Search “lipstick” on Sephora’s website and you’re going to get upwards of 200 products. On Nordstrom? Nearly 500. And that’s not even counting tinted lip balms, pigmented glosses, or long-wear lip stains. While scrolling for hours upon hours is certainly an option (we love a beauty haul), picking the best lipstick of all time doesn’t have to be a crazy expedition. With the expert assistance of celebrity makeup artists, we’ve compiled a definitive list of the all-time best lip products. And trust us, if they’ve made it on this page, they’re the real deal. You’re not going to have to worry about smudging, drying, or bleeding. These bullets have been tested time and again by the best pros in the industry.
Even though makeup artists agree that these are the best lipsticks in the history of lipstick creation (we’re throwing it back to the 1999 launch of MAC’s Ruby Woo), picking the best formula for your routine is a totally personal decision. I’m *obsessed* with peachy pinks and satin finishes, but other beauty professionals would shout about their love for waterproof reds from the rooftops. As such, each recommendation we provide is going to give you the inside scoop—which skin tones it works best for, application hacks (grab one of the best lip liners), and exactly why it’s hailed as the créme de la créme of lipsticks in the beauty world.
So, without further ado, please scroll ahead to discover your next obsession. Because trust us, it’s here.
The Best Pink Lipstick
“It comes in 3 shades, so it works with all skin tones. I really love that it’s a nude-pink. I think it works great with every makeup look and compliments the face well.” – Danii Parkes, Celebrity Makeup Artist
“This is one of my favorite reds. It’s so matte and bright. It’s such a statement on everyone who wears it.” – Colby Smith, Celebrity Makeup Artist
The Best Multi-Purpose Lipstick
“The tone is a really beautiful, deep pinky-mauve. It suits all skin tones and can be stretched to use on the cheeks.” – Katie Jane Hughes, Celebrity Makeup Artist
The Best Drugstore Lipstick
“You’ll get the feel of a luxury lipstick, but at a moderate price point. Maybelline has perfectly crafted shades in nudes, pinks, and reds that work on all skin tones!” – Billie Gene, Celebrity Makeup Artist
The Longest Lasting Lipstick
“If I know I’m going to be out and about all day long, I’m *always* grabbing this product. It’s transfer-proof, doesn’t budge, and never bleeds. The pointed applicator makes it super easy to define my cupid’s bow—no lip liner necessary. While I have just about every shade, Forever Paris is my most used.” – Samantha Holender, Beauty Editor
The Best Lipstick With a Clean Formula
“For a beautiful, clean look, my favorite is Kjaer Weis. I love their creams and mattes. The formula is clean and the packaging is green, but the colors are also elegant and beautiful.” – Matin Maulawizada, Celebrity Makeup Artist
The Best Nude Lipstick
“It’s my favorite on-the-go nude. It hydrates the lip, and, at the same time, delivers a great wash of a natural lip color.” – CS
The Best Lipstick for All Skin Tones
“It's a red that never fails. It suits everyone and has a classic undertone. It’s not too trendy, not too tame—it’s perfectly balanced.” – KJH
The Best Sheer Lipstick
“This comes in a variety of shades, but my personal favorite is Peachy Pink. It gives my lips that shine I’m looking for, while being long lasting and applying like lipstick. I love to apply this product when I have a more glowy look on my face, as it adds shine and hydration to my lips.” – DP
The Most Pigmented Lipstick
“There’s simply no better product for intense color. Regardless of which color you choose (Cœur Infidèle or Amour Fou), you’re guaranteed an intense pigment. But with a velvety satin finish, it’s never too jarring. The curved applicator makes getting a sharp line pretty easy, but I’m partial to a more diffused look, so I always soften the edges by patting my finger.” – SH
The Best Liquid Lipstick
“The Lip Bar is a new love of mine! If you're a lover of color this brand is for you. Their liquid lipsticks provide maximum color payoff while lasting all day. What I love about this product is how lightweight the texture is—it almost feels like nothing is on your lips, but then you end up having the most vibrant, iconic lips.” – BG
The Best Matte Lipstick
“I use this products on my lips, cheeks, and eyelids to give myself a monochromatic look. It’s my consistent, everyday color and I love the way it applies.” – DP
The Best Lipstick for Layering
“When I send clients to a red carpet, I give them Chapstick Total Hydration Tinted Lip Balm. I match it with the shade closest to what they are wearing. What I love about this, is that it doesn’t add texture to the lips, but just refreshes and hydrates them without making lipstick look too thick, heavy, or overly applied. It’s a safe way to refresh your lipstick in the back of the car without worrying.” – MM
The Best Buildable Lipstick
“This is a great, barely-there nude that looks a bit ‘90s, which is a trend that continuously comes back around. I like that it's a cream texture and that you can build or sheer it down.” –KJH
The Best Berry Lipstick
“I’ve never been a red lipstick girl—berries are much better suited to my complexion. When I’m in the mood for a little pop, this YSL is my go-to. The formula is super hydrating and never leaves my lips feeling chalky. The color payoff is amazing, too. To keep the hue as true to color as possible, I like to put concealer on my lips ahead of application.” – SH
The Best Peach Lipstick
“I love to match this with soft, bronzy makeup. It’s a peach shade that’s matte and long-lasting and leaves the lips cashmere-soft. It’s perfect for a warm skin tone, matches well with natural, dewy skin, a peachy-pink cream blush, a subtle bronzy eye, and brushed up fluffy brows. Matching it with the Iconic Nude Lip Liner is a fave combo of mine,” – Leah Baines, Makeup Artist
Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and keeps up with the latest trends in the beauty space. She has previously written for Us Weekly, Popsugar, Makeup.com, Skincare.com, and Philadelphia Wedding. Follow her on Instagram @samholender.
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