You don’t need an occasion or, as a matter of fact, any reason to wear a lipstick. Ask any woman, she will always have one in her purse. In my case, three - a coloured lip balm, an everyday lipstick with a neutral shade and a red-hot shade for impromptu plans and post-work date nights. It helps that there are so many kinds to choose from - glossy, matte, shimmer -there is a lipstick for every situation.
Now, I am a big lipstick hoarder who is always trying new shades, different formulas and brands just for fun. But I can’t buy any shade of lipstick just because it ‘looks’ pretty. Being a woman of wheatish complexion, a bright coral or a tangerine orange just won’t suit my skin and I know it. Similarly, a deep plum lipstick shade makes my Snow White skin toned BFF look older and kinda like a zombie. That is why it is essential to find out the right shade for you.
So, here’s the ultimate lipstick guide that you need to know all about lipsticks right from how they are made to the lipstick shade best suitable for you according to your skin tone.
How Is A Lipstick Made?
If you have ever wondered how does a lipstick get its beautiful colour, here is everything you need to know about how your favourite make-up goes to get made. It takes various oils, waxes, antioxidants and emollients to make a lipstick. To this, different pigments are added. Wax provides structure to the lipstick and can be of several different types such as beeswax, ozokerite, candelilla and carnauba. Because of its high melting point, carnauba wax is a key ingredient for the strengthening of a lipstick. Oils and fats such as olive oil, mineral oil, cocoa butter (one of the most popular ingredients), argan oil, lanolin and petroleum jelly are also added.
Depending on the formulation of a lipstick, the amount of these ingredients changes. Matte lipsticks contain more filling agents like silica but do not have many emollients. Creme lipsticks contain more waxes than oils. Sheer lipsticks contain more oil, while long-lasting lipsticks contain more of silicone oil, which seals the colour to your lips. Glossy lipstick contains more oil to give a shiny finish to the lips. Shimmery or frost lipsticks may contain mica, silica, and synthetic pearl particles to give them a glittery shine. Here’s what happened when we made our own lipstick at home using beetroot.
A lipstick gets its colour from a variety of pigments and artificial dyes. These can be organic as well as synthetic. The most commonly included synthetic colours are the FD&C colours. They are derived from coal tar which in turn is a by-product of petroleum but are used in a tiny amount due to their high lead content.
Now, a lipstick is made from grinding and heating ingredients together. Then heated waxes are added to the mix for texture. Oils and lanolin are added for specific formula requirements. Afterwards, the hot liquid is poured into a metal mould which is then chilled. Once they have hardened, they are heated in flame for a nanosecond to create a shiny finish and to remove any imperfections. Cute packing later, these lipsticks end up in our shopping carts making our lives prettier.
Also Read Glitter Eyeshadow Palettes That Are Perfect For The Festive Season!
Different Types Of Lipsticks:
Don’t know what type of lipstick should you be using for your lips? Based on the various formulas and finishing, here are eight popular types of lipsticks that you should know about before making your purchase:
1. Matte Lipsticks
If you are looking for a colour rich and long-lasting lipstick, you will really like mattes. It’s synonymous with long-lasting. Have to go to a party or function right after work that runs late into the night? Go for mattes! With a rich, velvety finish they are known for their excellent colour payoff and offer a medium to full coverage. They are brilliant at hiding pigmented and patchy lips. However, matte lipsticks can make dry, flaky bits present on your lips more obvious and visible, so be sure to exfoliate and moisturize your lips before using a matte lipstick. Here are the best matte lipsticks of 2018 that won’t dry out your pout. And, while you are at it, watch how to make your own matte lipstick at home. It is so easy!
2. Glossy Lipsticks
As the name suggests, these lip colours give a shiny, glassy finish to your pout. Gloss is awesome for thin and small lips because the sheen enhances the dimension of your lips making them appear thick and fuller. The luminosity factor is high in these lipsticks and they are deeply hydrating as well. No wonder why Bollywood celebs are all about the glossy rouge pout! They offer low to medium coverage and are not as long lasting so you will need touch-ups from time to time. P.S. These lipsticks are available in liquid form as well as gloss-sticks, which basically look like lipsticks but give the finish of a gloss.
