What three lipsticks should everyone have in their stash?


What three lipsticks should everyone have in their stash? Share your suggestions! πŸ™‚

I think giving specific shade recommendations is really, really hard since there are so many finishes, undertones, formulas, and price points! I think everyone should have a great, go-to everyday shade – something that is my-lips-but-better, whatever that translates to you (I use Guerlain Giny often), an excellent, powerhouse red (I use Chanel Dragon, which is discontinued, or Guerlain Garconne), and then something fun, maybe a bright coral or fuchsia (I go-to Guerlain Gems or Givenchy Fuchsia Irresistible).

Thanks to reader Christine for today’s question idea Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Compare Any Two Swatches

Curious how two shades compare to each other? Type in the shades below to get instant side-by-side swatches!

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

95 Comments

Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

I’ll say colors instead of brands… a good pink/peach nude to replicate a natural look, a bold red/coral and then either a hot pink or a berry. I know for a long time I wouldn’t wear bold colors out. If I was just driving or going over a friends house I would put it on, but then I decided to wear a bright orange/red color lipstick out. I got lots of compliments. I think it’s always good to have a color you can rock any time, a fun color and red is a classic color to have. Just remember to pick colors that suit your skin tone.

I can’t narrow it down to 3, I think everyone needs 4. (my go-to lipsticks in parenthesis)

1. “my lips but better” (Tarte Pouty, Guerlain Extrait de Rose)
2. a great red (UD Gash, MAC Sin)
3. something bright/fun (Illamasqua Atomic, Ka’oir Pool Party)
4. something vampy (MUFE #14, UD Shame)

Yes, I totally agree!

MLBB: To each their own. Still looking…but recently discovered Rimmel Lip Liner in Wild Clover topped with Chanel Scintillantes Glossimer in Bagatelle kinda made my heart flutter a little. “Oh, this may be it”….me thinks πŸ™‚

RED: A neutral red for all year round

BRIGHT and FUN for Spring/Summer: Coral, Peach, Yellow/Warm based

VAMPY for Autumn/Winter: Plum, Mauve, Blue/Cool based

Excuse me if I didn’t sum this up correctly. I’m a few months short of a year into makeup.

I would go for a nude, an everyday pink and a red. My favorite nude shade is YSL’s Rouge Volupte in Ultimate Beige. For reds I would go for a matte red like Mac’s Ruby Woo, then I would personally pick a lighter pink such as Mac Chatterbox or YSL Caress Pink.

It seems like you have really acquired an incredibly expensive taste Christine, maybe because you’ve tried pretty much everything, but i’ve noticed your favorites are almost always not only high end but the highest of the high (chanel, guerlain, givenchy,ec
)
That makes me think, are those brands really the best? Or is it just that you have acces to so much makeup that it’s easy to gravitate towards the most expensive things

They’re the colors that make me feel exceptionally happy when I use them πŸ™‚ I gravitate towards the products that flatter me, work well for me, and I enjoy using – whatever the price point. My go-tos for this particular question happened to be high-end. If you read my favorites’ list, I give my recommendations for high-end as well as more budget-friendly.

Just 3? Impossible. Types I could do.

Nude or pink: Pairs well with dramatic eyes or day to day.
Classic red: For special occasions
Bright feuscia: For a vibrant, playful, and youthful feel.

For a glossy, everyday and perfect smokey eye lip shade, I’d definitely say YSL 09 Nude in Private from the Rouge Volupte Shine, for a classic, dark red, MAC Russian Red is my favorite. And for a bold, statement lip color, I’d pick Tom Ford Violet Fatale. These three can definitely be enough for me πŸ™‚

I totally agree with you about the my-lips-but-better colour and the powerhouse red, but as a third lipstick I would add a colour that makes me feel self-confident and beautiful although I didn’t before I applied it. πŸ™‚
My my-lips-but-better colour would be something like “Berry Smoothie” lipbutter by Revlon, my red lipstick would probably be “Valentina” by Daniel Sandler and my feel-self-confident colour would be “Broadest Berry” Chubby Stick Intense by Clinique. πŸ™‚

