12 Cult Classic Lipstick Shades Every Beauty Lover Must Know

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.

Buy at ULTA $9

NARS Lipstick in Dolce Vita

Inspired by the 1960 Italian drama La Dolce Vita starring Anita Ekberg, this dusty rose strikes a sophisticated balance between retro and modern pale-pink lips.

Buy at Sephora $26

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey

Making a hyper-gothic wash of color both flattering and accessible, the secret behind this deep berry hue is its sheer, glossy, and balm-like texture.

Buy at ULTA $20

Dior Rouge Lipstick in 999 Matte

In 1953, Christian Dior created two “perfect red” lipsticks for the runway, “9” and “99,” and more than half a century later, this rich red is the gorgeous amalgam of the two.

Buy at Saks Fifth Avenue $50

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk

A single slick of this matte nude pink will enhance the natural color of your lips to bespoke effect, while a few more layers builds to a more dramatic true mauve for a dose of understated glamour.

Buy on their website $34

MAC Red Lipstick in Ruby Woo

The coolest of cool reds, this iconic shade is flattering on virtually everyone, with subtle blue undertones that brighten teeth and the whites of the eyes in one fell swoop.

Buy at ULTA $19

L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipcolour in Fairest Nude

With its unmistakable vanilla scent, this creamy pinky-taupe nude goes on sheer and supplies a boost of radiance to a wide variety of complexions.

Buy at ULTA $11

Tom Ford Lip Color in Bruised Plum

This shade is a darker-than-dark plum in the tube, but when you swipe on the shiny, semi-opaque formula, it reads more like a juicy deep fuchsia that you can layer on to your desired opacity.

Buy at Net-A-Porter $60

NARS Lipstick in Schiap

Named after Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli, who made shocking pink her signature color, this electric fuchsia shade is just as head-swiveling as her Surrealist designs.

Buy at ULTA $26

Giorgio Armani Beauty Rouge D’Armani Matte Lipstick in 400

Known as the “Armani Red,” this rich, highly pigmented crimson strikes a perfect balance between cool and warm, and is a definitive classic for the Old Hollywood look.

Buy at Saks Fifth Avenue $50

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture in #19 Fuchsia Pink

In 1979, Yves Saint Laurent unveiled Rouge Pur Lipstick No. 19, a blue-toned dark fuchsia that still remains a best-seller thanks to its vivid pink pigments and stunning satin finish.

Buy at Saks Fifth Avenue $50

Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Brown

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.

Buy at Macy’s $29

VOGUE ARTICLE

10 Of The Duchess Of Sussex’s Favourite Beauty Products

Ever wondered what the Duchess of Sussex uses in her beauty routine? Whether it was during her days of playing Rachel Zane in Suits, or while she was a working member of the British royal family following her marriage to Prince Harry in 2018, Meghan has always been a woman with immense style in the beauty department. Rarely erring from a fresh face, nude lip and smoky eye combo, the Duchess also serves excellent hair inspiration – and she’s revealed some old favourites in the past. Here British Vogue takes a look at her go-to beauty products, from the ultra-cheap body lotion she loves, to a number of cult favourites you might just have in your make-up bag already. 

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Very Victoria

A matte suede-taupe nude lipstick which is made with a blend of oils to help nourish lips, it is thought Meghan wore this lipstick in her engagement photos with Prince Harry.

£25, available at Charlottetilbury.com.

Nivea Skin Q10 + Vitamin C Firming Hydration Body Lotion

The Duchess has previously said she uses this body lotion “religiously”, and praised it for its affordability and the fact it makes her skin look and feel amazing. With antioxidants Q10 and vitamin C, it sinks in quickly and helps firm the skin. 

£4.99, available at Boots.com.

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

“For my flyaways, I spray this hairspray on a small boar bristle toothbrush (a regular toothbrush also works great) to lightly brush them down or smooth the hairline – this is especially good for a sleek bun when I’m off camera,” Meghan previously shared. 

£45, available at Cultbeauty.co.uk

Kate Somerville Quench Hydrating Face Serum

One of Meghan’s favourite facialists is Kate Somerville, who is based in Los Angeles, and the Duchess also uses her skincare line to “maintain that glow”. This serum is excellent for deeply hydrating the skin, and contains an array of antioxidants to fend off external aggressors, too.

£68, available at Lookfantastic.com.

