Because nobody ever had too many lipsticks
When it comes to beauty, few things are as iconic as a tube of the best lipstick.
You only have to look to the history books to see just how important it is in helping us feel like we can conquer anything – over 100 years ago, Elizabeth Arden created a shade of red lipstick for the Suffragettes to wear as a symbol of power and female strength. Suffice to say, the best lipstick can be a game-changer.
Even the celebrities have their go-to shades and finishes; soon-to-be royal Meghan Markle favours a Charlotte Tilbury matte lipstick inspired by one of the Spice Girls.
Whether you’re after a new dark berry matte or fresh tube of satiny red, keep scrolling for our handpicked guide to the best lipstick buys.
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution, £24, John Lewis
Ask any Charlotte Tilbury counter rep and they’ll tell you that Very Victoria (pictured) sales have skyrocketed recently, following the revelation that the pinkish brown nude is Meghan Markle’s go-to lipstick. And we can see why she loves it – with uber rich colour and a non-drying finish that stays put for hours, Matte Revolution comes in a square shape to mimick a lip brush and make for easier application. The colour intensity and staying power are 10/10, plus the copper packaging is so Instagrammable…
Other great buys for matte are MAC, Tom Ford and Bobbi Brown, but if you’re on a budget, opt for Maybelline’s Colour Sensational mattes, which have a great colour finish that’s not too drying.
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, £16, Fabled
Stila’s Slay All Day lipsticks live up to the name, providing long-wear colour in a matte finish that doesn’t transfer easily – it’s no wonder that they’re subject to rave reviews from beauty editors and bloggers alike. The range comprises of mostly nude and dark shades, with a few fun brights thrown in for good measure.
Always apply a little balm as a base beforehand, as matte formulas tend to be more drying than your classic lipstick, and for a shinier finish mix a little gloss or balm over the top.
NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment, £23, Fabled
With the boldest colours and the best staying power we’ve seen in a long while, NARS’ Powermattes are giving the Audacious lipsticks a run for their money. Super fluid when they go on and soft matte in their finish, they come in 18 different shades and just. Don’t. Budge. You can sip coffee or cocktails safe in the knowledge that this isn’t going to come off, at least not until you tackle it with several soaked cotton pads.
Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored, £19, Harvey Nichols
While MAC’s (rightfully iconic Ruby Woo) is a great red, there are other great options out there – and let’s face it, every lipstick lover already owns a Ruby Woo. Chanel and Dior are unequivocally excellent, but it was Rihanna who climbed straight to the top of the red lipstick ladder when she released a truly universal red, Fenty’s Stunna Lip Paint. We’re yet to find someone who can’t pull it off.
Not sure which shades of red to look for elsewhere? As a general rule of thumb, warmer-toned skin tones suit orange reds better, while cooler skin tones should lean towards blue reds (think cooler and darker looking in hue).
Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick, £18, Selfridges
Internet-breaking beauty blogger Huda Kattan launched her eponymous line in 2013 and has since rolled out dozens of make-up products with a finish that’s ideal for photos (we dubbed her most recent launch one of the best foundations for pale skin. The liquid lipsticks are insanely pigmented and last all day without that dry, chalky feeling we all hate. Once you’ve collected them all, try the lip strobes for holographic or glitter lip looks for night time.
Too Faced Lip Insurance, £14.50, ASOS
If you’re the kind of person who can’t keep their best lipstick on for more than a couple of hours, the (not so secret) secret to making it last the day is by using the best lip primer. They’ll smooth over the surface of your lips and, lock down the colour and stop your lipstick from feathering. Too Faced’s has a semi-matte finish that grips your colour for hours – plus, it’s cruelty free and vegan.
Read on for more of the best lipstick shades that beauty afficionados shouldn’t be without.
Time to treat yourself to a new one (or two or three), we say.
Nars Audacious Lipstick's creamy formula won't leave you disappointed. It's soft and feels really nourishing on the lip, and the huge range of nude and red shades mean there's an option to suit every skin and hair combo. These lipsticks are a gorgeous balance of delicious colour and delightful texture.
Super smooth with a rich, satin-y finish, the Glamore lipsticks come in a range of intense, colour-rich shades to really make your pout pop, as well as flattering pale nudes for everyday wear.
Our favourite brand for dry lips, YSL's moisturising colours last all day without drying out the delicate lip area. They contain SPF 15, too. Whether you're looking for a natural nude or a ruby red, YSL provides the goods.
Revlon's Fire and Ice has been flying off shelves since it launched in 1952. A true red worthy of former fan Marilyn Monroe, the creamy long-wear colour is a must for any beauty maven. They're the go-to for anyone looking for a high street product that can do the job when it comes to the look of your lip, be that subtle or sultry. Grab Gal Gadot's shade of choice for this year's Golden Globes, Bombshell Red, before it completely sells out.
The ultimate in glamour, these luxurious lip colours by Tom Ford deliver a high pigment and log-lasting colour. The creamy formula is moisturising, too, helping your lips stay in great condition. If you're looking for a lip colour that looks as cool as it does flashy, then these are definitely worth the splurge.
Loved by celebrities and beauty buffs the world over, MAC's high pigment matte-finish lipsticks are the best choice for high-impact colour. There's a reason that MAC lipsticks are loved across the globe, and part of the reason is their ability to produce a long-lasting colour that you'll soon find you can't live without.
One of our favourite choice for everyday wear, Chanel's Coco Rouge colours not only look great when pulled out of a handbag to touch up, the super-hydrating formulas deliver a gorgeous slick of high pigment colour that fades gradually and evenly making it a great natural-looking product that you can wear all day every day. This is for anyone who is sick of the dreaded smudgy lip line. We're hooked, and you will be, too.