Starting at $5 a tube, these are the lipsticks editors swear are so worth it.
ICYMI, National Lipstick Day is here, which gives you the perfect excuse (read: opportunity) to flaunt your favorite lip color. Is a subtle nude lip your go-to? Pucker up. Prefer a bold red? Paint it on. Never imagined that you could pull off a dark plum or neon coral? Today is the day, people. While it’s not quite an official holiday—beauty bloggers, influencers, “it” girls, and cosmetic companies started celebrating it over a decade ago—we won’t pass on a fun day dedicated to celebrating color and individualism.
Whether you’re trying new shades or sticking to your favorites, you can also score some amazing deals on discounted lipsticks for a limited time. Macy’s is giving away free full-size lipsticks with any $25 MAC Cosmetics purchase while supplies last. Other brands and stores participating in National Lipstick Day include Tarte, Ulta, Tatcha, and Target—so you’re bound to find some flattering shades you love.
Not sure where to start? We asked Health staffers to reveal their all-time favorite lipsticks. Here, eight they said were so worth the splurge.
Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor, Red Hot
“This is the one I’ve been wearing daily because it lasts almost all day. It also smells great, does not feel dry, and the texture while applying is like a super smooth mousse—making it much easier to apply than other lipsticks out there. It takes a minute to dry, which allows enough time for you to apply it well and fix any mistakes, unlike with a stain. Plus, the applicator is the perfect shape.”
—Alex Sandoval, digital photo editor
Urban Decay Vice Lipstick, Tilt
“When it comes to crème lipstick, Urban Decay Vice is my go-to. The formula is a rare but oh-so-important combination of creamy and long-lasting—it hydrates your lips but won’t smudge off on your morning coffee. My current favorite shade is Tilt, a bright orange that feels more summery than my usual go-to red, but it’s also just refreshing to find a line that includes so many flattering shades to accommodate different skin tones—whatever the occasion. In fact, I have about five on my desk currently, it’s just that good.”
—Rebecca Shinners, social lead
Sephora Collection Rouge Lacquer, Go Girl
"I first discovered this lipstick when one of my favorite beauty Youtubers, Kathleen Fuentes, pulled out this bargain find in a monthly favorites haul. Immediately, I fell for the rosy beige hue. Unlike other nudes, it never makes me feel overdone. Instead, it's lightweight with great color payoff and a subtle sheen that makes your lips look even plumper. It's the perfect everyday color!"
—Braelyn Woods, health and wellness ecommerce writer
Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips 2 Lipstick, In Love with Olivia
“I'm a bit of an obsessive when it comes to all things Charlotte Tilbury. I've collected pretty much every lip shade she's ever put out—including the limited edition versions. Even with every bullet lined up for me to choose from, I always wind up reaching for In Love With Olivia from the Hot Lips 2 collection; it’s named after Olivia Palermo. I’m all about a good nude—it's the perfect complement to my to my typical bronze-y complexion and copper-toned eye makeup (and goes with pretty much any other look, too)—but finding the perfect shade was not always easy, until I found this one. Though Tilbury offers a range of lip formulas, this creamy bullet is my favorite. It’s not particularly long wear, but I’d rather go in for a midday touch up with this hydrating pigment.”
—Lisa DeSantis, beauty editor
MAC Lustre Lipstick, Politely Pink
“A lot of nude lipsticks I've tried have red or orange undertones, but I LOVE the softer pinky purple hue in the MAC Politely Pink Lustre Lipstick. It has a gorgeous sheen finish, but if you blot some translucent powder over your lips, it transforms into an even more natural look. So versatile!”
—Lauren Witonsky, social media assistant
Surratt Beauty Lipslique Lipstick, Perfectionniste
“This Surratt lipstick was my holy grail find in my 20s, and I’ve been loyal to this little bullet for years. I’m way more into skincare (hello, sunscreen and vitamin C serums) than I am makeup, however I do love to have a hint of color on my lips to give my fair skin some life. The problem: I’ve always found lip stains too pigmented and drying, glosses unbearably sticky, and other lipsticks wear off into the cracks in my chapped lips (TMI). An employee at Sephora introduced me to this lipstick, and at the price point I thought she was crazy. But, after coating my lips in the ultra creamy formula, I was sold. It’s surprisingly hydrating and more natural-looking, which I love. But, I can build the color should the occasion call for it. It might be a splurge, but it lasts forever and is so versatile. I switch between the hue Perfectionniste (a pinky rose) in winter and Gamine (a muted coral) in the summer months.”
—Susan Brickell, assistant digital editor
NYX Professional Makeup Soft Matte Lip Cream, Copenhagen
“The best bang for your buck, I wear this lipstick when I feel like changing it up a bit and wearing something other than red. It smells great and the texture is the best part, since it’s not too thick and not too thin—it’s just right. This makes it easy super to apply and hard to mess up. This is a great option for those who aren’t regular lipstick wearers and want to give it a try. It’s not very long lasting, so you might need to touch up after eating.”
Dior Rouge Dior Liquid, Red
“This is definitely one of the splurges I’ve made recently, but I love this Dior lipstick more than any other I’ve tried—and trust me, after running a Facebook Live series that’s all about trying different lipsticks for an entire year, that’s saying something. What sets it apart is that although it has a matte finish, when it dries down it still feels soft and velvety on your lips. It won’t budge until I take it off, so I basically forget I’m wearing it. Plus, the pigment is striking: I was wearing the red shade in a meeting once and had multiple people tell me how much they liked it. It’s a true power shade.”