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7 of the Best Sephora Lipsticks

Imagine this: You’re at work, it’s 2:30 p.m., and you’re dragging. What’s the easiest way to brighten your look (and mood) in under a minute? A fun lipstick can be a great pick-me-up. Last week, we invited six women to try on lipsticks from Sephora. Here are the before-and-after photos…

Before

After, wearing Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Color in Ruby

“Since this lipstick has vitamins C and E and beeswax, it makes my lips feel soft – perfect for smooching on little dudes. Plus, the rich color lasts for the entire day and fades really nicely into a stain.” — Joanna

Before

After, wearing NARS lipstick in Orgasm

“I love to experiment with makeup and wear pretty bold looks — graphic eyeliner, a bright lip, metallic eyeshadow. So, this lipstick feels laid back for me. It’s a good everyday lip, and the light metallic color works especially well on medium skin tones. It gives your lips some shine.” — Natasha

Before

Sephora Cream Lip Stain

After, wearing Sephora Cream Lip Stain in #91, Indian Pink

“Believe it or not, I’ve never really worn lipstick before. Whenever I’ve tried it in the past, I’ve felt like I’m shouting, or talking in all capital letters. I’m a little afraid of myself right now, but I kind of love this one. I’m going to keep it on for the rest of the day and see what happens.” — Minya

Before

After, wearing Rouge Dior Lipstick in #999

“After dyeing my hair from black to blonde last year, I had to change a lot of my makeup. But this lipstick always works, no matter what. It’s the perfect flattering color for a date night — this is what I call a ‘dinner red.'” — Julia

Before

After, wearing Benefit lipstick in Revved-Up Red

“This year, my personal mission was to find a lipstick that works for me. I went to Sephora and tried every shade, but I looked like a toddler who had raided her mom’s bathroom. Then I realized that lipstick is a state of mind. If you wear it with confidence, you can wear any color. This lipstick is like a good training bra that eases you into it. Since this photo shoot, I’ve been trying brighter colors!” — Franny

Before

After, wearing Fenty Mademoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Ma’Damn

“A salesperson once told me I should wear only pinks. She said I didn’t have the skin tone to wear reds, and after that I was never brave enough to try. So, I’m excited to now wear this. For anyone else who has ever been told that they ‘shouldn’t’ wear a certain style, don’t let that person get in your head and don’t be afraid to try something new!” — Anne

Before

After, wearing Sephora Cream Lip Stain in #78, Chili Pepper

“I’m kind of obsessed with this color. I love to wear bright colors, like this jumpsuit, especially with a bold color on my lips. The formula feels so light, and I only needed one coat to get this much pigment! I liked this so much that right after this photo was taken, I ran out and bought it.” — Hetty

What do you think? Do you love lipstick? What colors do you wear? We want to know!

(Photos by Julia Robbs for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Sephora, the cosmetics destination we’ve loved, used and hung out with friends in for years. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Cup of Jo.)

  1. I was really excited to get this but as soon as I opened it it had the consistency of old polish where it was very tacky, thick, and the brush was too wide for the bottle opening and the polish was hard to paint on my nails. I have other gel polishes that work great and aren’t the tacky, hard to paint consistency of this one (yes I rubbed the bottle between my hands and did thin layers and everything as I was supposed to). Even after getting it on and being somewhat okay with the thick finished product, it’s peeling by the next day:( the color change is really really cool but that’s the only thing that was working for me with this product and I only got to enjoy that for one day. Returning it and bummed it didn’t work out. Did I get sent a bad bottle or something?… :(
    Regards.

  2. Jenny says...

    Love these kind of posts and also the beauty and style uniform series, wait actually…LOVE IT ALL. GO TEAM CUP OF JO!!!

  3. Aly says...

    I’m no longer listening to the advice that “red lipstick ages women.” The bright colors in these photos have a youthful effect. I have also been told to choose blue-based reds over orange. Well, I’ve tried orange and it happens to look great on me!

  4. Alison Kleiman says...

    I read this blog thru an RSS feed and in the thumbnail I for sure thought that the left column of pics was the “before” and the right was the “after,” and was SO confused at what looked like (and was!) entirely different faces changed in “one minute!” Ooof… Mondays!

  5. I am always jealous of women who can pull off red lipstick. I feel like it ages me 10 years and makes my teeth yellow. Sigh. I love Bobbie Brown make-up in general, so perhaps I’ll have to give it a go. And I love Sephora and am a tiny bit grateful I don’t have one within an hour’s drive. Though I’ll say this: they’re great about recommending good products and then taking them back if they don’t work out. As a woman with sensitive skin, this is a must for me. Amy

  6. Cassie says...

    The woman who told Anne only to wear pinks is insane! She’s crushing that red.

