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College Beauty Awards: 10 Essential Lip Products to Complete Your Makeup

A colorful lip is the perfect excuse to skip mascara and accessories. It can be a hands-free step in your makeup routine (simply swipe and go), or it can involve lots of artistic painting and brushing and blending (@ ombre lips). Choose your own adventure!

But whatever your a.m. getting ready time looks like, college women agree that a done-up lip is the final — crucial — key to elevate any look. There are hundreds of lipsticks, stains and glosses to choose from, so our community has handpicked the very best. Read on for the lippies your fellow students loved most in 2020.  

Even Better Pop Lip Colour Foundation

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Clinque, ulta.com, $20; shop now

We estimate that the average woman has at least 10 shades of similar brown lipstick rolling around in her makeup drawer. Instead of ordering the same identical tubes over and over, let us introduce you to the only one you need in your “keep” pile. Clinique nailed the neutral palette here, and while every shade is gorg, we love “Closer,” which is a medium deep brown that’s silky as heck.

Matte Revolution Lipstick - Pillow Talk Collection

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Charlotte Tilbury, sephora.com, $34; shop now

The best lipstick is one that can bring out the pink in your natural lip color, and this nude-pink can do just that. It’s comfortable to wear, and it creates a cute hint-of-color moment perfect for a day of Zoom class or your online internship.

Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick

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Fenty Beauty, sephora.com, $18; shop now

The look is matte, but the feel is creamy. It clings to your lips, but bleeds off onto straws, spoons and bites of food in the cutest way. This red has incredible contradictions! And so it makes sense that — like all other Fenty products — this lipstick has a cult following. While the “Royal Red” shade is truly standout, we also love the greens, blues and rainbow of other color options.

Luxe Lipstick

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Bobbi Brown, sephora.com, $38; shop now

Purple lipstick always gives off the most envious summer goth vibe. Bobbi Brown’s “Plum Brandy” shade, however, is all-season appropriate, and the pigment level is sublime. The formula goes on nice and creamy with a slight shimmer, and it’s thick — so you don’t need to revisit spots to get an even opacity.

Powermatte Lip Pigment

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Nars, sephora.com, $26; shop now

Let your lips be their best selves wearing this “Light My Fire” vivid orange red. This is a liquid lipstick with a matte finish, but it goes on like the smooth glide of a lip balm. The best part is the doe-foot applicator, which makes the formula easy to apply, even if you’re bad at coloring in the lines.

Lip Whip

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Beauty Bakerie, beautybakerie.com, $20; shop now

Our favorite matte lip of the year is one that won’t look flaky, even on a winter pout. Really! But the main reason this guy sells out so often is because the color sits unfazed no matter what smudgy foods (like ice cream and coffee) pass through your lips.

Outburst Longwear Lip Stain

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Bite Beauty, sephora.com, $24; shop now

This lip stain is so long-wearing, it’s more like a gel manicure for your lips. You can layer as much or as little of it, depending on the impact you want, and even just lightly dotting it on will leave you with impressive pigment. All the shades are so playful, it’s the bright cherry on top of your makeup look.

Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer

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Fenty Beauty, sephora.com, $19; shop now

Our stance is that the right gloss can keep your lips feeling nourished more than lip balm. That’s why this tube is the key to dewy lips, by way of gloss. It applies a shine that refreshes your entire face, and the the color range looks gorgeous on different skin tones.

Full-On Plumping Lip Polish Gloss

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Buxom, sephora.com, $21; shop now

This lip gloss is more like a lip ganache because it goes on so frosty and glassy. The wow-factor in this unique formula is the plumping power, especially if you need some help in the lip department. It makes your lips tingly and cool, and with a heavy dose of high shine.

RIP Lip Liner

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Haus Labratories, hauslabs.com, $16; shop now

This lip liner will bring your world to a standstill. We were of the opinion that liners were “meh,” but Haus Labs by Lady Gaga has created one that’s richly colored and long-lasting. It adds something to your overall lip look that you can’t live without, pinky promise.

The Her Campus National Editors write about products we love and think you’ll love too. Her Campus has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase. All products are in stock and all prices are accurate as of publication.

Gina was formerly the Beauty & Culture Editor at Her Campus, where she oversaw content and strategy for the site's key verticals. She was also the person behind @HerCampusBeauty, and all those other glowy selfies you faved. She got her start in digital media as a Campus Correspondent at HC Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she graduated in 2017 with degrees in English and Theater. Now, Gina is an LA-based writer and editor, and you can regularly find her wearing a face mask in bed and scrolling through TikTok.
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