As much as we all love lipstick, it can also be a source of pain. There’s no greater heartbreak than falling in love with the shade your friend is wearing, only for it to look awful on you. Or when you find the ideal lip color that looks incredible on you, only for it to be discontinued. Ugh. But luckily, many brands offer universal lipstick shades that look beautiful on all skin tones and types. Some are relatively new releases, while others have been around for fifty years and you had no clue that such a flawless universal lipstick existed. Looking at you, Black Honey. Next time you’re looking for your signature shade, try these four universal lipsticks that look amazing on everybody.
Everybody’s favorite drugstore beauty brand took diversity to the next level when they launched the Color Sensational Made For All Lipstick in 2019. As the name suggests, these lipsticks were specially designed to flatter people of all skin tones and types – tested on 50 diverse complexions to create the ultimate universal lipstick. In fact, the brand was so confident that you’d love these nude, plum, and pink shades that they even offered a money-back guarantee to those who didn’t. Diverse and confident? That’s why the community can’t get enough of Maybelline.
The universal lipstick that taught us the importance of swatching. Despite the name and how dark this color looks in the tube, it becomes a sheer, sweet tint of plum once you put it on. The subtle hue looks fabulous on all skin tones, and feels lightweight and moisturizing the moment it touches your lips. If you haven’t been convinced to try it yet, just know that this cult universal lipstick has been around for nearly fifty years and sells one tube every three minutes.
This one really shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering that Rihanna is perfection and so is her ultra-inclusive beauty brand. Uncensored is a matte red universal lipstick with blue undertones, meaning that it looks flawless on everybody… with an added bonus of making your teeth look super white. If you’re one of those people who wonder if they can “pull off” red lipstick, the answer is 100% yes, and we can’t wait to see you get Uncensored.
Even if you’ve never considered yourself a Barbie pink type of person, you probably will after trying this universal lipstick. It’s smooth and velvety, with blue undertones (seeing a pattern here?) to flatter any skin tone and show off your bright side. This one is definitely a little more bold than the nudes and rosey tints that make up many universal lipsticks, but that’s what makes it special.
You’ll always be pretty in pink with one of our favorite universal lipsticks – which surprisingly, isn’t even that pink at all. This lipstick is a romantic nude shade that’s more dusky or brown pink than the bubblegum you’re probably imagining, making it ideal for all skin tones to wear for an everyday makeup look. Or with the copper autumn eyeshadow you’re already planning for fall… which we totally feel you on.
Katy Perry has rocked a lot of lipstick over the span of her decade-long career - from the “taste of her cherry chapstick” she got in her “I Kissed a Girl” video back in 2008 to the countless lipstick colors she’s worn in her Covergirl ads over the years. She looks gorgeous in all of them, and you’ll be cute and Katy-approved with the pop star’s line of universal lipstick shades, all creamy and with feline-frindly names. Our personal favorite is Maroon Meow, a rich pink-purple hue with a blue base that neutralizes many skin tones and adds depth to the face. Wear it to make a statement at work or school, channeling your inner Katy Perry by looking just the right amount of extra in ordinary settings.
Ruby Woo isn’t just a universal lipstick, it’s the universal lipstick. This bombshell red hue looks gorgeous on all skin tones and types, and is beloved by MUA’s, celebrities, and beauty beginners around the world. Don’t believe us? Before Rihanna helped to create the flawless universal lipstick shade that is Uncensored, which you read about a bit earlier on this list, she fell so hard for Ruby Woo that she collaborated with MAC in 2013 to launch her own version of the iconic shade, called “RiRi Woo.” We’re not saying that Ruby Woo was the inspiration for Uncensored and the entire Fenty Beauty brand, exactly, but we do know that there’s a reason that Ruby Woo is as world famous as the superstars who wear it. Shop this cult favorite and let your red lips do the talking.
1993 isn’t just the year that gave us Ariana Grande, the movie Hocus Pocus, and a ton of unforgettable fashion trends. It’s also the name of one of our favorite universal lipstick shades by Urban Decay… a creamy, ultra-pigmented matte brown shade that’s just so 90’s, in the best way. Whether you have fair, medium, olive, or deep skin, we can practically guarantee that this lipstick will glide on with ease and create a gorgeous nude lip. It’s an added bonus that Vice Lipstick is one of the top rated lip products in our community, with high ratings for hydration, staying power, and texture.
The best universal lipstick shades don’t just deliver the right color, they also keep your lips soft and moisturized all day to ensure easy application. As it turns out, Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipstick does both. Neoclassical Coral is a not-quite-red, not-quite-pink shade with a warm red undertone that brightens up all skin tones. Coral is the go-to lipstick shade for a sweet yet sexy look that can be worn anywhere from the gym to the club, and this one by Elizabeth Arden does all the work for you. It even contains Volulip™, a technology known to lock moisture into the lips and add volume by up to 15%!
How much more universal can you get than the actual color of your lips? Because that’s what this universal lipstick is going for, and we’re all about it. This shade by Lipstick Queen is modeled after the natural pinkish-brown shade of our lips, only amplified. Since it’s so sheer, it’s the ideal lip product for the days you just want a tint of color… and maybe want to trick people into thinking you’re not wearing any makeup, even when you are. Let the moisture sink in and look naturally flawless with the most subtle universal lipstick you’ll ever find.
Everybody needs the right nude lipstick in their beauty collection. That being said, we’re ready to give you about a million of them… and we couldn’t resist another Charlotte Tilbury favorite to top off this list (and your lips!) with subtle, sensual color. Pillow Talk is a sweet shade that suits all skin tones - a creamy, soft pink hue that works effortlessly when doing the “no makeup” makeup look, or makes a great companion for your smokey eye look on your first night out after quarantine. No matter your age, skin type, or skin tone, a swipe of Pillow Talk delivers a boost of confidence and ultra-pigmented color.
“I love this lipstick! I own this in two reds and one mauve. It's my absolute favorite lipstick for its staying power and consistency. No weird chemical smell, and never gets dry on the applicator.” Stila Cosmetics has created one of the best universal lipsticks ever, and we’re obsessed with the shade Fiery. As the name suggests, it’s a deep red hue that isn’t nearly as intimidating as it sounds. In fact, it looks rich and ravishing on all skin tones without looking too bright, and works with a variety of eye looks to make it extremely versatile and vivid. You’ll be the actual definition of the fire emoji with just a swipe of two of this Fiery hue.
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