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The Best Lipstick

🕚 Updated October 2022

Lipstick is a staple cosmetic product that has been used for centuries to enhance those lovely lips and smiles. Today's lipstick comes in a variety of colors and finishes to make you look bold and beautiful. Check out our favorites here!

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  Best Overall Most Long-Lasting Best for Budget Best Set Best Hydrating
  Maybelline New York
Super Stay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick
Super Stay 24
wet n wild
Silk Finish Lip Stick
6Pcs Matte Liquid Lipstick Makeup Set
L'Oreal Paris
Color Riche Lipstick
Our SummaryThis long-wear lipstick comes in dozens of chic shades and won't break the bank.The original long-lasting two-step lipstick is available in a range of timeless shades.If you don't yet know your perfect shade, this lush and affordable lipstick is ideal for experimenting.For high-intensity color, this liquid matte lipstick gives you an instant bold look.Luxurious and rich, this brand-name lipstick delivers hydrating, bold lip pigment.
Pros✓ Precision arrow-shaped applicator
✓ Up to 16 hours of coverage
✓ Comfortable to wear
✓ Many color choices
✓ Easy two-step application
✓ Feels fresh all day.
✓ Low price
✓ Skin-loving ingredients
✓ Cruelty-free
✓ Three color palette choices
✓ Feels smooth
✓ Long-wear
✓ Deep hydration
✓ Many colors and finishes
✓ Easy to apply
ConsX May feel a bit tackyX Color may fadeX Finishes may be off
X May rub or transfer
X May feel dryX Might clog pores
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The Best Lipstick

A woman applies pink lipstick to her lips.

Buying Guide for Lipstick

Six tubes of lipstick in red shades on a granite countertop.

Why buy lipstick?

If you love to have fun with your makeup, enjoy a bold look, or are a budding makeup artist, you may consider buying and trying different types, finishes, and colors of lipstick. Wearing lipstick is a fun way to express yourself, and it’s a tried and true cosmetic tool for enhancing your beauty.

What should you consider in lipstick?

  • How It Feels: Some lipstick feels a bit dry on your lips, especially if it’s a long-wear lipstick. They’re made to last, not to feel nourishing. But even some long-wear lipsticks come with moisturizers that work with the lipstick, so you can have the best of both worlds. Other lipstick is made specifically to condition lips with the added bonus of fierce color. If you absolutely hate the feeling of dry lips, you may consider moisturizing lipstick.
  • How Long It Lasts: Especially if you have a big event, you are going to want to wear lipstick that won’t fade, smudge, smear, or (gasp!) rub off onto your teeth. Long-wear lipstick is made to give your lips hours of lush pigment without fading or transferring. Lipstick that isn’t made with a special formula for long wear can also last throughout the day if you exfoliate, prime, and line your lips and finish it off with a translucent setting powder.
  • Color and Finish: Lipstick comes in every color of the rainbow, though most people opt for nudes, pinks, reds, wines—anything along the skin tone, red, pink, and purple spectrum. But another thing you need to consider is the finish. There are a lot of finish choices in lipstick as well: glossy, satin, metallic, glittery, frosted, matte, velvet, sheer, and cream are some examples.

How can you find the best lipstick color for you?

The first trick is to determine your skin’s tone and undertones. Your skin’s tone is its color, which can range from very deep to very fair and changes within a few shades throughout the year. But determining your skin’s undertone is a bit trickier. The best way to figure this out is to look in a clean mirror in natural light. Some experts even recommend wearing jewelry to see which finishes look best against your skin or making notes of how your skin reacts to the sun. If your skin gives off peachy or golden tones, your undertone is warm. If it gives off reddish or blueish tones, your undertone is cool. And if you see traces of both, you’re a neutral.

If your skin is on the warm side, try lipstick with a warmer vibe like cherry red or nude with a golden tone. If your skin is on the cool side, a wine color would be a nice bold choice, and a pink or beige nude would be a good everyday choice. If your skin is neutral, guess what? You’re can rock just about any color.

Our Picks for the Best Lipstick

Best Overall

Maybelline New York Super Stay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

This long-wear lipstick comes in dozens of chic shades and won't break the bank.

Pros: With its precision arrow-shaped applicator, this liquid lipstick glides on flawlessly, covering every corner of your lips. Then, you can enjoy up to 16 hours of gorgeous coverage. This highly pigmented lipstick doesn’t just last; it delivers saturated color that’s smudge-free and transfer-free. And it’s smooth, silky, and very comfortable to wear. Plus, there are over 30 color options available that look gorgeous on various skin tones, so you can express yourself whether you’re feeling casual, edgy, sensual, or professional.

