My 13 Favourite Lip Colours, Just Because

You wanted it, you got it! Here is a comprehensive list of my favourite lip colours at all finishes, formulas and price points.
Publish date:
February 26, 2014
nars, lipsticks, mac, lip glosses, Lipstick Queen, clinique, Revlon, Dior, Lancome, lip stains, loreal, tinted balms, Red Burlesque

You guys know by now that I am a huge lipstick person. Colour on my lips makes me feel put together and powerful, and I never feel like I’m ready to shoot an article unless I have SOME colour on my lips.

This obviously has not gone unnoticed! I get more comments and tweets asking me about my lipstick than I do about almost anything else. And a couple weeks ago, when I asked if you would like me to write about my favourite lip colours, the answer was a powerful, resounding YES.

What can I do but obey? Without further ado, here are my very favourite lip colours. I’ll be skipping the already-covered classics (like Dragon Girl) because you’ve read about them a million times already in favour of some new classics that I think you guys will love. I’ll be hitting a wide range of price points, and I’ll include information about formula, finish, colour, wear, smell and anything else I think you should know about.

Who knows? Maybe your future favourite lipstick is waiting for you in here.

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie

These Lip Butters are one of my all-time favourite drugstore products. No matter what colour you pick, they are A+ for ease of use (light but very pigmented), formula (comfortable on the lips, not drying at all), wear (lasts at least four hours without needing a touch-up, fades evenly) and packaging (quilted caps!).

Raspberry pie is my favourite. It’s a deep, cool pink that is about two shades brighter than my natural lip colour. I apply it straight from the bullet for a more intense effect, or dab it on with my finger for a “my lips but better” stain effect.

I wish I could think of a criticism for this product, but I don’t have any. Maybe that I only own three colours and I want all of them?

L’Oreal Color Riche Caresse Aqua Lacquer in Endless Red

I wore this in my keratin treatment article, and lo, the readers cried out in a single voice “WHAT IS THAT RED? WE NEEEEED IT!”

Ladies and gentlemen, this is that red. And it really is worth the dramatic response.

Endless Red is a medium neutral red. The formula is sheer but buildable, with fantastic staying power (I can eat a test sandwich in this lipstick and still look awesome afterwards) and great shine. It feels really comfortable, doesn’t dry out my lips, and is easy to remove. The doe-foot applicator means that you can apply it very precisely with no need for lipliner. Yay!

The only drawback to this lip colour is that I’m not wild about the smell, which does linger. To me it smells like slightly sour berries, and it isn’t outright unpleasant... just odd. The red can also look a little uneven if you apply more product on one part of your lips, so keep the applicator moving for best results.

Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stains (formerly Just Bitten Kissable) in Lovesick and Smitten

First, the answer to the question that has been plaguing our lives out for weeks: will the change from Kissable to ColorBurst change the quality of our beloved Balm Stains?

I am happy to tell you that my initial studies say that no, it won’t.

While reports vary a little--some say this is just rebranding, others that it’s a minor reformulation--I went out and found an official ColorBurst stain that I could compare to the Kissable one I already owned.

They are almost identical. ColorBurst Sweetheart seems slightly more sheer in the swatch, but has no added glitter or shimmer (I think we were all worried about this). It wears just as well, and now in ColorBurst form, seems to go even heavier on the stain without sacrificing any of the balm.

It smells and feels exactly the same on my mouth, but it leaves behind a much stronger tint. This reformulation is very minor, and so far appears to have been for the better.

If other colours show changes not consistent with this result, I’ll tell you guys. But right now, let us all breathe a sigh of relief and I will get on talking about my favourite balm stains.

Lovesick is a cool-toned hot pink that looks amazing on my lips. It is always, always in my purse because I love it so much. Nothing wakes up my face as completely as this gorgeous pink--it’s one of my favourite things to wear.

Smitten, as I’ve said before, is maybe my favourite lip colour discovery of the last twelve months. It’s a cool, deep but bright wine-pink that works on seriously every. Single. Skin tone. I don’t know what kind of dark magic Revlon employed to make this colour, but please keep doing it. It’s spectacular.

There are no downsides to these products. They last for hours, wear off evenly and leave behind a gorgeous I’ve-been-eating-fresh-berries stain, smell ever so slightly like peppermint and cost $8. AMAZING.

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Standout

I was going to include this as an honourable mention, but then I was like NO WAY. Standout is so, so good that it totally deserves its own entry. Revlon is totally the champion of the drugstore lip colour game.

On me, this cool, almost deep red goes on very bright with a semi-matte finish. On others it goes on deeper still. This is definitely one of those magical products that will change a little depending on the colour of your lips.

I have written a full, exhaustive review of these products, which you can read here. Meantime, you should definitely buy this. It’s the perfect matte red at the perfect price.

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Luscious Honey

This is my all-time favourite I’m-not-wearing-lipstick lipstick. It gives my lips the faintest hint of colour, enhancing and intensifying their natural dark pink rather than covering it up with heaps of pigment. It’s sheer and light, feeling more like a really nice balm than a lipstick.

I wear this a lot, weirdly, when I’m having Skype dates with my friends. Because I have so many beloved people so far away (and with such dramatic time differences), I spend a lot of time laughing into my webcam late at night. Because webcams are pretty low-quality, my lips tend to wash out under artificial light and vanish completely. One swipe of this gives me a little bit of colour, and I look amazing on camera again.

I mean, I obviously don’t want to look TOO haggard in front of my friends.

The only bad thing about this product is that I lose it a lot. The very thin silvery tube seems to hide under things far more than my regularly-shaped lipsticks do. Likely this is my problem, but if you have a hard time keeping track of your stuff, bear it in mind.

