The Best High-End Lipsticks & Lipglosses for Your Holiday Wish List

Next up, a look at some of the very best high-end lipstick and lipgloss formulas that I’ve tried to-date. Some of these will come as no surprise, but hopefully there’s a little something for everyone as we enter into the season of sales and deals! What formulas and shades would you recommend to other readers?

For more recommendations, I suggest browsing my past reviews by rating or seeing what products I’ve given the Temptalia Recommends designation. For a list of all my favorites, see the Editor’s Choice Awards.

Guerlain Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Rouge G Lipstick
A decadent formula that is every bit as luxurious as you might expect, given the price tag. Long-wearing, ultra-hydrating shades with luminous finishes makes this one of my favorite formulas, period. Favorites include Gemma, Garconne, Gracia, Geneva, Gina (or you know, I could go on and say just about every shade ever). Full Review

Where to Buy

$54.00 at Sephora,
Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick
This is a richly pigmented, lightweight, creamy, and moderately long-wearing lipstick formula that feels lovely to wear and is hydrating over time. Favorites include Defiant Coral, Intense Nude, Vengeful Red. Full Review

Where to Buy

$30.00 at Sephora,

Givenchy Le Rouge

Givenchy Le Rouge
For those who love a very pigmented, creamy, more satin-finish formula, Le Rouge offers a luxury experience with those characteristics. Favorites include Brun Createur, Grenat Initie, Rose Boudoir, Magnolia Organza. Full Review

Where to Buy

$36.00 at Sephora

NARS Audacious Lipstick

NARS Audacious Lipstick
The formula is characterized by rich color payoff paired with a creamy, satiny finish that gives lips a smoother, fuller look. Favorites include: Angela, Silvia, Dominique, Janet, Juliette, Kelly, Natalie, Greta, Vanessa, Vivien, Audrey. Full Review

Where to Buy

$32.00 at Sephora,, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus

BUXOM Full-Bodied Lipstick

BUXOM Full-Bodied Lipstick
The formula is long-wearing, intensely pigmented, hydrating, and very comfortable to wear. I love that it’s not too pricey but delivers a very high-quality product. Favorites include: Dolly, Hooligan, Provocateur, Swinger. Full Review

Where to Buy

$21.00 at Sephora

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick
This is a nicely pigmented, very creamy, hydrating lipstick formula that is comfortable to wear and lasts awhile. Favorite shades include: Full Review

Where to Buy

$22.00 at Sephora,

Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss

Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss
This is my go-to lipgloss, and if you love sparkle and dazzle and all things glittering… this might be a formula to try. Favorites include: Canary, Citrus, Naked Plum, Plum Gold. Full Review

Where to Buy

$25.00 at Sephora,
Bobbi Brown

OCC Technopagan Lip Tar (Metallic)

OCC Technopagan Lip Tar (Metallic)
As soon as I saw Technopagan, I couldn’t wait to try it–it’s such a sexy, fierce color. It’s intensely pigmented, as you’d expect from a Lip Tar and applies with even, smooth color coverage. It has more of a satin finish for the first few hours of wear, but it settles to more of a metallic-matte (sheen but not shine) finish. May this shade be the one that convinces you that blue is wearable! Full Review

Where to Buy

$18.00 at Sephora,

Too Faced Melted Lipstick

Too Faced Melted Lipstick
If you love richly pigmented, long-wearing, bold color, then this is a liquid formula worth checking out. Favorites include: Melted Fig, Melted Violet. Full Review

Where to Buy

$21.00 at Sephora,

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These are some really great picks! I love quite a few of these formulas and the others are on my list lol. I really need a Guerlain lipstick in my life!

Have you tried any of Guerlain’s lipstick formulas? Rouge Automatique is quite nice – a less pricey alternative to Rouge G πŸ™‚

That’s the problem with Rouge G, everyone is beautiful even if it’s a color that’s not right for you, you still lust after it!

I’d be more likely to splash out for Rouge G’s if they made refills for the cases. Not only are they awfully price to be throwing away, it’s also just a lot more WASTE! I used a Rouge Automatique for the first time in ages today and was floored to see that I still had colour on my lips after lunch!

i think you put the wrong price for the Bobbi Brown glosses. They are $25 not $51 LOL. when i first saw that i was like whaaat, $51. that must be some nice gloss lol

I like Lip Tars, but I would say that if it was in stick form, I’d reach for it in stick form over liquid! But some of the colors you get with the liquid form are really stunning (and would likely lose some depth in a solid state).

