In beauty, there is no category more timeless—or quintessential—than lipstick. As an enduring symbol of power and femininity, the transformative swipe of classic lipstick is never to be underestimated. Over the decades, brands have met perennial demand with a dizzying menagerie of offerings, leaving no color, undertone, or finish unturned. But despite the scale of options, there are those strikingly universal shades that women keep coming back to. From true reds to nuanced nudes, here, a dozen classic lipstick shades with that certain something loyal masses can’t get enough of.
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire & Ice
In 1952, Revlon launched its Fire & Ice ad campaign, starring Vogue cover girl Dorian Leigh, and caused a stir with its kitschy quiz supplement designed to decide if one was, in fact, suited to this tried-and-true bold red.
It was in 1991 that makeup legend Bobbi Brown’s debut line of lipsticks hit the Bergdorf Goodman counters. Of all the shades, her Lip Color in pink-tinged Brown caused the biggest sensation, helping to usher in the ’90s nude lip look still being referenced today.
What links Audrey Hepburn, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Cleopatra and Angelina Jolie? Liquid eyeliner of course. While make-up trends come and go, the feline flick is a timeless classic and suits every aesthetic. From the ultra glamorous to the insouciantly rock’n’roll, it can be dressed up or down. The trick is to work out the right look for your face and chosen aesthetic, and stick with it.
How to successfully apply a liquid liner
Heed Vogue contributing beauty editor Pat McGrath’s advice, and draw the wing first. It’s easy to place the wing too low or high once you’ve already sketched a line along your lashes, especially considering that the natural curve of the eye slopes downwards at the outer corner. Instead, look straight ahead in the mirror, place a small dot where you want the line to end, draw your flick, then line along your lashes.
How do I choose an eyeliner?
Start by considering what effect you want from your eyeliner; while liquids offer a more precise finish and achieve that striking Hepburn-esque wing, gel and kohl liners tend to be more forgiving and can be blended and buffed in for a softer, more diffused effect. It might sound obvious but those who want a product just for the waterline should opt for a pencil or gel formula, as a liquid won’t stay put.
What is the best eyeliner for beginners?
The perfect eyeliner for you will also depend on your familiarity with the product. To beginners and those not au fait with applying it regularly, a liquid liner might seem intimidating as it requires a steadier hand. In this case, it can be wise to start with a pencil, whether gel or kohl, or for a pen-style liquid if that’s the effect you want. Beginner or not, the trick is just to go for it – liquid eyeliner can smell your fear. One of McGrath’s biggest tips, whatever your liner abilities, is to finish by tidying up with a cotton bud – even the pros get it wrong sometimes.
Is gel liner better than pencil?
Not necessarily – it all depends on the effect you want. Gel liners bridge the gap between liquid and pencil liner, as they impart much of the impact and precision of a liquid, but with more of the malleability and softness of a pencil. They’re an excellent option for those who like a soft, smudgy finish, if you’re creating more impactful eyeshadow looks (many make-up artists use them as a base for shadows), or if you like to apply haphazardly and buff and blend your line into place. Gel liner is also a great option if you like your liner to stay put once it’s set. Meanwhile, pencil adds intensity to the waterline and can offer a more exact effect.
From long-wearing gel liners to easy-to-use felt tips, find your perfect fit within Vogue’s edit, and get yourself in front of the mirror for practice. Shop the 15 best eyeliners below.
Best Gel Eyeliner: Victoria Beckham Beauty Beauty Satin Kajal Liner
Few liner formulas match up to this creamy, ultra-blendable number which, once set, stays put for hours. As versatile as they come, you can smoke it up with the built-in smudger or keep it to a minimal line. A must try.
Best Eyeliner For The Waterline: Charlotte Tilbury Rock ’N’ Kohl Black Eyeliner Pencil
Queen of a serious sultry stare, it is only right that Charlotte Tilbury has an eyeliner that creates the look in seconds. Brilliant for all parts of the eye, this one is particularly good in the waterline – expect it to roll on and stay put for hours.
Best Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner: Too Faced Better Than Sex Easy Glide Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
Whether you’re diving into a pool or a hot steamy encounter (as the name might suggest), Too Faced’s Better Than Sex waterproof liner is a product you can rely on. It promises to stay put up to 24 hours without smudging, budging or fading.
Best Brown Liquid Eyeliner: Byredo Eyeliner in Practical Brown
It might be under-the-radar but Byredo’s liquid eyeliner is beloved by any and all who try it. This brown hue is particularly flattering and lends a gentle shimmer to eyes for a soft, sultry effect. Plus, it’s vegan too.
Best Smudge Proof Eyeliner: Gucci Stylo Contour Des Yeux Eyeliner
As well as looking extra chic in your make-up bag, Gucci’s eyeliner is waterproof, offers pigmented colour and truly stays put for hours. You can use it for flicks, in the waterline or even buffed in as an eyeshadow, plus there are lots of different colours to try.