3. Creme Lipsticks
Creme lipsticks are rich in oils and glide on like butter, therefore, excellent for nourishing lips. The colour payoff and coverage vary from shade to shade. Creamy lipsticks are perfect for colder climates as they tend to melt in hot, humid conditions becoming runny and smudgy easily. POPxo Tip: Stash them in the fridge during summer to retain the consistency and prevent breakage. For those of you who have dry lips and don’t want the hassle of prepping, priming and lining your lips before applying a lipstick - opt for these.
4. Sheer Lipsticks
Diluted with rich oils, these lipsticks give away a subtle satin-like finish while offering low to medium coverage. They may appear darker in the stick than they are on the lips. The colour payoff may be dense (of course, after multiple swipes) but the coverage won’t be much. It is perfect for everyday use and can be worn to college or work if you prefer a low maintenance, light and easy-on-the-go look. Thanks to the abundance of oils in these, they are brilliant for dry and chapped lips.
5. Liquid Lipsticks
Liquid lipsticks gained popularity when gloss was all the glam back in the early 2000s. But even mattes have made their way to the liquid formulas. These are the newest additions to the bandwagon and the latest rage among millennial women - gloss like liquid lipsticks which, a few minutes after application, transform into a semi-matte to a matte finish on your lips. These are perfect for those crunched for time since they are as easy to apply as a gloss but give the full-blown effect of a lipstick. Here are the best liquid lipsticks of 2018 with the smoothest satin finish ever.
6. Lip Tints/Lip Stains
When the ease of gloss and the subtlety of sheer combines, the result is a beautiful lip tint. Usually found in liquid form, these lippies glide onto your lips like a gloss but in a couple of minutes, leave a stain behind. The colour payoff is nice and lasts very long but they tend to be a bit sheer. Follow these Dos and Don'ts of lip tints to nail the Bollywood-approved look like a pro. They are ideal for adding a natural-looking, long-lasting flush of colour and are perfect for a woman who likes a light, no-makeup look. Here’s how to make a natural lip tint at home with a pomegranate. Also, check out our 5 favourite lip tints in 2018 that are making our lips pop!
7. Balmy Lipsticks/ Chubby Sticks
Working like balms that are lipsticks in disguise is what these multitaskers are best known for. They offer the goodness of a balm with the coverage and colour payoff of a matte lipstick. They are super easy to use and glide onto your lips effortless for a smooth and long-lasting finish whilst keeping your lips soft and moisturized. Make sure to exfoliate your lips before you apply them to curb flakiness. They can also be found in a crayon style packaging. Which reminds us, here’s you to make lipstick with crayons at home.
8. Peel-Off Lipsticks
Peel-off lipsticks are exactly what they sound like - you apply a layer of it with a lipstick wand, wait a few minutes for it to dry and peel it off just like a face mask. They may sound scary but are actually the newest trend in the cosmetic world. They are non-transferable and truly smudge-proof and waterproof. They leave a uniform, mild colour behind that is not too flashy and not too flat, and the colour sticks to your lips like a stain. You can remove it with a good micellar water or makeup remover at the end of the day easily. Here’s how to make a peel-off lipstick at home.
Now that you know which lipstick type is suitable for you, let’s move onto to the various lipstick shades that you can try for that picture-perfect pout.
30 Best Lipstick Shades According To Skin Tone:
Yes, there is a red, a pink and a nude for all but there are many different ways in which you can decide, “Oh! This is the lipstick shade I want!”. The occasion, the outfit you want to wear it with, and your budget - all factors contribute to you making an informed decision between this lipstick or that lipstick. But the most important criteria before buying your next one should be whether it matches your skin tone or not. So, we have taken it upon ourselves to find you your perfect match that is best suitable for you. We have included three different types of skin tones, according to the Indian standards, for your ease such as:
For Light/Fair Skin
Light skin tone makes it easier to rock super bright shades as compared to the deep ones as they brighten up the face instantly without making you look vampy or OTT at the same time. Here are 10 lipsticks shades perfect for light skin beauties:
1. Bright Red
Light up like the Diwali sky this season with a bright red lippie. This lip oil from NYX, in a highly pigmented red, glides silky-smooth and sets to a satin-matte finish that is striking and vibrant. Feel lightweight yet luxurious without burning a hole in your pocket.