I’m a MAC NC50 for reference, and my three picks are:
1) a go-to MLBB shade (MUFE N7)
2) a sexy red (Buxom Scoundrel or MUFE N45)
3) a night out/special occasion shade (MUFE N28)

Hmm. A MLBB, like you suggested(mine is Nars Bangkok or Mac Mehr, depending on the season); something that makes the wearer feel sexy, be it a wine or a nude or whatever feels best(in love with Nars Dragon Girl); and I truly think every lipstick fan should own a Chanel shade at some point in life(…and it should probably be Pirate, because it’s awesome). I’m a little biased toward reds, I guess.

Yeah! They’re costly(not like a *boat* or something, but the shade I mentioned is around $35), so I consider them a rare treat item; they’re just created fantastically, and every formula I’ve tried feels good and looks great.

1. A shade you’d wear a lot and not mind repurchasing frequently. Shades that go with everything are best when you don’t feel like giving a lot of thought to what make-up you wear for the day. MLBB shades are a popular choice, but if you’re someone who wears red lips everyday, then that would probably be more appropriate for this purpose.

2. A shade you’d wear for special occasions. Sometimes this means a pricier lipstick, or perhaps something that was limited edition or has been discontinued. In any case, it needs to be a shade that you know works for you and makes you feel special when you put it on. Reds are a popular choice for this, I feel, but your mileage may vary.

3. A shade you can use as a pick-me-up. What color makes you feel best when you’re not feeling great otherwise? Bright colors are a popular choice, but again, it varies from a person to person.

I love your answer!

Not everyone should have a red and not everyone should have a nude. Some people feel sexy and powerful in reds or bright colors, other people might prefer a very subtle nude. People have different styles and personal preferences and gravitate towards different shades to feel the most confident. It’s all about what YOU like, it doesn’t really matter if it’s three brights or three MLBB shades.

I agree. I don’t wear red lipstick. I’m just not comfortable in it, even though I do wear hot pinks and fuchsias. And nudes make some people look washed out. I know, because I’m one of them.

My 3 suggestions are:

– For a YLBB – Dior Glow. It transforms to your natural skin tone. Mine turns a soft mauvey pink. IT Cosmetics has one also, but I haven’t tried it.

A bright one in your preferred color range. For some that’s red, for others it’s pink, or coral. Mine is Coco Pink by Chanel (unfortunately discontinued πŸ™ , but I still have a few tubes left).

A mid tone again in your preferred shade. Mine is MAC Hot Gossip, a medium mauve pink.

This was hard, because I have 100s of lippies. My guilty indulgence. πŸ™‚

Great answer, Ryou! I think this is a really nice system, and its the best answer thus far. I don’t personally find I favor bright/neon colors, but something that serves as a pick-me-up would definitely be something that would make me feel the way neons feel to those who love them.

Those are great recommendations! I would only add that everyone deserves a lipstick that’s a luxury, whatever that means for their individual budgets, which they really enjoy owning and which makes them feel all glamed up whenever they put it on. That’s usually the powerhouse red, but for me it’s my MLBB (Guerlain’s Gemma — can’t praise it enough) and just that extra feeling of glamour can really make a difference to my day.

You already made great suggestions for the kinds of colors. I tend to always have a nude, red and pink/peach in a drawer with the things I use most. The one color out of each that I feel I can just put on and go easily. Always colors I repurchase. Chanel Satisfaction, Tom Ford Spanish Pink and NARS Terre de Feu.

A neutral rosy beige, MLBB – Estee Lauder Signature lipstick in Dune Rose is a favourite of mine; a medium pink, undertone of your choice, something like Chanel Rose Drop (DC) or Guerlain Rouge G in Gemma and a neutral soft red based shade, like Shiseido Rouge Perfect in Blush RD732 or Roseate 734.

