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Stepping away from an everyday nude lipstick can be intimidating. But if you've ever felt that your hair color precludes you from wearing certain lip colors, that's not entirely true. "Lipstick is really a personal preference and [about] what you like on you," says celebrity makeup artist Robert Sesnek, who works with famous blondes like Lili Reinhart. Sesnek notes that additionally, the best lipsticks for blondes can be determined by your skin tone and the shade of your blonde hair. Your lipstick should also include a conditioning ingredient or two to keep your lips feeling smooth and moisturized all day long.
Robert Sesnek is a New York City-based makeup artist, whose work includes editorial spreads, advertising campaigns, and on-camera appearances and events. His work has been featured in print publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, and ELLE, as well as in international campaigns for Ralph Lauren and Redken. His blonde celebrity clients include Hailey Bieber, Olivia Holt, and Kristin Cavallari.
What To Consider
You've probably heard it before, but Sesnek explains that identifying whether your skin's natural undertone is warm, cool, or neutral will be helpful when it comes to determining your best lipstick shade, regardless of your hair color. "Everyone falls into one of these three categories," he says. "To find your skin's natural undertone, look at your wrist veins. Green veins mean you are typically warmer, blue veins [typically signify] cooler undertones, and blue/green means you are neutral," he explains. If you have dark skin and it’s hard to get a sense of the color of your veins, you can try the jewelry method — if you think that gold jewelry looks better on you, you likely have warm-toned skin; and if you prefer silver jewelry, consider yourself cool-toned. (If you’re still unsure, Jackie Aina has a great, in-depth video on this.)
Your best lipstick match will then have the same warm, cool, or neutral undertones as your skin. "If you have warmer toned skin, find lipsticks with warmer peach, reddish-orange, or yellowish tones in them," Sesnek advises. "If you have a cool undertone, look for plums, cool pinks, mauve, and berry tones, and for neutral undertones, both warm and cool shades will complement your skin tone."
Sesnek says that the tone of your hair can be used to find a more complementary lipstick, too. "Light blonde shades tend to be flattering in brighter jewel tones," he says, adding that richer wine lipsticks look especially gorgeous on those with ashy blonde hair. For those with golden blonde hair, Sesnek suggests brighter apricot, peach, and coral lipsticks. "Olive-skinned blondes tend to look flattering in neutral browns, dark peach, and light-nude browns," he says of those with warmer skin tones who usually opt for caramel highlights or balayage.
To find the perfect shade of lipstick to complement your blonde hair, take your pick from the list ahead.
Shop The Best Lipsticks For Blondes
In a hurry? Here are the best lipsticks for blondes:
1. The Overall Best Lipstick For Blondes: Well People Optimist Lipstick in Retrograde
2. Best Lipstick For Light Blondes: Revlon Super Lustrous The Luscious Mattes Lipstick in Crushed Rubies
3. Best Lipstick For Ash-Toned Blondes: Maybelline Color Sensational The Mattes Lipstick in Divine Wine
4. Best Lipstick For Golden Blondes: IT Cosmetics Pillow Lips Lipstick in Wink
5. Best Lipstick For Blondes With Olive Skin: Anastasia Beverly Hills Matte Lipstick in Cool Brown
1. Expert’s Pick: The Overall Best Lipstick For Blondes
"I really love how this shade works on everyone," Sesnek says of Well People's Optimist Lipstick in ‘Retrograde.’ "It's such a staple because it's a deeper, neutral berry tone that suits all complexions. I love this either blotted out multiple times for a deeper statement lip, or it's great in one swipe for a softer stain," he says of the multiple ways you can wear this lipstick. Sesnek notes that the lipstick also gets points for being vegan, cruelty-free, and dermatologist-developed. "Plus, [it’s] hydrating with castor seed oil that conditions the lips," he adds.
Finish: Satin Nourishing Ingredients: Cupuacu Butter, Castor Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Vitamin E, Aloe Leaf Juice Cruelty-Free: Yes
2. Editor’s Pick: Most Versatile Liquid Lipstick For Blondes
“Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in ‘Kathryn’ is hard to describe, which is perhaps what makes it so versatile,” explains Elite Daily beauty editor Adeline Duff of one of her go-to liquid lipsticks. “It’s more berry than red or pink, but I wouldn’t classify it as a proper berry shade — it doesn’t have any purple to it whatsoever. I guess I’d call it raspberry? I’m a very fair blonde with blue eyes, so this lipstick looks quite bold on me, but I could imagine it working for anyone; on darker skin, it would be a gorgeous not-too-pink pink. And the brand’s liquid lipstick is legendary for a reason: it stays on all day long, has a perfectly shaped applicator wand, and doesn’t make your lips feel dry. Plus, one tube will last you forever — I’ve had mine for longer than I care to admit.”