POPxo Recommends: NYX Professional Makeup Slip Tease Full Color Lip Oil - Red Queen (Rs 700).
Orange shades are perfect for day events and add the right amount of glam to your outfit. So, on your next brunch, wear this fiery red lipstick for a precisely outlined lip contour. This creamy lipstick by Kiko Milano has a semi-matte finish and is long-lasting too revealing the rich orangish colour instantly.
POPxo Recommends: Kiko Milano New Unlimited Stylo - 15 Fire Red (Rs 1,050)
A burst of statement-making colour meets a surge of a creamy texture with this coral shade by Maybelline. This creamy lipstick leaves a supremely matte finish while keeping your lips hydrated and moisturised all day long. This shade can take you from the day into the night effortlessly.
POPxo Recommends: Maybelline New York Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick - 635 Rock The Coral (Rs 299).
Your search for the ultimate office wear shade has ended. This peach lipstick comes with a built-in primer for a long-lasting, matte finish offering intense colour playoff without any touch ups for the next 8 to 12 hours. And the cute packing is a nice bonus.
POPxo Recommends: Lakme 9 to 5 Primer + Matte Lip Color - MP12 Sorbet Tuesday (Rs 500).
5. Light Pink
Care for a pink that feels natural and tailor-made just for you? This candy floss shade in Lakme Weightless Matte Mousse Lip & Cheek colour is it. It will give your lips a powdery matte finish and your cheeks a soft natural blush, perfect for the girl-on-the-go for its dual functionality.
POPxo Recommends: Lakme 9 to 5 Weightless Matte Mousse Lip & Cheek Color - Candy Floss (Rs 510).
6. Bright Pink
If there is anyone who can pull of the brightest and haute-est pink, it is you. The tried and trusted Maybelline colour payoff with compliments from a fierce fuchsia is to die for. This party season, paint the town pink with this bold lipstick shade.
POPxo Recommends: Maybelline New York Color Sensational The Loaded Bolds Lipstick - 13 Fierce Fuschia (Rs 450).
This season, wiggle and ‘giggle’ in this purplicious shade from L.A. Girl and channel your inner Goddess in a bold statement-making colour. When in the mood to ditch the reds and the pinks, this velvety lipstick will make your lips feel like a garden in full bloom. Plus, it comes with Shea butter for the ultimate hydration.
POPxo Recommends: L.A. Girl Matte Flat Velvet Lipstick - Giggle (Rs 413).
Nykaa lipsticks are known for their creamy matte formulas that are long-lasting and non-drying. This beautiful plum shade is what you need to pucker up with at a party. You can also wear it to your dinner date and keep his eyes glued to your delectable lips, you vixen.
POPxo Recommends: Nykaa So Matte Lipstick - Sugar Plum Martini 15 M (Rs 399).
There is a fine line between maroon and burgundy and it is a correctly pigmented lipstick. This one from Ruby’s Organics carries all the benefits of a lip balm but wears and stays like a lipstick. It offers a semi-matte and satin finish and is an organic lipstick made with the best of natural ingredients that provide value-added skincare in addition to a bitchin’ look.
POPxo Recommends: Ruby's Organics Lipstick - Burgundy (Rs 990).
We have always been fond of Kareena’s ability to pull-off nude shades like none else. And we have found the shade she trusts. For an everyday no makeup look, go for the soft nude shade from Lakme Absolute Argan Oil lipstick collection. It will nourish your lips while delivering an intense colour.
POPxo Recommends: Lakme Absolute Argan Oil Lip Color - Soft Nude (Rs 550).
For Medium/Wheatish Skin
The skin tone that is not too light and not too dark is the medium one. Usually, some colours from both the families can be applied by the wheatish woman. Here are the 10 best shades that will perfectly suit you if you have a wheatish skin tone. I have tried all of these shades personally and they are my favourites:
1. Apple Red
Of course, MAC’s most trusted and everyone’s favourite Ruby Woo has to make it to the list for being an absolutely delightful shade of red. It is the biggest party popper in the history of lipsticks for all the right and rich reasons. Splurge on this one for the time of your life.