It’s the Hydra Lustre one in the fluted gold case – I’m pretty sure you can still get it. EL Pure Color Crystal lipstick in Crystal Baby is another MLBB shade I love, I have an unopened backup stashed in my closet somewhere πŸ™‚

For MAC junkies like, I suggest MAC Please for the MLBB shade, MAC Russian Red for the Powerhous Red, and maybe Nars Schiap for the fun part.

My three lips would be Nars Dolce Vita (my lips but better), Chanel Rouge Coco in Cambon (as my glamourous pink-red) and Make up For Ever in Folk (as my coral summer bright one).

I mean, obviously this is pretty individual and varied. But if I had to pick three to suggest, I’d say a bright, bold pink or purple depending on your preference, a classic blue based, matte red, and a my lips but better lipstick. Some examples are mac girl about town, mac heroine, mac ruby woo, revlon really red, mac please me, and revlon mauve it over.

I’d say everyone needs:
– A ‘my lips but better’ shade. Mine is Nars Damage or MAC Plumful in Winter.
– A red for winter evenings. I’m cool-toned (NW15-20) so I find pinky reds like Chanel Famous or MAC Love Goddess flattering
– Something brighter for summer. I’m loving MAC Lickable right now.

I thought I would approach this question as to what three formulas of lipstick one should have or try and then list some of my stash favs which is very subjective and relies heavily on taste, skintone, etc..:
Formulas
1. Tom Ford Lipstick (Guerlain Rouge G is almost a tie)
2. Givenchy Le Rouge
3. Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil
Basics
1. Nude or MLBB shade
2. Red or Vamp shade
3. Bright
Staples in my bag
nude: GA Rouge Ecstasy #103, Tom Ford sheer in Bare
red/vamp: TF Crimson Noir, Guerlain Rose Grenat, Bite Beauty Quince, MAC Red Balloon
bright: Givenchy Fuschia Irresitible, MAC Impassioned

Uhhh I’m not sure because not every color looks good on everybody or fits what some people look for. But probably Red, Dark purple and a bright pink or trade one of those for a nude since those colors could be too much for some people.

I feel an mlbb shade..a true red…and a nude.Mine would be Mac Creme in your coffee…Mac Diva…Mac Spirit.Im nc44.Waiting to see other recs.:)

I think everyone should have a pink,red,fuchsia lipsticks
Pink: Makeup For Ever Rouge in 32(soft pink) , Nars in Schiap(shocking pink)
Red:MAC Dangerous(orange red matte)
Fuchsia:MAC Girl about town

I totally agree with a MLBB shade because it’s safe and understated, as well as a red for a classy, elegant choice. The third should be a colour that you love, the one that you think of as “your colour” that you want to wear every day.

I agree with you Christine! A nude, a red and a pink/peach/coral is what any one needs! although for a lot of Indian women brown is also a color they prefer, like my mum! If I had to recommend in MAC I’d say, someone who is between MAC NC35 to NC 42, I’d say Jubilee for an MLBB, Ruby Woo or Russian Red for a red pout, Touch for a brown, and See Sheer in coral. πŸ™‚

Here’s my two cents πŸ™‚

1. A Red Lipstick with suitable undertones that work with your skin. I like Urban Decay F Bomb and Chanel Cambon
2. A Go To Nude (I prefer pink undertones to beige undertones) and my HG is Chanel Magnolia, but Mac Angel or Urban Decay Lovelight
3. A Bright Pink or Purple. My favourite is Givenchy Fuchsia Irresistible, but I also like Mac Show Orchid, Candy Yum Yum, Heroine, etc.

