Happy National Lipstick Day! We weren’t sure whether we should be buying cake for this auspicious day or having a party, so instead we decided to ask some of our favourite beauty editors and makeup artists for their favourite lipstick of all time. All in the hope that if you’re still on the hunt for ‘the one’, these choices may inspire and delight you.
Just like finding the best cream bronzer, the best cream blusher or the best budget mascara, finding your perfect lipstick can be a tricky business. You have to take into consideration skin tone, texture, finish and, of course, budget. We could have course just put together a very simple list but instead we thought if we asked lots of beauty experts that you could see what they reach for and you may want to do the same so here they are...
Loved by: Get The Gloss’ Freelance Beauty Director, Sarah-Jane Corfield-Smith
I am very fussy about lipsticks. In fact, I’m so fussy I don’t actually own that many. I get very dry lips so anything that’s too moisture-sapping and makes my lips look even more cracked than they already are, is a no from me. Which is why I adore this one. It is so creamy and hydrating it feels more like a balm, but it has the pigment punch of a lipstick. It has the effect of being glossy without being sticky and shiny without being too sparkly. It sits perfectly in the sweet spot of everything I look for, and rarely find, in a lippy.
Loved by: Lan Nguyen-Grealis, makeup artist
This liquid lipstick is the perfect accessory for a smoky eye and also a great option for people who don’t think they love lipstick. This is because it looks and feels like a gloss, but has lipstick's staying power. And this great nude shade works really with my cool skin tone. The finish is glossy, which is sometimes tricky to achieve with a liquid lipstick as they tend to normally be matte, and the great thing is once it’s on it’s smudge-free and doesn’t budge.
Loved by: Mary Greenwell, makeup artist
Yes, this is theoretically a cream blush but Mary loves to use it as a lipstick too. “This is the most perfect lip colour for me. It’s three tones darker than my natural lip colour and I love the texture - it’s creamy but not too glossy. VB is calling it suitable for cheeks but for me it is even better for lips!
Loved by: Sarah Cooper-White, Beauty Director of Woman & Home magazine
I don’t often wear a bright lip, but I love this pinky-red one because I think the shade suits my cool and pale skin tone. Liquid lipsticks can often feel quite drying and not that nice to wear, but this is comfy and really lasts even when you’re eating and drinking so you can don't have to touch up or think about your lipstick all day, which makes life a lot easier.
Loved by: Danielle Roberts, makeup artist.
This cream matte lipstick has a comfortable mousse texture that lasts and lasts. “My favourite lipstick right now is this stunning hot pink with a subtle blue sparkle. I set it down with a translucent powder so I can wear it under my mask without it budging.”
Loved by: Jemma Thompson, GTG design and social media manager
A lipstick/balm hybrid with four weights of hyaluronic acid for a quenching moisture hit. There are nine vegan shades and the packaging is 50 per cent recycled plastic .“Although it was only released in June 2021, Ultralip has earned a permanent spot in my makeup bag, ” says Jemma. “It’s been dubbed ‘the (cashmere) sweatpants of lipstick’ because its buttery formula feels incredibly comfortable and nourishing to wear. The best part is that it has buildable colour to suit my moods, so I can wear it as a lip tint or layer it for a bold lip moment.”
Loved by: Joy Adenuga, makeup artist
This velvet finish lipstick gives a soft matte look with a veil of flattering colour. “I was introduced to this during the 2021 BAFTAS," Joy tells us. "It's a barely-there nude shade and has become a kit staple because of its soft matte effect and how it works amazingly well across all skin tones.”
Loved by: Jessica Noah Morgan, deputy editor, The Face magazine and mental health advocate
Favourite of US politician AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) this creamy matte lipstick makes a real statement. “It doesn’t at all budge through breakfast, lunch and dinner," says Jessica. "It’s completely untransferable and the shade suits all skin tones. In the winter when I look greyer, the lipstick elevates my skin tone. In summer, when I have a more bronzed look, the lipstick complements my tan! If I’m feeling nervous this lipstick will fill me with confidence."
Loved by: Claudia Winkleman, broadcaster
Everyone knows MAC's iconic bullets on sight. Claudia's pick has a satin finish that feels silky on the lips and is buildable for a more impactful look. "If I was out drinking margaritas with the girls and lost my phone, I’d cope, if I left my credit card at home, it wouldn’t be ideal, if I left my keys in the kitchen, I wouldn’t be over the moon but if I didn’t have my lipstick I’d feel bereft, small, lost," Claudia told us earlier this year. "This is the only lipstick for me. It was, quite simply love at first sight. When I first tried it on I just knew." Sadly MAC has discontinued Fleshpot but the shade Peachstock is almost an exact dupe!