POPxo Recommends: M.A.C Retro Matte Lipstick - Ruby Woo (Rs 1,500).
I bought this shade for my mother. On her clear skin, the pink really brings out a natural flush. Although I must admit, I ended up swiping it for myself. The fuschia pink in this lipstick is highly pigmented, smooth and non-drying. It doesn’t leave a full-on matte finish and is little creamy in texture but I don’t mind that at all thanks to the lovely colour payoff.
POPxo Recommends: L.A Girl Flat Velvet Matte Lipstick - Blessed (Rs 357).
This is the perfect rose pink in a peel-off format and if you want to try this formula, I highly recommend you start with this shade. WOW! is the leading brand in peel-off lipsticks in India and is easily available online. Though, going to a pharmacy to try the product first-hand might be too aspirational as it is an International brand.
POPxo Recommends: WOW Peel-off Coloured Lip Stain - Rose Pink (Rs 299).
4. Dusty Pink
A beautiful natural shade with dusty pink undertones, this one by Nykaa was my first lipstick ever and it is still going strong in my vanity kit. I am a fan of neutral shades because they compliment me the most without making me too conscious of myself. This is the everyday pink lipstick you need for a naturally healthy and pink from within-like flush.
POPxo Recommends: Nykaa So Matte Lipstick - Naughty Nude 11 M (Rs 399).
I never thought I would try, let alone fall in love with, mauve until a friend recommended it to me. This one by Avon is super smooth on the lips and perfect for an everyday look. The colour payoff is rich and exactly like it looks on the stick. Summer or winter, it can take you anywhere.
POPxo Recommends: Avon True Color Perfectly Matte Lipstick - Mauve Matters (Rs 269).
What glides on like butter, feels like a second skin and won’t budge? It is this liquid lipstick by Wet n Wild that’s who! This stunning brown shade called ‘give me mocha’ is the brown shade for all skin tones. With exceptionally serious staying power and a royal matte finish, for this price, it is a freaking steal!
POPxo Recommends: Wet n Wild MegaLast Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipstick - Give Me Mocha (Rs 406).
7. Chocolate Brown
I received this lipstick as a gift from a friend at work and it is the perfect brown for a party. It has a cocoa-like fragrance, which is a plus for me. There is absolutely no need for touch-ups with this one. A little tip: I would recommend you to use a moisturising lip balm before applying this liquid lippie, as it can be drying in winter.
POPxo Recommends: Maybelline New York Super Stay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick - 70 Amazonian (Rs 650).
8. Cinnamon Brown
While this shade from Colorbar makes it to most lists as an excellent nude shade suitable for all skin tones, the beautiful brown undertones, with barely pink hues, make it the perfect brown shade for me, the kind of brown that reminds you of cinnamon. The colour comes out lighter than it seems in the lipstick and is a great everyday shade, believe me.
POPxo Recommends: Colorbar Velvet Matte Lipstick - 58 BARE (Rs 227).
Nothing delivers a powder matte finish better than these newbies by NYX. All you have to do is squeeze the tube until colour appears and let it cover your lips in a blurry flush of colour. Featuring a pillowy cushion-applicator, the lip cream comes in a mousse-y consistency and sets to a powdery soft finish.
POPxo Recommends: NYX Professional Makeup Powder Puff Lippie Cream - Teenage Dreams (Rs 650).
NYX’s nude chubby stick in the shade Sable is, hands down, the most flattering and true to its promise nude lipstick shade in the market right now. If you want a proper nude look with no pink or brown undertones, then you can stop searching further. Although there are two issues with this one - it melts in summer and is not easily available. Although, once you get your hands on it, simple refrigeration during summer should solve both your problems.
POPxo Recommends: NYX Professional Makeup Simply Nude Lip Cream - Sable (Rs 963).
For Dark/Dusky Skin
Majority of Indian women fall under this scale of skin tones. Dusky women usually have a hard time finding the perfect lipstick shade. But you don’t have to worry about that anymore, because we have a list of gorgeous colours that are just perfect for all the dusky dames out there and here they are:
1. Berry Red
Never have a dull moment with this very berry red shade by Bobbi Brown. This sumptuous formula dramatically boosts moisture levels while intensely rejuvenating lips, keeping them comfortable and conditioned - even after it is removed.
