13 Cult Classic Lipstick Shades

13 Cult Classic Lipstick Shades

In beauty, there is no category more timeless—or quintessential—than lipstick. As an enduring symbol of power and femininity, the transformative swipe of classic lipstick is never to be underestimated. Over the decades, brands have met perennial demand with a dizzying array of offerings, leaving no color, undertone, or finish unturned. But despite the scale of options, there are those strikingly universal shades that women keep coming back to. From true reds to nuanced nudes, here, we delve into the world of cult classic lipstick shades—the ones with that certain something that loyal masses simply can’t get enough of.

1. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire & Ice

Revlon shook the beauty world in 1952 with the introduction of its Fire & Ice ad campaign, featuring the iconic Vogue cover model Dorian Leigh. The campaign sparked intrigue with its quirky quiz supplement, aimed at determining whether individuals were truly compatible with the timeless allure of bold red lipstick.

2. NARS Lipstick in Dolce Vita

Drawing inspiration from the 1960 Italian drama “La Dolce Vita,” featuring Anita Ekberg, this muted rose hue embodies a refined harmony, effortlessly blending elements of vintage allure with contemporary elegance for a soft, pale-pink lip look that transcends time.

3. Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Color in 99 Pirate

Ever since its debut in 2006, Chanel’s Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lip Color in Pirate, a rich blue-based red hue, has consistently ranked among the top-selling red lipsticks worldwide.

4. Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey

Crafting a hyper-gothic infusion of color that effortlessly complements a wide range of skin tones, the magic of this rich berry shade lies in its translucent, lustrous, and nourishing texture reminiscent of a balm.

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5. Dior Rouge Lipstick in 999 Matte

In 1953, Christian Dior crafted two “perfect red” lipsticks, “9” and “99,” for the catwalk. Over fifty years later, the result is a stunning blend of these iconic shades, embodying the rich essence of crimson beauty.

6. Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk

One swipe of this matte nude pink lipstick will effortlessly accentuate the natural hue of your lips, creating a personalized effect. Add a few more layers, and it transforms into a captivating true mauve, adding a touch of subtle elegance to your look.

7. MAC Red Lipstick in Ruby Woo

This iconic shade of red is the epitome of coolness, universally flattering with its subtle blue undertones that effortlessly enhance both teeth and the whites of the eyes in a single stroke.

8. L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipcolour in Fairest Nude

Infused with a distinctive vanilla fragrance, this creamy nude with hints of pink and taupe glides on smoothly, imparting a subtle glow that flatters a diverse range of skin tones.

9. Tom Ford Lip Color in Bruised Plum

In its tube, this hue presents itself as a deep plum, darker than dark. Yet, once applied, its shiny, semi-opaque formula transforms it into a luscious deep fuchsia, allowing you to layer it to your preferred level of intensity.

10. NARS Lipstick in Schiap

Dubbed in honor of Italian fashion icon Elsa Schiaparelli, renowned for her bold use of shocking pink, this electrifying fuchsia hue is as attention-grabbing as her avant-garde Surrealist creations.

11. Giorgio Armani Beauty Rouge D’Armani Matte Lipstick in 400

Dubbed the “Armani Red,” this luxurious crimson boasts rich pigmentation that strikes an impeccable equilibrium between cool and warm tones. It stands as a quintessential choice for achieving the timeless allure of the Old Hollywood aesthetic.

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12. Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Brown

In 1991, makeup icon Bobbi Brown launched her inaugural collection of lipsticks, gracing the counters of Bergdorf Goodman. Among the array of hues, it was her Lip Color in a subtly pink-infused shade of brown that caused a stir, igniting a trend that would define the nude lip look of the ’90s—a style still revered and emulated to this day.

13. Guerlain 1830 Rouge Du Tigre

Recently discovered as part of Guerlain’s Legendary Reds collection curated by the creative makeup director, Violette, Rouge Impériale emerges as a rich berry crimson. This iconic shade, initially introduced in 1870, marked Guerlain’s pioneering venture into lipstick in stick form, showcasing the brand’s historic commitment to timeless elegance and innovation in makeup.