Loved by: Keshia East, makeup artist
We don't know any makeup lover who hasn't had this iconic matte red lipstick in their stash at one point. "This is a total classic," says Keshia. "I tend to wear lipgloss every day, so when choosing a lipstick I like to go hard or to home! Ruby Woo is the perfect red for me – it’s a blue pigmented red so suits my skin tone perfectly."
Loved by: Hannah Martin, makeup artist
A non-sticky hybrid between a gloss and a lipstick, this gives a shiny yet natural finish. "It's so intensely moisturising, your lips feel beautifully nourished and it's a beautiful tinted shade that is less intense than a lipstick," says Hannah. "It has more of a lip balm feel with a glossy finish so your lips feel conditioned and look full and plump. It's also got a slight vanilla scent which I find most pleasing."
Loved by: Ashley Dayes, makeup artist
This creamy lipstick is made from just 19 ingredients – the average lipstick is made from 40 per cent more than this! It's vegan too and contains a bundle of vitamins and minerals to deliver its hydrating powers. "My current feel-good shade is this bright orange-red," says Ashley. "Being a new mum I don’t have much time to spend on makeup but a swipe of this shade instantly takes any makeup look up a notch. It's the ultimate mood-boosting shade for summer.”
Loved by: Melanie Macleod, Senior Health and Fitness Writer for Hello!
More balm than lipstick, this slides onto the lips leaving a wash of moisture and sheer pink colour in its wake. "This smells like the most subtle of vanilla pods, is enriched with cherry oil for moisture and gives a sheer pink wash of colour that I can't stop applying," says Melanie. "It lives in a case that is too pretty to be hidden in my handbag and the shade looks different on everyone for a bespoke hue that suits whoever is wearing. I'm smitten with it."
Loved by: Francesca Abrahamovitch, makeup artist
Holly Willoughby and Laura Whitemore both love Highr's vegan lipsticks. This one is a suits-all satin nude beige with the subtlest hint of shine. "My kit go-to is this universally flattering nude shade that looks great on all my clients," says Francesca. "The best part is, it’s clean and carbon neutral with a clever hidden built-in mirror for easy touch-ups on the go."
Loved by: Patsy O'Neil, makeup artist.
This soft cream lipstick delivers a powerful punch of colour, with a silky matte effect. "It's the best orangey-red shade ever. It never dries out, stays put and is a lovely consistency," says Patsy.
Loved by: Ateh Jewel, journalist, GTG contributor and diversity advocate
This matte ruby red shade is iconic among Charlotte Tilbury fans. "I found this a game-changer during lockdown," Ateh told us. "It signified a total shift in me, turning up the volume of who I am."
Loved by: Marie-Louise Pumfrey, fashion PR and GTG contributor
Moisture leads the way with this smoothing, hydrating lipstick. "This is the perfect everyday lipstick with a sheer, natural finish," say Marie-Louise. "It plumps and protects; formulated with neuropeptides, hyaluronic acid, and SPF15. Win, win and a permanent fixture in my handbag, now life is back on the move."
Image: Matt Lever
Loved by: Rosie Green, columnist and author
This wet-look balm launched in 2021 and was an instant hit with Tilbury fans for its smooth application. "I’ve never met a lip balm I didn’t like but this is next level," Rosie says. "It adds colour, definition and a shot of moisture.'
Loved by: Lisa Caldognetto, makeup artist
Created by MUA Lisa Eldridge this is a highly pigmented, creamy matte with a subtle sheen. "This looks like velvet and feels like pure luxury," says Lisa. "It delivers a remarkable pigment and your lips mimic a rose petal texture. When you put this lipstick on, you feel like you can do anything as you feel powerful and beautiful!"
Loved by: Pauline Briscoe, makeup artist
Code8 blended a collection of moisturising waxes to create this moisturising lip shade, designed to suit every skintone. "This is a vibrant cerise, popping pink shade which really suits me. I didn’t think it would suit my dark skin tone; normally I stay away from really bright colours but this pink is amazing and ultra-pigmented," says Pauline. "Also pink is my favourite colour so it’s an absolute winner for me!”
Loved by: Nicola Bonn, beauty podcaster
Your search for a comfortable lipstick ends here, with this easy-to-wear, non-drying formula. "The minute I put the bright red silky formula on my lips I was struck by how much brighter and luminous my skin looked, how my teeth sparkled and I felt a million dollars," says Nicola. "It feels soft and light even as it dries down matte."