I agree with Christine πŸ˜€ I usually skip over OCC lip tars when I’m putting on my lipstick, though I use liner for both, because I find it easier to throw on a lipstick than have to go clean one of the lip brushes to apply the tar. But when I do wear lip tar, I never regret it. WOW. They have some beautiful colors! If you find sticks easier to use, I recommend getting a more unique shade that you would like- Black Metal Dahlia is the first to come to mind. I don’t have Technopagan, but that looks glorious as well. I would also highly recommend Harlot and Hoochie and Grandma- some of my faves! πŸ™‚

Thanks for the recommendations, Christine! I’m with you on all the ones that I’ve tried — the NARS Audacious lipsticks (I have Fanny), the Urban Decay Revolution lipsticks (I have Venom and Rapture), the Too Faced Melted lipsticks (I have Melted Ruby and Melted Violet) and the Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy lipsticks (I have Dominant). I want to try the Buxom, Givenchy, and Guerlain formulas you recommend here. I just don’t wear lipgloss, and I would love to try Technopagan, but for some reason the OCC lip tars just don’t last on me, even with their primer.

What I would add to your list are the Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Naturals for people who like a more sheer formula that still delivers lots of color, or for when you want a more casual look or one that has less emphasis on the lips, without going to a gloss. I have and love 27 (and iridescent blue-pink), 35 (an iridescent orange-pink), and 34, a more neutral pink. I will say that bright reds and dark purples were less successful for me in this formula, but I look forward to trying more of the pinks and even some nudes. A lot of people also like MUFE’s Rouge Artist Intense line. At $20 a tube these are more affordable than some of the other high-end lines.

I also really like the Too Faced La Creme lipstick formula, I have and love Jelly Bean, So Berry Sexy, Razzle Dazzle Rose and Pink Chocolate.

Were the reds/dark purples streaky in the Natural formula, Fran? That’s what I’d expect to miss but am curious what your experience was πŸ™‚

These lists are really helpful! I’ve been putting stuff in and out of my sephora shopping cart for days leading up to the VIB sale. Now I know I gotta get one of the Givenchy Le Rouge lipsticks in my life. Gonna get the Framboise Velours shade!

I think Bite Beauty is probably my fave lipstick right now. I have one Too Faced Melted and never use it. And I was a bit disappointed in the Nars Audacious lipstick I tried. For blush, my picks would be Tarte (especially Natural Beauty), IT Cosmetics CC Blush (there is only one and so far as I know it’s only in a palette with 2 other face products) and the new MAC Sweet Sentiment Mineralize Blush – I love that one SO MUCH!!!!

The Luminous Creme formula from Bite? There are really a LOT of lovely lipstick formulas on the marketplace. I could have gone on and on, haha.

I do want to buy the guerlain Lipstick for my mother but she legit eats her Lipstick. I have no idea if it would be a good value for someone like her. I have dry lips so I can’t even judge application times. I think one day I’m going to stop staring at its Sephora page and click on that basket.

How quickly does she get through a lipstick? Perhaps one of the Rouge Automatiques – I find they’re a nice compromise for price vs. formula as far as those vs. Rouge Gs.

Thanks for the rec! Lip colours lasts an hour for her. It depends more on how much environmental factors make her bite or wet her lips. I was planning to get her a lip primer and a couple of mac mattes for longevity but then realised she wears one dusty rose colour so might as splurge on a big one. I’ll definitely check out the other guerlains.

Everyone’s different, but my lipsticks can wear off super fast, but the Rouge Automatique I wear all the time (Bal de Mai) and most of the Urban Decay Revolution lipsticks I have wear very, very well.

I drink constantly, they’ll last through a normal meal (all bets are off if you, like, go eat lobster drenched in butter), so I’m not trying super hard to keep the lipstick intact or anything.

Quinctia, I posted above about this very experience today with the Rouge Automatique. I wore L’heure bleu today for the first time in a very long time and was surprised to see that it was still on 5 hours later (at lunch time). I was impressed. I wouldn’t balk quite so much at the price of the Rouges G if it were possible to purchase refill bullets for the cases (I’m old enough to remember when many of the higher end companies – Ultima II, Lauder, etc. – did offer lower cost refills for their fancy cases, much like buying MAC shadows and blushes in the “pro pan” form – considerably less costly)

Totally agree with these and I also liked the new Guerlain Kiss Kiss range. I don’t think they’re touted as long wearing but they wear really well on me.

