To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Best lipstick: Power up your pout with the best lipsticks, from £3.50 to £26.50

Looking to plump, smooth or make your lips pop? Here are our favourite lipsticks for all skin tones, at prices to suit all purses

To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Lipstick is the magic wand of makeup. A quick application in front of a mirror can give you an instant injection of glamour – moving attention away from tired eyes, making thin lips look plumper, and even making your teeth look whiter.  It always fits, and it costs far less than a new pair of shoes.

However, with so many formulas, textures and shades on the market it’s hard to know which to pick – especially when you weigh in your personal skin tone, application preference and the kind of statement you want to make. That’s why we’ve put together this handy list of the best lipsticks ever, with options ranging from matte to shiny finishes, in liquid, cream and pencil form. Read on to find out how to find a colour to suit, how to apply it and make it last – and discover the perfect lipstick for you.

How to buy the best lipstick for you

What’s your undertone?

Whether you’re picking a lipstick from the nude family, a classic red or a bright statement shade, it’s important to think about undertones. Cool reds, for example, tend to have a pink or blue undertone, while warm shades tend more towards orange hues.

There are several ways to work out which is right for you. If the veins on the inside of your wrist are blue, for example, then you have cool undertones, whereas if they look more green then you have warm skin. Think about whether you suit gold or silver jewelry best; gold tends to suit warm skin, and silver cooler tones. Finally, look at your natural hair colour at the roots. If it’s ashy you’re cool; if it’s more golden you’re warm. If your results are mixed, then you’re neutral, which means you’re very lucky as any shade will suit you. Once you’ve established your own undertones, look for the same in lipsticks: if it’s not immediately obvious, swatch the lipstick on a piece of white paper so you can see it clearly.

Try it out

Before testing a lipstick, first apply a little concealer where needed and a hint of blush. If you’re trying it on in a shop, go and stand near a window: the overhead lighting can be overly warm, and you might get a nasty shock when you brave the outside world in your new lippie.

You don’t need to actually apply the lipstick (imagine the germs!) – just hold the bullet up to your mouth and look at your skin. If you look healthy and radiant, it’s the right shade for you. If you look a bit drained or red, it’s not. If you can’t check the shades out in the flesh – perhaps you’re shopping online – start with a sheer formula. You’ll be able to judge if it’s the correct tone, and you can layer with other lipsticks if it’s not perfect.

Make it last

When applying lipstick, start in the middle of your bottom lip straight from the bullet, as that’s where you want the most intense colour. Work out from there, leaving the lip line; use a lip brush to carefully spread the colour out, or if you have a lip pencil in a similar shade you can use this to create a clean, precise line. This also minimises the chance of bleeding. Blot and reapply two or three times for extra long-lasting colour.

READ NEXT: Best foundation

The best lipsticks to buy in 2018

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl: Best matte red

Price: £21

Matte shades are the brightest, boldest way to wear red, and this great all-rounder won’t disappoint. The creamy-feel crayon suits all skin tones, and will survive a full night out on the tiles. Prep lips with a balm to anchor the colour and prevent flaking.

Buy it now from SpaceNK

NYX High Voltage Lipstick in Hollywood: Sexiest glossy red

Price: £5.50

The ultimate high-shine red for cooler skin – and a total bargain, too. Non-drying, long-lasting and easy to apply, it’s sophistication in a tube!

Buy it now from Fragrance Direct

Revlon® ColorBurst™ Lacquer Balm in Enticing: Best red for dry lips

Price: £8

If you suffer from dry lips, this juicy balm moisturises with shea, mango and coconut butters. There’s no compromise on colour either, a warm, super-punchy red with a high shine lacquer finish.

Buy it now from Boots

Urban Decay VICE Lipstick Comfort Matte in Menace: The best popping pink

Price: £15.50

This a matte formula really stands out in the pigment stakes, and lasts brilliantly – yet its soft formula that won’t leave your lips feeling dry. It classically works with cool skin tones, but will really also suit black skin.

Buy it now from Urban Decay

Dior Addict Lipstick in Gotha: The sassy berry shade

Price: £26.50

Matte finishes in dark shades can make your lips look thin, so try this devilishly dark hydrating formula with a serious dose of mirror shine. Wear it alone as a sheer nod to the trend, layer for a stealth colour statement or use as a topcoat to a dark lip pencil for a sophisticated polished look.

Buy it now from Boots

Clinique Almost Lipstick Black Honey: The suits-all classic

Price: £18.50

Dark honey is the cult tint that flatters everyone thanks to the way it merges with your natural lip colour, and this is the foolproof way to ease into the trend. It gives a subtle hit of colour and is packed full of emollients for a super-moisturised finish.

Buy it now from Boots

L’Oreal Paris Made For Me Naturals Lipstick in Nude: The cool, creamy nude

Price: £6.99

Nude lipstick underpins the natural “no-makeup” look; to find your shade, look very closely at your lips, then draw out the main colour you see there. This L’Oreal lipstick delivers a soft hint of warmth that makes your lips look perfectly kissable. Vitamin E softens your lips while the pigment gently tints to give you that natural boost – and it’s subtle enough to swipe on without a mirror.

Buy it now from Boots

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick 3D Volume Lip Shine in Nudist: The glossy nude

Price: £3.50

This moisturising crayon is half pink, half beige, so it will suit both warmer skin and olive tones. Its glossy finish will plump up the look of thinner lips, providing the perfect partner to a smudged-up smoky eye.

Buy it now from Boots

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Pillow Talk: The modern classic nude

Price: £24

This luxurious blend of perfect pigments suits nearly everyone. The creamy texture will instantly add a rich, sheeny texture, but over time will also moisturise and hydrate your lips for a smoother finish. A superb lipstick that no makeup bag should be without.

Buy it now from Charlotte Tilbury

Read more

Best Buys