There are certain lipstick known by sight or name or number alone. Here are the top best lipstick color of all time, including colors like the first red ever worn at a Christian Dior fashion show.

Our Top Picks (Classic Best lipstick color)

999 by Christian Dior- DIOR Rouge Dior Lipstick

Rumored to be the lipstick color worn at the first-ever Christian Dior runway show (then known as 9), this is Dior’s best-selling, classic red. It’s often referred to by its other name: “Iconic.”

$35 AT NEIMAN MARCUS

Ruby Woo by M.A.CM.A.C Lipstick Matte

This shade is beloved for its ability to look good on virtually everyone. Celebrity makeup artist Beau Nelson explains its appeal: “It’s a vivid, matte, matte, matte red.” (Yes, he said matte three times for emphasis.) “It takes a little effort to get on, but the velvety-red look is worth it.” It’s also known for being virtually indestructible, lasting from morning to night with meals in between.

mac lipstick

$16 AT NORDSTROM

Black Honey Almost Lipstick by Clinique – CLINIQUE Almost Lipstick

A freebie in makeup gift sets in the ’80s, Clinique’s BlackHoney Almost became a cult favorite in the ’90s as a lipgloss/lipstick that, inoft-repeated beauty parlance, looks good on almost everyone. It’s now thebest-reviewed lipstick on MakeupAlley, with over 1,000 reviews. People buy itin bulk, including our fashion editor-at-large.

lipstick

$16 AT NORDSTROM

Spice by M.A.C M.A.C Lip Pencil

This cinnamon-brown lip color, which Linda Evangelista once publicly praised, was sold out for most of the ’90s. Nelson explains: “No iconic products list would be complete without this ’90s supermodel favorite.”

mac lipstick

$15 AT NORDSTROM

Schiap by NARSNARSSemi Matte Lipstick – Schiap

Named for designer Elsa Schiaparelli, it’s one of the brightest pink lipsticks with blue undertones. Maggie Gyllenhaal wore the shade with her Dries Van Noten to the 2010 Oscars.

nars lipstick

$28 AT NORDSTROM

Pirate by Chanel – ChanelRouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour

A classic red with blue undertones, this was one of six shades formulated to mimic Coco Chanel’s signature red lip. This shade became a cult-favorite, especially after YouTube makeup artist Lisa Eldridge demonstrated its appeal in a video.

red lipstick

$37 AT NORDSTROM

Lady Danger by M.A.CMAC Red Lipstick

A true red-orange, this is the classic shade always seen on the lips of street-style star and Harper’s Bazaar editor Joanna Hillman.

mac free lipstick

$16 AT NORDSTROM

No. 19 Fuchsia Rouge Pur Couture by YSL – YVES SAINT LAURENT ROUGE PUR COUTURE Lipstick Collection

The first shade created by Monsieur Saint Laurent in 1979.

$37 AT NORDSTROM

Angel by M.A.CM.A.C Lipstick Shine

In 2011, an up-and-coming reality star named Kim K1ardashian proclaimed this her favorite lipstick shade. This pink lipstick (with a touch of frost) has been a best seller ever since.

free mac lipstick

$19 AT ULTA BEAUTY

Funny Face by NARSNARS Lipstick

Named after the Audrey Hepburn film, this is a fuchsia that looks either more purple or pink depending upon your skin tone.

nars lipstick

$28 AT NORDSTROM

Russian Red by M.A.CM.A.C Little Lipstick

One of the three best-selling reds by M.A.C (the others being Ruby Woo and Lady Danger), this is a cherry red that leans the slightest bit toward orange.

mac free lipstick

$16 AT NORDSTROM

Fire and Ice and Cherries in the Snow by Revlon – Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick

Nelson explains the cult appeal of these two shades: “Cherries in the Snow is a pink-based red that has literally been around for decades and is a timeless classic.

Fire and Ice was maybe the first Hollywood-red lipstick (and matching nail color). The ads asked readers’ questions and warned that you were only bold enough to wear the shade if you answered at least eight of them with ‘Yes.’”

$8 AT ULTA BEAUTY

Myth by M.A.CM.A.CLipstick – Nudes

On internet message boards, you often see the acronym MLBB — meaning “My Lips But Better.” This is one of the best-reviewed MLBB shades on MakeupAlley of all time, praised for being a nude that isn’t too nude. It’s a frequently sold-out best seller.

mac cosmetics

$19 AT AMAZON

Bruised Plum by Tom Ford – Tom Ford Lip Color

Quite simply, one of the best plum-colored lipsticks of all time.

$54 AT NORDSTROM

Jungle Red by NARSNARS Lipstick

Nelson explains why this shade is Old Hollywood (and used by him in our GIF tutorial): “In addition to a glamorous The Women reference, this shade of bright, slightly blue-based red is perfect for an Old Hollywood power pout.” Makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes also says that this is another one of those shades that looks good on everyone.

