Best Lipsticks (2019) | Editor’s Top Picks

Welcome to our updated guide to the Best Lipsticks — 2019 Edition! Every year, there are so many lipsticks launched that I can’t even hope to test and review every single newly-released shade, but I certainly give it a good try!  There are a few new entries this year, but for the most part, it’s a list of tried and true formulas that I’ve tested over the years.

Every product recommended below has been tested and reviewed by me, and I test thousands of products every year–so they’ve earned their way onto this list. To read more about a specific shade or view swatches, make sure to use the drop downs and buttons below, as we’ve tried to make this guide comprehensive and easy to use!

The way I approach my guides is by focusing permanent formulas that have stood the test of time–they are high quality, consistent, and all formulas that I personally enjoy. You’ll find a formula overview and top-rated shades (that are permanent) for each highlighted range. As always, I’d love to hear about your own personal favorite formulas–don’t forget to tell me why!

If you’re curious about the best limited edition holiday products and sets, check out our Best of Holiday 2019 Palettes & Gifts, which automatically updates the rankings as new reviews go live.

More product guides: Best Blushes, Best Highlighters, Best Eyeshadow Palettes, Best Eyeshadows, Best Lipglosses.

Pat McGrath LuxeTrance Lipstick

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LuxeTrance offers the high pigmentation and the longwear of the original MatteTrance formula but has a more satin, cream-like finish that’s slightly more comfortable to wear and more flattering to drier, imperfect lips.

Top Rated Shades


Colour Pop Just a Tint Lippie Tint

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Just a Tint Lippie Tint is perfect for those who  like medium, buidlable coverage with a glossier, more balm-like finish that’s comfortable to wear and has better-than-average wear (compared to most balm-type formulas).

Top Rated Shades

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MAC Love Me Lipstick

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This recent addition to the brand’s core offerings, Love Me Lipstick offers a soft shine with intense color coverage that sits well on lips and wears nicely through the day.

Top Rated Shades


Sephora Rouge Lacquer

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If you’re big on creamy, hydrating, and glossy color, Rouge Lacquer offers those things at a more comfortable price point.

Top Rated Shades


Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro

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Lip Maestro is one of my favorite formulas for liquid lipsticks, though it doesn’t have a dry down so if you’re only about matte liquid lipsticks, run away.  These are intensely pigmented, hydrating, and smoothing on lips, and they have excellent wear (some go for over eight hours and are actually hydrating).

Top Rated Shades

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick

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Super Lustrous Lipstick yields a luminous finish–it is an incredibly forgiving formula that glides over lips, makes them appear more nourished and smoother, while delivering good pigmentation and comfortable wear at an affordable price.

Top Rated Shades


NARS Audacious Lipstick

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NARS Audacious is a long-time top pick, and every time I have the pleasure of re-wearing–as they often release these during the holidays–I’m reminded at how top tier the formula is.  It’s pigmented, smooth, creamy, and comfortable to wear while still being long-wearing.

Top Rated Shades


Colour Pop Lux Lipstick

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Thank goodness for ColourPop Lux Lipstick to add a versatile range of affordable, high coverage lipsticks to the market!  Now, if only they could decide on a real core range, though…

Top Rated Shades

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Shiseido VisionAiry Gel Lipstick

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Shiseido is a bit of a sleeper in the US, but their revamp of the color range and release of the Visionary Gel Lipstick formula is not to be missed–it’s gel-like, creamy color that has excellent coverage and fantastic wear (six to eight hours).

Top Rated Shades


Guerlain Rouge G de Guerlain Lip Color (2018)

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One of my favorite lipstick finishes is lightly pearlized, more luminous ones–they are more flattering to various lip texture and imperfections and make lips appear smoother, plumper–and the Rouge G range is one of the best to do that.

Top Rated Shades


Pat McGrath MatteTrance Lipstick

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The original MatteTrance range offers velvety, intense color that’s long-wearing and comfortable to wear across a slew of shades.

Top Rated Shades


Sephora Lipstories Lipstick

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If you don’t mind a bit of a skimp on packaging–they’re housed in cardboard sleeves with thin plastic interior tubes–the Lipstories is a massive range of colors across finishes.  The majority of shades have great coverage, texture, and are longer-wearing (though some of the glittery shades are weak).

Top Rated Shades


Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick

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Bite’s Amuse Bouche Lipstick is not just readers’ most recommended formula but one of mine, too. There’s a fantastic shade range of more traditional shades like your beiges and reds along with less traditional shades like blackened green and blue.  (This formula is being discontinued this year, so fingers crossed the formula that replaces it makes it on this list next year!)

Top Rated Shades


Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet

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Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet is another liquid lipstick formula that offers creamy, glossy finishes paired with rich color payoff for comfortable, longwear.

