Best Lipsticks (Over $15) | 2017

Best of 2017

Best Lipsticks (Over $15)

As 2017 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect back on the products I’ve reviewed during the past year and share with you my personal favorites. I find narrowing down my favorite mid-end to luxury-priced lipsticks to be the hardest across all of the lists that I do solely due to the sheer volume of shades to choose from. This year, I started with 59 shades and managed to whittle that down to 36. You’ll notice I have definite colors that I gravitate toward–plums, mauves, corals, and browns–and I tend to like some shine or pearl in my finish.

There were a slew of new-for-2017 formulas that were just so well-done that made culling a challenge, like Tarte’s Color Splash Lipsticks, Pat McGrath’s LuxeTrance Lipstick, Hourglass’ GIRL Lip Stylos and Confession Lipsticks, along with shade extensions in lines like Estee Lauder’s Hi-Lustre and original Pure Color Envy Lipstick lines and Bobbi Brown’s Luxe Lip Color range.  You can check out my full list of favorite shades below! 🙂

What were your favorite lipsticks in 2017?  Share your favorites in the comments!

P.S. — View swatches of my favorites here!


Bobbi Brown Desert Rose

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Bobbi Brown Desert Rose Luxe Lip Color ($37.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a muted, medium-dark mauve with subtle, warm undertones and a cream finish. It had... Read full review.

Bobbi Brown Rose Blossom

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Bobbi Brown Rose Blossom Luxe Lip Color ($37.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a brighter, medium plum with subtle, warm undertones and a cream finish. The color... Read full review.

Urban Decay Rebel

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Urban Decay Rebel Vice Lipstick ($17.00 for 0.11 oz.) is a medium, rosy mauve with warm undertones and a metallic sheen. It had nearly opaque... Read full review.

MAC Concord Grape

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MAC Concord Grape Robert Lee Morris Mattene Lipstick ($25.00 for 0.08 oz.) is a deep, purple-leaning mauve with a subtle, pearl sheen. It had more of... Read full review.

Tom Ford Beauty Orchid Soleil

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Tom Ford Beauty Orchid Soleil Lip Color ($54.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a soft, medium rosy copper with warm undertones and fine, gold, copper, and pink... Read full review.

MAC Fire Roasted

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MAC Fire Roasted Liptensity Lipstick ($21.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep, coppery red with warm undertones and a cream finish. The lipstick was intensely... Read full review.

MAC Brick Dust

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MAC Brick Dust Liptensity Lipstick ($21.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a medium-dark, reddish brown with warm undertones and a natural sheen. It had opaque... Read full review.

Tom Ford Beauty Adora

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Tom Ford Beauty Adora Lip Color ($54.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a muted, medium-dark plum with subtle, warm undertones and a natural sheen. It had nearly... Read full review.

Tom Ford Beauty Discretion

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Tom Ford Beauty Discretion Lip Color ($54.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a dark plum with subtle, cool undertones and a cream finish. It had rich color payoff... Read full review.

Pat McGrath Beautiful Creature

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Pat McGrath Beautiful Creature LuxeTrance Lipstick ($38.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a slightly muted, medium-dark reddish plum with warm undertones and a... Read full review.

Pat McGrath Sorry Not Sorry

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Pat McGrath Sorry Not Sorry LuxeTrance Lipstick ($38.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a medium, pinky-plum with subtle, warm undertones and a satin finish. It had... Read full review.

Pat McGrath Realness

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Pat McGrath Realness LuxeTrance Lipstick ($38.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a medium-dark pink with warmer undertones and a satin finish. The pigmentation was... Read full review.

Pat McGrath She's Heaven

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Pat McGrath She's Heaven LuxeTrance Lipstick ($38.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a muted, medium-dark brown with subtle, warm rosy undertones and a cream finish.... Read full review.

Pat McGrath Madame Greige

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Pat McGrath Madame Greige LuxeTrance Lipstick ($38.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a muted, medium mauve with neutral-to-cool undertones and a satin sheen. It... Read full review.

Pat McGrath Lavish

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Pat McGrath Lavish LuxeTrance Lipstick ($38.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a muted, dark brown with subtle, warm rosy undertones and a satin finish. The... Read full review.

Urban Decay Heartache

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Urban Decay Heartache Vice Lipstick ($17.00 for 0.11 oz.) is a rich, medium-dark fuchsia with subtle, cool undertones and iridescent sparkle and... Read full review.

