Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored, £20
Best For: Staying Power
Why We Rate It: If you want a lipstick with serious staying power, make Fenty’s Stunna Paints your go-to. A creamy liquid, they’re so satisfying to apply, with a small applicator head that really allows you to push the colour into the lips. There are several shades available, but Uncensored gets our vote every time – there are no orange tones, just real red for proper, vivid depth. Apply just a little to begin with and build it up depending on the desired look. The best bit? Unlike similar liquids, it doesn’t slide around or feather; it sets in place and wears well as the hours pass by.
Available at Boots.com
Le Rouge Velours in Louise, £29
Best For: A Lightweight Dry Down
Why We Rate It: Soft and feathery, the dry down of this Parisian lipstick is second to none. The shade Jeanne is the richest red, but if you’re after a fresh, flattering tone that doesn’t overpower your complexion, opt for Louise. The texture means you can build it up for more intensity, or dial it back for a softer coating – either way, it’s incredibly versatile, easy to use and non-drying, unlike other matte lip liquids on the market.
Available at Rouje.com
Glossier Generation G Sheer Matte Lipstick in Zip, £14
Best For: Fuss-Free Application
Why We Rate It: Glossier’s lipsticks are some of the easiest to wear day to day. Its balm-like consistency allows for seamless application – no mirror required – while the colours on offer lend a soft, healthy flush to lips. With new colour-adapting shades now available, there’s plenty to choose from, but we love the rosy undertones of Zip the best. Ideal for those who want something a bit more muted, rather than full-on colour, the matte quality never feels dry or cakey – just hydrating and comfortable.
Available at Glossier.com
Lisa Eldridge True Velvet Lip Colour in Velvet Morning, £26
Best For: Suits-All Colour
Why We Rate It: Loved by make-up artists Lisa Potter-Dixon and Kenneth Soh, this rich, orange-y red suits all skin tones – from the palest to the deepest. It instantly transforms any look and is ideal for those no-make-up days when you just want a little hint of something. Apply direct from the bullet for a fuller finish, or tap on with your finger for a soft-focus effect. As for the texture, the creamy finish is reminiscent of actual velvet.
Available at LisaEldridge.com
Laura Mercier Velour Extreme Matte Lipstick in Control, £25
Best For: A Deep Red Tone
Why We Rate It: Often described as a ‘French power red’, this tone is rich and pigmented, but can always be dialled back for something softer. Use the rounded bullet head to fill in the lips and apply the colour evenly. Just like a stick eyeshadow, it’s so easy to use, while the formula is incredibly comfortable to wear. You won’t get any flaking or creasing, just a smooth, creamy finish that’s easy to build up throughout the day. As it fades, you’ll love the pink-y finish it leaves behind.
Available at CultBeauty.co.uk
Trinny London Lip Glow in Tallis, £16
Best For: A Balm Effect
Why We Rate It: Trinny’s formulas were designed to be easy to use, and this beautiful Lip Glow is no exception. Brimming with vitamin E, it softens and smooths dry, flaky lips, while the buildable tint lends lips a healthy, non-sticky sheen. Tallis is the richest red in the line-up, but thanks to its glossy quality, it never feels heavy or overbearing for daytime. A must-try for those who want great colour with a hit of moisture.
Available at TrinnyLondon.com
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl, £22
Best For: Enhancing Shape & Definition
Why We Rate It: Make-up master Ruby Hammer swears by this vivid red. Its crayon shape makes it ideal for lining and shaping your lips before you fill them in. Quick and easy to apply, the rich, velvety finish is very on-trend right now. As for the colour, Dragon Girl has plenty of pink undertones, as well a few orange-y ones. The combination makes it appropriate for year-round wear.
Available at NarsCosmetics.com
Pat McGrath Labs Mattetrance Lipstick in Elson, £35
Best For: Rich Pigment
Why We Rate It: With consistently rave reviews, Elson comes highly recommended by the pros. The texture sets it apart from the crowd –– think a powdery matte that almost stains the lips, with a soft, even fade that’s ideal for daytime. While it’s richly pigmented, you can easily create a light wash using your finger or a soft fluffy brush.
Available at Selfridges.com
Gucci Beauty Rouge À Lèvres Mat Matte Lipstick in Goldie Red, £35
Best For: A Velvety Finish
Why We Rate It: You won’t be disappointed with any lipstick from Gucci’s popular line-up. With 58 flattering shades on offer, it’s designed to suit all skin tones. We’re obsessed with this 25* Goldie Red shade. Creamy on application, it soon smooths out into an easy-to-wear matte. Super chic, it’s the colour you need to nail that undone French girl vibe. Push it into your lips with your ring finger for a muted, feathered effect, or layer it up for a bit more impact in the evening.
Available at NET-A-PORTER.com