Because nobody ever said 'I have too many lipsticks' and meant it
When it comes to beauty, few things are as iconic as a tube of the best lipstick.
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, wearing your favourite shade can be a very empowering shade.
Even the celebrities have their go-to shades and finishes. The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle favours a Charlotte Tilbury matte lipstick inspired by one of the Spice Girls, for example.
So whether you're after a new dark berry matte or fresh tube of satiny red, keep scrolling for our pick of the best lipstick buys.
Best matte lipstick
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution, John Lewis
Ask any Charlotte Tilbury counter rep and they'll tell you that Very Victoria (pictured) sales skyrocked when people got wind that the pinkish brown nude is reportedly Meghan Markle's go-to lipstick. And we can see why she loves it – rich colour and a non-drying finish that stays put, Matte Revolution comes in a square shape to mimick a lip brush and make for easier application.
Other great buys for matte lipstick are MAC, Tom Ford and Bobbi Brown. And 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, 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.
Apply a little balm as a base beforehand, as matte formulas can be more drying than your classic lipstick, and for a shinier finish mix a little gloss or balm over the top.
Best long lasting lipstick
NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment, Fabled
With the boldest colours and some of 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 25 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 some industrial strength make-up remover.
Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored, Harvey Nichols
MAC's iconic Ruby Woo is an excellent red, and probably one of the most (if not the most) famous. Big names like Chanel and Dior are 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. But really, the beauty of make-up is that you can (and should!) wear whatever you love.
Best matte liquid lipstick
Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick, Selfridges
Internet sensation and businesswoman 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 the camera. The liquid lipsticks are intensely 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.
Read on for more of the best lipstick shades that a collection shouldn't be without. Time to treat yourself to a new one (or two... or three).
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.
If a seriously high-shine lip look is your thing, grab hold of Illamasqua's recent launch. Unsurprisingly loaded with pigment, think mirror shine that finishes off any look.
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.
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.
Bobbi Brown is known for its lipsticks, and intense colour is what the Crushed Lip is all about. All of the berry reds and nudes you could ask for.
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.
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.
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.
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Lucy is a freelance beauty editor and contributor at Marie Claire, and has written for titles including Glamour, Refinery29, Popsugar, woman&home and more. She was previously Marie Claire’s junior beauty editor. During her career, she’s covered everything from backstage beauty at fashion week to interviews with famous faces like Drag Race royalty and Little Mix. As for her beauty ethos, she’s a big advocate for not having to spend a fortune on beauty products to get good results, and when she’s not got beauty on the brain you’ll find her reading or hanging out with dogs.
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