If you could only use one brand for lipstick, which could you commit to?

What a rude question — of all the categories, lipstick formulas come in so many varieties and are so good at so many brands! These days, some of my very favorite, go-to shades have been by Urban Decay, so I think at this moment in time, I have to give it them. Plus, I enjoyed their previous lipstick formulation, the current Vice Lipstick range, and they have a lot of variety in finishes + color so there’s a lot of variety to choose from! Other contenders: MAC (classic, tons of formulas), Bite (but I tend to like shimmery lipsticks, which they NEED but don’t have!), and Pat McGrath (great formulas but I need more color ranges and I’d like a luminous/pearl finish WITH high coverage).

— Christine


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karla_j_aitch Avatar

This is a tough one because I love Bite and Nars, but I’d choose Nudestix. I always have Belle (matte) and Babe (gloss) in my purse.

Uriah Avatar

Call me crazy but I could honestly live with just Maybelline lipsticks. I could even narrow it down further and say I could live with their The Loaded Bolds collection alone. My go-to look for years now has been eyeliner, mascara, brows, and a bold lippie that usually veers towards deeper shades. Maybelline’s lipsticks fulfill my need for that perfectly, and are very budget friendly for someone living on a student budget like me.

kjh Avatar

Not crazy at all. Thanks to Christine, I have 4 from that collection that are beyond superb, and basically check every box, cover every base. And you did not have to resort to financial finagling to do it. Commendations.

Bonnie Avatar

I’m going with Maybelline too. So many choices, affordable, not generally drying. They not only do bolds, but they have entire collections of Nudes and Pinks. And the cost – if they come out with a new collection, I can afford the entire thing if I want. (on a BOGO 50% sale). That was immediately my answer. Also, NYX would be a contender.

I love MAC, but they can be drying. And I like L’Oreal’s choices, but the smell can be offputting. Tarte is nice, but Idk if there’s enough variety to make it my one and only.

GUSnail Avatar

As far as actual formula, I would go with Bite, hands down. However, they don’t have the most complete shade range. There are a couple of shades from Nars and Marc Jacob that I wouldn’t want to be without, so this is a tough one for me.

kjh Avatar

My sentimental favorite is Nars, been with them since 94 and looking forward to the 25th celebration next year. Audacious, VLG, and most chubbies are all HGs to me. By headcount, may actually have more bite. Good formulas, ingredients, very reliable/valid (in the statistical sense). Bite themed releases have been interesting, even they don’t suit you. Also, Bite has stuck to its core competency, lip products. (Nars’ debut was 12 lipsticks at Barney’s.) Bite is more solid, but nostalgia is more powerful; will choose Nars.

xamyx Avatar

This is an easy one- NYX; I feel I can find a vast variety of shades & formulas, without spending too much. In fact, NYX probably makes up 75%+ of my current stash of lip products… L’OREAL is a close second, though.

Lip products are probably my least favorite, in all fairness, so admittedly I haven’t really tried any of the HE brands in a good 10+ years, so I can’t really say if they’re worth it (although, given my past experiences, I don’t think they are).

Deborah S. Avatar

Based on sheer numbers that I own it would be MAC. I get along well with MAC’s formula except the retro-mattes. The other bulk of my collection is Guerlain, Bite, Chanel and Charlotte Tilbury with Charlotte Tilbury running ahead of the others. I like all of the finishes in her range and wear them often but I don’t feel like she has enough range in shades to satisfy me. I would go with Pat McGrath if I could be assured she would continue to release shades in her current finishes and with more diversity but sitting her today, MAC wins.

Raeanne Avatar

I’ll have to second Maybelline! My HG lippies come from their creamy matte collection, and I do enjoy their glossy products. This would save me a lot of money on lipstick. LOL. I just wish Maybelline had some good lip liners. NARS would be a very close runner-up, though, as I absolutely adore their Audacious lipsticks, lipliners, glosses, and velvet matte glosses.

Priscilla Avatar

Tough one. For lipstick, I’d have to go with Urban Decay for comfort, range of color and cost. For lip gloss (which I love and use multiple times a day, I’d go with Nars. I have at least two Nars glosses in my bag. One pinky neutral and one peachy.

I have several other higher end lip products, but none satisfy completely. My Dior lip lacquers for example have gotten too soft and gooey for my taste. Messy.