POPxo Recommends: Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color - Red Berry (Rs 3,300).
2. Deep Red
There’s no red deeper than L’Oreal’s recently launched lip paint in shade ‘red fiction’ for the dusky woman. This one of a kind liquid lacquer lip paint offers a glossy finish for up to 8 hours. The coverage is full and its one-stroke application is worth every penny. It promises no bleeding, no smudging, and is water resistant.
POPxo Recommends: L'Oreal Paris Infallible Lip Paint Lacquer - 105 Red Fiction (Rs 799).
3. Cherry Pink
You must be thinking I accidentally wrote cherry pink instead of cherry red but this beautiful amalgamation of red and pink is the perfect cherry on the icing this season. No need to prime your lips with this one as it comes with a built-in primer. The weightless formula of ‘party pop’ is perfect for night events.
POPxo Recommends: Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer - Party Pop (Rs 1,650).
The lipstick claims, “Now keep your lips fresh through 200 bites, 120 sips, and countless kisses”, and we couldn’t agree more. Maybelline SuperStay is one of the first formulas in India to offer a complete 24-hour lip colour - stretching the limits of long-wear. With a liquid lip colour on one end and a lip balm on the other, this ‘everlasting wine’ shade is all you need to feel fabulous all day every day.
POPxo Recommends: Maybelline New York Superstay 24 Color 2 Step Lipstick - 005 Everlasting Wine (Rs 650).
5. Deep Burgundy
Pucker up with this gorgeous wine shade this wedding season and forget about touch-ups all through the night. It glides like a gloss and leaves an exceptionally rich colour behind. A shade like this will complement all your moods so this one is a must-have.
POPxo Recommends: Nicka K True Matte Lip Color - Wine Berry (Rs 327).
6. Deep Plum
The butter-matte range from Lotus treats your lips with a burst of plum giving excellent coverage in just one glide and the goodness of much-needed butter. The infusion of anti-oxidants and lip conditioners in it will make your lips appear fuller and voluptuous. And isn’t that the dream?!
POPxo Recommends: Lotus Make-Up Ecostay Butter Matte Lip Color - Plum Pearl (Rs 625).
7. Coffee Brown
Slip into sexy with NYX Lip Lingerie in a liquid coffee shade that is just too irresistible. It has an elegant matte finish and is the perfect brown shade for the brown girl. It has hues of cinnamon pink, chocolate brown, warm mahogany red and classic nude beige making it your ideal lippie love.
POPxo Recommends: NYX Professional Makeup Lip Lingerie Liquid Lipstick - Teddy (Rs 650).
This one is straight out of the stars’ vanity kits. Maroon has never been this magnificent before thanks to the hypnotic colour payoff from this one by L’Oreal Paris. Tailor-made for every skin tone, this ‘pure rouge’ shade would be perfect for the dusky lady who loves herself a bold, unapologetic look.
POPxo Recommends: L'Oreal Paris Pure Reds Color Riche Collection Star Lipsticks - Pure Rouge (Rs 750).
Dusky skin beauties get to enjoy all kinds of colour palettes and not just the usual reds and pinks. In the mood for change? Get your hands on this magenta purple shade called ‘jet set violet’ by Sugar and get set go. Ready to flaunt your wicked side?
POPxo Recommends: SUGAR Smudge Me Not Liquid Lipstick - 19 Jet Set Violet (Magenta Purple) (Rs 499).
Having glamorous lips is easy with this nude shade with coral undertones. This creme lipstick by Colorbar is a favourite to many as it prevents the lips from drying and gives a long-lasting moisture lock. Add this to your nude lipstick collection and we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
POPxo Recommends: Colorbar Creme Touch Lip Color - Nude coral 12 (Rs 550).
30 Best Lipstick Brands According To Budget:
Based on the starting range of lipsticks, here are the 30 best cosmetic brands for lipsticks available in India according to your budget:
Save (Under Rs 500)
- Maybelline New York: While the popular Baby Lips by Maybelline can cost you a low as Rs 175 offering a rich colour payoff, a genuine lipstick is priced between Rs 299 and Rs 650.