  7. Natalie says...

    We went to visit my mother-in-law in her care home when we first stared going out and she asked me why I never wore lipstick when I visited her.
    When she was growing up, a face wasn’t “complete” until lipstick was applied.

    I now always make a point to wear lipstick when visiting an older relative, in memory of my MIL.

  8. Jeez, excuse me while I never go without lipstick ever again!

  9. Eva says...

    I’ve been loving the orange-red lipsticks lately (though usually to lazy/forgetful to apply haha) but does anyone have good recs for a peachy color? Not too pink, not too orange? Ethical/responsible brands would be preferred! Thx! <3

  10. Selina says...

    I’m all about the lipstick. I wear it everyday. Bright red, burgundy, fuchsia, dark pink, berry, pinky brown nude, bright orange, burnt orange and pinky purple are my favourite shades. Lipstick always makes you look better, dressed up and stylish even in jeans and t-shirt

  11. Mariana says...

    to tell you the truth, they are such beautifly photographed that the change is minimal in my opinion. They look great! although if it boosts their confidence, is a minute well spent.

    • Luna says...

      Well said.

  12. R. says...

    I’m very low-key on the make-up front. I don’t like feeling ‘coated’ in foundation, and even though I’ve tried a silica powder since coming off the contraceptive pill (to combat a subsequently oiler T-zone), I’ve even abandoned that. Yet, I love a good lipstick. A few years ago I graduated from Clinique to NARS and I’ve never looked back. I pop some Nivea lip-balm on and then choose from four shades:
    1. Niagra (deliciously creamy, coral pop)
    2. Manhunt (warm red, for a knock-out smile)
    3. Funny Face (super vibrant, high-energy pink, can feel a dash greasy at day’s end)
    4. Damage (subdued winter vamp)
    With these in my backpack I don’t even worry about mascara (especially as my eyes feel like a lunar landscape in the morning, after the struggle of removing eye make-up the night prior).
    When I’m in need of an afternoon pick-me-up, I brush my teeth and whack on lipstick — transformed and ready for three more meetings!

  13. Kara says...

    I love all of these women and their words!

    Here’s my weird lipstick thing that I’m wondering if anyone else deals with: every. single. lipstick. I’ve ever tried fades so fast. Like when I was doing makeup trials before my wedding and we were trying to pick a color, the makeup artist kept saying “Hmmm that’s weird” as everything she picked disappeared within minutes or just didn’t show up! She said it was possibly a body chemistry thing? I’ve never gotten into lipstick because it’s never “worked,” so it’s possible there’s a kind that would work that I’ve not tried. (My lips are naturally a dark-ish mauve pink so perhaps that’s the problem??) Anyway I love the idea of lipstick, it’s so fun and transformative.

    • Luna says...

      Get out of town! Ditto with my lips & lipstick. The makeup artist who did my wedding day makeup had to use 5x products to finally get my lipstick to stay put. It didn’t last the 8 hours she suggested, lol. Lucky though as our whole wedding only lasted 4 hours. I did love that she heightened my natural lip colour. I just can’t do bold.

    • jenn says...

      I have this same problem. Makeup seems to just absorb directly into my skin and disappear. I have this problem with lipstick and eyeshadow. Brand origin and primer don’t seem to help. I figure it just saves me money.

    • Julie says...

      Maybe try patting on a thin layer of foundation or concealer on your lips before applying the lipstick. That might help the colors pop more.

    • Em says...

      I’m not personally a fan of Dior because it’s too chemically and I have a sensitivity to a lot of synthetic chemicals BUT they have a new formula out that stays PUT! I went to the “dior addict lacquer plump” launch and those suckers were so hard to take off. Even when I successfully got it off, the stain lasted til the next day. I swear its like a lip tattoo of color. Although be forewarned, there’s nothing green, clean or eco about Dior makeup.

  14. Christine says...

    I finally found a bright orange-red that doesnt get all over my face. It is Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Envy Matte in Volatile. I always get compliments. It stays put on my face, but does wear off on cups, etc. But, i do wake up with some still on after a night out!

  15. Nazeefah says...

    I tend to go for darker reds, think MAC diva and lush life. I’ve recently discovered Bobbi Brown’s crush lipsticks and am obsessed with the ruby one Joanna is wearing!