$24 AT NORDSTROM

No. 1 by YSL – YVESSAINT LAURENT ROUGE PUR COUTURE Lipstick Collection

Lupita Nyong’o’s makeup artist, Nick Barose, calls this is one of his favorite red shades. “It’s a classic red that’s creamy with a hint of sheen, and glamorous and sexy,” he says.

ysl lipstick

$37 AT NORDSTROM

GIORGIO ARMANI BEAUTYRouge D’Armani Lipstick

This classic red is what is known as the Armani Red, and the same shade as seen in the brand’s signature red lipstick case.

$38 AT NORDSTROM

Brown by Bobbi Brown- Bobbi Brown Lip Color

Bobbi Brown started her makeup line with ten lipstick shades and this was one of the originals — a color that helped make brown lips a trend in the 1990s.

$29 AT NORDSTROM

Uncensored by FentyBeauty -FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color

This is Rihanna’s version of a universal red and some already think it’s a replacement for M.A.C’s Ruby Woo. In its liquid form, it’s lighter and easier to apply than a typical tube of lipstick.

$24 AT SEPHORA

Nude Kate byCharlotte Tilbury – CHARLOTTE TILBURY K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick – Nude Kate

Amal Clooney’s makeup artist, Charlotte Tilbury, says that for years people used to beg her for the nude shade that Kate Moss(incidentally, godmother to her children) always wore.

Tilbury used to custom-mix it for her, using a mix of concealers. When she finally debuted her own line, she produced Moss’s shade as one of her first lip colors.

nude lipstick

$34 AT NORDSTROM

Elson by Pat McGrath- PAT MCGRATH LABS MatteTrance™ Lipstick

Legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath, the most famous makeup artist in the world, developed a pure red of her own. Elson is named after the model Karen Elson, and a crimson blue-red shade that had everyone asking, “What is that shade?” at Prada’s resort 2018 show.

$38 AT SEPHORA

Trafalgar by Christian Dior – DIOR Rouge Dior Lipstick

In every beauty range, there’s a classic red that’s a bestseller, and a second best seller that’s a more quirky red. This red has a jolt of orange through it — no less pigmented than the 999, but just as vibrant.

$35 AT NEIMAN MARCUS

Heroine by M.A.CM.A.C Lipstick Matte

Originally launched as part of M.A.C’s Reel Sexy collection,it quickly became a fan favorite (multiple internet message boards devoted threads to documenting their love affair of the lipstick). M.A.C heard their cries and brought this violet shade into its permanent collection this year.

$19 AT VIOLET GREY

No. 52 Rouge PurCouture by YSL – YVES SAINT LAURENT ROUGE PUR COUTURE Lipstick Collection

A new cult favorite, this shade sold out everywhere worldwide after its appearance on a Korean TV drama. It now goes for up to $100 on eBay.

ysl lipstick

$37 AT NORDSTROM

Honolulu Honey by NARSNARS Lipstick

One of the most famous nude shades of all time. Makeup creator Francois Nars once said it was his single, most-used beauty product of all time because it’s a “perfect, warm nude” with just “the right amount of yellow and pink.”

$28 AT NORDSTROM

Always Red by Sephora- SEPHORA COLLECTION Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick

Don’t sleep on the house collection by Sephora. I found out about this shade through makeup artist Benjamin Puckey, who found out about it on set. The bright red has become an internet favorite, and is one of the best-reviewed reds on Makeup Alley.

$14 AT SEPHORA

Amande Sucrée byLancôme – Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Hydrating Shaping Lipcolor

Barose explains why this bronze should be a classic: “I love that it gives a sheer bronze glaze for the mouth. It’s perfect for darker skin because it’s not a nude but a bit more interesting and glam.”

$27 AT NORDSTROM

Exaltée by Chanel – ChanelRouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Colour

This pink-red is a new favorite of celebrity makeup artists and has been worn by Emma Stone and Emma Watson.

$37 AT NORDSTROM

Airy Fairy by Rimmel- Rimmel London Lip Stick

This shade is praised on Makeup Alley for being one of the most foolproof “My Lips But Better” shades of all time with over 500 five-star reviews.

$4 AT BED BATH & BEYOND

Grege 1947 by ChristianDior – DIOR Rouge Dior Lipstick

Originally conceived as a highlighter blush for lips, this is a classic, polished, peach-based nude.

matte lipstick

$35 AT NEIMAN MARCUS

Viva Glam by M.A.CM.A.CViva Glam Lipstick

Nelson explains the historical significance behind this color: “The first makeup product ever to be promoted by a drag queen. RuPaul Charles made history by declaring ‘I am the M.A.C girl’ in the advertising for this life-saving lip shade.” Every single penny of this lipstick and its successors goes to AIDS research.

$16 AT NORDSTROM

Casablanca by Tom Ford – Tom Ford Lip Color

Although he’s best known for his more vibrant color choices, this is Tom Ford’s most commercially successful lipstick shade.

$54 AT NORDSTROM

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