Nancy T Avatar

Whoa. What sort of evil query is this? How does one stop at just one?
If I’m going for extreme comfort with lots of variety, UD.
If I’m going for a brand that adds new shades, and interesting ones at that, plus very good quality, MAC.
If I’ve reached that stage in life where I only want and need several absolutely perfect flawless lipsticks of superior quality, Pat McGrath or Nars Audacious…or EL?
This is giving me a headache!

Blue Avatar

I would hate to give up my Givenchy, MAC, and Bite, but when you get down to it, NARS is my must-have. I love so many color and so many finishes from a handful of brands, but NARS makes my all-time favorite lipstick which is also my most flattering red (Dragon Girl), my favorite pink (Funny Face), and generally makes my most flattering nude (Dolce Vita for warmer and Bound for cool) and burgundy (Damned) shades too. Their shades are just so appealing to me and tend to really compliment my coloring.

Lucetta Avatar

Thanks Christine for pointing out that Bite needs shimmery lipsticks! Now I understand why I find their launches beautiful but boring.
I am sensitive to some ingredients commonly used in makeup, so I don’t try many brands, I stick to the ones that don’t make my lips bleed. Luckily one of those is Urban Decay, so that’s my pick.

Katja Avatar

Urban Decay Vice and NARS Audacious are my favorites and in my opinion equally as good. But if I had to choose, I guess I would pick Vice, as it has a more extensive range of colors and finishes, plus it is less expensive.

I especially like the Vice Comfort Mattes and Cream finishes, they are so comfy on the lips and wear so nicely!

Dev Avatar

YSL. It is really the only brand that I use. I have tried others but I end up not using them and destashing them so now it is the only brand I buy.

Kate Avatar

I seriously hope that I never have to answer this question for real… After thinking about it a bit, I’d choose Bite. You’re absolutely correct that they need more variety in their finishes but the breadth of their colour offering (limited and permanent) and the fact that they’re one of the only brands whose lipsticks I can wear in winter when my lips are feeling dry pushes them (a tiny bit) ahead of the competition. And I feel like they are a brand that that continues to try new things, which bodes well if I’m going to commit to a monogamous relationship.

A Avatar

Lately all I seem to reach for is my Urban Decay Cream and Comfort Matte Vice lipsticks, so this is an easy choice!
They they wear very well on me without becoming drying or sinking into liplines (only the Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy range rivals them in this regard), have an extensive colour range, and are very affordable in the UK.
I wasn’t expecting to love them so much, as I was pretty “meh” about their previous formulation (Revolution) that everyone raved about!

J. Woods Avatar

I would have to go with Urban Decay, followed by Nars or Bite. I also really like this new Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick (in Fatale) I just bought

heavymetalteacup Avatar

Wow…I had to really think about this, but it has to be MAC. All things considered, they have so many shades that I’m fond of (Mangrove, Ruby Woo, O, CB 96, Rebel, Velvet Teddy, Creme in Your Coffee, Kinda Sexy….the list goes on and on!), their formulas don’t let me down, their mattes don’t dry me out, and that familiar vanilla scent is comforting. There’s other brands I have, and love, but if I have to pick one, I have to go with MAC!

Erica Avatar

MAC just for their sheer amount of color, finish etc. I like many lipsticks but I hate their color range/selection. Bite for ex is an ok lipstick formula but I find their color selection limited and quite ugly. Only really like pepper. Same for UD Vice. So many offerings but the color selection is atrocious imo

CeeBee Avatar

I’d love to say Bite Beauty because the Amuse Bouche formula is my absolute fave, but Colourpop wins it for me because of range, price and shade selection. I’m counting the Ultra Satins and Mattes as lipsticks for the purposes of this argument 😉

Ana Maria Avatar

It would be MAC, but only Matte or Satin finishes (the others finishes are just not my cup of tea, they are either too creamy, too shimmery and/or don’t stay on my lips).

I actually do own only 6 lipsticks right now and they’re all MAC. I keep my collection minimal (usually a light/nude brown – currently Spirit, a mauve my-lips-but-butter – currently Mehr, a red – currently Chilli, a burgundy – currently Studded Kiss, a purple – currently Rebel, and a deep chocolate – currently Photo).

With such a small collection it’s also more aesthetically pleasing for me to have 5-7 lipstick bullets that look the same; and I keep them in a specific order so I can get the right color even blindfolded.

Rachel R. Avatar

LOL — this is indeed a rude question. 😀

I’d probably have to go with Urban Decay also. Many of my favorite shades are UD, and they range from my HG MLBB color (Sheer Rapture) to my favorite black lipstick (Perversion). The huge shade variety means I wouldn’t want for anything.

