Get Lippy: A Complete Lipstick Guide For Every Occasion

When it comes to lipstick, one size does not fit all. And when you add the fact that lipstick comes in pretty much every color, finish and price point, it can be hard to find the one that works best for you. Not to mention, it can be overwhelming. This guide is here to change that.

The key to finding the best lipstick for you is to break it down into simple steps. Consider the occasion, your coloring, your needs, and the look you want. When those key things intersect, you’ve found yourself the perfect lipstick. By the time you’ve finished reading this article, you will know everything you need to know to find the lipstick of your dreams.

The best lipstick for work

When choosing the right lipstick for work, you want to first and foremost keep your workplace’s dress code in mind. Some companies have very strict policies when it comes to their employee’s dress and style. And aside of that, you also have to consider the type of place you work: Is your workplace more laid back or is it more conservative? The answer to that question determines how far you push the lipstick boundaries while you’re on the clock.

If you work in a conservative corporate office, go for a lipstick that isn’t too bright in color or too shiny in finish. Go for a subdued matte look that fits in with the clothes you wear to work every day. Go for berries or mauves, colors that have punch without looking over-the-top. If you’re worried about pushing the boundaries too far, look at what the other chic women in your office are wearing and let that be your guide.

Ladies who work in more laidback settings can have a little more fun with their lipstick choices, but don’t go crazy. Once again, avoid anything too shiny. You want to look grownup and be taken seriously in your profession. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, delve into pinks and nudes for a business casual look.

The best lipstick for school

Chances are, if you’re looking for the right lipstick to wear to school, you’re a younger girl who wants to try out some new lipstick looks without looking like you’ve overdone it. Think of school like your workplace and refer to the dress code when choosing lipstick. Lipstick is not worth getting detention over, as awesome as it is.

If you’re young, you can pull off just about any shade that suits your skin tone. But for school, choose something along the lines of business casual and take the demure route. Try lipsticks in nudes or roses, such as this Nyx Matte Lipstick in Tea Rose.


The best lipstick for a party

A night of partying is the perfect time to try out daring new lipstick looks. Go for shades you would normally deem too wild to wear at work or on a date. Choose bold colors like intense purples or bright-orange reds to make your lips pop and standout in a sea of faces. If you’re hardcore enough, try something wild like this Midnight Plum lipstick by Maybelline.

On the flipside, you may decide party time is the time to play off your eyes with a smoky look. If you’re doing smoky eyes, choose a paler lipstick like this one. Nude lipstick is the perfect way to make your eye shadow pop and it’s a classic yet edgy look.

The best lipstick for prom

Prom is a great opportunity to try out new and exciting lipstick looks. The important things to keep in mind when choosing a lipstick for prom are:

  • Go for long-wearing smudge-proof lipstick
  • Keep the color of your dress in mind

Smudge-proof lipstick is a must. No one wants to look sloppy at prom and precise lipstick lines are key for taking red carpet-worthy prom pictures. Not to mention, smudge-proof is synonymous with kiss-proof. Have fun with color, but make sure to choose a lipstick that compliments your dress and your skin tone. If you’re looking for fun ideas, has put together a list of on-trend prom lipstick looks to try.

The best lipstick for a date

As with any other special occasion that may involve kissing, smudge-proof lipstick is a necessity for any date-worthy lipstick look. Also, go for a lipstick that is moisture rich, like this one by e.l.f. Soft lips are crucial for the perfect date lipstick look.

As far as color goes, there are a lot of supposed dos and don’ts when it comes to what you lipstick color is okay to wear on a first date. Really, the best lipstick color for a date (especially a first date) is the lipstick color that suits you and puts out the vibe you want to put out. If you’re feeling fiery and bold, go for a blazing red like this moisturizing red that has a subtle shine finish. For a more girly look, go for a warm pink.

The best lipstick for brides

On your wedding day, the main thing you want is a lipstick that stays in place. Look for lipsticks that are long-wearing and don’t bleed. Mattes are a great choice because they highlight the beauty of your mouth and won’t detract from your dress.

You can do a pale lip in nude or pink for a more traditional look. This is great for daytime weddings. But if you’re a dramatic bride who needs a dramatic lipstick, what is more classic than red? Just be sure that your lipstick is long-acting and smudge-proof so you don’t get red all over your white dress. This red lipstick by Rimmel is long-lasting and richly pigmented—a great choice for a bride who wants a vintage makeup look.

By Jen Miller: Contributor for WhatRUWearing