Best Eyeliner For Sensitive Eyes: La Bouche Rouge Le Kôhl Noir
Developed without microplastics and with 98 per cent natural origin ingredients, this is a good bet for those who have sensitive eyes. It delivers impactful colour in both the waterline and around eyes.
Best Coloured Eyeliner: Dior Diorshow On Stage Liner
From pink to green, Dior’s coloured eyeliners are the best in the business. The brand’s make-up artist, Peter Philips, regularly uses them backstage for the iconic looks he creates for the shows, plus the flexible felt tip is super easy to use.
Best White Eyeliner: Shiseido Kajal InkArtist Shadow, Liner, Brow – Kabuki White
From an eyeshadow to an eyeliner, this Shiseido number is an excellent multi-tasker. White eyeliner is brilliant for making the eyes look more awake, so roll its Kabuki White shade in your waterline and expect to look infinitely more rested.
Over the past year-and-a-half many of us have picked up new beauty tricks to help in our quest to quickly look presentable on ZOOM, even if we’re still wearing our pyjamas. Those in need of some inspiration should take notes from Priyanka Chopra’s recent IGTV, in which she takes fans through her own “quick makeup” look, which she’s learned to perfect in less than five minutes.
Next up: it’s blush. Chopra uses a Chanel compact blusher, the latest of which is the ultra-pretty Fleurs De Printemps Blush and Highlighter Duo, and blends it over her cheekbones and up to her temples. “I like going a little bit on the sides of my face,” she says. “[It] gives [my face] a little shape.” Her next makeup artist-approved trick is to use the same brush to lightly blend the blusher over her eyelids, for a little pop of colour and to bring the face together.
Since our eyes are everything nowadays (“Eyes are important on Zoom!”), Chopra swears by an eyelash curler to wake her eyes up, and then applies mascara afterwards – including on the bottom lashes. Then, she brushes her eyebrows, using a pencil to fill in the gaps, while still keeping them “super natural”.
Despite the amount of time we all now spend wearing protective face masks, Chopra is still all for a look that emphasises the lips. “I usually like to have a lighter lip or a fun colour, maybe,” she says in the video. “This is my favourite go-to. It’s Clinique [Chubby Stick] and it’s kind of natural.” One of Clinique’s bestselling lip products, Chubby Sticks offer a natural, balmy lip tint while nourishing the lips.
To finish? She sweeps her hair back into a relaxed bun, adds some “distracting, fun accessories” and voila, she is ZOOM ready.
Everyone loves a good glow, but if your oil glands are already over-producing, which results in a not-so-cute shiny t-zone, you want to stay away from super dewy foundations. Instead look for a matte, oil-free, water-based formula to balance-out your skin’s oil production. From the drugstore hero to the most luxurious formulas in the game, ward off a shiny forehead with these H20-happy foundations.
Dior Forever 24h Wear Matte Foundation
Introducing: An Instagram filter in a bottle. This foundation offers buildable-slash-medium coverage with a texture that feels velvety and smooth on your skin. The formula is full of pansy extract, which is a a super hydrating ingredient that will give dry skin a healthy glow.
Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation
A Rihanna-approved foundation that diffuses every pore on your face and doesn’t move all damn day? Yes, please. Not to mention that I use this foundation frequently, because my T-zone loves to get super shiny, and the bottle lasts me so long.
This is the newest foundation the brand added to its lineup that beauty lovers can’t stop talking about at the moment. Everyone’s loving the silky-soft veil it leaves behind on the skin, covering dark spots, redness, and other ailments in seconds. Its oil-free blend of ingredients— ceramides, peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid and squalane—are all magic words when it comes to boosting moisture.
The brand’s most natural-looking foundation, this sheer, easy-to-blend cream will give you medium to full coverage depending on how you layer it. Oil-free and formulated with coconut water and hyaluronic acid to keep your skin moisturized, just be wary that it’s not too too dewy or hydrating if you have suuuper oily skin.
The mixture of hydrating and light-reflective elements in this Bobbi Brown formula will make your skin look especially dewy, plump, and radiant in the morning. It’s a favorite of beauty fiends who want more of a lightweight, sheer finish.
Milk Makeup’s easy applicator uses a tip that minimizes any exposure to air (meaning your foundation will stay fresher than ever) and eliminates drips that waste your precious money. Making the K-beauty blurring trend easier than ever, the product uses light-diffusing technology to create a poreless, airbrushed effect.
This formula is expensive, but not for nothing as it really does deliver on its “post-facial glow” promise. Made with mineral from the deep waters of Bretagne (fancy!), it brightens the skin by reflecting light to eradicate facial shadows, resulting in a glowy soft focus finish.
Burberry’s illuminating pearlescent primer can be worn on its own or mixed with foundation to create a dewy glow that never reads too shiny or sparkly. If you’re looking to add radiance to a dull winterized complexion before summer, this is your stuff.