NYX is a very close second. I love most of their lip products. They also have a huge variety of lipstick lines and colors, including unconventional ones. The pricing is great.

Sarah Avatar

Tarte…they have my current favorite lipstick and they have a decent range if I ever wanted to try something new.

This is a hard question though, since I really like to try different brands for lip products.

Mary Avatar

Ohh such a tough question ,! Lipsticks are my thang..lol…
I switch and change all the time , right now when it’s beginning to get a bit cooler , I need more hydration . So I go for Givenchy , Kosa’s, and Guerlain .etc.

Nicole Avatar

If I were ballin’, I’d have to choose the old Guerlain Rouge G formula (I haven’t tried any of the newer ones, yet.) If not Guerlain, Then MAC, because they have so many different colors and finishes. My favorite drugstore brand is Milani. That’s the first Drugstore brand that gave me a moisturizing perfect nude, no liner necessary, and smelling like watermelon or something to boot.

Alecto Avatar

“What a rude question…” Ha! 🙂

Seriously, I’m almost overwhelmed in my effort to answer this. I like different brands for different things; the only way to answer this question with sincerity is to also choose only one sub-type of lipstick as well … for the rest of my life?

I like Notoriously Morbid for their liquid matte formula
I like Urban Decay for their colors and vibe
I like NYX for all their choices
I like ColourPop for their price and Ultra-Satin formula
I like Pat McGrath for the (in my experience) unmatched feel
I like Shiro for their glosses (yeah, you read that right)

I think … maybe … UD? I’d be confined to their tube lipsticks, but they have a color and finish range that might distract me from all the other lip products I no longer had access to. If for some reason I wouldn’t be allowed to choose Urban Decay, I’d go with ColourPop.

Alecto Avatar

Slightly apropos … thinking about this made me curious what lip products I have in my immediate vicinity at work: Notoriously Morbid’s “Smoke and Fire” and Fenty’s “Fog Snog” in my pocket; Shiro’s “Red Wedding” in the desk organizer (Frankensteined — I blended in an eyeshadow from My Pretty Zombie called “Murder”); NYX’s “Icing On the Wall,” Rituel de Fillle’s “Oracle” and “Prey,” and Sephora Cream Lip Stain in “Always Red” in my drawer; and NARS “Walkyrie” and ColourPop’s “Aventurine” in my bag.

I’m all over the place. 🙂

Susan Nevling Avatar

I have such a bad time answering that. I have many U.S. Vice metallic and sheers. I love Guerlain Rouge G but can only afford a couple. I like Laura Mercier, some NARS and many odds and ends. I don’t like chalky pales or matted at all across all brands.

Vittoria Avatar

I feel like a turd in the punch bowl here. Forget the nostalgia with MAC even with my old favorites such as Moxie, Veruschka, Folio, all of the retro mattes and many of their lip liners that do make nice lipsticks. {Yes, I like matte opaque pigmented creams but they’re not hard to find.} I’ll take Dose Of Colors and Melt over them any day. Sometimes Sugarpill and NYX as well. Who could be dissatisfied with Pat McGrath? It’s difficult to narrow it down any further than that. Sorry! Everyone came out with excellent lipliners so I finally moved on from MAC although they appear to have anything one might want. I simply can’t with their “curing AIDS one lipstick at a time” arrogance or with their unwillingness to genuinely evolve and practice the image they project. I want to support smaller companies exclusively. I also want to look as fabulous as Pat McGrath models.

Silvia Avatar

Hmmm? So many choices I really love WetnWld matte lipsticks there are tons that suit my skin and they just last so well. Even when fading I’ll still have a nice lip stain so I live some color always remaining. Nars love them too and Sephora lips stories, Milani, I have a few nice colors from Nody Shop as well, Kat Von D, Maybelline, Revlon, Nyx, No. 7 I have some beautiful colors from them but sadly they don’t last on me at all, NYC, oh gosh Ester Lauder., City Color vampy set. Clinique I like many of their shades also. Wrong question for this one I go banana nuts in lipsticks. Burt’s Bees, big I really love my WetnWilds though.

Nikki Avatar

My answers to all these “only one” questions are completely, 100% hypothetical, as there’s no way I’m actually picking just one-I need variety! That said, I would probably pick either Kat Von D or one of the main drugstore brands-L’Oreal, Maybelline, Revlon, CoverGirl. Of the lipsticks I own, the brand I have the most of is L’Oreal, followed by KVD.

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