Lipstick is one of those basic beauty items almost every woman has in her arsenal. Women wear it to feel attractive, confident, and express their individual style. A 2012 study even found that waitresses who wore lipstick (particularly red lipstick) received higher tips. People first started wearing lipstick about 5,000 years ago, and it's been made from everything from crushed gems to lead (talk about a kiss of death!). It started becoming a popular fashion statement in the US during World War II, and today there are many amazing choices of lipstick on the market in a rainbow of hues.
So, what should you keep in mind when choosing a lipstick? Of course, a color that matches your style and compliments your skin tone is always important. We also want a lipstick that is moisturizing – some lipsticks have the unfortunate side effect of drying lips out, requiring a constant reapplication of lip balm throughout the day to remedy the situation. A long-lasting, smudge-proof lipstick is also desirable. Lipsticks can be liquid or solid, and some wearers strongly prefer one application type over another. We like lightweight lipstick that feels almost as if you're wearing nothing at all. You can also find lipsticks that are organic, cruelty-free, and even hypoallergenic. As usual, we also took price into account when making our recommendations.
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick
Surprisingly, this inexpensive drugstore find is actually our favorite! This solid lipstick is not only a great budget pick at less than $9 per tube, but it's also really creamy and moisturizing. It's infused with silk and vitamins so that your lips will feel amazing. This lipstick is available in a whopping 82 colors. Choose something bold that will make your lips pop, or a neutral shade if that's more your style.
Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipstick Comfort Matte
One bold matte lipstick we love is the Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipstick Comfort Matte. It's available in 40 colors, so you have plenty to choose from to match every outfit and occasion, whether neutral or bright and edgy. It's available in both matte and metalized finishes. This waterproof formula is super long-lasting and infused with pearls and glitter. It's lightweight and less drying some other long-lasting lipsticks we considered for this review, but it can feel a little sticky. Because it's a thinner formula, apply one coat and allow to dry fully, and then apply a second coat if you feel you need a bolder look. It is available in a clear tube with a flat-edged applicator so you can apply it precisely and with ease.
L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Last Lipcolor
This lipstick actually tied in score with the Urban Decay choice above. L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Last Lipcolor is designed to stay put for up to 24 hours, which means you can go about your day without once needing to worry about reapplying. Application of this product involves two steps. First, brush the High Intensity Color across your lips. This color boasts a high concentration of pigments and is designed to resist transfer, fading, and bleeding, keeping your makeup looking fresh throughout the day. Next, apply the Pro-Seal Balm. This balm helps to moisturize your lips while locking in the transfer-resistant color. Both the High Intensity Color and the Pro-Seal Balm come in the same tube, with separate applicators at each opposing end.
Yves Saint Laurent Tatouage Couture Liquid Matte Lip Stain
This Yves Saint Laurent liquid lip stain got rave reviews! At $20 it's a bit pricey which is why it didn't score higher in the end, but we still think it's totally worth the splurge. The colors are bold and highly pigmented, and the finish is ultra-matte. This lip stain is super lightweight and comfortable. It's not drying as other long-lasting lip colors tend to be. The Tatouage Couture Liquid Matte Lip Stain stays put for up to eight hours, so you may need to reapply during the day.
NYX Professional Makeup Whipped Lip & Cheek Soufflé
If you're interested in a multipurpose lipstick, consider NYX's Whipped Lip & Cheek Soufflé. This two-in-one mousse can be applied both to your lips and cheeks. It doesn't come in as many colors as the other lipsticks reviewed, however there are fewer colors that you're likely to feel comfortable with swiping on your cheeks! The applicator has a pointed tip to help you line your lips, though some of our testers preferred to use an actual lipliner with this product to prevent bleeding. It doesn't last all day, but won't dry out your lips either. Apply lightly to your cheeks to avoid a clown-like look – a little can go a long way. This product has a matte finish.
Burt's Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lipstick
If you're looking for an all natural lipstick that you can feel good about putting on your lips, look no further than Burt's Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lipstick. This satiny lipstick will have your lips feeling super smooth for hours on end. That is thanks to its 100% natural moisturizing ingredients such as moringa oil, beeswax, vitamin E, and raspberry seed oil. It's available in 18 colors from Nile Nude to Brimming Berry. Burt's Bees claims that it lasts for 8 hours. Reviewers note that the color isn't incredibly bold with these lipsticks but they are nevertheless beautiful.
When choosing a lipstick, we preferred options that didn't require frequent reapplication but we still wanted something that would feel good on our lips. We found it hard to find a good balance between these two ideals, especially with a reasonable price point. We love the Yves Saint Laurent Tatouage Couture Liquid Matte Stain but realize the price could be too high for everyday use among most customers. The Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick got high reviews and felt great to wear, but did require more frequent application. The L'Oreal Infallible Pro-last Lipcolor definitely lasts the longest, and we like that it comes with a soothing balm to keep lips from getting too dry. The Urban Decay formula isn't as drying as some other long-lasting lipsticks we considered, but it manages to combat the drying with a bit of a sticky feeling that some testers found annoying. Finally, the NYX Whipped Lip & Cheek Soufflé was really fun to use and wear, though naturally does not come in as many colors as traditional lipsticks.