This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Which mauve lipsticks are best?

If you’re searching for an on-trend look that is great on most skin tones and colors, consider adding some mauve lipstick to your makeup collection. Not as popular a go-to as reds and berries, mauve adds drama, but can be versatile for day or night. If you’re looking for a good, all-purpose mauve lipstick that works with many skin tones, NARS Lipstick in Hot Kiss is the best choice.

What to know before you buy mauve lipstick

Your skin tone

While people tend to think of mauve as one color, there is a wide range of options in the mauve family, from earthier shades that lean more into brown, to cooler colors suitable for paler, pinker skin tones. Know your tones to find a mauve that doesn’t look muddy on you or wash you out. If you’re pale, cooler and lighter is best. If you have darker skin, lean into darker mauve colors on the deeper end of the mauve spectrum.

Where you want to wear it

There is a wide range of options in mauve shades, from sheer, almost lip-stain-like, pink-infused hues, to dramatic, shimmery mauves perfect for a night out on the town. Shop with your event in mind. Do you want a simple, everyday mauve? Go lighter and sheer, or lean into mauve’s of-the-moment appeal by going for a simple matte. Are you searching for the perfect lipstick for a hot date? Go shimmery and color saturated.

Length of wear

As with most lipstick shades, in buying a mauve lipstick you can go for a glossy, sheer look that will need reapplication throughout the day, or opt for an extended-wear lipstick that will see you through an important event, plus a full range of options in between. While it’s tempting to always opt for the longer-lasting lipstick, it bears remembering that extended-wear products can be drying and hard to wash off. 

What to look for in quality mauve lipstick


It’s always great when lipstick does double duty. If your lips are prone to dryness, or if you live somewhere with dry weather, seek out a mauve lipstick with additional moisturizing properties. Glossy lipstick is generally more moisturizing than matte, for example. If you do want to sport the latest matte mauve, then be sure to use lip balm about a half hour before applying your lipstick to seal in hydration.

Shimmer or matte

Matte lipsticks are everywhere right now, and mauve is the color that began that trend. Of the many matte shades available, none looks as modern and sleek as mauve. Versatile on just about every skin tone, sleek and professional, you can add instant polish to your look with a matte mauve. That said, there’s no reason shimmery lipsticks should miss out. There are a ton of fun, sparkly mauve options. If you’re craving a little shine on your lips, mauve can make that happen, too.

Sheer or color-saturated

If you’re concerned mauve may not work well with your skin, one way to dip your toe in the mauve pond is to get a sheer lipstick to add a splash of the color to see how it wears. If you want to fully lean into the trend, opt for a deeply pigmented mauve you can layer on for a dramatic look.

How much you can expect to spend on mauve lipstick

Some of the best mauves are coming out of the drugstore cosmetics brands these days, so you can get a gorgeous option for around $8. If you’re itching to try some of the cult-favorite prestige brands, expect to pay in the $25-$40 range.

Mauve lipstick FAQ

Should I do any special lip prep to wear mauve lipstick?

A. Even though this is a fashion-forward, edgy color, regular lip prep will do when trying out mauve. Be sure to exfoliate your lips (gently!), then moisturize them with your favorite lip balm. Let that soak in (about 30 minutes does it). If you’re putting on lipstick for a fancy occasion, prime or dab a bit of foundation on your lips, then layer on your mauve lipstick. To make it last, spray on a spritz of setting spray.

Mauve looks familiar. Has it been in style before?

A. Maybe you’ve been catching up on your ‘90s movies, because mauve was all the rage back then, as well. As with many trends that make their way back, the color is enjoying a comeback for a reason: it looks great on most skin tones and adds color without being overpowering.

What are the best mauve lipsticks to buy?

Top mauve lipstick

Nars Lipstick in Hot Kiss

NARS Lipstick in Hot Kiss 

What you need to know: NARS has a unique knack for making a color that seems to work well universally, and it really excels at it with this mauve – this shade looks great on everyone.

What you’ll love: Passion fruit seed and moringa oils give this matte lipstick the creamy smoothness of a glossy one.

What you should consider: You may need to layer to get to your desired level of intensity on the color.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty

Top mauve lipstick for the money

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in On The Mauve

Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in On The Mauve

What you need to know: A true mauve, this leans on the cooler side of the color spectrum, but it’s versatile enough to work on many skin tones.

What you’ll love: This lipstick is a treat on the lips, creamy and infused with shea butter for long-lasting hydration.

What you should consider: If your skin is on the warmer or darker side, this color may be too pale for you.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty

Worth checking out

Laura Mercier Rouge Essentiel Silky Cream Lipstick in Mauve Merveilleux

Laura Mercier Rouge Essentiel Silky Cream Lipstick in Mauve Merveilleux

What you need to know: This lightweight formula glides on smoothly and is bright and eye-catching.

What you’ll love: Creamy and well-pigmented, this berry-infused mauve is a great color you’ll want to incorporate into your every day makeup routine. The satin consistency is shy of matte but not quite shiny, making for comfortable wear with minimal drying.

What you should consider: Some users report a faint tint even after the lipstick has worn off. You may need makeup remover to get it off completely.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora and Ulta Beauty


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Maria Andreu writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.