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National Lipstick Day is today, but the date has only been an official marketing holiday since 2016, when blogger-turned-entrepreneur Huda Kattan apparently bought the name. Long before the clever calendar addition, beauty buffs have been swiping pigments onto their puckers for thousands of years, and the earliest record of crimson-painted lips dates back to the Sumerian queen Schub-ad, who created her own shade with crushed red rocks and a white lead base.
While most modern-day makeup mavens might stop short of being buried with their favorite lippies (as well-to-do Sumerians once did), many have a go-to shade that’s earned a permanent place in their cosmetics kits. That includes Hollywood makeup artists, many of whom have spent decades testing out the best lipsticks on starry clients in need of colors that won’t budge on set or the red carpet. So in honor of the pucker-powered day of celebration, we’ve asked celebrity makeup artists to share their favorite lipsticks.
Even better: Many of their picks are on sale in honor of the holiday, including shades from Mac Cosmetics (buy one Lipstick Bullet, get another free), Armani (get 40 percent off its Lip Maestro products), Charlotte Tilbury (up to 40 percent off), Pat McGrath Labs (save 30 percent off Lip Legends), YSL Beauty (score two free travel lipsticks with orders of $50 and up), Stila (up to 50 percent off) and TK. Other noteworthy beauty blowouts are also happening online at Ulta (where deals include up to 50 percent off, free gift sets and BOGO promos), Nordstrom (which promises big beauty discounts during its Anniversary Sale that ends Sunday), Sephora (select lipsticks are 50 percent off), Rosie Huntington Whiteley’s Rose Inc (save on refillable lipsticks), E.l.f. and Evio Beauty (both offering 30 percent off all lip products), Lanolips and TK.
From the best long-lasting lipsticks to luxe refillable options, check out Hollywood insiders’ top picks as well as best-sellers from star-owned brands that are on sale this weekend.
The Best Red Lipsticks, According to Hollywood Makeup Artists
Chanel Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Color, #444 Gabrielle
Chanel makeup artist Tasha Reiko Brown, whose clients include Alicia Keys, Lupita N’yongo, Tracee Ellis Ross and Yara Shahidi, explains to The Hollywood Reporter that the luxury fashion house’s Coco Rouge lipstick in #444 Gabrielle is “a timeless universal red. A bold pop on its own with a clean face is classic Parisian chic and my go-to when I need to get clients press-ready in a hurry. It works for both day and night events.”
The nourishing lipstick contains mimosa, jojoba and sunflower vegetable waxes that keep lips hydrated, and the shade delivers a long-lasting shine.
Armani Lip Maestro Liquid Lipstick in #400 The Red
“For a red, it’s always Armani Lip Maestro in #400,” Molly Stern tells THR. Available in 38 shades, the cult-favorite liquid lipstick is beloved for its long-lasting color and velvet matte finish that stays put for up to eight hours, and it also comes in a four-piece gift set. (The brand is giving 40 percent off all Lip Maestro lipsticks through Aug. 1.)
Nars Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil in Walkyrie
Grace Pae, makeup artist to Skai Jackson, Normani and Jordin Sparks, says she reaches for Nars’ Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil in Walkyrie, a warm coral red cream shade. “It’s so convenient because it’s like a lipliner and lipstick in one. The texture is also comfortable and hydrating even though it’s matte,” she tells THR. (Shoppers at Nars’ website get a free full-sized lipstick with any $75 purchase with the code LIPSTICK.)
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso
“My all-time favorite lip color is Stila liquid lipstick in Beso,” says Samantha Lau, whose clients include Dua Lipa and Candice Swanepoel. *I’ve had it in my kit for many many years. It’s one of those products I keep buying whenever I’m out. It’s the perfect red, and the perfect matte texture. Also, it’s long-lasting and transfer-proof,” she explains to THR. (Select lip products are on sale for 50 percent off on Stila’s website.)
