You can't deny the satisfaction of snapping a good selfie. The one that makes you do a double take at your own self like, Damn, I look good. Then, you're empowered to share your selfie with the world for all your friends, family members, and strangers on Instagram to see. It's not like you need anyone's approval, but it's nice to indulge in the freedom of sharing your beauty with the world. Cue all the likes and comments, which may or may not give you this euphoric sense of affirmation or love. Either way, a good photo makes you feel good, and the secret to a next-level selfie is a stunning lip shade.
By no means are we supporting the notion that you need makeup to look your best in photos, but a touch of lipstick to enhance your natural features is something we can get behind. Byrdie editors have tested thousands of lipsticks combined, but these are the shades we always reach for when we know there will be photo ops and good lighting, which waits for no one. Keep scrolling for the best lip colors for photos, and selfies of us wearing each shade to prove it.
Editorial Director Faith's Go-Tos
"I applied this lipstick at happy hour last week, and our waitress literally paused halfway through writing down our order and asked me what shade it was. It's the perfect pink with just the slightest hint of warm undertones. I usually apply it without a mirror, and one swipe instantly brightens up my face. On me, it's the perfect my-lips-but-better shade of pink, and the velvety finish is not too matte, not too shiny, while still feeling hydrating. It's such a subtle shade yet I swear every time I wear it, the compliments keep rolling in."
"I thought I had renounced coral lipsticks due to some discovery of unfortunate photos from when I had clearly chosen the wrong shade in my past, but this lipstick from Charlotte Tilbury singlehandedly changed my mind. It's the perfect balance between peach and pink and looks especially good when you have golden undertones. Though, multiple members of the Byrdie edit team swear by it too. It warms up your face for daytime but also pairs well with a sultry smoky eye at night. And like all of Charlotte's Matte Revolution lippies, the texture is perfect and never drying. You can read a more in-depth review of all of the best coral lipsticks I discovered this summer here."
Managing Editor Lindsey's Go-Tos
"I discovered this brand last holiday season and haven't looked back. Its lipstick line is full of creamy, gorgeous shades that flatter every skin tone, and better yet, last much longer than other brands. I'm swearing off liquid lipsticks in favor of more skin-like iterations, as I find them to be too drying, and this formula is the perfect compromise. I love the shade
Rosewater particularly because it's like my natural lip shade but a bit pinker and darker, which is super flattering in photos and in person. I keep one at work, one in my bag, and one in my bathroom. I can never have enough!"
"The entire Nudestix Jetsetter Palette was my go-to honeymoon look. I loved the creamy, bronzy formulas that made the perfect sun-kissed, low-maintenance glow. One of my favorite products is the Lip and Cheek Balm in Posh. It's a soft rose that errs on the side of coral in the sunlight. I love making a few streaks on my lips and then using my finger to blend it in. It makes for the perfect lip stain that looks awesome in photos."
Senior Editor Hallie's Go-Tos
"The genius is in the formula, as Nars lipsticks are enriched with vitamin E to increase their wearability and keep the true color locked in place. The finish is velvety with that elusive siren effect, full-bodied and classic. Yet you can move your lips with it on—no dryness, cracks, or weird-looking fading. The shade is incredibly flattering, brightens up my entire face, and allows for an almost entirely undetectable fade. Reapplying is never a must, which makes life all the easier to enjoy. Heat Wave is my perfect match, the product Clyde to my Bonnie. Even after all these years, it still offers the same unbelievable confidence each time I slick it on and garners even more Instagram likes when I shoot a selfie."
"Sunset Lover is a soft-peach pink perfect for when you're not feeling a bold lip but still want a little something. It's so gorgeous—matte and a little '70s-inspired—and brightens up your skin in seconds flat. It looks warm and sunlit, just like your most-liked selfie, and even moisturizes your lips as it colors them. The formula includes 3D glowing pigments and a blend of oils."
Assistant Editor Maya's Go-Tos
In my mental makeup encyclopedia of things I can't live without, absolutely nothing surpasses red lipstick. Nada. This shade might as well be named Maya—although, I'm fine with it being named Bawse because that's what I aspire to be at all times, of course. However, this is how attached my identity, well-being, happiness, confidence, etc. are to this fiery red. Every single time I wear it, I literally want to blast "Flawless" by Beyoncé because I feel like the world is my runway. It's the boldest, truest red I've ever worn with blue undertones that work best for my dark skin tone. I wear it when I'm going out, to interviews, on dates, to work; it's well-suited for every occasion. Plus, it doesn't move one bit, so I don't ever have to worry about the red transferring everywhere, unlike other reds.
Pat McGrath is makeup's fairy godmother, if you ask me. And to no surprise, she's dreamed up the best matte formula I've ever had the distinguished honor to experience. I've worn this fuchsia shade more times than I can count, and I'm always amazed at how beautifully and comfortably this texture sits on my lips. How can a shade be so matte, creamy, hydrating, and vivid all in one? Who knows? I'm not a magician like Queen McGrath. But I am forever grateful for my match made in heaven thanks to this pink shade, which is simply perfection.
Nude lipsticks and dark skin have a tumultuous history. For years and years, the only "nude" lipsticks available on the market mistakenly had a one-shade-fits-all approach, which completely counted out women of color and the complexities and variables of our undertones. There was a time when nudes would look too tan, pink, chalky, and ashy on dark skin. That's until I found the nude I like to call the love of my life. I've written an entire ode to this caramel-colored lipstick because that's how much it means to me to be able to finally wear a "nude" that works for me. Hallelujah! The heavens above blessed me with this cozy matte finish, which is a touch darker than my natural lip color, so it magically enhances every single photo I snap.