Allure staffers always joke that the one of the biggest challenges of beauty journalism is coming up with inventive ways to make regular ol’ lipstick sound new and exciting, but when we test for the Best of Beauty Awards Lips category with arms fully imprinted in swatches, the words just tumble out: Silky. Vivid. Sheer… each one is unique, which leads us to another challenge of beauty journalism: determining which ones are the best.
Somehow with hundreds of lipsticks to choose from, we’ve managed to pinpoint our favorite matte (Sunnies Face Fluffmatte), liquid (Pound Cake Cake Batter), and cream (Christian Dior Dior Addict) formulas alongside moisturizing lip oils, shimmering glosses, smooth-as-silk lip liners, plus longwear stains and crayons. We wouldn’t dare forget lip care in this category, either. Because how can one expect to wear all those pigments without the help of an exfoliating lip scrub or a hydrating balm?
Scroll below to see all the best lip products of the year, then see our full list of 2022 Best of Beauty winners.
Best of Beauty Awards 2022: Lips
Jump to your favorite category or keep reading to see every lip gloss, balm, and liner:
Best Lipstick (Sheer) Guerlain KissKiss Bee Glow
Why it won: Where some lipsticks shout, Guerlain KissKiss Bee Glow whispers. The honey-enriched formula glides on like a balm and imparts a hint of sheer, natural color (you can choose from six options).
Best Lipstick (Cream)
Dior Addict Refillable Shine Lipstick
Why it won: When we’re into a lipstick, we buy it in multiples, which is why our makeup drawer currently looks like we raided a Dior counter. Dior Addict Refillable Shine Lipstick is comfortable, high-shine, and available in more than 35 shades. Looks like we’re going to need a bigger drawer.
Best Lipstick (Satin)
Armani Beauty Lip Power Longwear Vivid Color Lipstick
Why it won: Armani Beauty Lip Power Longwear Vivid Color Lipstick has a teardrop-shaped bullet that makes it easy to trace lips, then fill them in with color. And when you do, you’re golden (or scarlet or mauve or rosewood) for up to eight hours.
Best Lipstick (Matte)
Sunnies Face Fluffmatte
Why it won: Trying to describe the texture of Sunnies Face Fluffmatte is like trying to describe the color blue. It’s matte but not flat; powdery, yet also moisturizing. The range of 15 hues has plenty of neutrals and one classic red, Major.
Best Lipstick (Liquid)
Pound Cake Cake Batter
Why it won: It’s 2022, and if liquid lipstick is still drying out your lips, you can do better. Pound Cake Cake Batter is a tightly edited range of six different reds meant to complement a wide range of skin and lip tones.
Violette_fr Petal Bouche Matte
Why it won: With only two shades, Violette_fr Petal Bouche Matte has an even tighter edit but Cœur Infidèle, a bright fuchsia, has quickly become the unofficial Allure uniform.
Best Lip Stain
Fenty Beauty Poutsicle Hydrating Lip Stain
Why it won: Feathering is the enemy of lip stain, which is why it’s so remarkable that Fenty Beauty Poutsicle Hydrating Lip Stain (available in four colors) doesn’t migrate. After many hours of wear, the glossy finish fades in a way that feels sexy and lived-in, not sloppy.
Best Lip Oil
Clarins Lip Comfort Oil
Why it won: We find ourselves swiping on Clarins Lip Comfort Oil so often, our other lip products are starting to get jealous. Site director Sam Escobar describes the kiss of color that comes from each of the eight shades as “delicate” and the texture as “slick, but not slippery or sticky.”
Best Lip Gloss
Pley Beauty Lust + Found Glossy Lip Lacquer
Why it won: Shimmer, frost, metallic, jelly: There’s a finish for everyone among the 10 shades of Pley Beauty Lust + Found Glossy Lip Lacquer. We’re partial to those with a bit of sparkle, which reflect light to make lips look subtly plumper.
Best Lip Balm (Untinted)
Rhode Peptide Lip Treatment
Why it won: It’s not about how many lip balms are rolling around at the bottom of your bag, it’s about which ones you’ll find there. Rhode Peptide Lip Treatment leaves lips pillowy soft, thanks to cupuaçu and shea butters.
Best Lip Balm (Tinted)
Keys Comforting Tinted Lip Balm
Best Lip Balm (Overnight)
Jason Wu Beauty Good Night Mr. Wu
Why it won: A generous coat of the vitamin E-enriched Jason Wu Beauty Good Night Mr. Wu mask revives chapped lips as you sleep.
Best Lip Scrub
Manna Kadar Lippie Love Lip Scrub
Why it won: The sugar granules in Manna Kadar Lippie Love Lip Scrub 2.0 “strike that perfect middle ground between too abrasive and too gentle,” says digital news editor Nicola Dall’Asen. And the stick applicator is way less messy (and far more sanitary) than a pot.
Best Lip Crayon
Ere Perez Coco Crayon
Why it won: With its fine-point tip, Ere Perez Coco Crayon makes it easy to color inside the (lip) lines. Or you can venture outside them and use this creamy formula (available in six rosy shades) as blush: Dot it directly on your cheeks, then blend using your finger.
Best Lip Liner
Merle Norman Cosmetics Plush Lipliner
Why it won: Commerce editor Sarah Han calls Merle Norman Cosmetics Plush Lipliner precise, creamy, and easy to use. We call it the first reason we’ve had to get really excited about lip liner since 1999.
Like what you see from Allure‘s Best of Beauty Awards?