My top 5 lipstick colours

My top 5 lipstick colours

Nikki Parkinson Beauty 55 Comments

There’s a reason that if you look in any of my handbags, makeup kits or on my desk you’ll always find more than one lipstick floating around.

You’ll also find lip balms and glosses. My lips feel bare without something on them.

I’ve even been known to turn around should I find I’ve left home without something for my lips.

It’s one of the statements in the SY manifestoAdd a pop of lippy (your Nan was right) – and it’s there because adding a lip colour instantly lifts your face and, for me, my mood.

The rest of my makeup can be at its bare minimum but I feel “put together” if that colour is in place on my lips.

Do you feel the same?

I often get asked what colours I most reach for when heading out the door each day so today I’ve narrowed it down to my top 5 lipstick colours.

I have a definite preference for pinks … and not because a makeup artist once told me this was a lip colour that made us look younger 😉 … but I’m also not afraid of a statement red lip for a night out and a coral or orange on my lips always makes me smile.

My top 5 lipstick colours

My top 5 lipstick colours

1. Avon Overnature lipstick in Tropical Coral $19.99: The most universally flattering shade of lippy is a coral shade. Sounds very 1970s but it’s true. I fell in love with the packaging on this new one from Avon but then fell in love all over again with this shade of coral and the hydrating formula.

2. Maybelline NY SuperStay 14HR Lipstick in Perpetual Peony $18.95: A pale pink is my lippy of choice when I create a black smokey eye for an evening look. On my lips it provides the pale pink neutral I aim for with this look. A little 1960s but with a modern twist. I fell hard for this particular pale pink two years ago and it’s been in my kit ever since. Love that it goes the distance too.

3. Eles Mineral Makeup Micro Bubble Lipstick in Blush $39.50: On my lips a dark blush becomes a defined neutral so I always have one in my handbag. This is a new shade in a beautiful lipstick range that actually treats your lips while it covers it. The pigment lasts and it’s the little spheres in the formula that continually release lip conditioners.

4. Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Back to Fuchsia $16.95:  It’s the ’80s girl in me who will never let a fuchsia lip colour disappear out of my makeup drawer. It’s the ultimate power lip. Well MY ultimate power lip. The colour in this new formulation is spot on for the kind of intensity you want from a fuchsia. It’s also soft on the lips to wear.

5.  Bobbi Brown Art Stick in Harlow Red $44 (on counter April 13, 2014): My fave date-night look involves a soft, not-so-intense smokey eye and a red lip. A classic look that’s always a winner especially when worked back with an LBD. My love of a lipstick crayon is also well documented here. The lazy-girl in me loves the liner/lip colour combo and in this new release I can opt for a sheer colour or build to a full coverage that lasts – not as long as the Maybelline SuperStay above but longer than a cocktail or two.

How to find YOUR top 5 lipstick colours

1. Look in your makeup collection. Just like if we were doing an edit of your wardrobe, it’s time to look at the state of your makeup kit and unearth all your existing lip colours. If you don’t do this first then there’s every chance you’ll head out shopping for a new lip colour and come home with one exactly the same as the six you already have.

2. What clothing colours do you gravitate to? Just like in your wardrobe, we naturally gravitate to the colours that suit us best. The colours that make us smile. What have you got most of? What are your signature colour or colours? Could these do with a freshen up? Or an outside-of-the-square addition?

3. Head to a makeup counter – or three.  If you really want to give your lipstick colour wardrobe a lift, make time to play. I’m not talking about testing a new lippy on the inside of your wrist either. That’s not going to get you the right colour or tone. You need to go to makeup counters that allow you to try colours on your lips. Come armed with information about the colours you already own and ask for advice on ones that are similar but pack a little bit more of a punch.

4. Like a particular colour but something doesn’t seem quite right? Try variations of the tone of that colour. This particularly applies to finding your ideal red lippy. For me I need a deeper red to work with my skin tone and eyes. You might suit a shade with more orange in it.

5. Find a real fave – buy up! Trust me, there is nothing more heartbreaking than finding a favourite lip colour, only to have it discontinued.  The best red I’ve ever found for me is a hybrid lip gloss/stain by Napoleon Perdis, called Lady In Red. Mr Perdis, if you’re reading this, please bring it back. I promise to buy up big.

What are your top 5 lipstick colours? 

PS. I’ve been featured over at online store Hard To Find talking Mother’s Day and my gift wishlist.

  • Carly-Jay Metcalfe

    ByTerry ‘Terrybly’ in bright orange, which you can dampen to a coral (404), and I’ve just discovered Ellis Faas in a flattering hot pink (L404). By Terry lipsticks don’t come cheap, but they’re DIVINE. Here’s the thing – Chanel buys their rose petals from ByTerry after she’s finished with them, so her products are even better than Chanel and for an ever so slightly better price.

  • Sandie @ AppleBee Lane

    I usually wear mostly red lipstick but after reading your makeup artist’s tip that pink makes us look younger, I may have to rethink my colour choices! Anything that helps, right?

