Makeup brands introduce dozens of new lipstick shades every season; sorting through them takes patience, determination, and plenty of lip balm. A shade that seems scarily dark in the tube can look surprisingly sheer on, whereas that “perfect nude” can make some complexions look washed out. To help you navigate the myriad options, we gathered a group of volunteers to sample the season’s latest shades. There are long-lasting stains, tinted lip balms, and more in colors ranging from show-off-your-summer-tan orange to fall-ready purples. Check out the full selection here and click ahead to read about a few of our faves.
Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstain in Bitten Berry
Why We Like It: Stains have a bad reputation for being difficult to apply, but the markerlike applicator and fat tube makes this one a breeze. Plus, the hot-pink hue pops like candy against a summer tan.
Clarins Rouge Prodige True Colour Hold & Shine Lipstick in Clementine
Why We Like It: Orange can be intimidating, but the pigmentation in this shade can be built up — one swipe for a sheer wash and a few more for a bold pout.
Nyx Cosmetics Mega Shine Lip Gloss in Plush Red
Why We Like It: Classic red is a surefire way to add some drama to a bare face, but a glossy finish prevents the look from being too severe.
Rouge Dior Lipstick in Mysterious Mauve
Why We Like It: If you’re looking for a bold and unconventional pout, try pairing a clean cat eye with this highly saturated electric-purple lipstick.
Chanel Rouge Double Intensité in Rose Garnet
Why We Like It: Featuring a long-wearing formula on one end and a clear gloss on the other, the pinkish nude is universally flattering and appropriate for officewear, making it well worth the investment.