  16. Mary Lou Duplan says...

    Anne I don’t know who said you should only wear pinks. But that lipstick color makes you look so bright and beautiful. I’m 62 and I love reds, pinks, and wine colors. I can’t wear all reds or pinks. I also feel not made up with out lipstick.

  17. Silver says...

    I turned 45 this year and I went into the MAC shop and looked for a lipstick to match the very first nail polish I ever bought – from a time when I was about 8 – it was ultra violet and I loved it… I wanted to channel that crazy energy from the time when I first listened to Blondie albums and life was free and full of possibilities. So I took home a bright ultra violet lipstick – I figured who could notice the wrinkles with such vibrant lips. I love lipstick. A slight aside, any older readers here? Have you noticed it is harder to keep a defined line around the lips? maybe wearing foundation or concealer on the lips would help? Anyone have any ideas?

    • Sylvia says...

      Hi Silver, I know that espacially at MAC you should be able to get the exact lipliner matching your lipstick. When using just note to fill in the wole lip and not to only have the outer line. After that you can apply the lipstick. I hope this is helpfull (I’m only 31). You sound very cool!

    • Lizzie says...

      Clear lip liner! Maybelline makes one.

  18. Liz says...

    I discovered Tom Ford’s Indian Rose lipstick recently. It is a gorgeous neutral shade that probably would work on just about anyone. It feels so luxurious, not chalky or drying at all. A bit pricey, but totally worth it

    • Jenna says...

      Tom Ford lipsticks are so great—gorgeous shades, smooth texture, long lasting. My personal shade is Pussycat.

  19. Drea Rahming says...

    I love lipstick and I am experimenting with different colors. The Chili Red no is on my list

  20. Anne, whoever said that to you was a straight up FOOL! Love that color on you!

  21. Denise says...

    I think every one of these women looks more lovely & fresh without but it’s a personal style thing. They look good with the lip stick too. I just prefer natural looks to made up ones. I’ve actually always assumed that lip stick was a New York/big city specific trend since around here very few women wear much make up.

    • Anna says...

      I agree – I live in the country & most women (except the teenagers) wear very little makeup. A bold lipstick would be startling! Maybe nice for a formal event though!

  22. Am I the only one who thinks these gorgeous ladies looked better BEFORE the lipsticks? I guess I’m more a fan of natural looks.

    • Am says...

      Same : ) . They look a bit, well, sterner tbh with lipstick on! Except Minya. I think she pulls it off the best.

    • asia says...

      I was thinking the same thing!

    • Callie says...

      I thought the same thing! They looked younger and more, well, vibrant and youthful without the lipsticks.

    • Same here. I do love seeing them in color, but I think they all looked great without lipstick as well. And does anyone else use Clinique Black Honey? I’ve never seen it look ‘bad’ on anyone. Ever.

  23. Isabel says...

    I have always loved the idea of wearing lipstick. But, for years, I have found that it makes my small mouth even smaller. Am I the only one who feels this way? I also think that lipstick makes you look older after a certain age. I like older women with more natural faces. It looks fresh and wonderful. I wonder if there’s hope for the post 40-year old me…

    • Becky says...

      I think it has to do with doing a deep color vs a lighter color or matte vs glossy. I find lipstick can dry out my lips and make them look older. I like moisturizing and lighter in color. One day I hope to crack the code to darker lips!

    • Marena says...

      I totally agree with everything you said! I have a small mouth and only wear neutral shades. Bobbie Brown Pale Pink is my go to. My daughter thinks I
      need to wear some color but as I’m nearing 60, I feel the bright colors make me look older.

    • Ann-Marie says...

      Whenever I try wearing darker lipstick I feel like it adds a few years! You’re not alone. I try keep to more natural, medium tones, and moisturized/glossy, not matte. It might also be our coloring? My mom is almost 70 and always wears reds and it looks great!

    • Selina says...

      Try a sheer lipstick if you want colour but for it not to overwhelm your features

  24. Mb says...

    I like lipstick but my teeth are not bright white. Whenever I wear reds I feel like my teeth look yellow. Any pro tips on tones to use?

    • Marie says...

      Same. I find bright colors look great with my skin, but terrible with my teeth, so I stay with a neutral pink.

    • Pick a red with blue undertones. You might be picking reds with an orange undertone, which will make the teeth more yellow. (I’m a dentist, I have to answer this question a lot!)

    • Natasha says...

      I have this problem, too. When I switched to hot pink instead of red, my teeth looked better!

    • Katie says...

      A red with blue undertones should make your teeth seem more white! I can’t do pinky reds for that reason, either. A good brick red I’ve found to be really flattering for a smile.

