We all have those lipsticks that never seem to make it back out of our bags once they go in. The one we search our stash for only to find it hiding in a purse or a pocket later. Rather than sharing my favorite lipsticks (could I even narrow it down?!), I’m sharing the lipsticks I reach for in a hurry, the über wearable ones that I know I can always rely on, and the lipsticks I just can’t seem to stay away from. It’s kind of a parade of neutral pinks and browns, but there are a few wildcards in here that you might not expect. Here’s to the lipsticks that never let me down!
NARS Dolce Vita Lipstick
For me, this is the ultimate purse lipstick. It’s a neutral pink that glides on super easily, and it’s semi-sheer so it’s majorly forgiving. Feels like a lip balm, but adds a bit of color. This is the kind of lipstick I can put on even without a mirror. Love, love, love.
NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien
Another NARS lipstick frequently found in my purse is this lip pencil in Rikugien. I love the soft rose shade and the sheen that it gives. It’s soft and hydrating like a lip balm, but also gives a bit more color than Dolce Vita does. The only downside: having to sharpen it.
NudeStix Lip + Cheek Pencil in Mystic
There are very few brands that are more purse-friendly than NudeStix because every single one of their products comes in stick form. As someone who’s constantly running late, they’re basically a dream brand for me. I’ve been buying more and more of their products lately, but for me it all started with this beautiful lip pencil. Like the NARS satin lip pencils, these also need to be sharpened, but they seem to take longer to wear down than the NARS ones do. Mystic is a glossy, hydrating mauve that practically lives in my bag in the fall.
NudeStix Lip + Cheek Pencil in Whisper
Whisper is much less glossy than Mystic, I’d describe it as a creamy demi-matte or satin. Whisper is what I reach for when I want a true nude, either for an ‘I woke up like this’ type of look, or to avoid stealing attention from the bangin’ eye look that just made me late. (it happens a lot. don’t start with your eyes when you only have 15 minutes to get ready and a penchant for thinking you toootally have time to blend 8 eyeshadows. I’m speaking from experience here.) The slight grey undertone (it’s more flattering than it sounds, trust me) in this beige lipstick also makes it stand out from the crowd, and it makes a gorgeous ‘barely there’ blush shade.
NYX Butter Gloss in Madeleine
This is a bold statement, so I’m just gonna put it out there: this is my favorite lip gloss of all time. This soft, semi-sheer gloss has just the right amount of pigment to give my lips some color while still being goof-proof, it’s not sticky, and it has a brown undertone, which is actually what I prefer for my nude lip shades. This is actually the only lip gloss in this roundup because even though there are plenty of other glosses I love, if I’m in a hurry, this is the only one I care about.
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Honeycomb
I’ve long been a fan of Bite Beauty’s lipsticks, and since the Amuse Bouche formula has replaced the Luminous Creme formula, I’ve started to love them even more. These lipsticks are flawless, truly. Honeycomb in particular is a favorite because it has a perfect balance of brown and pink, it glides on like a dream, and it goes on opaque in one swipe. The shade is stunning, the formula is stunning, and I definitely want a full size of this. As an aside, I also keep several of their old Luminous Creme duos in my purse from time to time and I love those as well. I was going to include them in this post, but my favorite shades didn’t make it to the Amuse Bouche range, so I’m not going to tease you with something you can’t get.
Laura Mercier Creme Smooth Lip Color in Milky Way
If you like brown lipsticks, you’ll love this. It’s a light, muted neutral brown that makes for a perfect grab-and-go lipstick with a little bit of attitude on pale skin, and a perfect nude-without-looking-dead on medium skin.
Tarte Lipsurgence Lip Creme in Wonder
A bright pink lipstick lives in your purse? Wait, wut?