Finish: Matte Nourishing Ingredients: Safflower Seed Oil, Camellia Leaf Extract, Synthetic Beeswax Cruelty-Free: Yes
3. Editor’s Pick: Best Splurge-Worthy Pink Lipstick For Blondes
Another pick from Duff, this one is, admittedly, quite the splurge. “Clé de Peau Beauté’s liquid lipsticks are the definition of luxury,” she says. “Not only is the packaging gorgeous — a selling point in and of itself — but the formula is absolutely divine; it feels like a soft, fluffy cloud against my lips, and leaves behind the most gorgeous, powdery matte finish.” Made with the brand’s Illuminating Hydro-Wrap Complex to keep your lips moisturized, it stays on without smudging or becoming dried-out for at least an entire work day’s worth. “Though all the shades from the range are gorgeous” says Duff, “‘Nectar’ is the perfect shade for blondes of all skin tones who love a pop of pink.”
Finish: Matte Nourishing Ingredients: Argan Oil, Glycerin, Rose Water Cruelty-Free: No
4. Best Ruby-Red Lipstick For Light Blondes
A ruby-red lipstick is a classic take on the jewel tone colors that best suit platinum and other shades of light blonde hair. Revlon’s Super Lustrous The Luscious Mattes Lipstick in ‘Crushed Rubies’ is a bright red color with a velvety matte finish that makes it look more modern. To ensure that the matte formula is non-drying and glides over your lips smoothly, Revlon formulated the lipstick with nourishing ingredients like moringa oil and cupuacu butter.
Finish: Matte Nourishing Ingredients: Moringa Oil, Cupuacu Butter, Agave Extract Cruelty-Free: No
5. Best Wine-Red Lipstick For Ash-Toned Blondes
If you have ashy blonde hair, Sesnek likes a bold (and cool-toned) merlot for a pop of color that won't wash you out. Maybelline’s Color Sensational The Mattes Lipstick in ‘Divine Wine’ is a drugstore favorite with over 20,000 five-star ratings on Amazon. Despite its matte finish, the brand describes this as a creamy formula enriched with ingredients like honey nectar and sesame seed oil to wear comfortably throughout the day.
Finish: Matte Nourishing Ingredients: Sesame Seed Oil, Vitamin E, Honey Cruelty-Free: No
6. Best Coral Lipstick For Golden Blondes
IT Cosmetics developed this line of lipsticks to complement all skin tones, but their Pillow Lips Lipstick in ‘Wink’ is a coral shade that looks especially good on people with golden blonde hair. The formula concentrates on giving you a fuller pout with ingredients like collagen and hyaluronic acid, which help increase your lips’ moisture levels and elasticity. And if a cream finish isn't your thing, the brand offers each shade from the collection in a matte finish, too.
Finish: Cream Nourishing Ingredients: Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sesame Seed Oil, Vitamin E, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Hyaluronic Acid, Collagen Cruelty-Free: Yes
7. Best Brown-Toned Lipstick For Blondes
For blondes who love a light brown lip, try Anastasia Beverly Hills Matte Lipstick in ‘Cool Brown’, which happens to look especially gorgeous juxtaposed against olive skin. It’s a taupe brown shade that's very reminiscent of the color popularized by the supermodels of the 1990s. That said, if you're hesitant to try this true brown shade, you'll find several other neutral brown lipsticks to choose from in the collection. Each one gives you an intense color payoff and applies super smoothly (and easily), thanks to a combination of the brand's precise heart-shaped bullet and jojoba seed oil-infused formula.
Finish: Matte Nourishing Ingredients: Jojoba Seed Oil, Vitamin E Cruelty-Free: Yes
Bonus: Best Lip Liner For Blondes
“I have fair skin and blonde hair, so most neutral shades are either too dark or wash me out,” says Elite Daily editor Caroline Goldstein. “‘Haus Labs’ ‘En Pointe’ has neutral undertones, so it suits my cooler complexion well, but the shade’s rich, peachy dimension adds some warmth to my face. I use it both as a lip liner and to fill in my lips — it has amazing staying power, and I love the true matte finish. Perfect for a ‘90s-inspired lip.”
Robert Sesnek, a celebrity makeup artist based in New York City