Lipstick is the best accessory.
My lip color collection is vast and incredibly colorful. It ranges from high end to drug store brands, and everything in between.
Shopping for lipstick can be difficult because, for the most part, you can’t just try a shade on. That perfect color can look great in the tube or on your hand but when you bring it home it ends up feeling too waxy or doesn’t have enough pigmentation.
The biggest myth is that high-end brands are better. My favorite shade and go-to killer red is from Revlon and cost only $5. I have a few other reds from NARS and Urban Decay, which cost five times as much, that fall short.
To point you in the right direction — and make sure you don’t spend tons of money on brands that aren’t worth it — here is my short guide to the best lipsticks.
1. Revlon – Super Lustrous Lipstick
Red lipstick is a beauty must. Red lipstick is power. A woman wearing red lipstick looks strong and chic. Red lipstick is confidence.
Believe it or not the best red lipstick is down the street at your local drugstore. After trying every red on the planet I have found my favorite for only $5. Revlon’s Super Lustrous Lipstick line features shades with great pigmentation and the perfect amount of moisture.
The lipstick is smooth and long-lasting. My favorite shade is “Love That Red” and I wear it almost everyday. The best red for you depends on your skin-tone. For me “Love That Red” is bright and more of a warm red with oranges rather than a red with cooler tones.
If you love this brand try it in “Berry Haute” — a great purple that has personality, but isn’t super overpowering.
2. Maybelline – Vivids
If you are going to wear a lip color then you need to WEAR IT. Don’t fear super-pigmented colors and don’t try to dim the color with balms.
My favorite line of matte, super pigmented shades is Maybelline’s line of Vivids Lipcolors. Over the summer I bought almost all of them, even a few of the darker berry shades. But the shade above, “Shocking Coral,” is one of my favorites.
This shade is really pink. Like — REALLY pink. This color is perfect for the spring and summer when everything is pink and orange. Another color I love from this line is “Pink Pop,” a pink with purples that looks great on someone with light skin and dark hair (like me).
3. Urban Decay
Dark colors are very on trend for winter and look great on a variety of skin tones. If you want to go REALLY dark then this is the color for you.
Urban Decay’s “Shame” is dark and pigmented. This shade is smooth but tricky to put on. The color is so dark that one wrong move could set you back quite a bit; it’s difficult to completely remove from your skin.
To get the perfect application make sure you use a lipliner brush and line your lips with the lipstick before filling the rest in. When filling your lips in don’t go right up to the lip lines you drew on, instead use the brush to blend it all together. This way you have more control over where the color ends up and don’t have to re-do your foundation because of a mistake.
Another great dark from Urban Decay is “Venom.”
4. Maybelline – Lip Butter
Though I love super-pigmented lip colors some days call for something a little lighter.
My favorite line of lighter, more nourishing, lip colors is Maybelline’s Lip Butter. The colors are less intense and feel a little more like a balm. Your best bet is to go for the pinks and more neutral tones in this line, the reds and berries looks a little strange. I love “Juicy Papaya” and “Tootie Fruitie,” a great pink and an orangey color. Perfect for summer!
A high-end brand that is always a great choice is NARS. NARS has a great color palette of pigmented matte lipsticks. The color above that I love is “Fire Down Below,” a red with more brown tones. NARS also makes some great reds like “Future Red” from their holiday line.
The biggest tip to buying NARS is not to completely trust the photos if you are shopping online. The photo above looks like a great burgundy color but in reality is much more based in brown. My advice is to shop for this brand in person or find an online retailer that uses actual photos of the product rather than these template tubes with the color photoshopped in.
There are a million other brands out there to try and explore. A few others that are worth the buy are Sonia Kashuk lipsticks and Maybelline Lip Crayons. My absolute favorite line of lip colors was the limited edition L’Oreal line of “Le Matte” and “La Laque.” If you can find those somewhere my advice is to buy first and try later! I have every color they put out and wear them all.