Manasi 7 Organic All Over Color in Alizarin
Of Stockholm-based beauty brand Manasi 7‘s multi-tasking All Over Color in Alizarin, Lisa Aharon says the deep rouge is “the perfect red stain and has so much versatility. You can easily get a hint of color but also achieve bold full coverage.”
Made in Italy in small batches, the organic and cruelty-free product is made of natural and wild-harvested ingredients and can be used as a cream eye shadow, blush and lip color.
Smashbox Cosmetics Always On Cream to Matte Lipstick in Besos
Lori Taylor Davis, global pro lead artist for Smashbox Cosmetics, says the Hollywood-loved beauty brand’s Always On Cream to Matte Lipstick in Besos is “a modern alternative to red and easier to take the plunge into something bright, it’s a new classic.”
Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Muse
Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick
Kristofer Buckle (who works with Blake Lively, Sarah Paulson and Gabrielle Union) frequently looks to Yves Saint Laurent’s Rouge Pur Couture lipsticks, which he regularly swipes on client Jessica Chastain. Shop on the Zoe Kravitz-repped beauty brand’s website and get two free travel-sized lipsticks with orders of $50 and up.st
Mac Cosmetics Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo
Mac Cosmetics’ best-selling Ruby Woo has earned a permanent spot in the cosmetics kits of stars and industry insiders, including costume designer Shay Cunliffe, who recently told THR the vibrant retro shade “lasts all day and has a vintage vibe. I’ll often put a bit of glossier lipstick underneath in a softer shade to soften the overall effect.” Lippie lovers can get a free tube with any lipstick bullet purchase, plus a free Prime + Prep on orders of $50 or more at Mac’s website.
Róen Elixir Tinted Lip Oil Balm
Róen Beauty creative director and makeup artist Kate Synnott (clients include Ashley Graham and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) says of the brand’s Elixir Tinted Lip Oil Balm, “I love these formulas; they are nourishing and full of antioxidants plus have major skincare benefits. They give a glossy glass-like finish without tackiness and leave a long-lasting stain on the lips after the oils have [been] absorbed.” Get a free full-sized Elixir Tinted Lip-Oil-Balm when you spend $60 or more on Róen’s website.
The Best Nude Lipsticks, According to Hollywood Makeup Artists
Armani Beauty Lip Maestro Liquid Lipstick in #100 Sand
“I love this shade because it’s the perfect peachy nude that helps neutralize naturally pigmented pink lips. I also love how the formula is matte and long-wearing while leaving the lips feeling soft and hydrated.”
Chanel Rouge Coco Flash Lipstick in Dawn
“I love this hydrating formula,” says Brown of this nude shade from Chanel. “It’s the latest offering from the Coco Flash collection and it’s quickly become my favorite. It’s more modern and youthful to do nude shades with shine or satin textures as opposed to matte.”
She continues: “Dawn is a universal nude for every skin tone, so it’s a must-have for my kit. For dramatic eyes that just need the mouth to be accented, Dawn gives a clean slate as a perfect soft high shine nude.”
Mac Matte Lipstick in Taupe
Lau loves Mac Cosmetics’ cult-fave matte lipstick in Taupe, which “works so well on a lot of skin tones. t’s a great color for a natural mid-tone lip shade. A rich lipstick featuring high color payoff and a creamy matte finish.”
Valdé Beauty Ritual Creamy Satin Refillable Lipstick
Carissa Ferreri (whose clients include Sophia Bush, Ciera Payton and Suki Waterhouse) and Grace Pae are both fans of Valdé, the luxury beauty brand founded in 2020 by former Sephora chief merchant Margarita Arriagada.
“I’ve recently discovered Valdé lipsticks, which are incredible,” Ferreri tells THR. “They come in a very unique holster and are creamy and super hydrating on the lips, not to mention the color range is perfection and they are refillable.”