Hmmm this is a tough one. But I’d say a great nude, a nice everyday wearable pink, and a power color that makes you feel fierce and sexy everytime you wear it. This would be your BOLD/Statement color. For me it’d be:

Nude: MAC Bad Girl RiRi
Pink: This keeps changing but it’s a toss up between MAC Sweetie and UD Rapture
Power Color: MAC RiRi Woo or Heroine depending on the day

I think a MLBB that is darker than your lip (like a pink or something a touch brighter-for me this is Urban Decay Fiend), a MLBB that is lighter (like a nude or pink-for me this is MAC Hug Me/Patisserie), and a fun/fancy lipstick that makes you feel put together and happy whatever color that may be (for me this is anything orange). This obviously only applies to people who like and wear MLBB shades and fun colors

Such a tough question. My three recommendations would be:
1) MAC’s Glamor Era ( Neutral shade)
2) Milani’s Uptown Mauve ( Purple / Berry shade)
3) MAC’s Ruby Woo ( Red shade)

I would suggest shades according to my liking n skin tone ….
I was afraid of UD Anarchy but now it drastically changed my life …. so yaaaa UD Anarchy would be first choice for me
second would be … A neutral toned plum shade lipstick like Mac craving πŸ™‚
and last but not the least a Red like Giorgio armani no 400 …. in any form
lip maestro or rouge d armani or gloss d armani
I find that RED to be perfect πŸ™‚

as I loveeeeeeeeeeeeee oranges I would want to add 4th shade

ysl no 8 glossy stain πŸ™‚ its beyond excellence

I’d say there are two necessities and from then on it’s how you want to build your collection.

A red in a classic formula with fancy packaging – something that makes you feel like an empress when you put it on.

A tinted balm that just adds a bit of warmth and brightness to your face in a formula that’s fantastic for your lips.

Damn, I want a make-me-feel-like-an-empress packaging for me red lipstick! So fancy! I guess I’ll have to go out and hunt for the perfect matte blue or neutral red with beautiful packaging, sigh.

You might want to check out Poppy King’s Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope line. There are a couple of reds, a dark, a nude, etc. + they definitely fit the Empress packaging criterion.

I second that. I have two I love. A friend bought the nude for herself and can’t wear it. Even though I dislike nudes, I can, so I wear it as the most gorgeous tinted lipbalm.

Revlon Fire and Ice, Urban Decay Venom and Revlon Peach Parfait.

I’d allow substitutes of Bloom Tangerine for Peach Parfait and Estee Lauder Rich Red for Fire and Ice πŸ˜‰ Maybe MUFE 49 for Venom if you really want to vamp it up!

Mac Syrup (nice nude pink), UD Lovelight (summery coral) and Sephora Rouge Shine in Walk of Fame (a nice shimmery plum for fall/winter).

An everyday shade, probably a glossy rose/brown of any intensity (depending on preference), a beautifully bright fuchsia for confidence because they’re easier to wear than reds, and a pretty coral when you want to look made up but not too much either.

I’m such a lipstick junkie so it’s hard to pick 3 lipsticks but I can do 3 shades instead. Every woman needs a nice pink, red and nude lipstick. All 3 are great for all occasions

A power red. MAC Red is a cool red which I think would flatter most tones.
A flesh tone in a glossy finish. Some matte flesh tones do not flatter darker skin tones. I like Pink Truffle by Revlon. For more coverage, I like NYX Tea Rose. I am a MAC NC50.

I love this question! I can tell I’m going to spend forever looking up swatches of everyone’s favorites.

Nude: Tarte Amazonian Lip Butter in Angelic Nude. The only nude that doesn’t make me look dead (I’m very pale.)
Bright/fuchshia: Buxom’s Exhibitionist
Everyday/pink: MAC’s Lovelorn

when i talk to women who aren’t really “into” makeup, i find they usually only have one lipstick or gloss and stick with it. if someone wants to get into wearing more shades, i would recommend a red (rouge d’armani 400), a medium pink, and a subtle coral. if they are on the adventurous side-add a deep, vampy shade (like kevyn aucoin bloodroses or armani 403 or 609), a purple (like dior mauve mysterie), and either a fushia or orange-red (there are sooo many good ones to choose from).