  • I have my favourites too. If someone tells me something is youth creating, that always makes it to the top of my list. A natural pinky colour is always up there plus a rich red. Rachel xx

    • Yes, I grab on to anything that suggests I can shave off a few years 😉

  • Kalyani

    I’m a pretty much gloss and balm girl too Nikki! But last year I decided it was time to challenge myself and bought a MAC ‘Dare you’ ..seems to work well for a glam look! I also loved the Maybelline Color Whisper shades that I received in my goodie bag last year from the Sydney Fashion Festival I attended (Courtesy: Styling You)!! :-))

    • Oh fabulous Kalyani – I don’t have that MAC shade but will check it out. Glad the Color Whisper shades are still working for you!

  • Thank you for the tips Nikki. I tend to gravitate to the same brands so it’s good to look beyond that for a change – I love Bloom, Natio and Sportsgirl for every day and Dior or Chanel for my PM reds. I think I need to get myself sorted with a crayon too. Thank you!

    • Nothing wrong with sticking to the brands that are tried and true for you Vanessa. Crayons are great – and Face of Australia ones are good entry price point ones to try.

  • Jemma

    Hi Nikki,

    I’ve never worn lipstick, or much make up but have been thinking recently I would like to find out what colours suit me. I am a nanny and on a tight budget so I can’t afford to spend lots. Can you recommend a brand with a make up counter where I can speak to someone about colours and buy what works without spending too much? Thankyou for your help!

  • I still like my gloss but yes a lippy does make me feel special. Glad you like the pencils Vicki!

  • Have done but I’m coming up blank. Noami Watts was sporting the exact colour in a recent photo shoot but I’m assuming it was a mix of lipsticks to get the right look. I haven’t had any success with mixing lipsticks at this stage.

    • I’ve got a nude lipstick from Inglot – #259 which has gold/copper undertones in it – perfect for a smokey eye Raychael.

  • Sophisticated Mumma

    Like you I favour various brands. I have yet to find a red shade that I feel confident enough to wear, I’m more of a peachy pink girl. I love lippies with Shea butter in them as i find balms more comfortable to wear daily. Being a bit of a make up junkie I find them in various handbags, in the car and even in the baby’s nappy bag. You can never have too many can you? 🙂

  • Sonya

    I love Chanel lipsticks and I have a nude Jurlique (I don’t know if then even do lipsticks anymore) which I love. One thing missing from my kit is a small lipstick mirror for emergency applications on the go, must hunt one of them down.

    • They don’t Sonya so make that one last! I used to need a mirror but now just use reverse camera on my phone.

  • Alex

    I have dragged MAC Russian Red around with me since I wore it on my wedding day – think it will hang out with me now forevermore. Day to day I am a massive fan of Revlon’s Tutti Fruitti Lip Butter, Urban Decay Naked Ultra Nourishing Lip Gloss in Streak or Sephora Collection Strawberry Tint Lip Ink.

  • Love this post – I recently decided to start wearing more lipstick (I never really wear any) and can never seem to find the right shade! I, too, have a million glosses rolling around in my handbag. It’s annoying, but also vaguely satisfying to have so much choice all at once!

  • Kathryn

    I have many lipsticks, but I typically have 4 on high rotation and pretty much carry them all in my bag everyday. A basic red, a bright/dark orange; a rose colour and a fuschia. I have a fuschia lippy crush too. I fell for it in 1983 when I first wore it with a vintage teal shot silk suit – glorious. In my bag right now, a YSL Rouge Pur Couture Le Orange; a rose coloured YSL glossy stain; a fuschia YSL glossy stain and a Mac red. I have a stash of Estee Lauder lippys (which come in their gift bag purchases). Nice and creamy but don’t seem to last the distance.

    • Glorious be that 1983 combo Kathryn. Glorious. The YSL glossy stains are SO good. I’ve got the orange, a red and a pink. Love them all.

    • Glorious be that 1983 combo Kathryn. Glorious. The YSL glossy stains are SO good. I’ve got the orange, a red and a pink. Love them all.

  • I used to only wear nude lipsticks but lately I’ve been experimenting with brighter colors. I’m in love with my MAC’s Watch me simmer lipstick (a bright coral) but it was a limited edition so I’m trying to make it last. (next time I fall in love with a limited edition lipstick I’m definitely buying big too 😉

  • Totally agree! I’m pretty basic when it comes to my makeup but I always make sure I have something happening on my lips – and it’s usually fairly bright. My Top 3 at the moment are: MAC Sheen Supreme in ‘Full Speed’ (a super bright coral which I adore), MAC Amplified in ‘Chatterbox’ (a beautiful mid pink perfect for everyday) and Sportsgirl ‘Bombshell’ (the perfect shade of red for a night out). Loving the look of your # 1 and 4.

  • Johanne Taylor

    My current top 3 in high rotation: Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square, Face of Australia Sheer Gloss Lip Crayon in Macaron and Clinique Different Lipstick in Raspberry Glace.
    After years of sticking to nudes and sheer colours I took your advice a while back Nikki, and now realise the quick and easy way to look polished is with something a bit more dramatic on my lips. I’m loving a stronger lip and how it makes me look “done” when I’m barely wearing anything but a BB.
    One thing- I can’t come at exercising, even just a walk, with any make-up on at all- and a coloured lip just feels wrong to me in this situation.

