Raise your hand if you’ve got MAC Spice lip liner, Clinique Black Honey, Chanel Rouge Noir or Bobbi Brown ‘Brown’ buried in your make-up bag. Well, ladies, you’re not alone. Touted to “look great on everyone”, these cult classics are some of the best-reviewed and best-selling universal lip shades ever. But as we turn the page to a new year, I wanted to share some fresh shades you can add to your lipstick arsenal. Women over 40 say THESE are their go-to lip colors. We road-tested them just for you and took photos right at home, in our natural habitats! Scroll down to see what we loved and not-so-loved.
Here’s What We Tried…
Red: MAC Ruby Woo and MAC Russian Red
Plum: Givenchy Rouge Interdit Vinyl No. 16 Noir
Nude: NARS Dolce Vita and NYX Butter Gloss Praline
Nude/Pink: Charlotte Tilbury Original Matte Pillow Talk and Maybelline Almond Rose
And here’s what we thought.
I generally wear every color and texture, though I do stay away from overly matte, pink or coral shades.
MAC Ruby Woo (upper left) Wow. It’s definitely pigment-rich. I’d forgotten just how matte this formula is, especially straight out of the tube. It works better if I dab it on with my finger. The best thing about a strong red lip is that you’ll look pulled together even if the rest of your makeup is super minimal.
Givenchy Rouge Interdit Vinyl No. 16 Noir (upper right) What a happy surprise. This duo (it comes as lipstick and gloss) looks black in the tube but magically adjusts to a perfectly flattering shade of plum. The texture is really lovely and leaves a smooth, satiny finish. Definitely a keeper!
NARS Dolce Vita (lower left) Two decades in and this is the first time I tried it. Hmm, not sure though as it seems too pink? The formula is great…it’s satiny, not at all matte, and wears really well too. But I think it washes me out a bit.
Charlotte Tilbury Original Matte Pillow Talk (lower right) Are you there oxygen, it’s me, Francine? I really wanted to love this because I’m all about a nude lip, and literally everyone I know adores this color. But on me, it becomes a greigy-pink. Definitely a hard pass. Maybelline Almond Rose (not shown) is supposed to be an affordable dupe, but it’s equally meh on me.
NYX Butter Gloss Praline (not shown) This is a winner. Love the gloss, the vanilla scent, and the $5 price tag. It’s a pretty shade that I think looks nice with my coloring. But I definitely have to wear more eye make-up when wearing a natural lip.
MAC Ruby Woo (upper left) I love this color so much! I can definitely skip mascara when I’m wearing a red lip. This is great for Zoom calls.
Givenchy Rouge Interdit Vinyl No. 16 Noir (lower left) I got the little set that includes the lipstick and gloss. Both are really nice, though the lipstick has more color. Because I’m a woman of color, this shade is really my perfect nude.
NARS Dolce Vita (lower right) Nudes are hard for me because they tend to mask my natural lip color. This lipstick goes on nicely, but it’s barely noticeable; a tiny bit pink rather than nude. I don’t think I like it because I feel like I need to put on eye make-up!
Maybelline Almond Rose (not shown) This shade skews a bit too pale pink for me. The tone is just off. It was pretty hydrating though, so the formula is good.
I have a pretty vast lipstick collection but admit to missing out on some of these gems. I’m definitely more of a plum and nudes gal (OK, that sounded weird), but I’m game to try anything!
MAC Russian Red (upper left) This shade is a bit more pink than a true red on me, but it did last for hours. My personal preference is for more of a glossy formulation that matte, but if you are looking for a pinkish-red that stays put, this one is for you.
Charlotte Tilbury Original Matte Pillow Talk (upper right) Absolutely fabulous. It was surprisingly long lasting, really moisturizing and has easily become my all-time favorite shade.
Givenchy Rouge Interdit Vinyl No. 16 Noir (lower left) I love this! It’s very moisturizing. Of course, since it’s a gloss, it doesn’t have much staying power. But the consistency makes it super easy to re-apply without a mirror.
NARS Dolce Vita (lower right) This is a great everyday neutral, and the formulation is lovely.
NYX Butter Gloss (left) It’s a thin formula so it isn’t sticky, and it’s shiny and pretty, but that also means it’s not long-lasting. Still, for the price, it’s a must-have pale gloss.
NARS Dolce Vita (right) This is one of those lipsticks you can pull out and slick on without looking when you need a fresh coat. It’s also super neutral (though it’s skewing rosy on me), which works with whatever other makeup you’re wearing. I buy tube after tube of it!
I wear lipstick every single day. No matter what I’m doing or where I’m going, I have to have powerful color on my lips.
NARS Dolce Vita (upper left) Thanks, but no thanks. This just isn’t for me. It’s certainly nothing I’d wear personally as it’s just too nude. The texture and finish are nice, especially if you have dry lips. But the shade? Nope.
MAC Ruby Woo (upper right) Of course, this is my number one pick! I love red lips for any occasion. I wear red more than any other shade and the finish of this one is really nice. I prefer matte textures because they stay put, and this has a great consistency.
Maybelline Almond Rose (lower right) This is a big, big no. Matte finish is good, but the shade is pretty bland. Does nothing for me.
NYX Butter Gloss in Praline (not shown) Although this wouldn’t be something I’d choose for myself, I did like it. The texture is nice and feels good. It’s a pretty, everyday shade.
Picking one shade of lipstick that looks beautiful on every skin tone can be tough, so let us know your favorite go-to lip colors!
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