Figuring out how to pare down a list of the best lipstick brands is a tall order—one I painstakingly had to accomplish as part of my job responsibilities. If it was up to me, I wouldn't be able to do it. You'd find me carefully applying hundreds of lipsticks for the rest of my days. Lipstick is as precious to a self-identified "beauty girl" as golf vacations are to our former president. But alas, here we are.
I reached out to the rest of the editors at Byrdie HQ for their favorite and threw in a few of my own. Below find the offerings that made the cut.
Rodin Olio Lusso
"These luxurious lipsticks might as well double as décor—they're just that beautiful. I love that the lipsticks are housed in clear plastic bullets so you can see the core of the exact shade of the lipstick right off the bat. The actual formula itself is extremely pigmented and creamy. You can do one swipe for a semi-sheer effect or build it for intensity. Plus, the best part: Each lipstick smells like fresh roses." — Faith Xue, executive beauty director at BDG, former Byrdie editorial director
"I've waxed poetic about Charlotte's lipsticks many times, and for good reason. The shades are all super flattering on a wide array of skin tones, and she's the queen of creating the perfect pinky-nudes, reds, and berry shades. I think I own every single one of her matte revolution lipsticks for the formula (velvety-matte without ever being drying) and shade selection." — Faith Xue, executive beauty director at BDG, former Byrdie editorial director
Organic Skin Co
"Though it's more of a lip tint than a full-on lipstick, I'm going to call it as such since the pigment is honestly prettier and longer-lasting than the majority of lipsticks I try—especially organic ones. This adorable pot is my newest obsession, which I discovered courtesy of Jillian Wright, the co-founder of the Indie Beauty Expo. I use the shade Lush on both my lips and cheeks and love that it's multipurpose. For a cream formula (which I normally find to be tacky, hard to blend, and overall underwhelming), it exceeds all expectations. Plus, it's noncomedogenic (it has castor oil versus coconut) and contains other glow-enhancing ingredients like rosemary, calendula, and pomegranate extracts." — Erin Jahns, senior beauty editor at Who What Wear, former associate editor at Byrdie
"I'm loving Kosås, this plant-based brand with gorgeous pigmentation. All the lipstick shades are formulated to not only complement but really enhance your natural skin tone, so they're super flattering. (This is coming from someone who categorically hates lipstick.) I specifically love the warm reds, which have a cool '70s vibe. The best part: When the color fades, it leaves behind a gorgeous stain." — Victoria Hoff, head of content at Medly, former managing editor at Byrdie
"After a makeup artist sang the praises of Kosås Lipstick in Rosewater, describing it as a 'soft but still present tone,' I knew I needed it right away. I was never a big fan of lipstick, so the idea of a subtly beautifying color intrigued me (bold shades tend to look too costumey on me). As soon as Rosewater arrived in the mail and I swiped on the creamy, 'your lips but better' shade, I've deemed it my new favorite and always keep one at my desk, one in my bathroom vanity, and one in my bag." — Lindsey Metrus, director of commerce at People and Entertainment Weekly
"I really tried to branch out recently regarding my lipstick choices. But I can't ever quit Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil—especially in Mysterious Red. It's the perfect formula because it stays put, looks velvety matte, but allows for a little bit of creaminess to keep your lips moisturized. I've gone entire nights without having to reapply. What can I say, I'm a Nars girl." — Hallie Gould, editorial director
"This portable little guy is an ultra-moisturizing lip balm but with super-rich color and a glossy gel shine. It's amazing to pop over a matte lipstick or to glide on by itself for pigmented color without the annoying drying, bleeding, or fading effects." — Hallie Gould, editorial director
Pat McGrath Labs
"Pat McGrath may as well be a chemist for her namesake brand's expert formulations. For every product that comes out, our minds are blown and our faces adorned. Such was the case with the launch of her MatteTrance Lipsticks, a richly pigmented product with a creamy, opaque matte texture. You can apply it straight from the bullet or warm in on your fingers first and pat it on (that's what Pat did when she put it on me and I subsequently died a makeup ecstasy–related death)." — Hallie Gould, editorial director