I Tested 8 New Luxury Lipsticks So You Don't Have To
I’m in the midst of a little skincare experiment, so I’ve been on a no-makeup kick for two months and counting. The one product that’s free from my self-imposed ban? Lipstick, of course. Besides the fact that there’s pretty much zero chance that a swipe of lip color will mess with my sensitive skin, I absolutely love the look of a bare face and a bold lip — especially when it comes to these eight new luxury lipsticks.
Nature-inspired tones are trending this month, but in the case of offerings like Tatcha’s Magnolia Bloom and Chantecaille’s Tiger Lily, florals for spring actually are groundbreaking. There’s barely a pretty pastel in the bunch; instead, tropical shades of eye-catching orange (like the aforementioned Tiger Lily) and neon pink (as seen in Sephora Collection Rouge Smooth Shine Lip Crayon in Jackpot) are taking over. Of course, a strong red lip is always in style, and my new favorite is Heartbeat, a blue-based red lipstick from Dominique Cosmetics.
Another trend I'm personally excited about is the infusion of skincare-level ingredients in color cosmetics. Hourglass N° 28 Lip Treatment Oil is an “anti-aging treatment” that contains Saliporine-8, an ingredient known to boost lips’ hydration levels; and Tatcha’s latest lipstick features silk extract to support moisture retention.
As far as texture, you won’t find anything too heavy here — it just feels right to reach for a sheer, almost glossy finish as the weather warms up and the sun starts shining.
Ahead, eight of the best new luxury lipsticks on the market right now — and my honest reviews.
Hourglass N° 28 Lip Treatment Oil in Icon
The clear N° 28 Lip Treatment Oil from Hourglass has been a best-seller for years, and the brand released pigmented versions of the formula in January 2019. I tried Icon, which looks like a deep berry from the packaging, but is actually sheer and glossy. I’m obsessed with the pump application function — it truly feels like a serum for your lips. The gloss is heavy but not sticky, and lasts a surprisingly long time. It sits firmly in my top three.
Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Lipstick in Super Nineties
The texture of the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Supermodel Lipstick range, launched in February 2019, is amazing; it's soft and light which makes it buildable, so you can stick to a single swipe or layer it on for a more intense look. I tried Super Nineties, a brownish nude, and it is definitely true to its name. With a coat of this on my lips, I had the urge to clasp on a velvet choker and lace up my old Doc Martens.
Chantecaille Lip Veil in Tiger Lily
Lip Veil was released in late 2018, but I just discovered it this month — and it's my new holy grail lipstick. It’s perfect, like a grown-up version of Glossier’s Generation G. At first swipe, it’s a little glossy — the shininess eventually fades, but the tint doesn’t budge. You could blot this almost all the way off and still get a great color payoff. And this shade! Tiger Lily's neon orange is not something I would’ve normally picked for myself, but I ended up loving it. I plan on wearing this all season long.
Tatcha Magnolia Bloom Silk Lipstick
First of all, I need to say that the packaging on Tatcha Magnolia Bloom Silk Lipstick (which came out in February 2019) is next-level. The container is heavy and substantial, with an antique-looking carved metal clasp. It feels like something to save and hand down to the grandkids someday — not that there’ll be any lipstick left inside. I love this formula. It’s creamy with a demi-matte finish, and thick enough to stay put without drying out. The color is unexpectedly badass, too; it's described as dusty rose, but it comes off more moody than girly.
MAC Art Library Lipstick in Down To An Art
MAC’s new Art Library range, one of its spring 2019 collections, reinvents MAC's classic matte finish in a few new shades; like Down To An Art, an orange-y, peachy nude. Obviously, this is one of the industry’s most iconic formulas — it’s long-lasting but doesn’t cake, it’s matte but not drying — so I have no complaints in that department. This color is one of the best of the bunch for me, too. It sounds weird, but the tan-orange tone kind of matches the color of my under-eye circles, which (I think) looks oddly chic. I’d definitely wear this one again.
MAC Powder Kiss Lipstick in Ripened
I read the shade name “Ripened” before uncapping this MAC lipstick —a brand-new shade as of Feb. 21 — and I was expecting something bright — like a ripe, red apple. Instead, I got this muted take on lavender… it’s almost a cross between greige and lilac; greilac, maybe? Is that a thing? Despite being sort of an out-there color, Ripened was easier to wear than I anticipated. The powdery, silky feel is the real star here, though — it keeps lips hydrated and is super easy to remove.
Sephora Collection Rouge Smooth Shine Lip Crayon in Jackpot
The slightly-shiny trend continues with Sephora Collection’s Rouge Smooth Shine Lip Crayon, a Jan. 2019 release from Sephora's in-house brand. Instead of a bullet, this product comes in a thin, pen-shaped applicator that even lipstick newbies will be able to wield without issue. I picked the neon pink Jackpot and wasn’t disappointed — it fits right into the ‘80s beauty trend that’s been happening lately. This formula does apply a little more sheer than anticipated, but with a color this in-your-face, that’s a good thing.
Dominique Cosmetics Cream Matte Liquid Lipstick in Heartbeat
This is the only matte liquid lipstick in the lineup, which isn’t my preferred texture, but I found Dominique Cosmetics’ Cream Matte Liquid Lipstick, launched Feb. 2019, to be pretty foolproof. The doe-tip applicator is pointed, so you can use it to line your lips first, and then flip it over to the flat side to fill in the area with color. Like most wet-to-dry lipsticks, it takes a minute or two to set, and while it does, it feels a tad sticky — but it’s worth the wait. Once it dries, the formula isn’t cake-y at all, and it lasts a solid six hours. Heartbeat is truly the perfect blue-based red, too — I’m definitely keeping this one in my rotation.