    • Savannah says...

      Go with blue undertones, it’ll cool you down.

    • jules says...

      As a very pale blonde I have always loved a strong lipstick in the red family. Here are two picks that are teeth friendly. My teeth are pretty natural – I’ve never done professional whitening:

      I swear by Nars Audrey (true red, brightish with a blue undertone)

      Revlon Blackberry (90s dark brownish berry, first started wearing it in the 90s and brought it back recently now that the 90s are back, too )

  25. So fun! I love experimenting with different lip colors. When I was younger, and rushing out the door, my mother would always call out- “Don’t forget your lips!” She felt like you weren’t truly ready without something on your lips. As an adult, I’ve found that I pretty much always have at least something on my lips, even if it’s just chapstick. Moms- they never stop being the voice inside our heads, do they?

  26. Julia says...

    What a difference! I had to double-check if it was really ONLY the lipstick and not more make-up that achieves this amazing fresh effect!

  27. Natasha says...

    All of these ladies are simply stunning… before and after. I love the wide range of skin tones and ages. However, as usual there no African American women in this article…this saddens me. African American women are beautiful too. I’m a true makeup junkie and I love lipstick, so the article really caught my attention. As I read through it and I noticed many ethnicities were represented, but not one African American woman. This is not a good look. I usually share your articles on my social media pages, and I’m still going to share this one to celebrate all the beautiful women in this article. However, I will make it known that your company didn’t recognize African American women. Keep Up The Great Work!
    (Feeling Slighted?)

    • Jen says...

      Agreed! it would also be lovely to showcase Latina women!

    • I didn’t notice until you said this, probably because I’m white/half asian, so the majority of the women represented look like me, but good point! There’s only one darker woman. Where are the lovely black and latina ladies?

  28. Kristie says...

    It would be nice to see your admirable efforts to represent diverse women include age. I’ve been a daily reader for years, and this post is the first time that 48 year old me thought “Oh, wow, this is really intended for young people. I do not see myself there.” A single middle-aged woman could change that, and help your readers to imagine their own futures as well.

    • Marie says...

      Yes. I’m also a long time daily reader, and I’m 46. I find myself thinking often that the target audience must be 20- and 30-somethings? Which is fine, I still enjoy all the articles. But I do feel like women seem to vanish from media — social or other forms — once we hit our 40s, and it would be great to see this amazing community expand a bit more.

    • Dee says...

      I really agree with this. I’m 32 but I want to see where I’m headed not where I’ve been :) xx

  29. Meredith says...

    Franny’s beautiful polka dot wrap top is from where? Love it!

  30. Alison D. says...

    Mac Velvet Teddy has been my go-to color for a few years, but this is making me want to try a red!

  31. Samantha says...

    You’ve inspired me! I got some samples a while back with an online order, and somehow they were all magically amazing, even though I just picked them based on the name. I keep meaning to go buy them … maybe I’ll do that this weekend. :D

  32. Emily M. says...

    Oh my goodness, Julia looks so cool and pretty. Her look is edgy but in a very approachable way. These lipsticks are so transformation, I LOVE a good lipstick!

  33. Holly S. says...

    My mom always said never to leave home without lipstick. I have thin lips and really needed it, but I think it’s true for everyone. I love a bold lip. These are great brights. That one pale lipstick, though…no.

  34. Kay says...

    You’re all stunners!

  35. Yvonne says...

    Everybody looks great! Lipstick makes a big difference, it makes your face come alive. I love lipsticks.
    I have a question for Lane (commentator) who mentioned that her mother wears a bright orangey-red from Clinique. I would love to know the name please as I like orangey-red lipstick. Thank you!

  36. Yep! These lipsticks are fab!

  37. Caroline says...

    I know exactly what Minya means! Whenever I wear a bold lipstick I always feel like I am drawing loads of attention to my mouth – it’s all I can think about! Same with nail varnish actually.

  38. Cherie says...

    I cant stop buying matte lip stains (never enough!) but the one I love the most (and get the most comments on) is Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in Strawberry Kissed – the perfect red pink! I also love Kat Von D Liquid Everlasting Liquid lipsticks (favourite colours Lolita and Bauhaus)

  39. D says...

    Love Frannie’s! Overly bright/not natural color lipsticks just distract me the whole time I am listening to the people wearing them. I feel like they are the crazy blue 80’s eye shadow of our time. However, I am in awe when people find the perfect “is she wearing lipstick or are her lips just that gorgeous shade” match for themselves.