Top Rated Shades


Urban Decay Vice Lipstick

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I love how deep the shade range is and how many finishes are available in the Vice Lipstick formula. There are so many highly-rated shades that it’s hard to narrow down even a top five!

Top Rated Shades


Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color

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If you like soft shine, intense coverage, and more flattering textures, Bobbi Brown’s Luxe Lip Color definitely yields a more luxe experience applied to lips.

Top Rated Shades


Colour Pop Ultra Satin Liquid Lipstick

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While not fully transfer-resistant (at least not initially), ColourPop’s Ultra Satin Liquid Lipsticks offer incredibly long-wear, intense coverage, and a transfer-proof finish that is a better compromise between true matte and drying liquid lipstick and really creamy liquid lipstick formulas.

Top Rated Shades

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Givenchy Le Rouge

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The Le Rouge range was one of the first cream/satin finish formulas that offered high coverage, good application, and comfortable wear that was longer-wearing.  It remains a favorite!

Top Rated Shades


Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick

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For softly luminous, creamier colors, Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick is a lovely selection.  There are lots of shades to choose from from pale beige to deep burgundy.

Top Rated Shades

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12 Comments

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I do want to be the proud owner of a Lisa Eldridge lipstick so I’ll try and pick one up during their restock later this month. Watchin my inbox like a hawk for her newsletter.

There are such amazing lipstick formulas out there, now. The tried and trues of the past have been surpassed. Tom Ford comes to mind. It was a revolutionary formula at one point and very ahead of trend on colour. Pat McGrath formula is probably my favourite in terms of coverage, but I’ve found more affordable options which impress me like Buxom Full Force. I love Natasha Denona shiny for a lighter looking lip. I wish UD Vice lip chemistry were longer lasting, but I do love the look and finish.

Especially when you do a lip round-up, I am astonished and amazed at how good all shades and finishes look on you. Now, I know you find certain products more flattering (OG Love Lust comes to mind,) but seriously, you can wear anything…which is why you can review EVERYTHING! Your work ethic is also greatly, widely admired and respected. Remember, when you are castigating yourself for not being able to crank reviews up at warp speed, that you are a perfectionist, and what you do requires significant analysis. We all appreciate your dedication. If i did not have their dupe list, I’d probably have 500 lipsticks in red, brown, orange, purple, and all the intergrades. And more than half of them would be duped overkill. Loving all these round ups for holiday 19.

I really love the Sephora Rouge Lacquer lipsticks. I keep forgetting to try the Lip Stories (the one I keep meaning to pick up and then keep forgetting about is Spring Break and now I see they’ve got a Sephora Loves Canada one that – come ON – I just have to try. And I walked right by Sephora today and forgot all about them! And I’ve got to mention MAC’s Amplified Creams. They have been my enduring love (I just B2M’d some empties for a Full Fuchsia!)

Since lipstick’s are a huge part of my collection and I do have a hard time saying no to one that I love, it is not surprising that I have all of these formula’s and they are in my favorites. There are several formula’s that I love that are not represented here and those would be Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution, Nars Velvet Lip Pencils and Maybelline Shine. There is also one formula represented that I don’t care for and that is the Nars Audacious. They have never worked well for me.
Thank you again for doing this, Christine.

Thank you for this impressive collection of best lipsticks.
I am a real fan of the Colour Pop Lux lipstick range and own several. They are just fantastic quality for such a ridicuously low price.

I’m really surprised that Dior didn’t make the cut. They have a fabulous line of lipsticks, and are in my top five. They rarely disappoint.

Great article as always, Christine!
I’m thing that always surprises me is that nobody ever seems to talk about Marc Jacobs’ “Le Marc Liquid Lip Crayon” formula, particularly since you love his blushes.
I discovered those mighty pencils when they launched a couple of years ago and they have been in heavy rotation for me ever since! I’ve even finished and repurchased two colours (Night Mauves and Pink Straight) which had never happened to me with lipstick before.
True, they are not cheap and they can break if not stored at the right temperature but they last for ages on your lips, fade well, are not super drying despite being matte, and have a subtle chrome finish that I’ve been asked about and complimented on repeatedly.
Am I the only one who likes them? I thought I’d bring it up! 🙂

They’re nice, but MJB has a history of making really high longevity claims, so that’s part of why you wouldn’t see it on a top list here!

I still count Tom Ford Lip Color Matte is my favorite formula. Surprised no TF lipsticks made it here. I really need to try those Shiseido gel lipsticks…that formula sounds perfect.

Awesome list! You’ve reminded me of so many lipstick finishes that I’ve loved, and inspired me to dig back into my stash to revive them (looking at you, Nars Audacious Jane).

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!