Finding that happy medium between providing soft, yet solid coverage without drying out the skin, this water-like, gel-serum foundation works on ALL skin types and provides SPF 30 protection. Plus, it comes in a cool dropper bottle.
In more than 20 shades, you’re bound to find your perfect match with this super-blendable, long-wearing formula. It’s also very concentrated, so a little bit of product goes a long way, ensuring you get all the bank for you buck.
Make Up For Ever Face & Body Liquid Makeup Foundation
A beauty editor favorite, if you’re in the market for au naturale day-to-day coverage, this is your stuff. It has that “your skin, but better” look down to a science with a water-based gel formula that blurs away imperfections while delivering sheer to medium matte coverage.
This drugstore steal is notorious for being *amazing* for normal to very oily skin. Its fluid, silk-like texture goes on smoothly and will let your natural complexion show through while still diffusing uneven skin tone, blemishes, and T-zone shine. It also comes complete with SPF 17.
I never thought I would be writing this. Becca Cosmetics, sweet, darling Becca, which ignited the highlighter craze with its best-selling shimmers, is soon to be no more. On Instagram, the brand announced that due to COVID-19, it would be closing up shop at the end of September 2021, leaving fans scrambling to stock up on their go-tos. And one thing in particular has already sold out in multiple places: Becca’s legendary darkness-cancelling Under Eye Brightening Corrector.
“I drove 40 miles to an Ulta and bought three because all the other Ultas closest to me were out of stock,” one person on Reddit says. Another describes the peachy pink concealer-corrector hybrid as brightening in a way that “makes it almost more ‘good lighting angle on a date’ than makeup or concealer. It takes several years off my age.”
Working through the gut punch of losing it, shoppers regrouped on makeup forums to recommend replacements for the beloved product, which has earned almost 130,000 loves on Sephora’s website for its life-giving, appearance-of-sleep-bequeathing power. The only silver lining is that thanks to Becca popularizing the concept, there are now ample successors ready to carry on the mantle of its good name — no two-hour venture necessary.
Bobbi Brown’s Bisque Corrector comes with high recommendations, correcting dark circles “like a charm” with a hydrating consistency that doesn’t settle into creases. The “miracle product” balances out even super deep circles on skin tones across the spectrum, shoppers say, and it’s so good that people are on their 15th (!) restock. Per the perma-fan, the pink shade also erases circles so well, they look years younger.
Pixi’s Brightening Peach Correction Concentrate comes in strong as a more affordable option, cancelling out blue circles on Amazon insomniacs and creating a “supernaturally” rested look. A mom of three boys explains that nothing was able to cover her circles until a makeup artist friend recommended the Pixi — which works “like magic” and stays on all day.
The Pixi concealer is already on backorder from third-party Amazon stockists, so as a backup Tarte’s CC undereye corrector is similarly praised, its creamy texture covering with ease. One Dermstore shopper writes that it was the hydrating pot of gold at the end of their “eternal journey” for a corrector able to best their “awful,” multi-colored under-eye circles.
At the lowest price point, L.A. Girl’s peach Pro Conceal grabs over 8,000 five-star Amazon ratings. Shoppers write that they’re shocked at how well it blends and conceals without drying out crepey under eyes, besting even products that are 10 times as expensive. It gives the same inner-eye sheen as the Becca, and likewise transforms from a bright peach in the tube to a corrector that masks hereditary dark circles completely.
All great options, but if you’re not ready to say goodbye yet, there are a dwindling handful of places with Becca’s pearlized originals still in stock. It’s fresh out at Ulta, but Sephora still has one of the two shades, and Dermstore and QVC haven’t been ransacked yet. Happy hunting.
The five shades of these liquid eye toppers offer a glimmering texture of color and duo-chrome finish and dry down to a stay-put formula. You can tap them on top of another eye shadow for an even more multidimensional effect or wear alone for enough sparkle to spot from a mile away — they’re some of the shiniest eye shadows you can find at the drugstore.
These glimmering powder eye shadows are legends of makeup swatching. Just one swipe across the pan with your finger picks up the dazzling opaquely-pigmented powder, delivering a foil-finish, jewel-toned shade in one fell swoop. Available in 20 shades, these are so popular, Dose of Colors’ website has put a two-per-customer limit on purchasing. (If you’re in a golden mood, this one is called Heart of Gold.)
These pots contain what appears to be tiny metallic foil flakes that when pressed with your finger onto your skin leave a mirror-like finish. Not kidding — it’s like someone shattered a disco ball and somehow made it safe to smear on your eyelids. Not gonna ask questions, just going to keep shining.
Bobbi Brown’s eye shadow sticks are already some of the most long-lasting in the game, and now with these limited-edition sparkly versions, your lids can glimmer all day into all night (and dawn, depending on how the night goes).
Huda Beauty Rose Gold Remastered Eyeshadow Palette
Huda Beauty gave its already popular rose gold eye shadow palette an upgrade with the Remastered version, which keeps its most glittery shadows in a row at the top. They’re the most unbelievably buttery foil-like metallics that feel like silk but look like molten metal when you sweep them across your lids. Honestly, it’s just a really stunning formula.