  40. So fun! I love lipstick. I found a good red (Urban Decay 714 Mega Matte) with the help of Sephora saleswoman who was patient and gave good feedback one day a few years back. I wear it when I’m feeling bold or when I want to feel bold :)
    I do really like Burt’s Bees lip crayons and colored lip glosses – so much quicker to put on than lipstick, so that’s what I turn to for a really quick everyday pick-me-up. I only wear lipstick to events, I guess.

  41. Rashmi Krishna says...

    Please do tell us where Julia’s gorgeous necklace is from?

    • jane says...

      Same! I need to know! <3

    • Laura says...

      i thought this too!

    • Lily O'Hara-Brantner says...

      Agreed, it’s stunning!

  42. Viv says...

    Totally crushing on Minya right now, both before and after!

    Also, I feel compelled to go apply my newish Dr. Hauschka lip color and see if I look/feel any more put together. (I’m mostly afraid I’ll just end up scrubbing it out of my 9-month-old’s hair. I’m a chronic baby head kisser.)

  43. Kalli says...

    I’ve never been comfortable wearing more than minimal, “natural”-looking makeup. I’ll use light, moisturizing lip balms, but most lipsticks I’ve tried feel waxy, goopy or heavy to me in a distracting way that prevents me from experimenting with bolder colors. Can anyone recommend a lipstick or stain they love that feels a lot more discreet than it looks?

    • MCW says...

      Check out Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner in Arabian Knights. The color is fairly buildable, the texture is very light but not dry, and the ingredient list is super clean!

    • Hilary says...

      Kalli, I reccomend Mac Lustre lipsticks. They are light weight and buttery and don’t look too bold due to the thinner application and non-matt finish. I love Lady Bug for red and Lustering for pink. The lady in Mac reccomended them to me 5 years ago as the perfect introductory to bolder colours and I’ve worn them non-stop ever since!

    • Jet says...

      I can really recommend Clinique Chubby sticks. They feel pretty much like lip balm, but give a much brighter pop. There are two types: regular and intense. The intense really looks like a lipstick, without feeling like one. And they last a long time too!

    • Dani Banani says...

      I’m not a fan of traditional lipsticks for the same reasons you’ve listed, however I’ve been a long time weather of Clinique’s Almost Lipstick. It’s a beautiful, lightweight, sheer lipstick that glides on smoothly. You can build or deepen the color by adding more layers, which is nice if you want a bolder look. My favorite shade is Black Honey & I don’t know anyone that it doesn’t look stunning on. Another option may be a lip stain. My favorite is Benefit’s Bene Tint or Posie Tint. It’s weightless & has a great, matte color payoff that lasts the whole day. I sometimes will layer the Bene Tint under my Almost Lipstick shade for a “glossier” look. Hope this helps you! ??

    • Diana says...

      I love Lime Crime “plushies” for this reason. They’re a buildable liquid lip that dry down to a comfortable stain without that dehydrated lip feel. They have cute packaging and are sold at ULTA. I have a few because they’re so comfortable: the color Milk Tea is a good everyday pink, Marmalade is a fun orange, and Jam is a sheer red.

    • Tara Bee says...

      Also Mac Lustre Plumful is devine and so buttery as Hilary said!!

    • Giulia says...

      I second Ilia Arabian nights, it even convinced my mum, who never wears make-up and is a skin-care only person. She loves it now, and I just got her a new tube, since I was in London and she can’t find it back home :)

    • Kalli says...

      I appreciate all these recommendations, thanks so much!

  44. mb says...

    For hair, it’s dyeing not “dying”

  45. Liv says...

    I have to say, Anne and Julia are my favorites! Those colors really wake everything up- love, love, love!!!

  46. Nicole says...

    I love lipstick!! My collection is ever growing. One trick for trying bold colors at work (I’ve been known to wear a bright magenta lipstick with a black standard suit) is to just kind of “forget” about it. Truly, it only takes people a second to get used to your lipstick—I promise you don’t look weird, and I’ve had multiple coworkers (especially ones older than me!) tell me that my wearing bold lipstick is what convinced them to give it a try!

    • Jamie Benjamin says...

      Please help! I’ve always used Revlon Colorstay. It last all day & was still going strong in the morning if I happened to fall asleep before removal. Well last year they discontinued my shade. I tried other shades in the Colorstay collection but I guess the formula isn’t the same for different colors.LOL! Well since you love lipstick & have a huge collection, can you please help me find a brand that TRULY does not wear off. I have a collection of my own. They all claim to be “Long Lasting,” “All Day Wear,” or “Stays put for 10 hours or more.” I’m here to tell you, that’s all BS. Please help if you can. Thank you in advance

  47. Julia says...

    My go-to is Urban Decay’s Sheer Rapture, which is incredibly creamy and a subtle berry color. When I want something more sheer, I love the Burt’s Bees tinted chapstick in hibiscus.

