Here at Who What Wear, we take lipstick very seriously. Whether we're shopping for the best red lipsticks money can buy or combing the streets for the formulas that truly last all day, we consider ourselves experts in the field. And with romance-heavy holidays like Valentine's Day coming up, we've made it our number one priority to supply you with the absolute best date-night lipsticks that will last all night, provide some serious color payoff, and compliment every skin tone. For all our editor-approved favorites, keep scrolling!
1. Chanel Rouge Allure L'Extrait in 858 Rouge Royal
"This is a true blue-red lipstick—a classic French-girl color. Even if it's a casual date and I'm just wearing a T-shirt and jeans, I'll toss this on to lend my look some sophistication. " — Kaitlyn McLintock, associate beauty editor
2. Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Hydrating Lipstick in Pizzazz
This cushiony lipstick from Charlotte Tilbury is a newer offering and one of my latest favorites. While the formula is technically matte, it's so hydrating on the lips, and similar to other Tilbury lip shades, the color is incredibly vibrant. I love this rich dark-red shade for date night—it adds a sense of elegance without being too loud. It also compliments darker skin tones extremely well.
3. Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Liquid Lip Blush and Cheek Tint
"This is probably the lip product I wear more than any other. It gives your lips that 'just bitten' wash of color (perfect for a date, right?) and since it sinks into your lips, it actually lasts. I like to line my lips with the aforementioned Charlotte Tilbury combo (Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Iconic Nude and Pink Venus, and top it off with a shiny, plumping, and hydrating lip mask like this cherry vanilla one from Lawless so that the tint doesn't dry out my lips too much." — Erin Jahns, beauty director
4. Chantecaille Lip Chic in Tea Rose
"When I think of date night, I think of no-fuss beauty products that make me feel like my most confident self. That's why I typically gravitate towards hydrating lipsticks that add a perfect wash of natural-looking color but don't require frequent touch-ups. This lipstick-gloss hybrid feels super comfortable and wears beautifully as the night goes on." — Emma Hughes, associate social editor
5. Yves Saint Laurent The Bold High Pigment Lipstick in 12 Nu Incongru
"This may look like a pinky-nude color, but when it's on my lips, it reads as a soft berry instead. It's not as dramatic as red lipstick, yet it's just as elevated and it goes with pretty much everything. That's why it tends to be the one I reach for when I'm short on time. " — McLintock
6. Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick in Venus in Furs
This formula from Pat McGrath is one of the lipsticks I reach for most. I love this soft, rosy mauve shade for any occasion, honestly, but it's especially pretty for a date. It does dry your lips out a tiny bit if you don't load up on lip balm, but it truly doesn't budge. I've tested it and it lasted through a four course meal without budging. I'd say that makes it a winner in the date-night lipstick department.
7. Clinique Almond Lipstick in Black Honey
"If I'm on a date, I want something that enhances my true lip color, requires minimal effort or upkeep, and will still look natural and pretty as it fades, Black Honey is an all-time classic for a reason. It flatters and looks unique on all skin tones, it delivers the perfect kick of sheer color to your lips (it's almost a cherry cola for me), and the balm-like texture ensures my lips stay hydrated, glossy, and flake-free all night. " — Jahns
8. Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Teddy Bare
We're big fans of drugstore lipsticks, as they provide all the color payoff without costing a fortune—especially this formula from Milani! It provides a satin finish and it's buildable for a lip that's a bit more muted or dramatic. Although it's a habit to reach for bolder lipstick shades when dressing for a date, I love wearing this muted rosy-brown color with a neutral brown eye look.
9. Makeup By Mario SuperSatin Lipstick in Dumbo
"My newest favorite! The brand describes this shade as a spiced rose, which is really my ideal lip color for adding a subtle bump of pigment to my naturally-dark lips without looking like I'm trying too hard. Plus, the formula and finish of this lipstick is just so freaking good. It has a buttery consistency that glides onto the lips while offering a subtle, light-catching, sheen, and it will still look good as it wears throughout the night. Plus, since it's designed to 'grip' the lips, it won't require as many touch-ups." — Jahnsnaturally dark
10. Maybelline Super Stay Vinyl Ink Liquid Lipstick in Witty
Another fantastic drugstore option is this super-matte Maybelline formula. While I love a good red or pink shade for a Valentine's Day date, this deeper burgundy shade is also a bit of a dark horse. It's so flattering and stands out—especially if you opt for a simple eye look.
11. Hermès Rouge Hermès Matte Lipstick in Rouge Casaque
"This lipstick has the boldest color payoff, and even though it's a matte formula, it's not overly drying and doesn't settle into the fine lines on my lips. That's why I call it a 'modern matte' formula. Every time I wear it, I get so many compliments. " — McLintock
12. Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Color Balm in Curviest Caramel
"This has been my go-to nude when I want a little bit of something, but can't be bothered with something that's going to smear or look too aggressive. It nourishes the lips and feels comfy like a balm, but the subtle tint of color makes me feel more put together. I always use a nude lip liner that's slightly darker in color with this one to add more definition—I love Charlotte Tilbury's Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Iconic Nude and/or Pink Venus or Sisley Paris' Phyto-Lèvres Perfect Lip Pencil in 2 Beige Natural and/or 6 Chocolate." — Jahns
13. Merit Signature Lip Lightweight Satin Lipstick in L'Avenue
"I love breaking out a deep, berry brown color like Merit's L'Avenue. Its formula is sheer and buildable while delivering a satiny finish. This lipstick also does an amazing job of keeping my lips hydrated and staying put for hours on end without needing reapplication. " — Maya Thomas, assistant beauty editor
14. Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté Shine Oil-in-Stick Lipstick Balm in Burnt Suede
"The last thing I want to think about on a date night is if my lipstick is transferring on anything my lips come into contact with, making this YSL lipstick balm a must for date nights. It offers medium-coverage with a formula that instantly melts into the lips for total luminosity and instant hydration." — Thomas
Shawna Hudson has worked in editorial for over six years, with experience covering entertainment, fashion, culture, celebrities, and her favorite topic of all, beauty. She graduated from California State University, Fullerton, with a degree in journalism and has written for other publications such as Bustle, The Zoe Report, Byrdie, Elite Daily, Mane Addicts, and more. She is currently an associate beauty editor at Who What Wear and hopes to continue feeding her (completely out-of-control) beauty obsession as long as she can. Stay up to date on her latest finds on Instagram @shawnasimonee.
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