I don't ask for a lot of my lipsticks—I'm not picky between gloss and matte options, can get away with a pretty wide range of hues, and am far less selective about which brands I experiment with than I am with other beauty products. The short reason is because lipstick is far more fun than other products—it can transform a look, even an entire outfit, much more dramatically than almost any other single makeup product. But over the years I've found that some colors work far better than others, and some glosses add hydration while others simply stick to your hair. Read on for our team's favorite shades, brands, and treatments below:
Typical go-to? I'm obsessed with Laura Mercier's Velour Extreme Matte Lipsticks. The sticks are easy to use since they are kind of like a lip liner and lipstick in one—and the colors are so good. 'Cool' is this pastel, peachy shade that's great for summer and 'Dominate' is a bright reddish pink that always gets tons of compliments. I'm also a big fan of the NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment line, particularly 'Light My Fire,' a punchy reddish orange shade that's universally flattering. Once it's on, it stays put forever. Since it goes on in liquid form (though dries completely matte) there's more room for error in the application process, but it's worth the effort since you can literally eat multiple meals without needing to reapply.
Can't pull off? I think everyone has certain shades that are more flattering than others, but it's all about finding the right one within that spectrum. That being said, brick red colors, besides reminding me of the '90s in a not-so-good way, aren't my best look.
Favorite lip treatment? Every night, without fail, I apply a very emollient lip balm before going to bed. It's the most important time to apply product since that means roughly eight hours of uninterrupted (i.e. not eating, drinking, etc) time where it can just sink in. I alternate between Lanolips and Bite, which both deliver serious hydration. I used to just accept that I was one of those people that had perpetually dry lips, but apparently I just wasn't using the right products.
Matte or glossy? Actually both, but differently. When I want color, I want it matte, matte, matte. But recently I've gotten back into glossy lips. Not as intense as the super thick glosses I swore by in college (remember constantly getting your hair stuck on your lips?!), but just a little pop. But when I'm applying gloss, I always keep the shade very natural—something light pink or a touch of nude.
Favorite brand? Laura Mercier, NARS, Tom Ford, Estée Lauder.
Lip stains or lip stick? Depends! If I'm doing a lip stain though, I'll usually just apply a lip balm and then very lightly use a berry lipstick (NARS' 'Vera' works well) that I'll then blot off for barely-there color.
Longest lasting? NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment line. In fact, it's so long lasting, that I recommend using an intense makeup remover at the end of the day when you're taking it off to minimize scrubbing. I just add a touch of Lancome's makeup remover to a cotton pad and swipe it over my lips and it comes right off.
Do you use a lip scrub? Not typically. But if my lips are particularly chapped, which usually only happens in winter months, I'll grab my French Girl pot and do a quick scrub before applying balm.
How long does a tube last you? A while! But not because I don't wear lipsticks often, because it's almost a daily thing for me lately—more about the fact that I'm constantly switching shades.
Lip liner? Nope. I've had makeup artists apply it on me for shoots, but on a daily basis it just is one extra step I'm not willing to take.
Color you'd like to try? A darker berry for fall.
Typical Go-To? I love a stain for daytime (like Olio e Osso's 'No. 2 French Melon' or Kjaer Weiss Lip Tint in 'Rapture') but always dab on a dark berry tint for evening (like MAC's 'Diva' or Glossier Generation G in 'Jam') since the rest of my makeup is minimal.
Can't pull off? I can kind of get away with an orange-tinted lipstick in the summertime when my freckles stand out (remember when that was all J.Crew models wore, and they looked incredible?) but I look like a kid playing dress-up when I wear anything that's even close to light pink.
Favorite lip treatment? I've been using the same lip treatment forever because it's like-magic. It repairs chapped lips overnight because it's way thicker and more emollient than Vaseline, and somehow brings out my lips' natural color, but better. I buy it in bulk through a friend of a friend of my moms (a strangely sketchy chain to go through to have to buy a natural lipgloss...). The closest I've found, that doesn't involve a weirdly long and indirect supply chain, is Lanolips.
Matte or glossy? Matte.
Favorite brand? For lipstick, I prefer all of the bad-for-you ones, like NARS and MAC but I am very open to finding an all-natural brand for lipstick, as opposed to just tints, if anyone has any recommendations!
Lip stains or lipstick? Lip stain for day, lipstick for night.
Longest lasting? NARS. I'm not convinced it isn't made from wall paint.
Do you use a lip scrub? I tried it but I didn't see a huge difference, so no.
How long does a tube last you? Literally forever (Is it gross that I still use the same lipstick I wore to my first prom 12 years ago? Actually just writing that out, I already know the answer...). I've never had a lipstick run out, I think because I blot them on rather than really swiping them on.