  48. caitlin says...

    love the power of a fun lipstick color! but also, uh, where is natasha’s shirt from? bc that’s also pretty awesome.

    • Uniqlo! I got it last year for I think $10 :) Keep an eye out on their website because they come out with similar styles/colors every year!

  49. Kim says...

    everyone is beautiful, and I love a bright lip, but tbh, I like minya and natasha’s looks better without lipstick! xo

  50. KG says...

    I love the name Hetty.
    Perfection.

    I always feel too “done” with lipstick. I do like it sometimes, some colors. My husband hates lipstick, so I often don’t even bother,

  51. Jo says...

    I think aside from Franny, everyone looks sooo much better in the before photos, you especially, Joanna!

    • Mandy says...

      Me too! It’s actually put me off strong lipstick – the natural or softer look is so much better in my opinion

    • TillyMc says...

      Ha! I agree!

  52. January says...

    Joanna, it’s crazy how putting on red lipstick magically made a little boy appear in your arms! ;)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha it’s magic!!

  53. Ro says...

    I love to go to CVS and get a new lipstick whenever I’m feeling blah. I think the brand is called Milani (it’s in a gold tube). For only about $6 I can experiment with a new shade, and feel like I treated myself. So far I’ve tried a bold blue-red, a super hot Barbie pink, and a deep dark purple.

    • What is the name of the blue red? Looking for a good red

    • T Barr Segal says...

      Ruby Woo by Mac is my favorite blue red. I’m 55, with a white ear
      length bob, and I get so many complements on my lipstick. Even in my rather “earthy” NorCal little town.??

    • Mimisky says...

      Ro, you must be my body double! Lol! I have spent an UNGODLY amount of time in CVS…and mostly when I’m bored, in a bummer mood! I will feel like a Debbie Downer, until I walk through those CVS doors and then back out, much later. Now, I’m feeling happy and SOOO accomplished! By far, the best brand/quality to me is, Milani. A woman in the store, who stated she was looking to buy her FIRST EVER lipstick, asked which brand was best. Another woman who was in the aisle near me and I answered, at the same time, “Milani!” So smooth, velvety and stays put, pretty darn long! Would LOVE LOVE if they came out with more colors, though!

    • Ro says...

      Melanie, it’s called “Ruby Valentine.” It might not be the bluest blue-red ever, but it’s close! It comes off as a cooler tone on my pale skin, and I always get compliments.

      I’m working up the nerve to eventually buy MAC Ruby Woo. I agree with everyone that’s the truest blue-red!

  54. Emily says...

    Miss Info!! I listened to her on Hot 97 back in high school. Seeing her on Cup of Jo feels like my teen and adult worlds colliding, she always seemed so badass to me.

    I once watched an interview with Rashida Jones where she said she loved wearing bright lipstick because “it feels like I’m asking to be seen.” I loved that. I can be pretty reserved and self-conscious, but I’ve always been comfortable wearing any kind of lip color. It’s like the one bold choice I’m always willing to make.

    I’ve discovered a lot of favorites here (thanks in large part to Caroline’s lipstick challenge): Lipstick Queen in Medieval and Hello Sunshine, which are all super moisturizing, and NYX matte lip cream in Monte Carlo. I also have a bunch of Revlon balm stains (I think they’re great entry points into lip products because of the drugstore price and the color is so buildable) and I like Fenty Gloss Bomb and Milk lipsticks these days.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      she’s SO amazing.

  55. Em says...

    Hetty and Franny need to invest in a case of those lipsticks! They are just so perfect on them, its like those colors were made for them.

    Also- Joanna, maybe you can do a post on how you do your hair! It looks amazing.

    • Amy says...

      +1 Joanna’s hair

  56. Angela says...

    Minya…YES! My sentiments exactly. Being brave looks good on you-maybe it will on me too. ;)

  57. Ann-Marie says...

    Everyone looks great before and after! :)

    I don’t wear lipstick much, as it always feel too drying compared to lip glosses and balms, no matter how much it promises to moisturize! As someone with “soft summer” coloring I also like more natural lip colors – rose/mauve/berry. Currently using rms beauty’s lip2cheek color in Modest on both lips and cheeks, love it! FYI, lipsticks can have a lot of nasty chemicals in them, and you pretty much eat them as they’re on your mouth, so think twice about ingredients…

    • Also my coloring/preference. I highly recommend the Bare Minerals nudes, a matte liquid lipstick with perfect rich but subtle colors.