Yes, yes it does. One of my favorite tricks to detract from my horrendous dark circles is to wear a bright lip, and chances are if I’m running late, I probably didn’t get enough sleep, making my genetically dark under eyes even darker than usual. The fix: bright lipstick and a lot of mascara. The twist-up tube of this lip crayon makes it so it never needs to be sharpened, it has a minty scent that makes it refreshing, and for such a bright lipstick, it’s surprisingly easy to apply without incident. Just don’t apply it in a moving vehicle unless you’re looking to work on your Joker impression.
$10 (currently on sale, normally $24) Tarte
Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Peyote
If I were to do a post on my most worn lipsticks, this would be near the top of the list. The Vice Lipstick formula in general is one of my favorites, but this color in particular is something special. It has a metallized finish, meaning it’s got a touch of super-fine metallic shimmer to it. Don’t let the idea of glitter scare you away from this one, Urban Decay got this lipstick just right: the glitter creates a shine, but it’s nearly imperceptible to the eye once it’s on the lips and the glitter doesn’t sink into fine lines, even as it wears away. (*note: I can’t say if this is true for the other metallized shades in the range as I haven’t tried them, just Peyote) Peyote is a light, muted beige-mauve hybrid that looks more pink or brown depending on the lighting. It wears like a nude on my skin tone, but with some extra spunk that makes it anything but boring.
Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Insanity
If you wanna go the more traditional route, try Insanity. Insanity is a warm neutral with a creme finish. It’s easy to pair with a variety of looks, especially in the summer time when I gravitate towards peaches and apricots over the terracottas that dominate my makeup wardrobe in the fall. The formula is creamy and opaque in one swipe, and it’s hydrating without being too slippery. Definitely a must-have for me.
Marc Jacobs (P)outliner in Primrose
I’m low-key obsessed with this Marc Jacobs lip liner. The formula is outstanding, it goes on creamy but sets to a matte finish that stays in place and helps to hold onto whatever lip color you put over it. I wear this lip liner on its own quite often because I love the color and formula, but when I do pair it with something else, it’s usually Marc Jacobs Slowburn, NARS Dolce Vita, or NARS Rikugien. I’m not usually a fan of splurging on lip liners because I think there are a lot of good options at the drugstore, but these Marc Jacobs (P)outliners have me ready to hand over my wallet.
ColourPop Lip Primer
This is one of those products that you don’t really think you need until you try it. It’s a clear balm that fills in lip lines and helps to prolong the wear time of your lipstick by giving it a nice base to stick to. My favorite ways to wear this are underneath a liquid lipstick to help with hydration and longevity, and underneath more sheer, slippery lipsticks like NARS Dolce Vita to prolong the wear by giving the lipstick something to stick to. I carry it with me to touch up after a meal, especially if I’m wearing a lipstick that I know will be completely faded by the end of a meal. Just make sure you use this primer correctly: apply a thin layer, then wait a minute or two to let it set- it should have a slightly tacky feel to it. That’s when you want to apply your lipstick, and once it’s on, you won’t feel the stickiness of the primer anymore.
Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Palette: Junkie
Seriously, an entire lipstick palette? Yes, my friend, I was surprised too. I carry a small cross-body bag, so it’s not like I have a lot of room to work with. This palette is actually the perfect size to fit in my bag and still have room to spare. The brush that came with the palette is perfection and I wish I could buy ten more of them because it actually makes it easy to touch up on the go and not worry about getting lipstick all over my purse since the brush is retractable. The palette also contains a mix of neutrals, reds, and a few more fun, adventurous colors that make it easy to switch it up from day to night. It also makes for an excellent travel palette to give you options without having to overpack. It’s slim and compact, has an excellent mirror, a great range of shade choices, and it’s so good that it got me, a girl who hates lipsticks in pans and palettes, to put it on regular handbag rotation. The flaw: it’s limited edition. You can still find them on sale here and there, but they’re getting difficult to find. Urban Decay, I’m begging you, please make more Vice Lipstick palettes. And make them permanent!
And that’s a wrap! It was quite a few products, I know, but I like to have options and every single product mentioned here has earned its place. Which lipsticks live in your handbag? Anything surprising? I want to know!
Thanks for reading,