The cruelty-free label lets you customize its Ritual creamy satin lip color and lip balm, which come in a feather-adorned black or gold metal refillable metal case (dubbed “Armor” by the label) with built-in magnifying mirror. The set includes a suede pouch, a stunning display box and a custom mantra card. You can also opt for monogram engraving.
Pae favors Resilience, a toasted mauve nude lip color: “This shade is beautiful on pretty much every skin tone and comes in the most beautiful packaging. Every client always compliments it when they see it in my kit.”
Victoria Beckham Beauty Posh Lipstick in Spice
Róen’s Synnott says of Victoria Beckham Beauty’s Posh Lipstick, “these lipsticks are so buttery with a great pigment. You can dab a little on or really build it up for a full glam effect.” Among her favorite shades is Spice, a mauve-ish nude.
The Best Pink Lipsticks, According to Hollywood Makeup Artists
Rouge Dior Ultra Rouge Lipstick in Ultra Lively
“The formula is long-lasting without the dry feel of your typical long wear lipstick,” says Lisa Aharon (makeup artist to Zosia Mamet and Rachel Brosnahan) of Dior’s Ultra Rouge Lipstick in shade 450 Ultra Lively, a salmon pink color. “This shade is a perfect coral for most skin tones and can so easily brighten a complexion.”
Kosas Weightless Lip Color Lipstick in Rosewater
Carissa Ferreri says clean beauty brand Kosas’ Weightless Lip Color Lipstick in Rosewater is one of her “favorite go-to lipsticks for myself and my kit, it looks great on everyone.” (Shop on Kosas’ website and get a free full-sized lipstick with orders of $60 and up.)
Nars Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in Schiap and Funny Face
For an eye-popping statement, Lau says she loves Nars Cosmetics’ matte lipstick in Schiap. “It is such an iconic shade,” she notes of the vivid pink hue (left) inspired by iconic surrealist fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli.
“However, my other favorite [which] I think it deserves a mention Funny Face. While Schiap is more hot pink, I find Funny Face, a cool fuchsia easier to wear and works on more skin tones,” adds Lau.
Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Tinted Lip Balm in Warm
Kindra Mann, whose clients include Jordana Brewster, Mandy Moore and Busy Phillips, tells THR that Chanel’s Les Beiges tinted lip balm in Warm is one of “my favorite g-to lip colors for myself and my kit. This is a great throw-on color I keep in my purse that offers a little bit of color and a whole lot of moisturizer for days I want more of a tinted lip balm texture.”
Saint Jane Beauty Luxury Lip Cream in Divine
CBD-infused skincare brand Saint Jane’s Luxury Lip Cream in Divine is also a must-have for Mann, who says “it’s the perfect go-to color that is universally flattering on everyone since it’s a perfect blend of rose and mauve. Its vitamin-rich formula is super hydrating on the lips and won’t dry them out.”
Nars Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil in Dolce Vita
Another favorite of Pae’s is this Nars Matte Lipstick Pencil in Dolce Vita, a dusty rose shade. The jumbo lip pencil contains vitamin E that gives it an easy-to-wear creamy texture.
Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Extreme Intense Matte Lip Colour in Muted Fuschia
“The drama!” says Tasha Reiko Brown of Chanel’s Rouge Allure Velvet Extreme lipstick in Muted Fuschia. “This high pigment matte is bold. It’s a modern twist on a classic red lip, it’s youthful and fun. For my kit, it’s also the perfect mixing shade. I use it to brighten a pink, to give life to a safe red or on its own to command attention.”
Armani Lip Power Lipstick in #108
“For a perfect peachy nude, I am obsessed with the new Armani Lip Power in 108, In Love,” Molly Stern says. The velvet-finish, long-wear lipstick comes in 25 shades.
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in M.I. Kiss
Hollywood makeup artist-turned-beauty entrepreneur Charlotte Tilbury’s Matte Revolution in M.I. Kiss (previously known as Bond Girl) is a personal favorite of Lau. “It is my everyday natural shade for the last few years. It’s hard for me to find a natural lip color because of the pigment in my lips. The matte formulation is so comfortable I feel that the brand has changed the game for matte lipsticks,” she adds.
