line from Urban Decay. The texture is super-creamy and nourishing, making it an easy shade to apply and comfortable to wear as a new stunning favorite. Every opaque swipe is designed to leave your lips smooth and soft with a combination of deeply nourishing butters and oils. Order a tube for yourself from Nordstrom!
8. Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Purple Lipstick in Faux Pas
Pat McGrath’s lipstick is richly pigmented in a variety of shades, though the mid-tone lavender shade of this lipstick is a stunning addition to our top purple lipstick list. The color has the same glamorous impact on every skin tone – equally beautiful and supremely hydrating. The color and formula combine for a soft and supple feel and look that lasts for a good part of your day with perfect opaque coverage. Order a tube for yourself from Sephora!
9. Tom Ford Beauty Purple Lipstick in Georgie 12
Tom Ford’s Boys & Girls collection is known for its emollient-rich, creamy formula and the serious staying power of the pigments in the lipstick. Georgie is a rich, deep shade of purple lipstick that gives lips a plumper appearance thanks to the included micro-shimmers and infused moisturizers. You can order a tube from Net-a-Porter.
10. Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Some Nerve
Smashbox gifts us with Some Nerve in their Always on Matte lipstick line. This is the eight-hour liquid matte lipstick that every lively lavender searching lipstick aficionado has been dreaming of. The doe-foot applicator allows for a comfortable precision application, and the actual vibrant lavender color is very flattering on a wide variety of skin tones. Order a tube for yourself from Nordstrom!
11. Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipstick in 501
Make Up For Ever provides us with the dreamiest of color payoff with an ultra-matte finish that really enhances the deeply saturated purple pigments. The long-wear formula and stunning color of this purple lipstick are easy to apply thanks to a precision applicator and nourishing avocado oil. Order yours from Sephora!
12. RMS Beauty Wild with Desire Purple Lipstick in Sweet Nothing
RMS Beauty’s lipstick is award-winning thanks to the beneficial blend of antioxidants and the signature oil that work together for a comfortable satin finish. The color, Sweet Nothing, is exactly what you would want from a softer purple lipstick shade – it is a daring yet understated shade of mauve with a soft, creamy texture. You can order a tube for yourself from Net-a-Porter.
13. Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Drama Matte Lipstick in Purple Fascination
Some shades of purple lipstick are nearly ethereally beautiful. Lancome’s Purple Fascination is that otherworldly color. It is bright, yet deep and richly opaque. The color is undeniable, and the finish is perfectly matte, but this violet lipstick is a great moisturizer as well. Order yours from Nordstrom!
14. Givenchy Le Rouge Purple Lipstick in Grenat Retro N330
Defined as a dusky raspberry shade of lipstick, Givenchy’s Grenat Retro is a bright purple matte lipstick that is perfect for all day wear. The couture formula can be purchased in a semi-matte or matte finish, both of which are beautiful, smooth and intense. The final result is a great color designed for a super-soft suede feel. Order yours from Sephora!
15. Too Faced Melted Matte Lipstick in Unicorn
Too Faced Melted Matte lipstick line offers several impeccable colors that include Unicorn. Gliding smoothly like a lip gloss, but drying in a perfectly opaque, deeply pigmented chocolatey purple, the color is everything gorgeous that you could want from a rich and dramatic purple lipstick. The ease of application is incredibly helpful considering a color this deep can be difficult to apply cleanly. Order yours from Nordstrom!
16. Dose of Colors Matte Liquid Lipstick in Purple Rain
The Dose of Colors matte liquid lipstick is a really comfortable, long-wearing lipstick that comes in the beautiful purple color known as Purple Rain. This purple is highly pigmented, applies in a smooth, creamy liquid texture but within a few minutes transforms into a soft, dry matte finish. The formula is vegan, weightless and easy to apply. You can order yours from Ulta Beauty.
17. Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Madison
ABH’s liquid lipstick is designed to dry to a smudge-proof weightless powder that is fully pigmented and luxuriously matte. The ultra-saturated formula really shows off the depth of the pigment for comfortable long wear. The applicator is rounded for precision application and smooth filling. Order your purple lipstick shade of Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipstick line from Sephora!
First, let’s address the best choice of purple lipstick according to skin tones and undertones. Purple lipstick is the ideal in-between color when it comes to warm or cool lipstick shades, and it comes in a variety of tones to flatter everyone, from subtle lilac and lavender to fuchsia, plum, eggplant and plum.