Lip liner? If I'm wearing a dark shade for a bold look. But only if it matches the shade exactly!
Color you'd like to try? Can someone please teach me how to do a perfect bright-red lip? (Emily, I'm lookin' at you...)
Typical go-to? Daytime is usually Glossier Generation G in ‘Like’ or Kiehl’s Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 30 in ‘Simply Rose’, and evening is pretty much always Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in ‘Verbena’. (You can find these in my purse).
Can't pull off? Anything really light or dark (nudes, light pinks, deep berries, etc.). I’m really pale and have light blonde hair, so anything too light or too dark makes me look like an alien. I don’t even recognize myself!
Favorite lip treatment? This might be weird, but coconut oil is my favorite lip treatment. It’s cheap and actually tastes pretty good!
Matte or glossy? Usually somewhere in-between. The only truly “matte” lip product I’ve ever fallen in love with is NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ which is an insane hot pink that somehow I can pull off. I got it as a sample and thought I would hate it (I tried it on as a joke), but it totally made me a believer.
Favorite brand? Glossier, NARS, ColourPop, Bite Beauty.
Lip stains or lipstick? Tinted chapstick, ALL THE WAY. (Otherwise, lipstick, blotted at least twice).
Longest lasting? Still working on finding a holy-grail product that’s moisturizing, can be applied without a mirror, and doesn’t come off. Not sure those three things can be combined, but the closest I’ve found is Ciate London Liquid Velvet in 'Pin Up'.
Do you use a lip scrub? Nope.
How long does a tube last you? Basically forever; I’m light-handed with my lip products. I like that “blotted” look.
Lip liner? Nah. Too much effort.
Color you'd like to try? I would love to find the perfect coral. I usually stick to rose, terracotta, and berry.
Typical go-to (for day and evening)? I've mentioned my irrational love of lip products before, and I don't really have a consistent go-to, more like a rotation of go-to's. Lately it's Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine in ‘Boy’ (a great sheer nude for my skin tone), Bite Beauty’s Lip Liner in ‘020’ (my favorite lip liner), and the Fenty Beauty Glossbomb for day, and NARS’ Lipstick in ‘Afghan Red’ (my all time fave) for night.
Can't pull off? Orange lipstick. It's just not my look.
Favorite lip treatment? Every day, I apply lipbalm as the last step of my skincare routine. But I also really like using these jelly lip masks. I'm not sure if they do anything, but I like the process! I usually buy mine super cheap from a beauty store in Koreatown here in L.A.
Matte or glossy? Glossy.
Favorite brand? NARS, Bite Beauty, and Glossier (for their colors, but I really don't like the smell of their lip sticks, anyone else notice this?)
Lip stains or lipstick? Lipstick applied to look like a lipstain. :)
Longest lasting? NARS Afghan Red.
Do you use a lip scrub? Occasionally, but not regularly enough to have a favorite brand.
How long does a tube last you? Depending on if it makes the 'go-to rotation', about 6-8 months.
Lip liner? Yes! I find lipliner helps my lipstick stay longer and bleed outside of my lip line less.
Color you'd like to try? My beauty god, Rihanna, makes me want to try black lipstick.
Typical go-to (for day and evening)? I often don't wear lip color, but I picked up a subtle pink lipstick from Whole Foods a while ago simply because it looked pretty. I'm happy to report that I reach for it every time I feel like wearing lipstick. I find that if I am wearing makeup for an event or special occasion, I like to add a swipe of this lipstick so my lips don't look completely ignored.
Can't pull off? Anything statement-y including red, poppy, orange, bright pink... pretty much anything other than a close match to my actual lip color.
Favorite lip treatment? My daily go-to is Carmex (the original, old school stick) and every night I use Blistex Medex (you know it's good when it comes from a pot!). I also started using Glossier's Balm Dotcom in 'Mint' per Hannah's suggestion, and love it.
Matte or glossy? Glossy.
Favorite brand? To be honest, I don't think I've tried enough to claim a favorite.
Lip stains or lipstick? Lipstick.
Longest lasting? I have yet to find one that lasts me through even one meal. (Suggestions appreciated!)
Do you use a lip scrub? I love the idea of one, but I bought a peppermint one from Acure Organics a couple years ago and never got into the habit of using it. That being said, I use a Clarisonic to wash my face every night and always go over my lips to slough off any dry skin.
How long does a tube last you? I rotate between so many that I have never run out!
Lip liner? Again, I like the idea, but have yet to implement it as an everyday thing.
Color you'd like to try? I'd love to be more creative with lip color, namely trying anything other than a subtle pink.