Dab one of these four chrome liquid shadows on your lids for long-lasting shine. At first, they’re wet, but once they dry down, they won’t budge no matter how much you sweat (or cry). Extremely smudge-proof.
L’Oréal Paris Infallible Paints Metallics Eye Shadow
When this formula won a Best of Beauty award, Allure’s editorial assistant, Jesa Marie Calaor, called it her “desert island beauty product.” Its pigmented enough to live up to its metallic name upon first swipe, but it can easily be sheered out for a subtle glow. I love the rose gold shade called Rose Chrome.
Previewed on the runway at the BCBG Max Azria spring/summer 2018 show, Stila’s latest liquid eyeshadow is a glitter-free version of the popular (and often sold-out) Glitter & Glow formula. Blend it on the center of your lids to create a halo effect.
Too Faced added another edition of its popular collection of chocolate-scented palettes. This time around, the palette is all about razzle-dazzle with shades like Drippin’ Diamonds (the silver) and Money Bags (the emerald).
Why limit yourself to one metallic hue when you can shop a palette that covers basically every shade of the rainbow and then some? All 12 of the powder shadows in the Kevyn Aucoin Electropop Pro Eyeshadow Palette are packed with shimmer, and a couple even have color-shifting pigments.
Make Up For Ever just launched a whopping 121-shade range of shadows, but this pretty-in-pink one has to be one of my favourites. In the pan, ME-840 appears to be a plum. However, when brushed on, it transforms into a bright watermelon pink with a warm purple base.
Meet the cashmere of eye shadows. These pans are filled with the softest powders you’ll ever dip your fingers into. They aren’t so soft that they disappear once they are on your face, though. Instead, the pigment looks exactly as it does in the palette as it does on lids.
Pat McGrath Labs Mothership II Eyeshadow Palette – Sublime
Pat McGrath’s limited edition metallic makeup blew off digital shelves so often that she decided to put together three permanent palettes. You can guarantee they will forever be in stock, and they’ll give your eyes that mesmerizingly shiny finish that everyone double taps on the makeup artist’s Instagram (to see -> Instagram).
Just like the vampires in Twilight: New Moon, Chanel’s New Moon shadow will make your lids sparkle in the sunlight. Nostalgic reference aside, this cream shadow blends seamlessly onto lids with just with a couple windshield wiper motions across them.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #39 series on my blog.
There are few makeup bags that haven’t, at some point, been graced by a Bobbi Brown product. A brand that puts making women feel (as well as look) good at its core, 16th of January marked the 30th anniversary of its inception. To celebrate such a lengthy time in the beauty industry, the brand has, excitingly, appointed makeup artist Hannah Murray as global artistic director.
“Bobbi Brown is a brand I’ve loved since I started as a makeup artist,” Murray tells Vogue over the phone. “It’s such a well-loved global brand, and we have very similar philosophies regarding embracing natural beauty and individuality, as well as empowering women. These are things I’ve been championing for a while so it feels like a very natural fit.” Take a peek at Murray’s Instagram page, and you’ll see image after image of luminous skin, playful details around the eyes and bold brows on models and celebrities alike. Her makeup is real, fresh, and a far cry from the heavy contouring and airbrushed skin that have become popular in the last few years.
All of which makes her an excellent fit at a brand known for its feature-enhancing (rather than covering) products, where she will be overseeing everything from the fashion shows Bobbi Brown sponsors and campaigns, to education and product development. She has had experience with the latter before, having worked on the (rather brilliant) Topshop beauty line when it launched in 2011.
“I’m essentially going to be the visual voice of the brand, and I think with everything that’s been happening in the world, it’s a really pivotal moment to see things with fresh eyes and build on Bobbi Brown’s heritage,” she says. “I’ve lived in New York for the last 10 years, and before that in London, and I very much understand both the American aesthetic and the European sensibility and aesthetic too – it will be interesting to see that merge, something I think will give the brand a freshness, too.” When it comes to new products, we can expect some “innovation, excitement and fun”.
Though she isn’t, like many of us, forced to sit on Zoom all day, Murray is keenly aware of the “giving, giving, giving” that is endless, exhausting meetings, and believes in the power of beauty – whether that’s pampering your skin or applying some mascara – to uplift a mood. “There’s something ritualistic about [skincare and makeup]. Just like fresh air and eating well, having five to 10 minutes to yourself to cleanse, put a mask on, massage your skin is so healing. I have a three-year-old boy, so grabbing those moments is grounding. We all need to take care of ourselves and have a bit of me time.”
As for the beauty trends she expects to be big this year? Here she shares three of her key predictions.
“Instead of applying 10 products just to walk out of the door [like we used to], it’s now about feeding your skin and making it feel fresh and juicy and plump and alive. That’s a feeling thing, as well as being about how you look, and it’s using texture rather than product. You can layer on balms – I often dab Bobbi Brown’s gorgeous Lip Balm on cheekbones as it really makes skin look alive, like spa-fresh skin.”