    • I agree re the exercising Johanne but I do most of mine in the morning or evening in a dim room (yoga) so if any remnants at night they are not seen!

  • Petra

    I’ve always bought Revlon – I find I can’t go wrong if I buy Revlon – and that goes for nail polishes too 🙂

  • Emma

    I am definitely a lippy lover from way back. A little while ago I was wondering why my handbag was always so heavy and a quick unpack showed the 8 lipsticks I had on board were at least part of the culprit. That’s not including lip balms and a gloss or two! I too feel naked without something on my lips so never head out with less than a balm on to prevent dry, flaky lips. I have versions of all of the colours you have showcased plus also stray into some more of the beige tones which I wear when I want a more neutral lip. I have lipsticks with more staying power for when I need it but my day to day grabs tend to be Maybelline Born with it for a neutral or one of the brightly hued Revlon Lip Butters (love their gloss feel for daytime wear). Being a raven haired gal the red lip is my go to night look and always can find a Revlon red to fit the bill.

    • Oh Emma … thank-you! My handbag feels like it’s not out on its own with its lip product collection!

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    I am like Nikki you can’t bear having nothing on my lips even if it’s only a gloss or balm.The ones on high rotation are maybeline’s mango diamonds pink peony and NP Florence I still haven’t found a red lippy that I adore any hints would be appreciated Nikki!

    • I know you were with me Perpetual Peony Lisa … with a red, it’s very much a trial and error thing as it’s the colour that most needs to be in tune with our skin tone.

      • Lisa Mckenzie

        Thanks Nikki I will keep trying X

  • I love the Avon one but its not on their website. Is it an oldy but a goody thats been deleted???

    • Lenore

      The Avon one featured on here will be available from campaign 10 which is the current campaign. They are brand new. Online may still show campaign 9 but by next week it should be 10.

      • thanks so much lenore..will chase up campaign 10 and have a look – love that colour and the packaging!

        • Lenore

          No worries 🙂

    • No, it’s a newy that hasn’t made it to the site as yet but was released in March!

  • Lenore

    I LOVED Revlon’s Richest Rosewood, but it has not been available for many years now. In my handbag at the moment I have Avon’s Smooth Minerals Lipstick in Rosy Brown and Totally Kissable Lip Gloss in Butter Me Up.

    • See a fave gets discontinued and we are left having to find a substitute!

  • I think I found 8 lipsticks in my handbag the other day. Like you, I can’t go without it. I also love a lipstick crayon and the Face of Australia & L’Oreal Glam shines are two new faves

    • The Face of Australia crayons are such good value for money. Love them – and love knowing I could raid your handbag any day!

  • Catherine Yarham

    I loved Korres Mango Butter Lipstick, in purple, which sounds horrendous but was actually more like a pink. I got a Model & Co lipstick in a Bella Box which was similar & very nice, although more matte.
    Nikki, Napoleon Perdis has Lady in Red on their US website, maybe you know someone over there?

    • Now you’ve got me on the case Catherine. Yes, I do have someone in the US who can help me – my SIL!

  • Kathryn

    Timely post for me, I have been looking at my lipstick collection and thinking I need to update it. I always seem to gravitate to the same colours – like your middle lipstick! It caught my eye straight away. I don’t wear lipstick to work, but always some lip balm, or a light coloured gloss. Another excuse to go shopping 😉

    • Just like in our wardrobe it’s so easy to gravitate to the same but mixing it up can also be fun! Good luck.

    • Carly-Jay Metcalfe

      Me too, Kathryn! I used to only wear a deep shade of red (I’m blonde and fair), but last year I went to Mecca and bought blush, a Kabuki brush and a ByTerry lipstick, which is a very bright orange 🙂 The other day I went back and bought a fuchsia! I never used to wear makeup, but now I’m enjoying it. I even bought a BB cream after never having owned foundation in my life. Happy times 🙂

  • merilyn

    I’m an early bird nikki … no lippy on yet tho!
    but have every colour available to match any mood or colour coded dressing!
    lippies in every bag and if not I will always buy me a new one
    I feel totally undressed or at least unadorned without it!
    tis the icing on the cake! … don’t need to feel lack lustre at any age, or stage!
    taught by the mother … happy lippy day! lol m:)X

  • PrincessEatsPeaSoup

    Revlon Just Bitten Kissable in Smitten, Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in Miracle Mauve, L’Oréal Colour Riche in Mauved, L’Oréal Colour Riche in Taffeta & Revlon ColorStay Overtime Sheer in Sheer Rosette. I did have to sit down and go through them but I think it was a good exercise for someone who takes their lippy seriously. Panetone maybe calling Radiant Orchid the colour of the year but I am calling it Fuchsia and wearing it matching on nails and lips.

    • I can’t go with Pantone’s colour call this year – purple was my school uniform but I’ll go with any purple that is actually fuchsia!