These Indie Lipsticks Are Some of the Best Colors Out There Right Now

There are so many great lip colors that you can't find in drugstores, department stores or Sephora.
Publish date:
February 24, 2016
indie, lipstick, troi ollivierre, Wander Beauty, GloMinerals, Jeffree Star

Lipstick and I are BFFs. I never leave the house without at least a wash of sheer color, save maybe walking the dog. Though peachy, poppy, orange-based reds are my jam, I’ve been experimenting more and more outside my signature look, and it’s clear I have been missing out.

There’s tons of lipsticks to try that haven’t yet made it to Sephora, ULTA, Bloomies, or drugstore shelves. Some of them develop rabid cult followings, others burn slow and gain fans over time, but one thing is certain: word of mouth is the surest way to find a new lippy you love.

I’ve been on the beauty beat a while now, but there are always new brands or old favorites to try. Here are a few formulas to fawn over.

Wander Beauty

Founded by a model, you’re getting an angle on makeup not often explored, save for the greats like Iman, Lindsay Ellingson brings her travel chops and inspiration to makeup that's flattering on all skin tones. Yay for intersectional makeup accountability! I have been digging the F out of her Love Lock Hydrating Lip Gel since first swipe. It smells like OG Lip Smackers has a light and flattering sheer color, and isn’t drying or unpleasant to wear.

If you want a bit more saturation, the soft pink hue of Up Close Kiss Lipstick is a coconut oil based formula with a gold shimmer, and there’s more colorways to come as they grow!

Troi Ollivierre

Veteran hair and makeup artist Troi Ollivierre dropped his first mini collection of lipsticks this summer to editor enthusiasm, but when I got my paws on both the first formula and new hotness — Matte Luxe Lipstick in George (my spirit’s lipstick color) and Stain & Glow Luxe Lip Stain in Grey — holy match made in lipstick heaven!

Cheap? No. Good? Beyond! The Matte Luxe stays put with a silky dried-down feeling that is not at all chalky or chapping. It’s like all of my favorite paint-on mattes but not gloppy and thick; it feels like nothing on your lips and stays on brilliantly.

These lip stains though. Pardon me while I heave another sigh of delight. Grey is a bombastic, glossy orange-red that gets constant compliments, while Theodore is a Kardashian-trend satiating nude-pink-mauve that is clearly formulated for medium skin tones and up.

POC-owned, sold in classy joints like J.Crew and his well-appointed and simple website, Troi Ollivierre is a beauty brand as well as a creative human force to watch. New Kevyn Aucoin levels of performance? Yas plz. I hope he has a foundation soon!


I have yet to try something I don’t like from Glo. Their lipsticks consistently impress me, they’re priced at about the Sephora store-brand level and work even better.

Suede Matte Crayon and Stick are like paint-ons in a much easier to apply format. Swipe on and you get that editorial matte that isn’t flat or chalky; it has a velvety finish that’s unique and not often seen.

The crayons are basically as good as NARS at half the price and come with a built-in sharpener. I swear, Sorbet has to be the most poppin’ pink lipstick I have tried since Marc Jacobs' Boy Gorgeous.

Jeffree Star

Alright, before we rush down to yell about this person in the comments, here are the facts: It’s commonly asserted that Jeffree Star is a racist or at least associates with racists. Aside from one misguided-ass-photo with some idiot in blackface (not Jeffree), I haven’t found hard proof of the opinion of the subject. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe it; it just means at a bare minimum of journalistic duty, I must inform you I wasn’t able to find any "proof."

So I will tell you this. Aside from a berry scent I don't like Velour Lipstick Lipstick is pretty nice. It’s soft to apply and has a thin and fast-drying consistency and the color is divine, but I had all those thoughts before being informed of the problematic nature of its creator.

Here's all of the colors above, swatched:

I hope you'll look to some of these fun brands when selecting a new signature lippy!

Photos: Maria Penaloza