Urban Decay Hideaway

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Urban Decay Hideaway Vice Lipstick ($17.00 for 0.11 oz.) is a muted, medium pinky mauve with neutral-to-cool undertones and a satin sheen. It had... Read full review.

Pat McGrath Omi

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Pat McGrath Omi MatteTrance Lipstick ($38.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a muted, medium-dark pink with neutral-to-warm undertones and a satin finish. The... Read full review.

Hourglass I Hide My

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Hourglass I Hide My Confession Ultra Slim High Intensity Lipstick ($34.00 for 0.03 oz.) is a deep, muted berry with subtle, cool undertones and a... Read full review.

Urban Decay Scorched

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Urban Decay Scorched Vice Lipstick ($17.00 for 0.11 oz.) is a dark, coppery brown with warm, red undertones and fine gold and copper pearl for a more... Read full review.

MAC Coral Optix

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MAC Coral Optix Lipstick ($17.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a bright, medium red with strong, warm orange undertones and pink, gold, and copper shimmer that... Read full review.

Givenchy Coral Gypsophila

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Givenchy Coral Gypsophila Le Rouge ($37.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a vibrant, medium-dark coral-orange with warm undertones and a shiny, cream finish. It was... Read full review.

Tarte Island Life

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Tarte Island Life Color Splash Hydrating Lipstick ($21.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a medium-dark, reddish plum with warm undertones and a cream finish. It... Read full review.

Tarte Cruisin'

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Tarte Cruisin' Color Splash Hydrating Lipstick ($21.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a muted, medium-dark plum with subtle, warm undertones and a cream finish. It... Read full review.

Tarte Escape

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Tarte Escape Color Splash Hydrating Lipstick ($21.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a brighter, medium pinky-plum with warm undertones and a cream finish. It had... Read full review.

Tarte Daiquiri

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Tarte Daiquiri Color Splash Hydrating Lipstick ($21.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a vibrant, medium-dark coral-red with warm undertones and a satin finish. The... Read full review.

Tarte 5 O'Clock

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Tarte 5 O'Clock Color Splash Hydrating Lipstick ($21.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a muted, dark plum with subtle, warm undertones and a cream finish. It had... Read full review.

Estee Lauder Killer Kiss

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Estee Lauder Killer Kiss Hi-Lustre Pure Color Envy Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a rich, medium-dark red with ruby red pearl and cool undertones. ... Read full review.

Estee Lauder Tiger Eye

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Estee Lauder Tiger Eye On Hi-Lustre Pure Color Envy Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is medium-dark copper with strong, warm orange undertones and a... Read full review.

Estee Lauder Naked Truth

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Estee Lauder Naked Truth Hi-Lustre Pure Color Envy Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a brighter, medium pink-coral with a golden, frosted shimmer. It... Read full review.

Estee Lauder High Level

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Estee Lauder High Level Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a bright, medium coral with warm undertones and a lightly glossy,... Read full review.

Estee Lauder Rose Tea

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Estee Lauder Rose Tea Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a soft, pinky mauve with warm undertones and a cream finish. It had... Read full review.

Hourglass Inventor

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Hourglass Inventor GIRL Lip Stylo ($32.00 for 0.09 oz.) is a medium-dark plum with warm undertones and a natural finish. It had semi-opaque,... Read full review.

Hourglass Activist

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Hourglass Activist GIRL Lip Stylo ($32.00 for 0.09 oz.) is a soft, muted, medium-dark rosy plum with warm undertones and a cream finish. It had good... Read full review.

Hourglass Achiever

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Hourglass Achiever GIRL Lip Stylo ($32.00 for 0.09 oz.) is a muted, medium-dark brown with a hint of plum paired with a lightly glossy sheen. It had... Read full review.

Urban Decay Backstab

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Urban Decay Backstab Vice Lipstick ($17.00 for 0.11 oz.) is a rich, reddish-berry with cool, pink tones and violet and ruby red pearl. It had... Read full review.

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18 Comments

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I love to see the lip pictures all line up. I really do! 🙂 These are all such beautiful shades. This year, I really loved the UD X Basquiat lipsticks, the UD Vintage Capsule Collection, and the new ABH Matte Lipsticks.

The Tarte formula was absolutely my favorite this year — I have four of them (Vacay, Cruisin’, 5 O’Clock, and Set Sail), and hope they release more colors. I still love UD’s lipsticks — I added Venom, Hideaway, and Love Drunk this year, and may yet pick up Rebel (especially if it goes on sale). And I picked up a few new Luxe lipsticks as well (Bahama Brown is my favorite of those). Hard to say what my favorite lipstick purchase was this year, but I am reasonably happy with all the ones I got and don’t have any that I wish I hadn’t bought / kept. I think my top choices may be: UD Hideaway, MJ Kate, Tarte 5 O’Clock and Cruisin, and Sephora Collection Fearless.