MAC Lipstick in MAC Red

This is my favourite MAC red lipstick. Others are loyal to Russian Red or Ruby Woo, but I pledge allegiance to MAC Red, most satiny and cool-toned of all bright red lipsticks.

The formula is above reproach. It isn’t drying or overly “hard,” as I occasionally find some MAC colours. There are no smells. It lasts well, but it isn’t a long-wear lip product, so if you aren’t in it to win it (or just don’t have time to touch up), this may not be for you. I used to wear this every day of my life while I was in college, and although I’m not quite as ride-or-die with it now, it’s still a bright red that I love to reach for.

Dior Addict Lipstick in Rock n Roll

You may not believe that I have a warm-toned colour in my lipstick favourites, but I DO, and this is it. I am in love with Dior’s lightweight but really pigmented formula, and as far as making shimmery, slightly sparkly lipsticks that are never anything but grown-up and wearable, they are the masters.

Rock n Roll is amazing for those summer days when you want a little more colour but don’t want anything you need to apply with a mirror. It’s easy, glimmery and mega-flattering. I love it so much. I’m eyeing my tube excitedly, ready to bust it out in spring again!

The only problem is that it can be a little drying, especially in cold weather. You need to have your lip exfoliation game on point for this to look it’s best, because the sparkle can kind of gather unflatteringly in any cracks or peeling. We don’t want that. Smooth lips forever!

NARS lipstick in Schiap

Duh, right? The brightest, coolest pink in the game with NARS’s signature matte, long-lasting formula is my jam, and I am sure none of you are surprised. Named after the amazing Elsa Schiapperelli, this colour manages to be both really fun and really refined all at once. I am pretty sure only NARS can pull that off.

This is not a colour for the shy. I think I get more compliments on this lip colour than any other that I wear. That’s a pro to me, but if you don’t love unsolicited attention, you may not enjoy it. You also have to make sure it’s really perfectly applied. If you have a wonkus line, it’ll show really clearly and look terrible. Lip liner or an angled brush is a must with Schiap.

Lipstick Queen Saint Lipstick in Deep Red

I love Lipstick Queen so much, and their entire line is GENIUS. Basically, they offer a range of colours in two formulations: Saint, which is very sheer, and Sinner, which is matte and opaque. That way you can pick the colour intensity that you like best.

I like the Saint line the best, and Deep Red is seriously the crown jewel. Sheer and comfortable to wear, one coat gives you that perfect “Oh yes, my lips are just naturally this incredibly-coloured” look. It’s buildable as well, so you can make it darker if you like. It has a faint smell that is really quite pleasant--like a high-end confectionery.

The only thing I think it behooves me to mention about this lipstick is that, although it’s sheer, it IS a lipstick rather than a tinted balm. It won’t give your lips heaps of moisture like the Almost Lipstick will. It isn’t drying, but neither is it terribly hydrating. Some people get mixed up about that.

Lancome Rouge in Love Lipstick in Midnight Rose

Also known as “the lipstick most likely to cause a riot in the comments section of my articles.” You guys LOVE this super bright, cool-toned pink so much--and I am pleased to tell you that your love is warranted.

I think Lancome makes some of the best formulated lipsticks out there, and this line is no exception. It feels so rich and soft on my lips, like world’s best lipbalm, but comes with this insanely gorgeous, creamy colour. It is seriously a pleasure to apply and wear.

This lipstick stays on for hours without smudging or migrating around onto my teeth, which is amazing for a “soft”-feeling formula like this one. The marketing says this will last for six hours--I’ve worn it for four without it needing a touch up, so it’s pretty close.

No cons here, except that I worry that once the Lancome bigwigs find out that this formula is BETTER than most $60 mega-luxury lipsticks, they’ll raise the price.

Red Burlesque Lipstick in Calamity Chang

You may not have heard of this brand yet, but believe me, you will. Their entire line is fabulous, amazing red lipsticks. You heard me right: an ENTIRE LINE of nothing but reds, all developed with--and named after--modern burlesque superstars.

Calamity Chang is my favourite colour. It’s a gorgeous rich red-plum with the faintest, almost imperceptible gold shimmer. You may remember it as my “Going to the Oscars” lipstick from my first ever advice video. And it’s totally worthy of the fanciest of occasions: it’s insanely beautiful, it’s incredibly comfortable on my lips, and is one of the few lipstick formulations that does not “feather” out. A deep plum that doesn’t need mega-lipliner is basically magical.

The only issue with this lipstick is that right now you can only buy it online. I want it carried in every store in the world! It’s so wonderful!

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick in Private Party

The creme de la creme. I know that fifty bucks is A LOT to spend on lipstick, but if you’ve got it and you want to buy something that is both beautifully designed AND feels incredible on your lips.

Private Party is a warm-toned hot pink that works on more skin tones than you might think at first. It feels so luxurious on your lips--moisturising, creamy and amazing to a degree I didn’t really think possible in a matte finish lipstick. It has a faint pepperminty smell that is more evident in the bullet than on your lips. It has lasted me through meals without needing reapplication, even though it isn’t technically a long-wear formula.

I love this lipstick so much, right down to the gorgeous gold case with the magnetic cap. It feels elegant and substantial in my hand, like the kind of thing my grandmother would have carried in her purse. It’s glamour made manifest.

The only issue with Private Party is that it’s fifty freaking dollars, which means I’m not wearing this every single day like I want to. It also only comes in five shades, and while there’s a good variety in the colours they have, I’d love to see more.

Let's review:

So which of these lipsticks do you like best? Which would you most like to try? Can we get a lip colour party started in the comments? Post a picture of what you are wearing on your lips RIGHT NOW.