Beige Booster. Great natural, light pink rose shade with subtle gold shimmer, so it’s neither too cool nor too yellow. I’m very fair and have a hard time with light pinks because they always look Barbie on me. But this one is effortless.

I felt like a kid in a candy shop reading this post. I still haven’t gotten my hands on any of the NARS Audacious Lippies. Keep waiting for Dominique to come back in stock. I knew I wanted it when the press photos were first released, I don’t know why I waited until the dang thing sold out. πŸ™‚ Adding to the wishlist daily. πŸ™‚

This isn’t my first time raving about Guerlain’s lipsticks. I just love them all! I recently got my hands on a few of the new KissKiss range and I’m loving them too. The Rouge Gs are hands down my favourites; the formula is amazing with most of the shades having opaque colour in one stroke and it’s very smoothing and comfortable on the lips. Out of the colours I have I really like Girly, Gracy, Genna, Gladys and Rouge Parade.

I also love the Givenchy Le Rouge line. It has a modern matte finish, is comfortable and non-drying, and there is a beautiful colour selection to choose from. I particularly like, out of the ones I have, Magnolia Organza, Rose Taffetas, Rose Dressing and Framboise Velours. If you’re looking for a good matte-ish lipstick then you should definitely check these out!

Guerlain’s Rouge Gs are so comfortable to wear – a really well-done formula (and surprisingly, it has held up over time – it is still that good).

I’m a bit sad that Bite isn’t on this list, their relatively new Matte Lip Crayons are definitely a holiday must-have for me. πŸ™ Already have 4, Truffle is the next one I’m considering. I’ve had it in my shopping cart for 2 weeks, think I’ll buy it on Wednesday during the VIB Rouge event. πŸ™‚

The ones I’m most familiar with from the Matte Lip Crayons are the LE ones πŸ™ I am testing ones from the permanent range, but it’s a little too early to call it, basically!

I’ve been wanting to get 1 or 2 of the Givenchy Le Rouge but have been waiting till I have a little extra spending $, maybe after the New Yr and all the holiday shopping is over.

I really liked rose ruban & nude guipure, so maybe both lol, also wanted to try beige caraco but they didn’t have any good testers at the store. They were so creamy and smooth, I’m afraid I’m gonna want a whole bunch of em lol. Decided to get items I wanted that were limited edition for the VIB sale so maybe after the holidays I can stock up. Do you have any favorites?

Most helpful posts, rounding up the best like this.
I love Guerlaine Rouge G, I absolutely want more of them, I really like that EstΓ©e Lauder Pure Colour Envy Sculpting Lipsticks made the cut. I only have one, but it is a pleasure to wear it.
I still need to pick up a NARS Audacious lipstick. Sephora here doesn’t seem to have Vivien, so it might be Olivia or Marlene.
I need to prder Technopagan, I really need that beauty in my life. And I need to get some UD lipsticks as well. I hope we’ll get the Too Faced Melted Lipsticks to Sephora before long.

One of the posts which I wait for 365 days and bookmark πŸ™‚
I am reading you on and off but due to mishap in family I couldn’t come and compliment you …

thanks for sharing your list and favourites dear πŸ™‚
the two formulas which I need to try are Nars and bobbi brown
glad I picked them … now just waiting to get the parcel

I agree with you on the Revolution and Melted lipsticks! I have two full size UD lipsticks and their Full Frontal set, and I am in love! I also have 4 of the Melted lipsticks, one of my favorite formulas (especially fig :O ). I really really want to try the Audacious lipsticks, but as soon as the price moves past the 20s, I’m very edgy πŸ˜›


I’m lemming for the Guerlain Rouge G in 820, which is this year’s Holiday limited edition colour.

I’ve tried it on my lips for the first time and I just love how comfortable and long-wearing it is and it lasted so well.

But with the hefty price tag, I’m contemplating. Should I buy or shouldn’t I ? Please help!!

Are there any more of pretty Rouge G Reds that are more “undupeable” that is still available for sale?

Because at this price point I can only see myself spoiling myself with only 1 Rouge G. So I want a colour that’s different and worth buying.


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