like most people have said, i think everyone should have some sort of mlbb/nude like tans, browns, and plummy pinks; a red; and some bright or vampy lipstick like pink, purple, or dark red.

my choices:
mlbb: mac captive, urban decay rapture
red: mac russian red, besame cherry red, mac ruby woo
other: mac heroine, besame noir red, ysl rouge volupte 11, mac diva

I agree with the MLBB shade and an uplifting red, but instead of a bright color which might not be for everyone, I’d recommend a nice nude. The particular shade I’d recommend would depend on the person’s skin tone. My red is Stila Liquid Lip Color in Fiery or Beso, my MLBB color is Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Vintage Pink or E.L.F. Moisturizing Lipstick Rosy Raisin, and my fave nude is probably MAC Angel. I LOVE MY LOUD PINKS SO HARD THOUGH! *faints*

I think skin tone plays a big role in choosing specific shades, not to mention taste, but I think everyone should own a rich red, a MLBB nude, and a pink lipstick. I’d personally swap out the pink lipstick for a vampier shade, but I get that most people probably go for a more relaxed look in day to day life. πŸ˜›

A nude lipstick (I love Clinique Heaping Hazelnut), a color that makes her/him feel sexy (red or berry can be THAT color for some, mine is Sephora Berry Nectar) and a fun color that makes them feel unique (I, for example, love purples, and MAC Heroine is that color for me).

Wow, there are some truly great shades/formulas listed here. These are my choices…

MLBB – Yes, I agree that everyone needs at least one shade that enhances your natural lip shade, but goes with everything. Mine is Dior Addict Rose Deshabille.

Red/Deep Pink – Depending on your undertone, a classic red or a deep pink to make you feel oh-so-polished and give you a little confidence booster. MAC RiRi Woo and Lancome Absolute Rouge are my favorite true reds and Dior Addict Extreme in Lucky is my go-to deep pink and probably my most-complimented lipstick.

Nude – Probably the most difficult of all to find in a truly flattering shade (especially if you are very fair), so you may need to branch out into “almost nude” shades. Bite Beauty Retsina and Urban Decay Naked are my picks here.

Great question and I can’t wait to read more suggestions!

Oooh nice question! A nude that doesn’t make you look dead (on me that’s MAC’s creme in your coffee), a neutral pink ( like Chanel’s La Raffinnee!), a bold but not in your face red (like Nar’s Mascate!) πŸ™‚ This question has made me realise I need much more than just 3 kinds bahaha.

I can’t name three at the moment but I will name ONE, MAC Viva Glam I, without a doubt the BEST RED LIPSTICK! I’ve been using this for years, LOVE IT!

I love this question, and I have no idea what anyone else has suggested, but my guess is everyone might agree with a nice nude lipstick to start with. Next would be a matte fuchsia, rose or deep mauve, followed by a red gloss. Could be wrong, but those are my picks. πŸ™‚

What a hard question! I had to think a lot, and I can just answer with the three’d I like for myself. As I look horrid (horrider than usual) in a nude, I decided to skip nudes.
I’d take a classic red, like Ruby Woo or Russian Red or MAC Red, all form MAC. A purple or purple-pinky one like Heroine or MUFE 15 or MAC Up the Amp and bright orangey red like Lady Danger, again from MAC
OK, so this turned out to be a lot more than three, sorry but it’s really difficult to chose so few.
Maybe I should join, or start Makeup Anonymous!

I think everyone should have a gorgeous nude: MAC Ruby Woo or MAC Russian Red.
Then an everyday nude: Urban Decay Naked or Milani Naturally Chic
Plus a bold color, that makes you confident, that for me is a vampy color but it can be a bright one: MAC Diva or Rebel or even Kat Von D. liquid lipstick in Bauhau5 (this one is fabulous)

Mine would all be pinks! Can’t believe Pink Nouveau by MAC hasn’t been mentioned yet! That’s one of my go to pinks!

