Makeup Artists Swear By These 9 Universally Flattering Lipsticks

Updated 10/07/17

A universally flattering beauty product is a rare find—which is why it usually grows to cult status once it’s discovered (see Nars’s Orgasm, Essie’s Ballet Slippers, and Benefit’s High Beam). A universally flattering lipstick, however, is almost unheard of—the proverbial “one size fits all” mentality simply doesn’t apply when the slightest change in shade can take you from bold to garish in one fell swoop. But—never ones to accept the status quo—we knew these fabled products must exist somewhere out there in the universe. And who better to reveal them to us than those who work with clients of all skin tones, all the time? Ahead, you’ll find nine lipstick shades that top celebrity makeup artists use on all their clients, from Rita Ora to Abbey Lee Kershaw. Keep scrolling to see them all!

Elizabeth Arden Lipstick in Neoclassical Coral $25
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Makeup artist: Mai Quynh

Social: @storyofmailife

Clients: Emmy Rossum, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Taylor Schilling

Her pick: Elizabeth Arden Lipstick ($25) Neoclassical Coral

“I find that picking one shade of lipstick for every skin tone can be tough. So, I really had to think what would look pretty and show up on a fair complexion as well as a dark complexion without washing them out or being too subtle. I finally decided on Elizabeth Arden Lipstick in Neoclassical Coral. I find that the warm red undertone brightens up every complexion and makes anyone look modern and chic. I used this color recently on Jessica Paré for the screening of the final episode of Mad Men!”

Lipstick Queen Saint Lipstick in Natural $22
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Makeup artist: Daniel Martin

Social: @DMartNYC

Clients: Elizabeth Moss, Mindy Kaling, Julianne Moore

His pick: Lipstick Queen Saint Lipstick in Natural ($22 )

“Think of this color as an amplified version of your natural lip shade, a pinky-brown with depth. This shade looks great on every skin tone and is the perfect barely-there lip color for a slept-in smoky eye, too. Sexy and pouty at its best!”

MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo $16
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Makeup artist: Jo Baker

Social: @missjobaker

Clients: Salma Hayek, Nicola Peltz, Emily Ratajkowski

Her pick: MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo ( $16 )

“A lipstick that never leaves my kit is MAC’s Ruby Woo. It’s a cult fave, and every person on the planet must have it if you have the desire for attention in the most flattering form. This classic, true red has slightly blue undertones and brightens up every complexion, from pale redheads with freckles to the darkest of skin tones. The matte texture means it stays put and lasts without smearing for hours!” 

Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro in 400 $34
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Makeup artist: Carola Gonzalez

Social: @CarolaGMakeup

Clients: Kerry Washington, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jaime King

Her pick: Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro in 400 ( $34 )

“My favorite universal lipstick is Giorgio Armani’s Lip Maestro in 400. I've used it on all my clients and have a personal one for myself in my kit. It's not too bright or too opaque; it's the perfect shade of red for every skin tone. It instantly brightens the face. You truly can't go wrong with this one!”

Tom Ford Matte Lipstick in Ruby Red $50
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Makeup artist: Kathy Jeung

Social: @KathyJeung

Clients: Rita Ora, Pink, Nicole Scherzinger

Her pick: Tom Ford Matte Lipstick in Ruby Red ($50 )

“I love this perfect shade of red. It’s a true red—not too orange and not too blue. I’ve used this lip color on Abbey Lee Kershaw, Kate Upton, Rita Ora, and Nicole Scherzinger, and they all love the matte yet creamy formulation that gives a modern feel to a bright lip look. I discovered it when I heard Tom Ford came out with a matte lipstick range, and being a huge fan of the products, I rushed excitedly to see what the red color in the line would be. It didn’t disappoint! It’s now one of my go-to favorites!”

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Stoned Rose $32
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Makeup artist: Kirin Bhatty

Social: @kirinstagram

Clients: Abigail Spencer, Kiernan Shipka, Freida Pinto

Her pick: Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Stoned Rose ( $32 )

“The one lipstick I cannot live without is Charlotte Tilbury’s Lipstick in Stoned Rose. It’s the perfect nude-y rose and looks good on almost everyone! It's always on hand, and it’s one of the only lipsticks I use until I’ve scraped the very last bits out of the container. I’m about to start my third tube, and she hasn’t even been in the States that long!”

Dior Dior Addict Lipstick in Beige Casual $33
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Makeup artist: Ashleigh Louer

Social: @AshleighLouer

Clients: Bella Thorne, Sarah Hyland, Zoë Kravitz

Her pick: Dior Dior Addict Lipstick in Beige Casual( $33 )

“My favorite universally flattering lipstick go-to is definitely Dior Addict in Beige Casual 222. It’s the perfect sheer, hydrating natural nude that enhances your natural lip color. Everyone I put it on asks what it is! I recently used it on Dylan Penn for her Just Jared Spotlight shoot, and I love how subtle it is while still making her lips look plump and gorgeous.”

Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in Passion $36
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Makeup artist: Min Min Ma

Social: @MinMinMaDotCom

Clients: Zosia Mamet, Hailee Steinfeld, Lauren Santo Domingo

Her pick: Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in Passion ($36)

“One of my go-to lipsticks is the Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in Passion. The name says it all—an intense, creamy red shade that’s classy and sexy all at the same time. I used it on Lauren Santo Domingo for the 2015 Met Gala.”

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Penelope Pink $32
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Makeup artist: Jillian Dempsey

Social: @JillianDempsey

Clients: Kristen Stewart, Kate Winslet, Kristen Wiig

Her pick: Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Penelope Pink ( $32 )

“My favorite universal lipstick is the Penelope Pink lipstick shade by Charlotte Tilbury. It’s the perfect combination of pink and brown. The pink is really subtle, so it doesn’t give off a Barbie vibe, and the brown balances out the shade. I use it consistently on a lot of my clients.”

Pin the image below for the next time you’re lipstick shopping!

most flattering lipstick

Have you tried any of these shades? What’s your favorite universally flattering lipstick color? Sound off below!

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