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Pink is a classic lip color that looks good on everyone. Light and medium pink shades are the perfect picks for everyday wear, as they give your lips that “YLBB” (your lips but better) look. But pink doesn’t always have to be on the subtle side. You can also go bold with a hot, bright, or neon pink for days when you really want to stand out from the crowd. That’s why we wouldn’t be surprised if you keep more than one pink lipstick in your makeup bag.
Beyond choosing between shades of pink, there’s also the formula to consider. These days, you’ve got quite a few to select from, including liquid lipstick for serious staying power, cream lipstick for a work-appropriate look, matte lipstick for a totally on-trend appearance and more.
Here are our picks of the best pink lipsticks across the spectrum.
Best Overall: Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Disobedient
This lipstick formula receives top honors from us for a variety of reasons. It applies smoothly—no dragging or skipping—and feels like you’re not wearing anything on your lips, all the while delivering an incredible color payoff. Plus, the formula is hydrating, thanks to ingredients like aloe vera, and jojoba and avocado oils. Disobedient is a gorgeous medium pink cream shade with a satin finish, which you can layer for more intensity.
Best Budget: Covergirl Exhibitionist Cream Lipstick in Bombshell Pink
You don’t have to break the bank for a quality pink lipstick. In fact, you don’t even have to spend $10. This budget-friendly pick performs just as well as its more expensive counterparts. Customers rave about the rich and smooth formula, which is loaded with hydrating ingredients like coconut oil and aloe vera. Bombshell Pink lives up to its name—it’s an eye-catching cool-toned fuchsia hue that would look gorgeous when paired with a LBD.
Best Drugstore: Maybelline Color Sensational Made for All Lipstick in Pink for Me
Maybelline sought out to create a pink lipstick that flatters all by testing shades on 50 different skin tones. They succeeded with Pink for Me, a medium rosy mauve color that has slightly warm undertones. It’s muted, making it the ideal workday lipstick, and the creamy formula contains honey nectar to ensure the product applies smoothly and doesn’t dry out your lips.
Best Splurge: Tom Ford Lip Color in Empire
Sure, shelling out more than $50 for a lipstick may feel steep, but trust us when we say that Empire from Tom Ford’s luxe lineup of lip colors is totally worth it—the slightly coral-tinged warm pink makes the lips totally pop. Not only is the formula long-wearing, but it's infused with soja seed extract, Brazilian murumuru butter, and chamomilla flower oil create the dreamiest creamy texture that keeps your pout hydrated all day long. Plus, the packaging is so sleek and pretty, you’ll want to keep it out of your purse and on display.
Best for Light Skin: Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture The Slim Matte Lipstick in Rose Curieux
When it comes to choosing the right shade of pink for your skin tone, celebrity makeup artist Janice Daoud suggests those with fairer skin opt for brighter, reddish pinks. One fool-proof option we love is this electric pink from YSL, which reads almost red and features an innovative square bullet shape to allow for a more precise application. The long-wear formula is highly pigmented and feels incredibly light and comfortable on the lips, despite its matte finish.
Best for Medium Skin: Uoma Beauty Badass Icon Matte Lipstick in Whitney
Daoud recommends warm orange pinks for flattering medium skin tones, and this slightly coral hot pink from Uoma Beauty does just the trick. It glides on silky smooth to deliver vibrant, matte pigment in just one swipe. Plus, its formula is infused with wild mango butter to keep your lips hydrated and soft.
Best for Dark Skin: Haus Laboratories Le Monster Matte Lip Crayon in Hot Rod
Go big or go home with this neon lip crayon from Lady Gaga's Haus Laboratories. Hot Rod is a cool fuchsia with blue undertones, which means it will not only make your lips pop, but it’ll help your teeth look whiter and brighter too. While this electrifying shade is a bold choice for all skin tones, Daoud mentions that bright fuchsias like this one are especially flattering on deeper skin tones.
Best Long-Lasting: Nars Lipstick in Schiap
This shade is a cult favorite among beauty aficionados—in fact, Daoud counts this as one of her all-time favorite pinks for its ability to look great on all skin tones—and we have to admit we’re totally smitten with it ourselves. For starters, the long-wear formula delivers incredible color payoff and leaves lips feeling soft thanks to a blend of moringa oil and passion fruit seed oil. Now about that color: Schiap is a fuchsia-pink with a semi-matte finish that lasts for hours and would pair perfectly with an all-black ensemble in the winter or colorful garb in the summer.
Best Matte: Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick in Polaroid Pink
Anything that makeup legend Pat McGrath creates is pure gold, and this cult-favorite matte lipstick is a prime example. The richly-pigmented formula is miraculously lightweight, leaving behind a pillowy soft finish that never feels dry or chalky. While the full offering includes a number of pink and pink-tinged hues, our favorite would have to be Polaroid Pink: a soft, baby pink with blue undertones.