I like to keep a toned down pink too, Angel or Creamcup by Mac and then a super bright pink like Stila Stay All Day Vinyl Lipgloss in Hot Pink Vinyl.

Kat Von D’s Carnation is also a favorite to mix with others for a bright pink but obviously these wouldn’t be everyone’s pick! πŸ™‚

Love seeing all the red recommendations! Still trying to find the perfect red!

Personal brands for me:

Natural, wearable everyday nude: Rimmel “Nude Delight”

A bold red: Revlon’s “Volcano Red”

And either a bright peach or pink that can be combined with the nude shade: MUFE #39

Everyone: Nude per her undertone, MLBB, red per her undertone.

Let me say that in no way resembles my stash. I have very few pinks, absolutely no pinky corals or warm pinks. They look pretty dreadful. My stash is heavy outside the midrange. Nudes: LQ Saint Nude, Nars Last Tango, Cruising for pinky-nude, Tarte Exposed. Hot reds + red-oranges: Bite Clementine, Nars Heat Wave, Chanel Infrarouge (d/c’d way old). Cool Reds: Ruby Woo, Nars Mascate (it’s cool on me, anyway,) Vamps Nars Train Bleu, Times Square, and Deep Reds Nars Fire Down Below, 413 Blkr, etc. and the off-beat,too. My MLBBs are Bite Rhubarb + Nars Dolce Vita.

I feel pretty confident saying MAC Ruby Woo should be in everyone’s arsenal. Then a neutral (mine is MAC Twig in winter and Cosmo in summer), and a sheer frost or shimmer — I like L’Oreal Mica — to go over either of the basics to change their shade/finish.

I always wear a very neutral shade. I have a gap between my front teeth, (not a huge one) that I am very self-conscious about. The last thing want to do is draw attention to it so I stay away from colors.

I am NC30, asian and have yellow skin tone. Currently I only have two as my go to lipstick, that would be :
1. Mac Russian Red (red lipstick)
2. Mac Half & Half (your lips but better)

Need to have more πŸ™

Because nude and red are not colors that every woman should wear instead I choose MLBB and a power color which is whatever makes you feel confident and look in charge. The other should be a bright or special occasion your choice. For a lot of women that power red or the nude may overlap here and for that reason I’d love to have instead of three lipsticks a primary OCC Lip Tar pack which would give me a range of colors and shades I could live with.

I am of the opinion/obsession that one can never have too many lipsticks so I can’t even begin to narrow it to three. I think the one about the my lips but better is a MUST and then a perfect coral and a perfect pink. I am a bit too old to wear the deep reds anymore but they ARE beautiful! Sigh…

A nude/more beige MLBB (mine’s NARS Bilbao) for days when your eyes are the focus, or work days. A pink or peach shade for lighter makeup days (mine is MAC Charismatic). A statement lip colour (mine is MAC Lady Danger).

for me personally, i need a neutral, a red, and a dark. i like MAC “syrup”, “russian red” and “cyber” as my holy grail go to lipsticks. if i had to choose three for the rest of my life, i think that’d be it. chanel makes some amazing reds as well.

i would love an original formula chanel vamp. i wore that for about 7 years with smudgy eyeliner. (hands up if you were the lone “goth” in your catholic school)

I’ll give some MAC examples, cause they’re not too expensive and are easy to find:
1) Everyday color: MAC Sheen Supreme in Impressive
2) One of the most beautiful reds: MAC Retro Matte Ruby Woo
3) Something for fun – a bright pink, coral or vampy shade: Candy yum-yum, Rebel, Morange, Cyber, Heroine… Just something more “unusual”
πŸ™‚

A great skin tone nude, which can range from the beigeist (my own word) to the brownest (Riri hearts Mac nude fall release is mine) A great vampy color, be it a red or a dark purple (love love love NARS train bleu), And finally, a nice pink tone (currently loving MAC’s creme cup).

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