Overall, I bought fewer lipsticks in 2017 than in 2016, and am trying to be better about dupes and pickier about formulas as I head into 2018. I even used up 5 lipsticks this year!

Some of my favorites of 2017: Pat McGrath Luxetrance Lipstick in Strangé, UD Tampered Vice Lipstick, UD x Basquiat Abstract Lipstick, Fenty Stunna Uncensored Lipstick, MAC Sí, Sí Me, Dreaming Of You and Nicki’s Nude. I’ll probably go through everything I bought this past year and find something else, but these above have seen some major usage!

I’m not sure if they are new for 2017 but they are new to me – UD Gash and Mrs. Mia Wallace (the Vice version), as well as Smashbox Legendary and Red Rage and Lise Watier “Mary”. I’d never noticed UD Backstab…it’s one I might just need to check out (assuming it’s not LE and no longer available).

The Tarte Color Splash lipsticks are on sale at Sephora for $15.75 right now! Grab em while you can.

I picked up Pat McGrath Realness and it is quickly becoming a holy grail lipstick for me. It is very long lasting and comfortable, even lasted through lunch. When it does it fades evenly. It is a beautiful and elegant no worry lipstick. I’m Sorry Not Sorry to pick up another one. Doh couldnt resist myself 😛

Madame Greige pops out at me every time and clearly discernible from your line-up. I would say it is easily my favourite lipstick of 2017. Pat McGrath is also the obvious star of my 2017 lipstick purchases. Sorry Not Sorry would be runner up.

Urban Decay Rebel Vice is beautiful enough to lure me out of my no-buy lipstick policy. Sadly, it does not appear to be available at Sephora Canada. I guess my lipstick no-buy policy lives on.

I’m thinking hard but I don’t think I bought any lipsticks this year! I tried Bobbi Brown’s Crushed lip line but it wasn’t as comfortable to wear (balmy) as I thought it would be so I returned it. Nothing new but my favorite formulas are MAC Satin (and some of their mattes are more like satins), Guerlain Kiss Kiss, Nars Audacious, Nars Satin Pencils, and Clinique Different.

Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Color in Telluride is probably my #1 lipstick of the year. I also love Estee Naked Truth. I picked up a Becca Lush Lip Colour Balm in Cherry Ganache when they were on sale at Ulta, and it’s really very nice. Don’t think it’s worth the $22 regular price, but if on sale, I recommend. I also really like the formula of It Cosmetics 4-in-1 Vitality Flush lip stain. I have Je Ne Sais Quoi and Pretty Woman. Both are so easy to wear and always look good. I also love MAC Beetroot. Probably my favorite category of makeup.

I certainly need a few of these as I have 0! I really liked the new Tarte Formula too though it’s not quite as long lasting on me. I got the mini set. I need to be mindful of my money but the UD Rebel, Hideaway, and Backstab seem like they fill in some holes. I love the Tarte and TF shades too, but I feel like I have a few Bite dupes for the Tarte choices.

New formulas indulged in were abh matte rogue, resin, and dusty rose for NLD, (and no one notices if I put one of those greiges on top/one on bottom, so they are >95% dupes on me only. WTF?) and the new Tarte:the xmas set, 5:00, Beach Waves, Miami Vice, and ordered Boardwalk from this week’s S wows. Not sure if i’ll do any other abh, or maybe even any more Tarte. Certainly have more than enough lip products (for my whole town…)

I was very disappointed in the 3 LuxeTrance lipsticks I bought. It was like they were from a different planet vs. Christine’s – in both color and finish. None of that plush creaminess in mine and the colors were way off too (Madame Greige =🤢). Such a bummer!

I loved UD Rebel and Heartache, EL Naked Truth, and the Girl Lip Stylo whose name escapes me at the moment – what a great formula! Have never been a “Tarte person” but just bought 2 Color Splash lippies from Sephora’s Sale on Sale to compensate for my disappointment in the Pat McGrath’s ;-).

There were a lot of great lipsticks this year. Of the new releases, I loved: Pat McGrath 1995, Valetta and Sorry Not Sorry; Hourglass Influencer; Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk lipstick. Not new releases but new to me: Givenchy Heroic Pink (which I bought after reading the 2016 round-ups); Nars Audacious Lipsticks in Marlene and Raquel; Charlotte Tilbury Bitch Perfect.

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