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There are red lipsticks, pink lipsticks, and berry lipsticks aplenty, but the perfect “my lips but better” shade is a rare breed. It must be at once natural-looking and just ever so slightly enhanced, with a formula that’s easy to wear all day—because, after all, it should be your go-to color whenever you just need a little something, so a formula that can’t hang just isn’t going to fly. We’ve done our research (oh, have we ever), and rounded up these five universally flattering “my lips but better” lip colors.
NARS Audacious Lipstick in Barbara ($32, narscosmetics.com)
We will never, ever condone the consumption of lipstick, but we will say that, figuratively, this one is delectable. The luxurious satin formula can only be topped by the gorgeous hue, a muted beige rose that’s neither too light nor deep-toned—it strikes just the right balance. We love it worn with otherwise simple, low-key makeup, as it gives the perfect amount of color for a fresh-faced look, but it’s also ideal for offsetting more dramatic eye makeup.
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm ($6, nyxcosmetics.com)
We can’t get enough of these affordable, super pigmented lip colors in all shades of the rainbow, but while we’re on the subject, we’re wildly obsessed with Stockholm, a mid-tone pink-leaning beige that looks gorgeously natural on absolutely everyone. We’re also fond of the soft matte finish, which leaves lips looking soft, never dry or chapped.
Tarte LipSurgence Matte Lip Tint in Exposed ($24, tartecosmetics.com)
This beloved lip tint formula just gets better and better—the velvety matte texture of this one is basically everything we’ve ever wanted out of a lipstick, and don’t even get us started on the portable, easy-to-use twist-up pencil packaging. This shade has been a favorite of ours for years, as it’s the perfect neutral rose that goes with any other makeup, including (and perhaps especially) no makeup at all.
By Terry Hyaluronic Sheer Nude in Sheer Glow ($36, us.spacenk.com)
You just cannot go wrong with a sheer, super hydrating formula like this one. It goes on smoothly and leaves even sad, chapped lips looking plump and dewy while imparting a wash of a coral-leaning nude that works with your natural lip color to create something unique and effortlessly flattering.
Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Strip ($22, urbandecay.com)
For shiny, seductive lips that still look like yours, just waaaaay better, this plum-toned brownish shade is your ticket to your greatest lips of all time (GLOAT)? This formula has a substantial gloss to it that gives a luminous eye-catching finish, and we can attest that it looks absolutely stunning on darker complexions.
Read more from Daily Makeover: The 3 Secrets to Perfect Natural-Looking Makeup