Not to Be Dramatic, But Editors Say These Are the Best Lipsticks Money Can Buy

As editors, we're lucky enough to test hundreds of products, slowly separating the good from the bad and the good from the best. Whether we're talking about hair dryers, perfumes, or something else entirely, we take testing seriously. When we find something that really rises above the rest, we introduce it into our own beauty routines. Seriously, though—the highest praise we can give a product is to say, "I use it all the time." That means it consistently beats out newcomers and old go-tos. 

That's the case when it comes to the following 15 lipsticks. They vary by formula, finish, and shade, but they've secured a spot in our theoretical lipstick hall of fame. They're the ones we wear in Instagram selfies and TikTok videos, the ones we gush about to our friends, and the ones we repurchase over and over again. Yep, they're that good. Keep scrolling to see them all! 


(Image credit: @peonylim)

How to Choose the Best Lipstick for You

J Guerra is a celebrity makeup artist. He has a few guidelines to share for choosing the right lipstick for your skin tone. "First, determine if your undertone is generally cool, warm, or neutral. For those with cool undertones, lipsticks with blue in them or purplish hints like berry shades, true reds, and mauve hues can be stunning. Those with warm undertones may look best in corals, brick reds, and warmer shades of pink and brown. Neutral undertones can pull off most shades, but it's still essential to strike a balance depending on their exact skin tone," he says. 

Undertones aside, he says it's also important to consider your natural lip color. "Lipsticks can appear differently on pigmented lips compared to lighter lips. Choose natural shades that are one or two tones deeper than your own lip color for a more natural lip look. For deeper skin tones or pigmented lips, opt for a warmer lipstick shade than you normally would—this helps to subtly color-correct the dark pigmentation and gives a truer color payoff. This is especially true for sheer lipsticks, as some of the lip color will show through the lipstick and could change the color a bit," he says. If you want to block out your natural lip color, opt for matte, full-coverage lipsticks. Guerra says these will offer the best color payoff. 

Finally, consider your hair and eye color. "For instance, fiery reds might pop on redheads, while berry shades can beautifully complement dark hair and eyes," Guerra says. No matter what, though, Guerra recommends doing what he calls a daylight check. "Always check the lipstick shade in natural daylight since store lighting can sometimes be deceiving!" he adds.

If all else fails, turn to the internet and experts for help. "In today's age of social media, there are countless reviews, swatch images, and even videos available. They can show how different shades look on various skin tones. It's a valuable resource for getting a ballpark idea when starting out on a lipstick journey! Lastly, don't shy away from consulting with the professionals! Makeup artists often have a trained eye for what might look best, taking into consideration lip and skin tone, eye and hair color, and your overall style," he says.

Best Overall Lipstick: Merit Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick


(Image credit: @itsmayalala)

Assistant Beauty Editor Maya Thomas Wearing Merit Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick.

Best Matte Lipstick: Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick 

Another Option We Love

Best Shiny Lipstick: Kosas Wet Stick Moisturizing Shiny Sheer Lipstick

Another Option We Love

Best Long-Lasting Lipstick: Rare Beauty Lip Soufflé Matte Cream Lipstick 

Another Option We Love

Best Red Lipstick: Chanel Rouge Coco Bloom 


(Image credit: @ktberohn)

Beauty Editor Katie Berohn Wearing Chanel Rouge Coco Bloom in Bright.

Another Option We Love


(Image credit: @kaitlyn_mclintock)

Associate Beauty Editor Kaitlyn McLintock Wearing Hermès Matte Lipstick.

Best Nude Lipstick: YSL Beauty The Bold High Pigment Lipstick

Another Option We Love

Best Liquid Lipstick: Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Lip Blur Liquid Lipstick

Another Option We Love

Best Drugstore Lipstick: Milani Color Statement Lipstick

Another Option We Love:

Kaitlyn McLintock
Associate Beauty Editor

Kaitlyn McLintock is an Associate Beauty Editor at Who What Wear. Although she covers a wide range of topics across a variety of categories, she specializes in celebrity interviews and skincare and wellness content. Having lived in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, she recently relocated back to her home state of Michigan where she works remotely. Prior to Who What Wear, she freelanced for a variety of industry-leading digital publications, including InStyle, The Zoe Report, Bustle, Hello Giggles, and Coveteur. Before that, she held a long-term internship and subsequent contributor position at Byrdie. When she's not writing, researching, or testing the latest and greatest beauty products, she's working her way through an ever-growing book collection, swimming in the Great Lakes, or spending time with family.