Pat McGrath Labs Mattetrance Lipstick in Elson 2
Of the Pat McGrath Labs’ Mattetrance shade inspired by model and musician Karen Elson, Arahon says, “I’ve always been a sucker for a matte red-orange lip (hello Nars Pop Life and Mac Lady Danger!) and this one is perfection, lightweight, opaque and bright.” (The brand is offering up to 30 percent off Lip Legends lipsticks for a limited time.)
L’Oréal Paris Rouge Signature Matte Lip Stain
L’Oréal Paris celebrity makeup artist Sir John once revealed that for his client Beyoncé, the drugstore brand’s long-lasting Rouge Signature Matt Lip Stain “is my jam,” specifically the brand’s pink-brown I Create hue. “I know when it hits the carpet, I know if she eats, I know it’s not going to dry, it’s not going to get crusty, and she’s going to feel good,” he has said.
Kevyn Aucoin Unforgettable Lipstick in Enigma
Nick Lujan (who has worked with Beyoncé and Lizzo), global director of artistry and education for Kevyn Aucoin, says the brand’s Unforgettable Lipstick in Enigma “is the perfect pink for every skin tone. I have yet to find someone it doesn’t work for. Because the formula has a sheer quality and doesn’t have a lot of white pigment, it works on a wider range of skin tones and lip colors. You can apply just a dab or layer it up for color payoff. Plus, it feels super hydrating. Anytime I want to encourage my clients to play in color, I encourage them to try [this].”
More of the Best Long-Wear Lipsticks to Shop Online
Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint Long-Wear Fluid Lip Color
Rihanna’s cruelty-free beauty brand Fenty includes the Stunna Lip Paint long-wear fluid lip color that features a soft matte finish and a liquid formula that lasts all day.
About Face Fractal Glitter Lip Color
Halsey’s vegan beauty line About Face offers a range of highly-pigmented cosmetics, including this shimmering long-wear liquid lipstick that has light-reflecting sparkles and a waterproof, cruelty-free and full-coverage formula.
Rose Inc Lip Sculpt Clean Moisturizing Pigmented Lipstick
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s clean beauty brand, Rose Inc, delivers long-wearing color in this matte, plumping formula that also leaves lips hydrated.
Haus Laboratories Le Monster Matte Crayon
Lady Gaga-founded brand Haus Laboratories’ Le Monster Matte Crayon is a favorite among makeup-loving Little Monsters for its long-wear, full-coverage and vegan formula that’s available in over 20 shades.
Bite Outburst Longwear Lip Stain
Bite’s virtual and brick-and-mortar Lip Labs let you customize the lipstick of your dreams (from the perfect color, finish, flavor or scent) — but if you prefer to ready-made shade instead, the Canadian beauty brand’s Outburst Longwear Lip Stain will get you through the day without smearing.
Honest Beauty Liquid Lipstick
Makeup artist Daniel Martin is the creative consultant for Honest Beauty, the non-toxic brand founded by Jessica Alba (who’s also a client), and whose products he used to create Meghan Markle’s royal wedding look. Among the label’s best-sellers is its long-wear liquid lipstick, a hydrating and cruelty-free lip color that leaves a matte finish.
Smashbox Cosmetics Always On Longwear Matte Lipstick
Smashbox’s Always On Longwear Matte Lipstick (available in 12 colors), stays put for up to eight hours.
KVD Beauty Studded Kiss Creme Lipstick
Founded by tattoo artist-turned-beauty mogul Kat Von D (who stepped away from the brand in 2020), the vegan brand is known for offering some the best long-wear lipsticks in a variety of pigments. The best-selling Studded Kiss Creme Lipstick in Adora is a metallic red.
This story was originally published July 29, 2021.
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