    • Ann-Marie says...

      Thanks Lisa! :)

  58. amber says...

    Julia your hair is awesome!!!

  59. My favorite all around lipstick is Lipstick Queen’s Medieval. It’s the perfect step up from lipbalm and the color builds nicely.

    For more dramatic looks, I love NARS’ Red Lizard, Gypsy, and Full Frontal. I’ve just started getting into more natural beauty products and really enjoy Ilia’s tinted lip conditioner in Arabian Knights.

    • I wish they’d make Medieval Queen without parabens!

  60. Liz says...

    My secret weapon is the tinted Burt’s Bees chapstick! I normally like lip stains and only a light cream blush…then one day I discovered this is the perfect wash of color on your cheeks and light stain on your lips. Instant pretty transformation. (Stinks they sold to Clorox though)

    • Renee says...

      Me too–easy and not fussy at all. Burt’s Bees plus Stowaway lipstick are all the options I need!

  61. HTM says...

    I get so frustrated trying to find a red(ish) shade of lipstick because all seem to bring out any redness in my eyes… which is not a flattering look. Is it just me??

    • CB says...

      This happens to me too, for sure

  62. Carrie says...

    My “pick me up” is blush! A bit on the cheeks, a bit over the eye lids (using the same brush for both), a little chapstick and if I’m feeling fancy, curl my eye lashes. Makes me feel brand new

  63. Sarah says...

    Everyone’s clothes are so cool! Can i ask where Joanna’s and Franny’s tops are from?

  64. Alexandra says...

    My favourite lipstick is the Bobbi Brown crushed in Ruby! I love that you can build the colour up… Plus it tastes of oranges!

  65. I finally got into lipsticks this last year! Nothing makes me feel more like I have it together than lipstick. I have found, though, that my lips are very very sensitive to formula; I’ve had to give away a couple of gorgeous Chanel lipsticks to friends that just destroyed my lips. *cry* But! Nars has consistently been my bff. They have all kinds of different formulas- creamy, matte, pencils- and I love them all. “Barbarella” is a pale peachy color with very very slight orange undertones. The only lipstick I’ve ever used the entire thing of and had to re-buy! My favorite red ever that I get compliments on all the time is their velvet matte lip pencil in “mysterious red”. And finally, I bought myself a new everyday pink that I just love- it’s their audacious lipstick in “brigitte”.

    Ok ok wait one more! I have too many. :) But my very very favorite makeup artist and youtube tutorialist, Violette (also the global beauty director for Estee Lauder) launches her own lines with them, and last Christmas she came out with a trio of liquid lipsticks. The Pure Color Envy liquid matte lipstick in “304 Quiet Riot” is INCREDIBLE. It’s discontinued now, and I will be devastated when it eventually runs out. It stays all. day. long. through all the food eating and talking. A deeeep oxblood.

    Ok make me stop talking!

  66. Leah says...

    But where is Hetty’s jumpsuit from???

    • Lesley says...

      I have it! Rachel Comey.

  67. Samantha says...

    Thank you for showing a range of reds! I find so many reds to be ‘vampy’ against my pale skin, I’ve given up … but there are some great ‘softer’ options here that I’d love to try – particularly Julia’s Dior #999 and Franny’s Benefit Revved-Up Red. Thanks!

  68. TJPea says...

    I adore lipstick. I am very fair with light eyes and hair, AND I work under fluorescent lights, so without a bright sheer red lipstick, I feel like I look tired and don’t feel ‘put together for work’. It also prevents me from licking my lips 27,100 times a day. #liplicker

    • hahaha your hashtag.

  69. LB says...

    My 2018 resolution was to be an actual adult – by wearing lipstick! I probably only remember to put it on once a week, and still don’t wear it to work everyday but I do feel more put together for the 20 minutes it’s on before I inevitably wipe it off. #adultgoals

  70. Shannon says...

    Would love to know more about these women – is there a reason you don’t like to their sites/instagrams?

  71. Ellay says...

    Yes! I love lipstick, and especially as a new mom I feel like it helps me have more energy and feel more dressed even if I’m wearing shorts and a huge tshirt to nurse my baby inside of! I love Tarte lipsticks for their colors and few nasty ingredients.

  72. el says...