Berry, the base color for most purples, is nearly indiscriminately flattering, so if you are feeling adventurous, grab a shade that suits your fancy and give it a go. If you want to be a bit choosier, go by the undertones in your skin to inform your best choice.
Considering the undertones of the lipstick and how they will complement your natural skin undertones is a great way to ensure a look that is perfectly complementary.
• If you have warm-toned skin, find the red and yellow-toned purple lipsticks for the best match.
• Is your skin cool-toned? Purple lipsticks with undertones of pink, gray, or blue will benefit you most.
• Olive skin tones can benefit from a fresh mauve or plum colored purple lipstick.
• Those with fair skin should opt for lighter and cooler purple lipstick shades, such as pastel lilac or lavender.
• Dark skin tones look inspiring in raisin, jewel and indigo-toned shades, anything with depth.
Something to keep in mind, however, is that with purple you can experiment. You would likely be surprised what you can attain with a strong buildable color with options ranging from lavender to the deepest plum.
Channeling the intensity of purple lipstick can seem like a challenge, especially if you are unsure of yourself. Take care of yourself in the process of putting the lipstick on and allow yourself to adjust to the look slowly if you’re nervous, which will limit any mistakes you may make.
Applying Your Purple Lipstick Flawlessly
1. Exfoliate your lips first to give yourself the most optimally textured palette to show off your choice of purple lipstick. You can create your own lip scrub with brown sugar, a few drops of honey and a drop or two of an oil like coconut, olive or jojoba oil. Take your mixture and rub it, gently, across your lips in a circular motion for a few seconds. Rise off your lips and apply a moisturizing lip balm but be careful not to slather it on.
2. Grab a complementary lip liner and create the clean edges you need with such a strong color. Begin with your top lip, starting at the center of the cupid’s bow and working your way outwards. Line your bottom lip from one side to the other. Fill your liner in just a bit, or fully with the pencil in order to give your purple lipstick a long-lasting application.
3. Apply your purple lipstick! If you are wearing a satin or a sheer lipstick, it is best to apply this with your finger and build to the coverage you want if you want a sheer application. If you want medium coverage to start, use the applicator or apply directly from the bullet.
4. For matte and deep, dark shades, use a lip liner for best precision. Start from the center and work your way out while staying within your liner outline.
5. Pull and blot. Everyone knows this step, but to keep purple lipstick this startling off teeth, insert your thumb or forefinger into your mouth, close your lips lightly around the digit and pull it out. Next, you should blot your lips to remove any excess product from the rest of your lips.
6. Reapply if a darker, more intense purple lip is your end goal. If you do reapply, remember to repeat step 5.
Completing Your Look with a Strong Purple Lip
Consider going with a monochromatic look to balance out the intensity of purple lips on your face. A set of purple lips will stand out with anything, so choose to limit your palette everywhere else, including your clothing.
Don’t feel the need to shy away from color either. An outfit in a complementary color will only make you stand out more. A lot of people who are afraid of bold colors fear they may seem like they are “doing too much.”
Try pairing your favorite classic outfit with the strong purple lip and see how you feel, and of course make sure to take a few pics to review.
Quick Purple Lipstick Tips
• Prepare for the contrast! Darker shades of purple lipstick can make your skin look paler in comparison. You can balance it out by using a light bronzer in place of blush or you can lean into it and enjoy the contrast. In general, try to prepare a flawless canvas for purple lips, as the intensity of the color will highlight any skin imperfections easily.
• Keep the rest of your makeup minimal. Purple lipstick stands out enough that you can keep the rest of your makeup low-key. Neutrals and perhaps a bit of sparkle or tinted moisturizer if that is your thing will allow your purple lips to take center stage.
A hint of a complementary mauve or wine on another feature, like a hint of blush or a light sweep of eyeshadow will only accentuate your look further. Consider using yellow rather than blue or green as a bright accent that complements the purple perfectly.
• Take your eye color into account as well. When trying out shades, don’t forget to allow the one you pick to complement more than just your skin tone. Highlight your eyes as well! Purple lips look incredibly chic especially with amber eyes.
• Don’t shy away. Intensify your purple lipstick by wearing the shade in a matte finish. The color will show through uninhibited and strong – a perfect statement-making feature for a night out. If you are looking for a more daytime look, consider a satin finish or sheer purple lipstick, which would have a less intense effect without sacrificing the color.
Photos via @beautybekky, @lolaliner, @daryna_barykina