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9 Super-Flattering Lipsticks for a Made-Up Holiday

Photo: Courtesy of the vendors

Today is allegedly National Lipstick Day. As for tomorrow, that’s National Cheesecake Day. The day after tomorrow? National Avocado Day. And though the Cut, for the record, does not necessarily feel that every day deserves to be a holiday, we do believe in buying flattering lipstick for no reason other than because you feel like it. Maybe you’ve been influenced by all the National Lipstick Instagram posts. Maybe you’ve been wearing the same shade for a while and want to branch out. Maybe you just like lipstick. Whether you choose to try on a lipstick today or on another, less branded day, here are several of our favorite reds, nudes, and miscellaneous others.

A Lipstick That Lasts Forever

Giorgio Armani Beauty Lip Maestro in 402

This lipstick is my trusty go-to. It doesn’t bleed or dry up my lips so they look like cracked asphalt. Even when I’m eating, this one fades evenly and flatteringly over time, turning into a pretty, blotted-looking stain. It’s not bionic, so it won’t last you through an apocalypse or anything. But it’s made it through both soup and wine, which is long-lasting enough for me. My personal favorite is shade 502, a bright cherry red with pink undertones.
Kathleen Hou, beauty director

A Red Lipstick for People Who Don’t Wear Red Lipstick

Chanel Beauty Rouge Coco Flash

Popsicle-red lipstick, to me, is like wire-rimmed eyeglasses or pixie haircuts — a look that I admire, and even envy, but can’t imagine pulling off. At least, not until I found Ferveur, one of the shades in Chanel’s newest member of its Rouge Coco family. It’s an affable, semi-sheer berry that seems to say, “You can do this.” It glides on super-smoothly, but it’s got enough pigment to last through a lunch and then some. —Jane Larkworthy, beauty-editor-at-large

A Nude for Darker Skin Tones

Mented Cosmetics Nude LaLa Semi-Matte Lipstick

Finding a nude that actually looks nude on my skin tone was a years-long struggle until I met this literal perfect match. It has a magical, balanced blend of browns and pinks that gives deeper skin tones that whole “your lips but better” effect without washing you out. The cherry on top: The formula always feels creamy regardless of how long it’s been on, and since it’s such a wearable, everyday shade, it’s on a lot. —Erica Smith, beauty writer

A Lipstick That Will Make You Look Wide Awake

Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips

I won’t lie and say this lipstick is moisturizing. Apply a lip balm and wait a bit before you put it on. But really, I’m here for the vibrancy of the color, Carina’s Love, named after Hong Kong actress Carina Lau. It’s a very punchy, well-balanced red that instantly boots any sort of sallowness or “didn’t drink enough water”–ness from my skin. —Kathleen Hou

A Super-Subtle Pink Lipstick

ESTÉE LAUDER Violette Oh Naturelle! Pure Color Envy Paint On Liquid Lip Color

Is it sacrilege to tout a lip gloss on National Lipstick Day? I hope not, because this muted-rose shade is definitely one of my favorites. With its rosy-beigey vibe, I feel like makeup artist Violette had me in mind when she created this. I’m kidding, of course. Nevertheless, one swipe of this taupe turns my rather blah mouth into a pair of lips that’s got something to say.
Jane Larkworthy

A Lipstick That Tingles

BUXOM Full Force Plumping Lipstick

If you want your lipstick application to truly be an experience, pick up one of these. The super-sharp bullet makes you feel like a pro (even around the Cupid’s bow), the drag is unbelievably smooth coming from something that looks so solid, and (the absolute best part) it leaves a refreshing yet slightly biting minty tingle that will make it very, very hard to go back to any non-tingling lipstick ever again. —Erica Smith

A Lipstick in a Shade No One Can Identify

NARS LIPSTICK in Funny Face

The color of this lipstick can’t be easily labeled, which is why it’s so good. Is it pink? Is it purple? Is it red? It’s a little bit of all three, which is why it looks slightly different on everyone, but in a surprisingly flattering way. I wear it when I don’t feel like wearing a nude or a red and want something in-between that I can’t quite describe. —Kathleen Hou

A Lipstick That Soothes

Lancôme L'ABSOLU MADEMOISELLE SHINE

With so much skin care in this lipstick (vitamin E, rose oil, vaguely mysterious “conditioning agents”), it’s no wonder it feels more like a lip balm. I like how shade 232 (Mademoiselle Plays, a “light mocha”) gives my lips the sheerest beigey tone, and while it doesn’t stay on all day, I don’t mind reapplying often because it feels so soft and nurturing.
—Jane Larkworthy

A Super-Shiny Lipstick

DIOR Dior Addict Lacquer Stick

It’s always good to have a super-shiny lipstick in your arsenal, and if lip glosses had faces they’d probably give this Dior stick a lot of side-eye. Don’t let the balmlike tube fool you; it doesn’t take a lot to get you an impressive wash of color. One or two swipes will give you the same lacquered sheen in poppy colors (like this deep fuschia) usually reserved for freshly manicured nails. —Erica Smith

9 Super-Flattering Lipsticks for a Made-Up Holiday