The Only 16 Lipstick Brands That Matter, According to Makeup Artists and Editors

We've got a lot of options when it comes to lipstick. You know what else we have because of said variety? People with a lot of feelings and opinions about their must-have lipsticks. Most people stay loyal to theirs, and how can you blame them. Why mess up a good thing when it really works for you?

Curious to know what lipstick hills people will die on, I polled my Who What Wear colleagues and makeup artists for their hands-down favorite brands. Check out what they had to say below. Maybe you agree with them, or maybe you'll find some new brands to experiment with. (Don't worry. It's not cheating on your existing inventory—just call it "exploring.")

Charlotte Tilbury

"At this point, my personal beauty mantra pretty much goes something like this: When in doubt, go with Charlotte Tilbury. I'm literally obsessed with every single product she makes (truly, there is something magical running through the water over there), but the lipsticks, especially, are so dang dreamy. It is one of the only lipstick brands that really does deliver long-lasting pigment and hydration and that 'your lips but better' one-two punch. I love so many colors in the Matte Revolution formula (my fave), but if I had to choose a few favorites, I can say I could easily wear Pillow Talk Original, Pillow Talk Medium, and Walk of No Shame for the rest of my life and feel perfectly satisfied. Also, technically, it's not a lipstick per se, but the new tinted balms the brand launched are so good. They deliver the perfect amount of color and are crafted with skincare-grade ingredients like hyaluronic acid, so you actually get a noticeable plumping and moisturizing effect. It's a good option for 2021 if lipstick still isn't your vibe due to all of the mask wearing." — Erin Jahns, Beauty Editor

Mented Cosmetics

"Despite all the brands out there offering endless shades of lipstick, finding the perfect nude for Black and brown skin can still be a struggle. Shades labeled as nudes are generally too light for me, have the wrong undertones in them, and give me that dreaded clown mouth. That all changed when I discovered Mented Cosmetics and its beautiful lipsticks created with Black and brown women in mind." — Courtney Higgs, Associate Beauty Editor

Rituel de Fille

"There's so much to love about this lipstick that I don't know where to start. But here we go: As implied by the name, this product is a bit sheer and more moisturizing than your average lipstick. This lends to a slightly less 'done' look that still packs a punch of pigment. The Rituel de Fille founders (a trio of badass sisters based in Los Angeles) really know color. There is something about each shade that feels far from basic. My favorite color has since been discontinued (sob!), but Bittersweet and Devil's Claw are great, too. The brand is clean, and it discloses every single ingredient, something that's a bit of a rarity in the beauty world. I also like that this pick comes in a slim tube that doesn't take up too much space in my packed-to-the-brim makeup bag." — Kat Collings, Editor in Chief

Armani Beauty

"Armani Beauty has an endless choice of textures and colors when it comes to lipsticks. Personally, I love the Ecstasy Mirror lip lacquers. My favorite shade is 503 Vertigo—they are a hybrid between a gloss and a liquid lipstick. This product moisturizes your lips but also has amazing longevity. A true revolutionary formula in my opinion. Another favorite of mine is the Rouge D'Armani Matte Lipstick in 301. I love this shade!" — Valeria Ferreira, celebrity makeup artist (Clients include Victoria Beckham and Lily James.)

"Armani Beauty's Lip Maestro is a long-wearing liquid lipstick that feels more like a creamy matte, so your lips stay soft, and they don't dry out. You can wear it blotted as a stain or apply it with a lip brush for high-impact color. Also, it has some amazing reds to choose from." — Mai Quynh, celebrity makeup artist (Clients include Daisy Ridley and Tessa Thompson.)