Cons: This lipstick tends to stay tacky longer than some others, though it’s still comfortable to wear.

Bottom Line: Though this liquid lipstick takes a few minutes to dry, once it does, it’s one of the best long-wear lipsticks you can find. It’s comfortable and lasts all day. And it’s fairly easy to remove with makeup remover.


Most Long-Lasting

Maybelline Super Stay 24

The original long-lasting two-step lipstick is available in a range of timeless shades.

Pros: For people who need their lipstick to last all day and all night, this 24-hour wear lipstick is a fantastic choice. You can smooth the long-lasting pigment on using the precision applicator. Then, wait two minutes and seal in moisture with the special balm. This two-step process is worth the wait for flawless wear that is also comfortable all day. Plus, it won’t flake off, chip, or cake. It just looks fresh all day. And it won’t transfer or rub off onto your teeth (yuck!). Also, this classic long-wear lipstick comes in dozens of shades, so you can stock up your makeup kit to match every look.

Cons: Some buyers noticed that their color faded a few hours into wearing this lipstick, though it didn’t smear or transfer off. They simply had to reapply.

Bottom Line: For those who love lipstick that delivers rich color and feels comfortable all day, this is a great choice. The colors are available in matte and satin finishes. And considering how long this product lasts, it delivers a lot of bang for your buck.


Best for Budget

wet n wild Silk Finish Lip Stick

If you don't yet know your perfect shade, this lush and affordable lipstick is ideal for experimenting.

Pros: Don’t let the low price fool you; this is a fantastic lipstick with a lot of great qualities. First, it’s formulated with vitamins, aloe, and macadamia nut oil to condition your lips and make them feel hydrated and smooth. Also, there are a ton of cool, modern colors to choose from. The lipstick is in crayon form, in the classic lipstick shape that many people find easy to apply. So it’s great for beginners! It looks great on its own and even better paired with a matching lip liner. Plus, this brand is cruelty-free.

Cons: Some of the “satin” finishes are a bit on the metallic or glossy side, and they may rub off a bit during the day.

Bottom Line: This lipstick is a fantastic, very affordable choice. It’s easy to apply and looks great on young skin and mature skin. And it makes an excellent stocking stuffer.


Best Set

BestLand Matte Liquid Lipstick Makeup Set

For high-intensity color, this liquid matte lipstick gives you an instant bold look.

Pros: This lipstick gift set offers three color palette choices so you can choose the looks that suit you best. There are six liquid lipstick tubes per pack, and they come with a precision applicator inside each bottle. So it’s easy to apply, and it feels smooth going on while it covers your lips in rich matte color. It’s long-wear lipstick, but it also has a moisturizing feeling when you apply it. It doesn’t rub off or transfer, even when you eat. And the colors are beautiful and thoughtful, with different palettes to enhance the looks of cool, warm, and neutral skin tones.

Cons: After wearing this lipstick for a little while, your lips may feel a little dry.

Bottom Line: With quality, velvety matte colors, this giftable lipstick set is a dream come true. The lipstick is as high-quality as many more expensive brands. And it only takes one layer to achieve rich, luxe color.


Best Hydrating

L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Lipstick

Luxurious and rich, this brand-name lipstick delivers hydrating, bold lip pigment.

Pros: This brand-name lipstick delivers rich color and deep hydration in one luxurious tube. It’s enriched with nourishing ingredients like omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and argan oil for intense moisture that’s great for the skin. And there are lots of fun colors with matte, creamy, shimmery, and satin finishes to choose from. With the shape of this lipstick in its classic tube, the best way to apply it is to work from the center to the outer edges of your lips, following the contour of your mouth, then glide across the entire bottom lip. It looks great on its own and even better with a matching lip liner.

Cons: If you have sensitive skin or are prone to breakouts, this lipstick may clog pores.

Bottom Line: When it comes to rich, moisturizing color, this lipstick delivers. While it’s free of most allergens, the richness of the formula may be a bit too heavy for some people. It also needs to be reapplied throughout the day unless you use a finishing spray or powder.

Final Thoughts

Lipstick has been around for 5,000 years. And while the Ancient Sumerians and Egyptians were getting their fierce looks on, they didn’t have a fraction of the choices of colors, finishes, and long-lasting wear that we do. So do our ancestors a favor, and try out some new lipstick!

Stacy Rounds Stacy Rounds
Stacy is a freelance writer. She has created a variety of web and print copy, from lifestyle and dating advice to small business reviews and short stories. She has a degree in business and marketing and has worked for several years as a social media manager. Through writing creative fiction, satire, and advertisements, she developed a passion for the written word. She enjoys cooking and painting in her free time. Read Full Bio »
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