Google the best lipsticks to wear on a date and/or for making out, and the articles that come up will all offer suggestions for long-lasting lipsticks that won't rub off on your kissing buddy or red lipsticks since a number of studies have shown that wearing red subtly makes women more attractive. Here's the problem, though: In my experience (both with lip products and with kissing), staying power and red color are not what make a good makeout lipstick. Instead, you want just the opposite. Hear me out: When there's a probable-to-definite chance you're going to be lip-locking with someone, you want a lipstick that enhances the natural color and shape of your lips as if it's not even there (aka won't scare someone away from kissing you) and then comes off in a natural, unnoticeable way so it doesn't end up looking patchy or smeared.
Bottom line: You can go nuts with your eye makeup on a date, but there is a delicate and specific art to what to wear on your lips. The best lipsticks for kissing are ones that look subtle and pretty and rub off seamlessly. If you want to know what those are, don't look anywhere else, because the following 12 lipsticks are the perfect ones for making out, as tried and tested by Byrdie editors themselves.
Kosås's super-flattering semi-matte lipsticks are truly buildable, so you can layer on a sheer amount for a subtle pop of color or a little more, depending on the vibe you're going for. The natural formula is made with good-for-you ingredients rose hip, green team, and grape-seed oils; plus, they're free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.
Kind of the perfect date-night lipstick in every way, Burt's Bees' formula is made with moringa oil, vitamin E, and its signature beeswax for a hydrating, sheer dose of color that makes the lips look naturally bitten and plump.
The lip product I reach for the most when I know I'm probably (definitely) going to be kissing someone is Sisley's expensive-but-worth-it tinted lip balm in the sheer pinky-nude shade Nut. You will straight-up not find a lip color that's more moisturizing, plumping, or fades more seamlessly.
Glossier's Generation G is pretty much the only lipstick our wellness editor Victoria Hoff will wear on a date. The warm nude shade Cake looks barely there in the best way possible, and the formula is demi-matte but moisturizing and doesn't easily smudge.
One of Team Byrdie's favorite nude lipsticks comes in the form of this hydrating crayon, which is so soft and silky your date will have a hard time not wanting to put their mouth all over it. (Too much? Or just enough…)
Another of my personal go-to lip colors on date night is Dior's impossibly moisturizing Addict Lacquer Stick in the milk-chocolate shade Poisonous. Few lipsticks feel this silky and comfortable on the lips for hours on end. Also, what I like about this particular color is that even though it's highly pigmented, it's also maybe only two shades darker than my natural lips, so it's not too scary.
Another hydrating, pretty, and natural-looking shade, Tatcha's buildable pink lip shade has never done me wrong on a date. The formula never looks cakey or patchy even after hours of wear, and the color is so subtle (but flattering) that you could smear all over someone and they wouldn't even really notice.
Even the biggest matte lipstick haters would dig Urban Decay's new "lip mousse," which, according to Byrdie senior editor Hallie Gould, "genuinely feels light as air—like you're wearing nothing at all—and hugs every contour of your lips. It ends up looking kind of like a stain but still pigmented and even. It's perfect."
Byrdie's editorial director, Faith Xue, and I both swear by Charlotte Tilbury's Matte Revolution formula, which is incidentally the product I also recommend for every bride-to-be asking about wedding makeup. (On a first date, it works just as well.) As Xue wrote in a rave review, the product "applies smooth as silk and leaves a soft, velvet finish. Never drying or flake-inducing, it feels a bit like swathing your lips in a thin cashmere shawl; one that you can apply without a mirror—yes, truly—as you're running out the door."
This is the one lipstick on this list that totally breaks my rules because it's a loud color, but Hallie swears is still works for making out. (Great news for those who love wearing vibrant lip shades.) "Nars Heat Wave is a bold color but somehow it fades so nicely without having to reapply," she told me. "I kind of don't get it, but it's good for kissing."
Hallie says this is one of her fave makeup products of the summer, especially for dates. "The formula is matte but moisturizing and allows for that whole barely there Popsicle-stain thing," she says. "The formula is 77% water-based, buildable, customizable, and fade-proof."
This is another one of Faith's go-tos for dates. The product "promises all the benefits of a lip tint with a luminous finish and long-lasting wear," she says. "We tried every shade and are especially obsessed with Natural Rosewood, which left our lips with a flattering rosy tint through lunch, sans dryness. Your lips will love this—trust us."
Do you have a favorite lipstick for making out? DM us your product recommendations on IG @byrdiebeauty!