Maybelline

"For a drugstore option, I love Maybelline's lipsticks. There are so many shades available, and because a lot of the products can be under $10, I don't feel bad about stocking up on a couple of colors. My favorite right now is the SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick. It goes on so smoothly and provides that sophisticated matte finish that has a lot of staying power." — Sarah Yang, Managing Editor, THE/THIRTY

Nars

"For me, what makes a lipstick stay in my kit is, of course, the shade that was made but also pigmentation (because not every lipstick color holds up on the lips like it does in the bullet) and wearability of the formula (because not every lipstick can glide on and stay in place). Nars is one of the brands whose lipsticks my clients most frequently request colors from because they have them in their own makeup bags." — William Scott, celebrity makeup artist (Clients include Padma Lakshmi and Hannah Bronfman.)

Fenty Beauty

"I love pretty much every product from Fenty Beauty. Mattemoiselle Lipstick, Stunna Lip, and Gloss Bomb are among my ultimate favorites. They're always in my personal makeup bag and kit. They have great longevity, and the colors are just perfect—so is the packaging!" — Ferreira

Pat McGrath Labs

"Pat McGrath is making some of the best makeup available right now, and her lipstick shade selection is immaculate, and the formula is foolproof. Pat McGrath saved many a life when she created a line of nudes in the MatteTrance formula, and my favorite shades are Fever Dream and Deep Orchid." — Scott

"Pat McGrath does the most exquisite matte lipsticks. Creamy, long-lasting, and with the strongest stain power. Two of my favorite shades are MatteTrance Lipstick in shades Obsessed! and Venus in Furs." — Ferreira

Kosas Cosmetics

"Kosas can do no wrong in my book, and its lip products are probably some of my most beloved. I really appreciate how carefully edited the shade range is (nothing is more daunting than 100 colors to choose from), and I honestly own, and legitimately wear, every. single. one. They last all day with minimal touch-ups necessary, the formula is plush and moisturizing, and the packaging is sleek and sophisticated. Oh, and they're clean! While I love them all, I find that I most often gravitate toward the shades Rosewater, Stardust, and Vegas—the latter being my ultimate warm-beige nude I spent about five years of my life searching for. Finally found it! — Jahns

Jill Stuart Beauty

"Jill Stuart Beauty's Lip Blossom lipsticks are super hydrating and leave a glowing, smooth finish. I love the subtle shine and color it leaves on the lips. And the cute flip mirror on the cap is a plus." — Quynh

MAC

"I don't care what anyone says, MAC lipsticks are still some of the best out there. The brand has been creating highly pigmented, super-diverse color offerings since way before it was trendy to do so, and I'll always have a special appreciation for that. I have such fond memories of visiting the MAC counter with my mom when I was younger and watching her pick out lipstick shades that made her look and feel beautiful. That's the feeling that still washes over me whenever I crack open a brand-new bullet or revisit a beloved oldie like me and Rihanna's favorite red, Ruby Woo." — Higgs

Covergirl

"One of my first lipsticks was Covergirl, so wearing one of the lip colors always makes me nostalgic. I like the range of formulas and finishes. And of course, you can't complain about the price." — Yang

Victoria Beckham Beauty

"Victoria Beckham Beauty lip liners are beyond perfect. The colors are incredible. I also love the Posh Lip range—the Girl shade is such a perfect nude tone. It's so versatile, and the texture is hugging and long-lasting." — Ferreira

Chanel

"I'm a sucker for a Chanel lipstick. Every detail is considered from the embossed logo on the actual lipstick to the camellia detail on the tube. The formulation is designed for performance, so you know you'll be set for the entire day. Every color is pretty, so you can't really go wrong." — Collings

Shiseido

"Shiseido has some of my favorite, beautifully creamy nudes. The Modern Matte Lipstick in Murmur is one of my favorite nude shades that works on many different complexions. Its ColorGel LipBalm is another favorite, especially the shade Hibiscus." — Scott

Ctzn Cosmetics

"I love how many universal shades this line has created to complement every skin tone. The packaging is great because it houses a dual-sided matte lipstick and matching lip gloss to layer on top of each other or wear separately." — Quynh

Next up, Celebrity Makeup Artists Swear By These 46 Lip Colors

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