I Asked Makeup Artists and Editors for Their Favorite Lipsticks of All Time
Lipstick is one of the most ubiquitous and iconic beauty products of all time. If you look in anyone's bag at any given moment, you'll likely find at least one or two "in case of emergency" lipsticks—even among people who don't often wear makeup. It was the product of choice for the generations before us, and many people vividly remember the lip color their grandmother always wore.
Everyone has a lipstick formula or color that they swear by. I'm always curious what everyone's go-to lipstick is since there are just so many out there to choose from. In fact, in the lipstick category of Sephora's website, there are 201 different kinds of lipstick, and that's not even including different shades. I decided to reach out to makeup artists to find out their favorite lipsticks of all time. Their responses included tons of innovative formulas and, as a surprise to no one, lots of Charlotte Tilbury. Who What Wear beauty editors also shared their favorites, which we will always stand behind.
Keep reading for the best in lipstick. These picks stand the test of time.
The makeup-artist favorites:
"My favorite lipstick of all time is Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk. It's perfect for all skin tones and any event, from a brunch to a red carpet." — Tobi Henney, celebrity makeup artist
"My all-time favorite lipstick is MAC Ruby Woo. At a young age, it was my first introduction to red lipstick, and I love it because not only is it a true red, but it magnifies any look you have on. It instantly shifts a look (and my mood!) from cute to sexy! Ruby Woo is a universal red that looks great on every skin tone." — Kenyata Gant, makeup artist and founder of Pink Lipps Cosmetics
"Neutrogena's Moisture Smooth Color Sticks have actually been a longtime staple in my kit, and I always recommend them to friends and family. The formula is a balm-like texture that easily glides on the lips for a hydrating take on a lipstick. With buildable shades ranging from nudes to pinks and berries, they leave a gorgeous sheen to the lips for a healthy, hydrated pout." — Neil Scibelli, celebrity makeup artist
"My vanity is a sea of hundreds of lipstick tubes, all ranging slightly in tone and texture. The lipstick I favor most, hands down, is Charlotte Tilbury's The Super Nudes in Runway Royalty. This lippie makes a cameo both in my purse and my kit for its instant boost of pinky-nude color and comfortable, smooth wear." — Judi Gabbay, makeup artist
"These hydrating lipsticks have a gorgeous, creamy formula, which adds that healthy, natural shine to the lips. The formula contains murumuru butter and soja-seed extract, which helps the product glide on for a smooth, hydrated finish." — Scibelli
"My all-time favorite lipstick is Wedding Belles by Charlotte Tilbury. Its consistency is hydrating, but the color is very long-lasting, and it's the perfect pink lipstick. I truly think it looks good on every skin tone and can be dressed up for a night out or dressed down for a daytime look." — Shadi Malek, celebrity makeup artist
"Ctzn Cosmetics makes an amazing range of nude-lipstick kits. The Nudiversal Lip Duo features a velvety matte lipstick on one side and a gorgeous gloss on the other side. I love the idea of finding your own nude color, and the brand offers so many shades to choose from." — Scibelli
"The matte formula is still creamy and comfortable on the lips. A crayon is so easy to toss in the smallest purse, red carpet clutch, or set bag! It's the perfect orange/red hue for almost any skin tone!" — Lisa Aharon, celebrity makeup artist
"I love it because it's the perfect red shade that complements every complexion I've applied it on. It's beautifully pigmented—so you don't need to apply several coats—and has true lasting power." — Carolina Dalí, celebrity makeup artist
The beauty-editor favorites:
I will always ride for a red lip. I've tried many, many red lipsticks, and for me, none compare to this liquid formula from Chanel. It's buildable and breathable (unlike many liquid lipsticks), lasts for hours, and doesn't dry out lips. It's my go-to for a classic red lip.
On a day-to-day basis, I reach for a lot of glosses and sheer formulas. I find them the easiest to reapply, and they just give your lips a little extra boost. If I want a sheer wash of color, I'll always reach for this balm-like lipstick. It gives you the ultimate "just been kissed" French-girl lips. Wear it to feel like a Parisian.
"I love this lipstick because it's the perfect shade of neutral pinky brown that just looks so gorgeous on the lips! It's both a great daily shade for me and one I would wear out to a nice dinner. It's truly the best lipstick to just keep handy in your purse at all times!" — Shawna Hudson, associate beauty editor
"As someone who relies on a bold lip more often than not, it's really hard to choose my favorite lipstick of all time. But lately, I've been wearing Maybelline's SuperStay matte liquid lipsticks a ton. The drugstore finds are affordable and stay on forever (even after eating and drinking), and the colors are so flattering. Seriously, I've gotten so many compliments, and it is a joy to tell people that it's under $10." — Sarah Yang, managing editor, THE/THIRTY
"Picking my favorite lipstick of all time is really hard, especially since a lot of my favorites have been discontinued over the years. But my current favorite has to be the Merit Signature Lip in either Baby or Millennial. I'm a sucker for pinky nudes, and both of these fit the bill. I can be wearing nothing else, and it still looks good. I love how lightweight the formula is, and it never leaves my lips feeling (or looking) dry. Trust me—you don't want to sleep on either of these shades." — Caitie Schlisserman, beauty director, branded content
The cult classics:
This showstopping lipstick is about as iconic as any red can get.
This red has been on best-selling lists for decades.
This '90s staple is having a major resurgence, and for good reason. It's sheer, flattering on everyone, and comfortable.
Somewhere between a lipstick and a lip balm, you'll find this hybrid formula. It's nourishing and hyper-shiny.