“I’m hoping we’ve moved on from baking and cut creases – I want to see skin, feel it, and let it breathe. Another of my favourite products is the Bobbi Brown Extra Illuminating Moisture Balm, which is a lightweight moisturiser that imparts a subtle pearlescent finish for a “flawless, hyper-real skin effect”.
“I think everyone now wants to look healthy, like they’ve been outdoors and not stuck indoors for three months! I’m thinking the beauty of a real flushed cheek and freckles.” Try the brand’s Pot Rouge, a buttery-soft cream blush which melts into skin seamlessly for a natural finish.
“Take cues from the ’90s and apply eyeliner to your waterline to tight-line around the eye. It gives a bit of definition but it’s not laboured over. Makeup should do the work for you, you want to wear products that are smart, easy to use and that work well for you.”
Finding the perfect pink lipstick can be a balancing act. I’m not talking about your bright fuchsias or orchids or Barbie pinks — I mean those soft, subtle pinks that are almost nude but not quite. The kind of pink you wear when you want people to notice how put-together you look without thinking you spent a whole lot of effort or time. That pink.
With soft pinks especially, it’s important to take your specific skin tone into account, otherwise, you might end with a lip that’s way lighter or darker than you wanted. According to bi-coastal makeup artist Lavonne, the selection process thankfully doesn’t have to be too difficult. “When I look at depth and undertones for a soft-toned petal pink lipstick, I start by looking at the natural color of the lips,” she explains to Allure.
With that perfect shade in hand, application should be a breeze. “I will choose a concealer to neutralize any blue, yellow, green, or purple [undertones] in the lips. This way I have an even canvas to work with,” Lavone explains. “I choose a lip liner to complement the skin tone and then blend it into the lip before applying lipstick.”
To simplify your search for that petal-soft shade, ALLURE editors have broken down the best nude pink lipsticks based on your skin tone below.
Deep: Fenty Beauty Slip Shine Sheer Shiny Lipstick in Retro Rose
Fenty Beauty Slip Shine Sheer Shiny Lipstick is every bit as comfortable as it sounds, thanks to its frictionless formula that’s packed with reparative castor seed oil. Retro Rose, shown above, is a glossy and sheer muted rose tone that looks stunning on deep skin.
Deep: L’Orèal Paris Rouge Signature Lightweight Matte Lip Stain in I Rule
If you’re the type who likes super-matte lip that could last a zombie apocalypse, L’Orèal Paris Rouge Signature Lightweight Matte Lip Stain is exactly that. When applied on deep skin tones, its deep mauve shade I Rule transforms into the perfect soft pink that’s not too light or ashy.
Deep: Juvia’s Place The Nude Velvety Matte Lipstick in A Mauve Moment
If your skin tone looks best when paired with cooler tones, try Juvia’s Place The Nude Velvety Matte Lipstick in A Mauve Moment. With just a hint of a purple undertone, this velvety matte lipstick brings full-color payoff with just one swipe.
Deep: Uoma Beauty Badass Icon Matte Lipstick in Miriam
Uoma Beauty’s Badass Icon Matte Lipstick in Miriam might look brown at first glance, but when swiped across the lips, its true neutral pink hue comes to life. And if you’ve tried any of the brand’s other lipsticks, you’ll know this one comes with the same suede-like finish and comfort level.
Deep: Beauty Bakerie Cake Pop Lippie in Funnel Cake
With a comfortable formula that lasts way longer than you’d expect for a cream, Beauty Bakerie Cake Pop Lippie in Funnel Cake is a deep pink with strong peach undertones. And thanks to its smaller-than-average packaging, you can pop it in your pocket and take it everywhere with you.
Medium: Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Rebellious Rose
There’s a reason this shade of Estée Lauder’s Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick won a 2020 Best of Beauty Award. With sheer pigments in a classic muted pink shade, Rebellious Rose looks great on virtually everyone — but especially on medium skin tones with neutral or cool undertones.
You can never go wrong with one of MAC’s Matte Lipsticks, especially if it’s in the shade Kinda Sexy. This long-wear matte is equal parts pink, peach, and nude, making it ideal for warm, medium skin tones.
This medium-toned rose shade called Precious from Milani isn’t extremely light or dark, a perfect middle-ground for any medium skin tone. What’s more: Amore Matte Lip Creme glides on as a thin liquid and dries down to a matte finish, which means it’s practically weightless.
Medium: Pat McGrath Lip Fetish Divinyl Lip Shine in Nude Venus
The slightly glossy and lightly pigmented Nude Venus shade of Pat McGrath’s Lip Fetish Divinyl Lip Shines couldn’t make a more perfect neutral pink for medium skin — take it from Cardi B, who wore it in her infamous “WAP” music video.
OK, so KKW Nude Crème Lipstick in 3.5 leans a little more into nude lipstick category than it does pink — still, with strong pink undertones and a super comfortable cream formula, we’d be downright silly not to give it an honorable mention.