    Hair makeovers next!
    @ Anne, you look amazing in that red! So much so that I can not imagine you in pink!

    Kinda surprised they promoted Sephora but Sephora did not gift them their color gratis in return…unless they were paid for this job.

    • Thank you!! I’m glad I finally got that naysayer’s voice out of my head! =)

  73. Andrea says...

    Everyone looks so gorgeous! I’m inspired to put on some lipstick tonight :)

  74. Eliza says...

    All of these women are so beautiful naturally!! I am one of those weirdos who thinks that most women look better without makeup, but a great lip color can totally do wonders for confidence and mood!!

  75. Adriana says...

    A good lipstick can totally change your mood! When I dress up for something special, my outfit is not complete until my lipstick is on. And then I feel fierce!

  76. Jessica says...

    Am I the only one who likes the before pictures better? Runs and hides…

    • Starla says...

      I do, too!

    • G says...

      Hahaha what a lovely way to compliment the models!

    • Megan says...

      Me too. Never been a lipstick fan.

    • c m says...

      Was going to write the same thing. Truly, all the ladies look lovely in both befores/afters, but something about some of the afters just feels like they’re trying too hard. But I’m all for building one’s own confidence, wherever that comes from. If each feels better in second version, then more power to them. Just remember …confidence is mostly in the mind, not what’s been applied to the package.

    • Jojo says...

      Totally agree. I love the natural look best.

    • Agreed. Much prefer the natural look. These women all look amazing in their before pictures.

  77. Chandra says...

    When people have told me in the past I shouldn’t wear x or y, I had a jerk of a guy I was in a situationship with high school for far too long constantly tell me I shouldn’t wear red; but I make a point to wear x, y and red now…hahah.

    • Claire says...

      Good for you! I once saw one of those dumb articles that list things that women over the age of 50 “should never do”. One of them was to not ever wear hoop earrings….making me renew my commitment to my hoop earrings, and to make it a point to wear them as often as possible.

  78. Wendy says...

    These women all look beautiful, but could an older woman -say your mom- wear these brighter colors? I love the reds, but I’m not sure I could pull off the look.

    • Lane says...

      My mom (early 60s) is a total tomboy and has never been into very much makeup. But last year she bought this gorgeous bright orangey-red from Clinique and started wearing it. It was so flattering and really made her look even younger. I’d say go for it!

    • Samantha Zutler says...

      Hi Wendy! I’m 42 (maybe not your mom’s age, but still :) ), and just starting to wear more bright lipsticks. It brightens things up and is fun. I say go for it!

    • Yvonne says...

      Lane, what is the Clinique lipstick color that your Mom bought? Thank you!

  79. Stephanie says...

    What a transformation! They look so polished! I’m not much of a lipstick wearer either but this inspired me to give it another try! Especially in a fun shade instead of the neutral I always go for

  80. Kaye says...

    …..scurrying off to apply some color to my lips! Great and fun post!

  81. Cassandra says...

    I never used to wear lipstick at all, but when I cut my hair really short I completely embraced it. I wear it almost everyday, from bright pink, bright purple, dark purple, red, you name it. I was really self conscious at first because I was worried I wasn’t pulling it off, but now I feel weird with OUT it! I’ve had many women comment on my lipstick and even stop me on the subway asking what brand/color I’m wearing. Lipstick is powerful!

    • Neen says...

      Same! I used to hide behind face & eye makeup with a minimal lip (chapstick)…but chopping my hair off made me fearless and ready for a bold lip with minimal face/eye! And I LOVE IT.

  82. sam says...

    Anne’s shirt is amazing! Where is it from, do we know?
    I always refer to Caroline’s lipstick challenge from the past, so these are helpful. Thanks!

    • Hi, Sam! My shirt is actually a dress from Kooples via Rent the Runway (I do a monthly subscription to mix things up).

  83. Alex says...

    I think everyone looks super in their Before. The After looks like…it’s them, but they’re wearing lipstick, is all. Team Before!

  84. Laura says...

    Anne looks amazing in that red! Shame on that salesperson.

    • Kelly says...

      YES! Anne that shade is amazing on you.

    • Thank you! I’m so glad I gave it a shot!

  85. leslie says...

    Julia! Who makes your pendant necklace? Love it!

    Leslie

  86. Lisa says...

    Lol I honestly see no difference in Natasha’s before/after photos…she’s lucky to have naturally beautiful lips!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      she really is so gorgeous. they were sparklier afterward — so pretty in person!

    • Heather says...

      I was thinking the same thing – but wondering if it looked more noticeable in person.