Loved by: Mira Parmar, makeup artist
"I love a red lipstick but finding that perfect shade for you takes time and effort... however this red is universal, easy to use, stays put even on the longest days and does not feel drying on the lips! It really is a game changer on the lip front and goes well with or without a mask!"
Loved by: Emma White Turle, makeup artist
Despite being matte, this has a second-skin feel when you're wearing it; ultra-soft and not at all during. “This is my absolute favourite red lipstick," Emma told us. "It’s the perfect matte red lipstick that is also luminous and easy to wear all day. To use it generally cheers me up and makes me feel empowered."
Image: Jin-Woo Prensena
Loved by: Monika Blunder, makeup artist and founder of Monika Blunder Beauty
This matte finish lipstick is enriched with nourishing flower extracts. "This is my all-time favourite Lipstick. It’s such a classic red that fits any kind of skin tone and is super versatile. I have had this shade in my makeup kit for years and I also use it on myself. I love the texture and the finish, I think when you choose a red, it should look modern and sophisticated, so a matte finish is key."
Loved by: Ruby Hammer MBE, makeup artist
This gel tint is enriched with squalane for ultra-nourishing wear. "I simply love the fuss-free texture of this lightweight nourishing and smoothing hybrid tint," says Ruby. "I can be sure I look polished without looking over the top every time."
Loved by: Victoria Woodhall, GTG editorial director
For a satin finish and long wear, you can't go wrong with this sumptuous, easy to apply lipstick. "Hourglass was one of the first brands to make a refillable lipstick and when I spied it in Mary Greenwell’s Chanel handbag (it was the only item of makeup in there ) I had to find my own shade," says Victoria. "I'm Looking is the perfect pink nude, the texture is creamy, the colour doesn’t budge and the holder is slim and sophisticated. Mary’s Shade was You Are My, a warm-toned light plum, but it was limited edition. Try If I Could for a true plum tone."
Image: Liz MaCauley
Loved by: Jane Druker, beauty editor and GTG contributor
This is a richly pigmented pale matte lipstick that makes your eyes pop."It's the perfect pop of matte lipstick that lifts your look effortlessly so that when you take your face covering off you look pretty and radiant," says Jane. "It seems to bring out the gold in my eye colour and sets off my blush too."
Image: Jem Mitchell
Loved by: Wendy Rowe, makeup artist
For hydration, pigment and a posh pout, this slim lipstick wins Wendy's heart. "The Victoria Beckham Posh Lipstick in Girl is something I never leave home without. This is so natural for the day, just gives you the right hit of hydration and hint of colour you need and then at night it the best lip colour for a smokey eye. Sexy. Win, Win," says Wendy.
Loved by: Justine Jenkins, makeup artist
This is a plastic-free satin lipstick with skincare benefits, with organic oils, vitamin E and hyaluronic acid. "As a lifelong red lipstick lover and a sustainable beauty expert, this is my perfect lipstick. It's a gorgeous wearable red, in a plastic-free bullet that you can pop into your recycling bin. Guilt-free and genius!”
Loved by: Ophelia Froud, GTG contributor
These four plumping lip shades can be combined to create a bespoke shade just for you. “My hands-down favourite lipstick is the oh so clever vegan lip suede palette in Les Rouges by Westman Atelier," says Ophelia. "The shiny red pebble palette contains genius rows of fuchsia, brick, tomato red and dusty rose shades free from nasties, packed with antioxidants and collagen-boosting peptides.”
Image: Mike Blackett
Loved by: Ingeborg Van Lotringen, GTG beauty edior and author
Created way back in 1952, this is infused with silk and vitamins and has a smooth application and comfortable wear. "It's is a glossy cream, a finish which I find far more flattering than matte textures," says Inge. "The red shade somehow has both pink and orange undertones which makes it universally flattering. The colour really pops on every skin tone and lights up your face."
Loved by: Madeleine Spencer, makeup artist, podcaster and GTG contributor
Vitamin E and antioxidants help this nude shade glide on. "This is my go-to for a perfect nude lip with a hint of pink in it," says Madeleine. "It's my ‘I’m not wearing lipstick’ lipstick, leaving my lips pillowy and enhanced but without stealing the show from my eyeshadow, which is usually where I like to add a bit of drama."
Loved by: Nathalie Eleni, makeup artist
For a matte that's still nourishing, try this lipstick from Italian brand Skin Labo. It's enriched with hyaluronic acid for hydration and plumps the lips too., you can feel the zing on application. "I feel I’ve finally found the perfect nude, not just for myself but for my kit as it seems to work wonderfully with all skin tones," Nathalie says.