Medium: Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Mousse in Seduction
A Best of Beauty-winning formula, Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Mousse matches even the most high-end lipsticks in terms of pigment, comfort, and overall quality. The shade Seduction might look like a warn nude at first glance, but its soft pink hue will be revealed the moment you swipe it onto your lips.
Light: Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk
If you ask around long-term beauty aficionados, you’ll find that few lipstick shades get as much talk as Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk Matte Revolution Lipstick (a Reader’s Choice Award winner). And it’s no wonder, considering how pretty this muted light-pink with peach undertones looks on fair skin.
Bobbi Brown’s Crushed Lip Color in Babe has subtle blue undertones, which pair perfectly with skin tones that have cool or neutral undertones. Even better, this balm-like formula contains reparative vitamin E for added nourishment.
Light: Huda Beauty Power Bullet Matte Lipstick in Honeymoon
When Huda Beauty named this lipstick formula Power Bullet Matte, it really was not kidding because this formula is as matte as they come — thankfully without sacrificing any comfort. The shade Honeymoon, above, gets its slightly dusky quality from cool lavender undertones.
Finding the perfect eyeliner is the kind of undertaking that can take years of trial and error. There are hundreds of options in the beauty aisle and even more online, but how do you know which one is best without swiping it on? Not to mention the wad of cash spent experimenting with different formulas. In short, the search is exhausting.
But before I dive into the products themselves, let’s talk about what makes a good eyeliner. For starters, it needs a rich pigment. No one has time to stand in the mirror swiping on layer after layer of eyeliner — all that ends with is red, watery eyes and an exhausted arm. Next, the application needs to glide on with ease. You don’t want a liner that involves tugging on your skin or skipping along the lash line. And finally, you need a formula that stays put all day long. There’s nothing cute about sporting raccoon eyes come lunchtime.
As for the formula, the choice is up to you. There’s pencil, gel, liquid, and marker options. If you’re an eyeliner newbie, I recommend sticking with a pencil or marker applicator, which are more foolproof. But those with experience or a love for a dramatic cat-eye can grab a liquid of gel formula for optimal results.
Here are the 13 best eyeliners for every look and budget:
This eyeliner has won over the hearts of thousands of reviewers. It’s garnered over 10,000 five-star reviews on Sephora and users can’t stop raving about the smooth application, rich pigment, and smudge-free formula. Not to mention, there’s over 30 shades to choose from with matte, metallic, and satin finishes.
If you find it hard to handle eyeliner, you’ll love this curved-tip option. It’s a pen applicator with a bendable, angled tip that allows the liner to be flexible at whatever angle you need. No more awkward arm positions to draw your perfect line.
Best Splurge: Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Designer Eyeliner
For days when bold liner is a must, reach for this luxury option from Giorgio Armani. It’s a water-based formula that has a glossy finish like a liquid liner and it stays locked in place all day long (no lie). If you’re a liner newbie, we do recommend experimenting with this liner first because it dries quickly, which is a good thing, but it leaves little room for mistakes and redos. All in all, this splurge-worthy liner is a must-have, even if you only save it for special occasions.
It’s vegan and free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and many more toxic ingredients. But don’t let that make you think it doesn’t apply well, too. This gel liner glides on smoothly and doesn’t wear off mid-day. It’s also versatile if you want to blend it or smudge it around for more of a sultry, smokey look.
Best Pencil: Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliner Gel Eye Crayon
In our honest opinion, there’s no better soft-pigment option than this liner. If you prefer a pencil liner but you don’t like the sharp, pointy edge digging into your lash line, you have to try this eye crayon. It works the same as an eyeliner, but the formula is creamy and glides on like butter. And since the color is highly pigmented, swiping on one line does the trick. Plus, if you find yourself head over heels for this formula, you’ll love the 36 different colors it’s available in, too.
Best Liquid: Urban Decay Perversion Waterproof Fine-Point Eye Pen
If you’ve ever tried to master the barely there liner look, you know the struggle. That’s why we love this fine-point pen that makes drawing on practically any look a breeze. The fine tip is also flexible so you can flick out the ends and even draw graphic lines, if that’s your style. As for the pigment, it’s really black and dries semi-matte.
Gel eyeliner can be a wee bit intimidating, but the result is gorgeous. For starters, the color goes on bold, like, super bold. And the color dries in place relatively quickly, so you have to apply with speed and precision. But once you overcome that hurdle, the end product is truly unique. This award-winning formula stays put for up to eight hours and is water- and sweat-proof.
Best Waterproof: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
Whether you’re taking a dip in the pool or plan on sweating (or crying), you need an eyeliner that promises to stay put for hours. This liquid liner stays on all day and night and no drop of water will cause it to fade, crack, or run. It’s truly magic.
