A pinkish nude, a peachy pink or a classic red are gorgeous lip shades all year-round. But fall? Fall is for fun. Fall is when I break out deeper shades, like rose-tinted browns (what I like to call mid-’90s neutrals), bright berries, true browns, purply plums and brick reds.
Below I’ve rounded up my favorite shades to complement various skin tones and included at least one liquid lipstick in each category in case those longer-lasting formulas are your jam. Picks for deep, medium and fair skin tones are suggestions, not rules — I also wear many of the colors recommended for medium and deep tones.
The Best Fall Lipsticks: Rich Autumnal Shades For All Skin Tones
Consider your undertones (red, purple, green, gold, pink and yellow) as much as the depth of your skin tone when you pick your perfect shade. I love to experiment and try multiple lipsticks to find the right color, and I hope you find a shade that makes you feel special. Many thanks to Kat, my stunning model for this article.
Remember that eponymous brown lipstick shades that had just a touch of rose undertone or sometimes a greige undertone that supermodels and rock stars wore throughout the ‘90s? Well, the ‘90s are back with a vengeance, and I never stopped loving these lip shades anyway.
Kat loved the Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick in 1995. Pat McGrath is a legendary makeup artist precisely because she was already on the fashion scene in the ‘90s. I think her lip products (both lipstick and gloss) are the best money can buy. This shade could really be worn by people with fair, medium or deep skin tones — it’s universally flattering, in my opinion, and I wear it myself.
For a more cool-tone brown, I love Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in So ‘90s, which is so fun and edgy for golden to caramel skin tones. I also like Urban Decay 1993. 1993 looks cool and grungy on deep skin tones. For myself, I selected KVD Beauty Everlasting liquid lipstick in Queen of Poisons. The pink undertones mixed with the brown make this deep shade easier for me to pull off, and it won’t smudge outside of my lip line.
Fresh-berry season might be over, but berry colors on the lips? Just getting started. There really is no season for berry lips in my book, but the darker color palette I love for fall lends itself to a pop of bright berry. For fair tones, Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Wild Orchid perfectly toes the line between fuchsia and berry.
Kat picked out Glossier Ultralip in Vesper and loved it so much that I think she’s going to pick up her own tube. The formula of the Glossier Ultralip is so moisturizing and balm-like. I love all the shades, but Vesper is unique because it can be hard to find a balm formula with a rich color payoff.
On Kat: Glossier Ultralip in Vesper
For deep skin tones, the rich, velvety finish of Juvia’s Place Velvety Matte Lipstick in Blackened Berry looks luxurious and polished. Juvia’s Place is a Black-owned business that consistently offers outstanding products at a very budget-friendly price point. I would check out its eye-shadow palettes if you are thinking of picking up its lip products.
There are so many shades of brown, from beige to camel to a rich, fudgy chocolate. The brown of fallen leaves and in traditional plaids both remind me of autumn, and I love to try to find just the right brown to rock with my fall outfits.
On Anne: Glossier Ultralip in Trench
Fair complexions can have a tough time with browns, so I usually stick with a sheerer formula like Glossier Ultralip in Trench or MERIT Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick in Slip. I also wear the Huda Beauty Liquid Matte lipstick in Trendsetter myself, but on me, this shade is a statement and not a neutral.
Lawless Satin Luxe Classic Cream Lipstick in Saddle is a luscious dark brown for deeper skin tones. Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick in Trendsetter reads as a gorgeous neutral on Kat’s tone, and this formula is definitely long-lasting.
When I conjure up images of witches in popular culture, they’re often sporting purple or black lips, and it’s almost spooky season, friends, so break out those plum shades.
Plums with reddish undertones like Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick in Flesh 5, which is the color Kat is rocking above, are more wearable for many than cool-tone purples or lavenders. Deeper-toned beauties can rock bold purples like Smashbox Always On Longwear Matte Liquid Lipstick in Girl Gang. The Smashbox liquid-lipstick formula is also one of my favorite liquid lipsticks because I don’t find the formula overly drying.
I very much stick to the plummy end of the spectrum because cool-toned purples can make me look like one of the walking dead, so here I’m wearing Huda Beauty’s Liquid Matte Lip in Muse.
I always love a warm-tone red; during the summer, persimmon-tinged reds and corals steal my heart. Come autumn, however, I want my lips to reflect the beautiful rusty, orange-tinged reds of turned leaves.This category can be tricky because there are thousands of options for cool-tone reds, while brick reds are a bit tougher to find — but find some I did.
On Anne: NARS Audacious Lipstick in Mona
I love the incredibly creamy and comfortable formula of NARS Audacious lipsticks, and the color Mona is the brick-red color of my dreams. The long-lasting KVD Beauty Everlasting Hyperlight Vegan Liquid Lipstick in Jupiter’s Eye is also very comfortable, considering it’s a liquid lipstick and, therefore, naturally drier in finish.
For deep tones, Lisa Eldridge True Velvet Lip Color in Cinnabar is a gorgeous luxury option, and Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick in Ground-Breaker is a truly long-wearing option, which Kat is wearing above. Fair warning that this formula is very tacky upon application, but it does (mostly) dry down, will last all day, and requires a cleansing oil or balm to remove.
Whichever colors you decide to pick up or pull out of your beauty stash for fall, I hope you wear your lipstick with confidence and a sense of fun. So, which shade is your favorite for fall?