- Lakme: Lakme introduced its cheapest ever lipstick with a lip crayon priced at Rs 185. The highest priced is the Kareena Kapoor Khan Absolute range for Rs 1,200 a pop.
- Elle 18: The best part about Elle 18 is that all their lipsticks have a flat Rs 100 price.Easy on the pocket, easy on the lips.
- Nykaa: Nykaa lippies start at Rs 399 but their highest range touches Rs 4,400 in a set of eight liquid lipsticks which, sadly, are not available for sale individually.
- Faces Canada: Starting from Rs 310, a Faces Lipstick goes as high as Rs 899.
- Colorbar: Colorbar offers a variety of lipsticks and formulas between Rs 325 to Rs 950 covering every possible shade as they go.
- Avon: Avon lipsticks start from Rs 350 bucks and go on up to Rs 699. A-one, right?
- Miniso Japan: Miniso is a Japanese brand that has recently ventured into cosmetics and is gaining popularity for prices as low as Rs 195. Although, Miniso is only available at a Miniso physical store.
- Kiko Milano: A Kiko Milano lipstick starts at Rs 390 and goes as high as Rs 1,150.
- Lotus: Lotus Makeup starts with Rs 295 and goes as high as Rs 945.
- Miss Claire: It starts with a matte & pearly lip balm at Rs 125 and the next stop would be at Rs 325 for all your luxe lippie needs from Miss Claire.
- Sugar: A Sugar lipstick, liquid while at it, starts at Rs 499. Their highest range is priced at Rs 799.
- Makeup Revolution: Rs 295 - Rs 950 can get you a nice creme lipstick to a metallic lip kit by Makeup Revolution.
- NYX: An extra creamy perfect-for-winter NYX lipstick starts at Rs 475 and can go as high as Rs 1,200.
- Color Pop: A basic Color Pop lip gloss starts at Rs 445. It is one of the most popular International brands that is ordered in bulk due to its high shipping charges. The only way to purchase a Color Pop lippie in India is through online order.
Spend (Rs 500- Rs 1,500)
- Chambor: Starting from Rs 645, Chambor lipsticks go as high as Rs 995.
- L’Oreal Paris: L’Oreal Paris lip pens start at Rs 725 and their highest priced lipstick is Infallible Le Rouge which costs Rs 1,070.
- Sephora: A basic Sephora shine lipstick will start at Rs 520 and go as high as Rs 1,300 approximately. The company also offers other cosmetic brands both online as well as offline.
- Inglot: Starting at Rs 550, Inglot offers a very wide price range ending at Rs 1,850.
- The Body Shop: The Body Shop offers completely cruelty-free lipsticks at Rs 645 which gs as high as Rs 1,095.
- Innisfree: The skincare brand offers some really well-tinted lip balms at Rs 360 and lipsticks at Rs 900. Their shades are quite limited but chemical-free.
- L.A. Girl: Starting at Rs 550, L.A. Girl offers most of its shade under Rs 675 only.
- Revlon: Revlon lipsticks start at Rs 699 in a shiny bottle that looks luxe and go as high as Rs 1,260.
Splurge (Rs 1,500+)
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- MAC: If you want a Ruby Woo like matte lipstick, then prepare yourself to spend Rs 1,500. Although, the new little MAC range lets you buy the same in a smaller quantity for Rs 900 too. The upper range for MAC would be Rs 2,400.
- Huda Beauty: Skipping over the lip liners, a Huda lipstick would cost you either Rs 1,600 or Rs 1,650 and they are all liquid lipsticks with different finishings.
- Bobby Brown: A Bobby Brown lippie ranges between Rs 1,700 and Rs 3,600.
- Estee Lauder: A genuine Estee Lauder lipstick starts at Rs 1,900 and goes till Rs 2,750.
- Clinique: A Clinique lipstick would cost between Rs 1,500 to Rs 1,800 only. Although they offer a lot of shades for such a small range.
- Elizabeth Arden: This brands starts from a lip gloss worth Rs 1,600 and ends with a nice moisturising lipstick costing you about Rs 2,040.
- Smashbox: Smashbox lipstick prices are smashing high starting at Rs 1,700 till Rs 2,050.