Join TZR editors for Main Squeeze, the series dedicated to sharing beloved beauty products — be they bold, effective, or simply fun — that make our week just a little bit better. Ahead, Team TZR spotlights their favorite summer lipsticks of the moment.
With its scorching days and even hotter nights, summer is the season of less is more. Spiking temperatures call for shorter dresses, air-dried hair, and pared-down skin care and makeup regimens. Regardless if you opt for a completely bare face or a touch of tinted moisturizer this season, a swipe of color on the lips is really all you need to take your look to the next level. Creamy, or matte, fiery red or nude, finding the best summer lipstick is essential for the months ahead filled with events and vacations. Not only does the formula need to deliver on color, whether sheer or highly-pigmented, it also needs to condition skin, and most importantly, be effortless to apply.
Essentially, you’re searching for a lipstick that can do it all and go anywhere. From balms to mattes, TZR editors have gathered the lipsticks they’ve been relying on most for the season of sun. No matter your lip color preference or personal style, you’ll find one (or two) to become your new go-to this summer.
“Kosas' new Wet Stick Moisturizing Lip Shine is the perfect balmy lipstick for summer days. It's ultra-hydrating, and the finish has a glossy look without any of the stickiness. It's also packed with ceramides, peptides, and hyaluronic acid so doubles as skin care for your lips. I love the rosy Tropical Bliss and bold Bikini Blaze shades, but it also comes in a range of neutral hues that will complement your sun-kissed summer skin.” — Rebecca Iloulian, director, newsletter revenue and marketing, BDG
“For breezy summertime beauty, I love a bright, vacation-y lip color, but ideally applied with the lightest possible touch. While I will always be frustrated by Glossier's Generation G lipstick packaging, Crush is a forever summer favorite. The raspberry color feels so seasonally perfect, laying down just enough color in a blurred, soft matte finish.”— Amanda Ross, beauty editor, TZR
“It's not often that I find lipstick hydrating enough for my dry lips – especially over the summer. This new product from Tata Harper goes on like a lip balm, but has the saturation of a lipstick. The Juicy shade gives you a ‘your natural lips but better’ look. I've been moving this product between all of my handbags, which is a testament to how much I love and use it.” — Maggie Haddad, senior social media strategist, TZR
“For the ultimate ‘my lips but better’ look, I turn to this mauvy brown lippie by Bobbie Brown. The creamy consistency glides on my lips and feels just as nourishing and conditioning as a lip mask. But what I love most is the satin-sheer wash of color it adds to my lips. With one swipe I get a healthy pink color, and it’s buildable just in case I want a touch more oomph.” — Jessica Fields, beauty writer, TZR
“Wearing a bold matte lipstick during the summer is like wearing polyester during a heatwave – it results in a sweaty mess. That's why this Sisley Paris raspberry pink lipstick has quickly become my go-to bullet as we continue to ease into the hot and humid weather. The sheer, buildable formula offers a shiny punch of color but wears like a lightweight balm, thanks to a crafted blend of hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and moringa and jojoba oils.” — Erin Lukas, deputy beauty editor, TZR
“My signature lip color has and always will be a fiery orange-red. I love Ilia's formula as it offers beautiful high-pigment color with a nice creamy — not matte — finish that feels hydrating, which is a must in the dry, hot summer months. I don't even think this hot little red number will leave my purse. It's an all-day, everyday must-have!” — Angela Melero, executive editor, TZR
“Hourglass has made my dream summer lip product. The sleek, golden bullet houses a balmy formula that adds a subtle sheen to my lips without looking too glossy (or feeling sticky at all). A lot of other glossy balms can look cake-y or sit on top of the lips without ever sinking in, but this product magically works to make my lips just plump, smooth and juicy. The shade mist is the perfect warm-tinged pink that's a ‘my lips but better’ shade.” — Faith Xue, executive beauty director, lifestyle, BDG
“Summer nights beg for a bold lip and this matte red delivers on every level. Each of Pound Cake’s red lipsticks are designed to work with the skin’s undertones in order to perfectly match your complexion. On me, the shade Raspberry, gives a fiery cool-toned red that’s in-your-face in the best way possible and I’m obsessed. Despite having a completely matte formula, it feels comfortable on my lips and I never have to worry about it fading or budging (two things that are challenging with humidity and heat!)” — Fields
“Come summertime, something about a full-on lip look with liner and thicker, more opaque lipstick feels like too much on me. I much prefer a glossier, more casual take, but don’t want to sacrifice looking polished or adding pigment. I picked up this little Clinique stick on impulse and immediately fell in love with the Fig shade’s natural pink tones and healthy look on the lips.” — Ross
“Hands down, this is the lipstick I get the most compliments on. The muted berry-pink is the perfect middle ground between a nude and bold lip, which also makes it ideal for year-round wear. With a blend of plant-based ingredients, the formula glides on effortlessly and keeps the lips moisturized throughout the day. Better yet, it completely coats lips with a satin-finish pigment in just one swipe.” – Lukas