Sure, black and brown liners are classic, but there’s something fun and youthful about applying poppy colors to your lids. These vibrant hues can be worn alone or atop your everyday black liner. Even if they aren’t the traditional pick for your 9 to 5, you’ll still have fun playing with them over the weekend.
Best White: KVD Vegan Beauty Cake Pencil Eyeliner in White Out
White eyeliner: You either love it or hate it, but truth be told, it can make a huge difference. Often suggested for smaller eyes, adding white liner can make your eyes pop and help you appear more awake, even if you only slept for three hours last night. This one doesn’t look chalky or flake throughout the day, and it glides easily so you don’t have any gaps or bumps in your liner look.
Best Glitter: Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner
Calling all the glitter obsessed! This sparkly eyeliner is so festive and perfect for adding glitz to otherwise neutral looks or amping up your eye look for a special occasion or holiday. There are over 15 shades to choose from and each are chock-full of glitter and sparkles. Consider it confetti for your lids.
Best for Cat Eyes: Lancôme GRANDIÔSE Bendable Liquid Eyeliner
Any tool or product that makes it easy to master a perfect cat eye is easily worth hundreds, if you ask us. This bendable eyeliner has a 35-degree bendable wand that is super thin and allows you to hug tight to the lash line without curving or skipping. This liquid liner is a fan-favorite and has a creamy, black finish that won’t smear.
Best for Waterline: Charlotte Tilbury Rock ‘N Kohl Eyeliner Pencil in Eye Cheat
While you can apply just about any pencil liner to your waterline, this nude liner is our go-to pick. You won’t be able to see a pigmented line when you apply, but adding this neutral tone to your waterline makes your eyes appear bigger and brighter. And the best part is, no one will know your pro-level trick for making your eyes pop.
Whether you need it to cover a blemish, lift dark under-eye circles, or simply even out skin tone, finding the best concealer for you and your skin can be game-changing. In fact, now that fresh, luminous skin is wholly in (and we’re all about cutting down on time spent in front of the mirror), concealer is the one product we all really need to get right. Many make-up artists actually recommend forgoing foundation in favour of a good concealer applied in all the right places: on reddened areas, spots, hyperpigmentation, and anywhere that needs brightening.
Of course, different occasions (not to mention skin types) call for different concealers, and it can be a minefield finding the right one for the job. Those who want to cover blemishes might look for a kind-to-skin concealer which is formulated with ingredients like salicylic acid to unclog pores, while mature skins should look for a concealer with a subtle, sheer coverage that won’t settle into fine lines, but instead will bring the glow. What everybody wants – whatever their skin type – is a flexible, elastic concealer that melts seamlessly into skin, delivering smooth, even coverage.
Formulations have come on in leaps and bounds in the last few years – you will be hard-pressed to find anything that imparts a cakey effect now. But if it does, it might be down to the way you’re applying it. Many make-up artists recommend applying concealer with your fingers, since the warmth from your skin helps melt the product into skin for an imperceptible finish – although make sure you do so with clean hands. For those who prefer a brush, look to Artis – its brushes are the best for buffing product into skin.
Once you have found the best concealer for you, your skin will thank you. For all of your texture, finish and coverage requirements, here is British Vogue’s edit of the best concealers to buy now – from Tom Ford’s Emotionproof Concealer (great for weddings), to MAC’s Studio Fix Conceal & Correct Palette.
Best For Long Wear: Tom Ford Emotionproof Concealer
We all have those occasions when we know tears will roll. That’s when you need Tom Ford’s Emotionproof concealer – it will stay put through those trying moments.
Best For Long Wear: Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Concealer
Designed to diffuse light for a soft-focus appearance, Laura Mercier’s Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Concealer works wonders on dark circles, but remains more or less undetectable on the skin. Shades are divided into cool, warm and neutral undertones, making it easier than ever to find your perfect match.
Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Concealer, £24, available at CultBeauty.com.
Best For Long Wear: Yves Saint Laurent All Hours Concealer
True to its name, this liquid concealer lasts for up to 16 hours and won’t budge no matter how much humidity you are hit with.
Best For Long Wear: BareMinerals BareSkin Stay-In-Place Liquid Concealer
For something that lasts but is still lightweight, look to this BareMinerals concealer, which has numerous skincare benefits, too.
BareMinerals BareSkin Stay-In-Place Liquid Concealer, £24, available at Feelunique.com.
Best For Long Wear: IL MAKIAGE Fck I’m Flawless Concealer
For a vast spectrum of shades that is sorted by skin tone and undertone, to make finding your perfect shade easier, this longwear concealer is the ultimate for covering all manner of skin concerns, from blemishes to under-eye circles. A must-try.
IL MAKIAGE F*ck I’m Flawless Concealer, £24, available at IlMakiage.com.
Best High Street Concealer: L’Oréal Paris True Match Eye Cream In A Concealer
The ultimate hybrid product, this concealer is also an eye cream that is packed with hyaluronic acid to hydrate and brighten the delicate skin around the eyes. It’s also less than £10.
