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Behold: The Top 3 Lipstick Color Trends of 2023 (Plus, One Look to Avoid)

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If you’ve ever walked out of Sephora or Ulta with your hand covered in lipstick swatches, then you’re definitely our people because same. And while it’s fun to sample different shades in the stores, knowing which ones to actually buy is another story—which is why we did some digging to find the most sought-after lipstick colors of the year, so you can spend wisely.

Meet the Expert

  • Beth Milligan is a color expert and store manager at Lip Lab, a store that creates custom lipsticks for guests nationwide via virtual or in-store appointments
lipstick color trends: Jenna Ortega wearing a Milky Nude lipstick on the red carpet
Amy Sussman / Staff/Getty Images

1. Milky Nudes

The holy grail of lipstick colorways that never fails to complement almost every outfit is none other than nude. This barely-there hue is incredibly natural and soft, so you won’t have to worry too much about getting the most precise application (like you do with red) or accidentally smudging your color throughout the day. When it comes to finding your perfect nude, we suggest familiarizing yourself with your natural lip color and sticking to a shade that falls within two shades of it. And remember: Just because the lipstick has ‘nude’ written in the description doesn’t mean it will match your specific undertones.

lipstick color trends: Nico Parker wearing a Rosy Nude lipstick at a red carpet premiere
Amy Sussman /GA / Contributor / Getty Images

2. Rosy Nudes

Alexa, play “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus. That’s right, rosy nudes aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. Keeping in line with the nude lipstick color trend previously mentioned, Milligan’s second most requested hue of the year is a rosy nude that’s universally flattering (and also happens to be equal parts subtle and sexy). To rock this trend in 2023, set aside your matte tubes for now and opt for products with moisturizing properties and a more multi-dimensional finish instead. Think: Gloss, satin, creamy or balmy finishes for the prettiest pucker.

Shop Rosy Nude Lipsticks

lipstick color trends: Rosalia wearing a Mauve lipstick color at Paris Fashion Week
Edward Berthelot / Contributor / Getty Images

3. Mauves

Lip Lab guests and TikTokers alike are loving mauve-stained lips this year. Whether you swipe it on for a GNO or sport it during your next team meeting, you’ll be captivating in a juicy plum lip. Unlike the other two neutral shades on this list, mauve can be a bit unforgiving depending on how pigmented the formula is, so precision is key when it comes to application (or you can opt for a mauve-tinted lip oil or gloss instead, which is easier to use). Regardless of which route you go, Milligan reminds us that “lips are a part of our skin, [so] having a great prep [routine] is essential before any makeup application,” especially when wearing violet-colored lipsticks. Tip: Using an exfoliating lip scrub and a nourishing lip mask will do just the trick.

Allen Berezovsky / Contributor / Getty Images

One Lipstick Look to Skip for Now: Ombré Lips

It seems like just yesterday we were searching for tutorials on how to perfect the ‘90s ombré lip trend. But all good things must come to an end—or at least a hiatus. In 2023, we’re no longer outlining our lips with a dark pencil and filling them with a lighter lipstick for contrast. This year we’re all about consistency in color and streamlining the process with a one-and-done gloss. Versatile and delightfully nostalgic, Milligan reminds us that adding a reflective gloss over one of the lipstick shades above is the easiest way to customize any color to your liking. On that note, nude lipstick + apricot gloss = a match made in beauty heaven.

Shop Lip Glosses

So, which shade are you choosing?

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