Like a shot of caffeine to the face, the best pink lipstick will instantly pep up a drab and dreary complexion. Psychologically too, lipstick has the unique ability to lift your mood, and there’s no shade more capable of sparking joy than pink.
Because, here’s the thing – everyone can pull off pink, whether that’s a burnished rosewood or electrifying fuchsia. With all the complexion-brightening mastery of the best red lipstick and the easy elegance of a nude lipstick, pink has a few extra tricks up its twist-up sleeve. “There are so many tones that will enhance your lips and draw out your natural lip color,” explains make-up artist, Lan Nguyen-Grealis. "The right pink, particularly those lighter nude shades, can make lips look fuller, plumper and more youthful."
Her pout pick of the season? “There’s definitely a trend for a more vibrant natural pink lip. Imagine a deeper tone of your natural lips, with a hydrated, glossy texture.” Finish is down to personal preference but as Nguyen-Grealis advises, satin looks more natural. “Plus, if your lips are dry and prone to cracking, a satin finish will keep lips hydrated, plump, and healthy.” Are you ready to think pink? Supercharge your makeup and swipe right on our beauty team's best pink lipstick shades of all time.
How we tested the best pink lipstick for this feature
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To compile this list of the best pink lipsticks, I nominated the forever favorites that always have a place in my makeup bag, as well as tested a host of new pink picks. Every lipstick on this list has been worn by me to test the feel of the formula, the staying power, and of course, how it looks on. I then used this research to whittle them down to the nine very best pink lipsticks - all of them, universally flattering.
The best pink lipsticks, as chosen by our Beauty Editor
This liquid lipstick feels like silk. The cushioned applicator is tapered so you can define the Cupid’s bow using the thin tip, then fill in with the flat side. I’m obsessed with this moody pink satin. It’s a burnished rose with a hint of brown that taps into the ‘90s beauty revival - serious Rachel Green vibes. It’s the sort of universally-appealing shade that transcends age (it looked fabulous on my mum). The trade-off for a radiant satin finish is usually staying power but this manages to unite the two with aplomb.
A collection made in collaboration with fashion icon Iris Apfel was always going to be eclectic, and this zingy, two-tone tube is immediately inviting. It’s a rosy raspberry with cool undertones in a creamy, shiny-rather-than-glossy finish that starts semi-sheer and builds up the intensity with every coat. For a non-matte lipstick, it survived my lunch pretty well, and the slim, precise bullet means a quick top-up is easy. My lips tend to be a little dry, especially during the colder months, but this lipstick marries color and care.
For everyday wear (because not all of us can rock a Pepto-pink on the school run) this is the white t-shirt of my pink lipstick wardrobe. It’s a nude rose with a natural satin finish that looks like your own lips but better. The rose-gold case looks and feels expensive too. Formula-wise, I adore the creaminess - it skims over lips, never drags - and although it is on the paler end of the pink spectrum, it has intense color payoff so there’s no need to layer up.
A good matte is quite hard to find, particularly if you’re a paid-up member of the dry lip collective like I am. This one goes on like satin but dries to a creamy velvet. Rather than being completely devoid of shine, it has a softer, hazy finish that feels incredibly lightweight. The trade-off? I had to reapply it more often than a typical matte lipstick, but I’ll take that for a more hydrating and comfortable formula. I wasn’t expecting to pull off magenta but it really lifted my complexion - I really loved this tone. And honestly - who can resist Gucci? Certainly not me.
I was wary of the metallic finish at first - it rocketed me back to teenage forays to glitter gloss and hair mascara - but this is a shimmer for grown-ups, and it’s supremely flattering. The glinting depth of color definitely made my lips look fuller, too. The lipstick is designed to be used with a refillable case. Now, if I’m going to spend an extra $24/£21 on the collector’s case then I want all the bells and whistles, which this has - with a built-in double mirror and its own velvet pouch. It's the best pink lipstick with a luxury price to add to your wish list.
This is a diamond in my lipstick collection. The buttery ingredients pad out fine lines and feel intensely quenching. The sponge applicator gives precise control on application, and the color is so jam-packed with pigment I found I only needed one coat. I have been raving about this to anyone who will listen - it’s so shockingly easy to wear, and doesn’t crack or pill as some mattes can. It feels so much more expensive than it actually is. If you want to make a statement, then this hot fuchsia is your gal. She’s really fun.
It was Senior Beauty Editor, Rhiannon Derbyshire, whose unswerving devotion in her Maybelline Superstay Ink review first drew my attention to this, and I'm now a convert. This is a super-saturated formula that really stays the course, through drinks, through snacks, through pretty much anything you throw at it. But for all its budge-proof, stain-like longevity, it’s surprisingly creamy and comfortable to wear. And it’s an absolute bargain! I adore this shade - it’s a true rose with cool mauve undertones, which means it makes your teeth appear brighter and looks good on any skin tone.
Another w&h team fave, nominated by Beauty Director, Sarah Cooper-White, who rates PowerMatte’s unbeatable color payoff. The slimline bullet offers precise application, gliding over lips with ease. After about 20 seconds this slip-and-slide vanishes, as the lipstick becomes weightless, drying to a super matte finish. The staying power is relentless, making it a truly brilliant long-lasting lipstick. However, cracked lips might find it a little drying, so this may not be the best pink lipstick for dry types during cold weather. If you’re wary of in-your-face pinks, this soft mauve shade is wearable and flattering.
There is a rainbow of 40 shades in this lipstick collection so there’s a pink to suit your every whim. 334 just happens to be the best pink lipstick with a coral twist. With warm, skin-brightening undertones, somewhere between a rosy coral and a muted hot pink. I have always subscribed to a ‘feeling sh*tty? Throw on a lippy’ mentality, and this is definitely a color that makes me look and feel brighter. The satin texture feels creamy and quenching, and the pigment is so punchy, a single pass is all you’ll need. You’re getting a lot of bang for your buck with this bullet.
How do I find the right shade of pink lipstick?
Finding a lipstick to suit your complexion is no easy feat. It’s about more than just the color of your skin, but identifying your unique undertone, too. People generally fall into one of two categories - warm or cool. A simple test is to observe the veins on your wrist - blue veins tend to denote a cool complexion, while green veins typify warmer skin tones. Just to complicate matters, some people fall between the two with a neutral undertone, but this means you can pull off pretty much anything.
According to Nguyen-Grealis, there are some general pink lip laws you can follow to find a lipstick that is guaranteed to flatter. “Cooler, blue-toned pinks are best for pale and light skin tones and will stop the lipstick from looking too harsh. Warmer skin tones with an orange, yellow, or peach undertone suit deeper pinks. If you have dark skin, choose bright, purple-toned pinks, and avoid anything too light as it may be too ashy.”
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Stephanie Maylor is a Beauty Editor working across five national magazine titles, with almost 15 years' experience in the industry. She has written for many brands, including woman&home, Grazia, Now, More!, Fabulous, NW, Woman, Woman's Own, Woman's Weekly, Essentials, Best, Chat, and OK! online.
In 2010 she launched her own beauty blog, which was shortlisted for Best Beauty Blog in the 2011 and 2012 Johnson & Johnson Beauty Journalism Awards. She has interviewed many high profile industry experts and celebrities including Alesha Dixon, Twiggy and Christina Hendricks.
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