Best Liquid: Beauty Bakerie Matte Lip Whip in Versailles
Liquid lipsticks have a reputation for being long-lasting, but we’re convinced that Beauty Bakerie’s Matte Lip Whips would survive the apocalypse. The smudge-proof and waterproof formula stays put all day long—even after downing a greasy meal—and more importantly, it never ends up feeling dry or cakey. Versailles is a pretty berry-sienna that’s subtle, making for a great everyday neutral pink that'll last you from AM to PM.
Best Gloss: NYX Butter Gloss Non-Sticky Lip Gloss in Éclair
There’s a reason one of these glosses from NYX sells every 15 seconds—the buttery-smooth, non-sticky formula stays put all day and works hard to keep the lips nourished and conditioned. The extensive 24-shade offering includes a number of pinks ranging from pastels to fuchsias, but we’re especially fond of Éclair, a true light pink that's flattering on just about everyone. Just keep in mind that while these glosses are high shine, their color payoff is on the sheerer side.
Best Cream: Smashbox Be Legendary Prime & Plush Lipstick in Literal Queen
This super creamy lipstick from Smashbox glides on like a dream thanks to its built-in primer, while the peptides and ceramides in the formula help to keep your lips smooth, soft, and supple. We’re big fans of Literal Queen, a soft, warm pink that’s on the neutral side, making for a flattering everyday shade that’s not too in-your-face.
Best Stain: Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in Dare to Be Pink
This lip stain goes on smoothly with a creamy texture but magically dries down to a silky stain. While lip stains often get a rep for being drying, that’s not the case with this one. That’s because the formula is chock full of avocado oil, which moisturizes lips, preventing dryness and stickiness. Dare to Be Pink is a flattering-to-all medium pink with a matte finish.
Best Pastel: MAC Lipstick Cream in Saint Germain
Who says pastels have to be reserved for spring? We’re here to tell you pastel pink can be worn year-round—if you find the right lipstick. Saint Germain is just right: It veers slightly purple for a fashion-forward look. "This shade is great for everyday wear since it's a softer color," adds Daoud, who counts this shade as one of her favorites. Plus, MAC’s cream formula is nourishing, with ingredients like beeswax and jojoba seed oil. Reviewers note the lipstick’s creamy texture, consistent color application, and long-lasting wear.
Best Bright: Bite Beauty Outburst Longwear Lip Stain
On days you want your lips to really pop, it’s time to turn your attention to bright pink lipstick, like this one. Bite Beauty’s formula is one of our go-to's because it comes in so many high-impact shades, and is infused with vitamins and omega oils that keep lips looking young and smooth. Strawberry Frozé is a shockingly bright, cool-toned fuchsia that has a creamy texture and long-lasting finish.
Best Sheer: Gucci Rouge à Lèvres Voile Sheer Lipstick in 406 Millicent Rose
On the days we're aiming for a subtler look, we turn to Gucci’s Rouge à Lèvres Voile range of lipsticks. Great for when we just want a *hint* of hydrating color—think of these as a tinted lip balm, but better—these leave the lips with a soft and shiny wash of color. Our favorite shade is Millicent Rose, a medium rosy pink with cool undertones that, because it’s so sheer, flatters all skin tones.
It’s tough to pick favorites here, but we’d have to go with Urban Decay’s Vice Lipstick in Disobedient as our number one pick. This gorgeous medium pink is creamy, buildable, and super flattering on everyone—plus, it’s infused with aloe and hydrating oils that keep the lips soft and smooth. Next up is Pat McGrath Lab’s MatteTrance Lipstick in Polaroid Pink, the perfect matte baby pink. It has excellent color payoff and leaves behind the softest finish without ever drying out the lips. And finally, you just can’t go wrong with Covergirl’s Exhibitionist Lipstick Cream in Bombshell Pink. This cool-toned fuchsia makes a serious statement has a beautifully smooth, hydrating formula—all for under $10.
What to Look for in a Pink Lipstick
Keep Undertones in Mind
Not all shades of pink will work for everyone, so Daoud recommends paying attention to undertones. “Knowing your undertone is important, as well as the undertone of the lipstick,” she says. “For instance, if you’re a cooler undertone, you’ll want to choose a pink with a blue undertone.” Those with warm undertones will find a better match with fuchsias and pinks that read slightly red or orange, while those with neutral undertones can get away with almost any shade.
Choose Based On Your Skin Tone
While undertones play an important role in finding the perfect pink, Daoud also recommends basing your decision on your skin tone—especially when it comes to bolder hues. “Deeper skin tones look best with brighter fuchsia shades of pink, while medium skin tones look great with warmer orange-pinks,” she says. “Lighter skin tones look best in brighter reddish pinks."
Pay Attention to Pigment Payoff and Finish
While this rule can apply to any color family, it’s important to keep a lipstick’s pigment payoff and finish in mind when shopping for your perfect match. For example, if you’re not sure if a particular shade will work for your skin tone and undertone, know that a sheer finish has the potential to be more universally flattering than a bold, pigmented matte.
Meet the Expert
Janice Daoud is a Los Angeles-based makeup artist whose celebrity clientele includes Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, and Demi Lovato. You can find her work on various red carpets and in leading publications and campaigns.