Nars Blush in Orgasm

“I love Nars blush in Orgasm,” Meghan previously told Allure. “I use it on and off camera because it gives you a nice glow from within.” Universally flattering, this blush is a favourite of beauty editors, make-up artists and celebrities alike.

£26, available at Cultbeauty.co.uk.

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Highlighter

A cult classic, the Duchess included YSL’s concealing and brightening pen as part of her “five minute face”. From lifting under-eye circles to adding a highlight here and there, it’s a multi-tasking wonder. 

£27, available at Lookfantastic.com.

Undone by George Northwood Curl It Tongs

Having worked closely with hairstylist George Northwood over the years, including on her wedding day, it is likely that the Duchess will be using his new line of hair products. The latest are these tongs, which make achieving his signature beachy waves a breeze.

£65, available at Boots.com.

MAC Eye Kohl Pencil Liner in Teddy

Meghan’s signature burnished smoky eye comes courtesy of this soft, smudgy brown eye pencil, which she discovered through her old make-up artist, Kayleen McAdams. 

£15, available at Lookfantastic.com.

Eucerin Aquaphor

To get that dewy finish on cheekbones a la Meghan, her wedding day make-up artist Daniel Martin previously said it was all about layering textures; Aquaphor, he said, helped highlight the skin and impart the right texture “especially in a photo [when applied] on the high points of the face”.

£6.03, available at Lookfantastic.com.

Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer

In her Suits days, Meghan used to swear by Laura Mercier’s discontinued Illuminating Primer – she wore it on her days off instead of foundation. While it’s no longer available, the brand now offers this formula, which helps bring a similarly dewy finish to skin. 

£34, available at Cultbeauty.co.uk.

VOGUE article

Oh La La, Lingerie

Slip into something seductive with Lip Lingerie, the weightless liquid lipstick with a plush matte finish. Available in a range of color-kissed nudes—from cinnamon pink and chocolate brown, to warm mahogany red and classic nude beige—each sultry shade will coat the curves of your lips with irresistibly creamy color.

All 24 shades are infused with vitamin E and cover the lips in luscious and lightweight color.

Purchase NYX Lingerie liquid lipsticks

Have you tried these liquid lipsticks? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

MAC Velvet Teddy VS. Wet’n’Wild Bare It All

My first ever lipstick and makeup product was MAC’s famous Velvet Teddy matte lipstick. This flattering nude shade has been lusted over by beauty lovers for years, and other makeup brands have tried to come out with their own spin on this product.

The closest alternative that was discovered a few years ago to this product, is the Wet’n’Wild’s 902C Bare It All matte lipstick. They’re pretty much the same product, formula and longevity-wise! The shade is described as a “deep-tone beige” on the MAC’s official website. The pricing comparison is $24 vs. $3.

Get MAC’s Velvet Teddy here.
Get Wet’n’Wild’s 902C Bare It All here.

Have you tried this Wet’n’Wild dupe or do you prefer the original? Have you found other dupes to this color? Let me know in the comments below!

All About MAC’s VIVA GLAM Lipsticks

In 2019, MAC Cosmetics celebrated the 25th anniversary of the MAC VIVA GLAM campaign, which has become a piece of beauty history. MAC was started by Frank Angelo and Frank Toskan in 1994 in reaction to the AIDS crisis. “We developed a great lipstick color we called VIVA GLAM,” said Toskan. “This little lipstick gave people dignity and saved lives.”

Since 1994, MAC VIVA GLAM has raised more than $500,000,000 USD, partnering with local organizations to ensure that help reaches those who need it most. In particular, those affected by AIDS are being helped through various services while researching and developing further into the symptoms, causes, and treatments of it.

Over the years, VIVA GLAM lipstick campaigns have included celebrities such as RuPaul, Troye Sivan, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, and more.

In 2020, as part of MAC VIVA GLAM’s recent $10,000,000 USD donation, local organizations are providing essential healthcare services and preparing and delivering nutritious meals to vulnerable communities affected by COVID-19.

Currently, there are 3 shades of the VIVA GLAM lipstick:

– An intense brownish blue-red
– A creamy subdued pinkish beige-mauve
– A muted brownish-plum

(descriptions taken directly from MAC website)

Sources:
MAC Cosmetics
BeautyMatter

Do you own any VIVA GLAM lipsticks? Did you know of this initiative? Have you become inspired to purchase these lipsticks? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below!