L’Oréal Paris True Match Eye Cream In A Concealer, £9.99, available at Lookfantastic.com.
Best High Street Concealer: Benefit Boi-Ing Industrial Strength Concealer
Creamy and soft, this concealer will disguise anything you’ve got – and will stay put for hours.
Best High Street Concealer: Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation And Concealer
If you like to keep the products in your make-up bag to a minimum, look no further than Clinique’s dual foundation and concealer, which offers full coverage and a flawless finish.
Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation And Concealer, £28.50, available at Selfridges.com.
Best For Full Coverage: BECCA Ultimate Coverage Longwear Concealer
Known for products that make skin glow, Becca’s longwear concealer is no exception: it utilises light pigments to blur fine lines, pores and uneven texture while imparting a satin finish, which makes skin look fresh and radiant.
BECCA Ultimate Coverage Longwear Concealer, £21, available at SpaceNK.com.
Best For Full Coverage: Marc Jacobs Beauty Accomplice Concealer & Touch-Up Stick
For those who like a full-coverage concealer that isn’t cakey, look no further than Marc Jacobs’s offering, which is formulated with snow mushroom to help hydrate as it conceals.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Accomplice Concealer & Touch-Up Stick, £24, available at HarveyNichols.com.
Best For Full Coverage: Uoma Beauty Stay Woke Luminous Brightening Concealer
A brilliant shade range for all undertones, plus fun packaging, make for a must-buy concealer that, importantly, is also small enough to fit inside any purse or clutch bag you own.
Uoma Beauty Stay Woke Luminous Brightening Concealer, £21, available at Selfridges.com.
Best For Full Coverage: Estée Lauder Double Wear Instant Fix Concealer
Double Wear foundation is a best-seller for a reason, so if you’re a fan of the classic Estée Lauder foundation, you’ll love this full-coverage finish concealer. The dual-ended wand has one side that dips into a hydrating base to prep the area, while the other gives instant brightness and coverage.
Best For Under-Eyes: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
Nars’s award-winning concealers are truly amazing. This particular one is popular for its medium to buildable coverage, which allows for correction with a more natural and dewy finish – it works perfectly on fine lines under the eyes.
Best For Under-Eyes: Dior Diorskin Forever Undercover Concealer
Using clever adaptable pigments, this fluid concealer is as good on grey, sallow skin as it is on red, raised skin. The angled doe-foot applicator allows you to apply small amounts in delicate areas (like under the eyes), or sketch a little more broadly across larger areas if needed.
Dior Diorskin Forever Undercover Concealer, £22.50, available at Boots.com.
Best For Under-Eyes: Erborian BB Eye Touche Parfaite
With purslane, a powerful antioxidant that is also anti-inflammatory, this concealer is as good at being an eye cream as it is obscuring under-eye bags.
Erborian BB Eye Touche Parfaite, £34, available at SpaceNK.com.
Best For Under-Eyes: Sarah Chapman Eye Insurance SPF 30 Protecting Eye Tint
If it’s a light-reflecting glow you want under your eyes, rather than anything too full on, Sarah Chapman’s new eye tint is your guy. This light-as-air formula is primed to make you look more awake, and simultaneously firms, brightens and protects from UV damage, thanks to an SPF of 30.
Best For Mature Skin: Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Concealer
If you’re keen to treat your skin to some nourishment while disguising blemishes, look to Bobbi Brown’s hybrid serum concealer; expect a fresh, flawless finish and hydration thanks to mushroom, Indian tree root and bamboo grass extract within the formula.
Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Concealer, £30, available at Selfridges.com.
Best For Mature Skin: Kevyn Aucoin The Etherealist Super Natural Concealer
Imparting a bright finish, this concealer feels like satin and contains brightening pearls to help lift areas of darkness or uneven skin tone. It’s particularly brilliant for underneath the eyes.
Kevyn Aucoin The Etherealist Super Natural Concealer, £24, available at SpaceNK.com.
Best All-Rounder: MAC Studio Fix Conceal & Correct Palette
Can’t find the exact concealer shade for you? One of MAC’s six-part palettes will have you covered in both winter and summer as your skin tone changes – you can also layer or blend for the ultimate colour match.
MAC Studio Fix Conceal & Correct Palette, £30, available at Selfridges.com.
Best All-Rounder: Glossier Stretch Concealer
Elastic micro-waxes mean that Glossier’s Stretch Concealer never settles into fine lines, whilst the oil-packed formula gives it a dewy finish. Perfect for subtle, natural-looking coverage.
The Retoucher does exactly what it says on the tin. Perfect for concealing blemishes and imperfections, its lipo-siliconic compound provides a traceless, plaster-like cover which blends seamlessly into the skin.
Best All Rounder: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Concealer
If you’ve tried Giorgio Armani’s cult Luminous Silk foundation, you’ll know how brilliant it is at offering just the right amount of coverage and the ultimate radiant finish. The concealer is just as good, and blends seamlessly into skin.
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Concealer, £34.50, available at Selfridges.com.