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Confession time: As a rule, I detest lipstick. As fun as it is to play with different colors-whether it's a gorgeous berryВ stain,В a brown-tinged '90s throwback moment or even Rihanna-inspired green-the hassle of most formulas just isn't worth the escapismВ to me. I hate that I can't take a sip of coffee or eat a snack without worryingВ about finding smudges across my face or on my teeth; I hate the constant need for reapplication; I hate that most matte formulas (and many creamy ones) are horribly drying on my pout.В I could go on and on, and it's for these reasons that I stick with just a swipe or twoВ of nude-colored lip liner most days.В
My standards may be somewhat ridiculous, but they're not impossible. The select few lipsticks that do meet my criteriaВ are nothing short of stellar, IMO-and to be sure, I consulted with my fellow Byrdie editors as well as some other beauty-savvy (and equally picky) friends.В Keep reading for the formulas that even lipstick-averse folks can get behind.
We're fans of all of Ilia's ultra-creamy, all-natural lip formulas, but it was love at first swipe with the brand's tinted lip conditioners in particular. ConcoctedВ with a vegetable oil blend and natural dyes, this balm-like formula leaves behind an ultra-flattering tinge of color that layers beautifully if you're aiming for a more saturated look. Plus, because the color is so sheer, it actually looksВ greatВ when it's smeared ever-so-slightly-in an ultra-pretty undone kind of way.Lipstick Queen Hello Sailor Lipstick $25Shop
Lipstick Queen has turnedВ seemingly off-putting colors into something of an art form, butВ the real magic is in how flattering the moisturizing tints areВ afterВ application. Take Hello Sailor, for example, which morphsВ into the most flattering stain of berry after you swipe it on. (Other color-changing recs include the teeth-whitening Butterfly Ball, $24, as well asВ the green-to-pink Frog Prince Lip Gloss, $25.)
Leave it to makeup goddess Charlotte Tilbury to craft one of the best traditional lipstick formulas out there, which you'll undoubtedly find-in multiples-in every Byrdie editor's bag. "It's creamy, but it stays put," notes associate editor Lindsey-basically the holy grail of lipstickВ descriptors, no?ВGlossier Generation G Lipstick $18Shop
From the ultra-pretty color range to the second-skinВ texture, there's a lot to love about Glossier's inaugural lipstick formula-not to mention that it's completely bleed-proof, so you can skip the liner and constant reapplication.
When working with a lipstick that has a sheer color payoff, try layering on different hues for a custom finish.Clarins Rouge Eclat Lipstick $28Shop
Not-so-fun fact: Our lips are one of the first areas of our faces to show the effects of aging, and moisturizing lipstickВ was formulated to combat just that. The non-feathering, satiny finish is just a bonus.ВNars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil $27Shop
Senior editor Hallie-who insists on a "velvety or matte texture only" when it comes to lip products-swears by Nars's Velvet Matte Lip Pencil for its smooth-to-the-touch veneer. The pencil format makes for foolproof application, too.Rituel de Fille Enchanted Lip Sheer $21Shop
Yet another semi-matte tint in our lineup (what can we say, apparently it's a winning genre), Rituel de Fille's Enchanted Lip Sheers are all about head-turning pigment without any unnecessary additives. That means your pout gets an adjustableВ pop of colorВ and a huge dose of hydration that lasts all day long (even through lunch and snacks, trust us). Speaking from experience, you'll want to collect every hue.Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipstick $22Shop
Matte lovers, take note: Urban Decay's offering was specifically crafted to evade that flaky, parched feeling that many products tend to leave behind.В In fact, a hydrating blend of avocado and olive oils ensures just the opposite, without sacrificing any durability.В
Have any lipstick formulas you swear by? Call them out in the comments below!