mood-boosting lipsticks

These Mood-Boosting Lipsticks Will Help You Kiss 2020 Goodbye

Say so long in one of these power shades.

By: Hannah Baxter

I don’t need to remind you yet again how much of a flaming trash pile 2020 was—instead, I think it’s fair to say that we’ve all developed our own particular coping mechanisms this year. From regular acupressure practice to a weekly bathtime oasis, having some form of escape has been necessary to keep your brain from imploding. But what about on the weekdays, when your calendar is a mess and you’re joining a million and one Zoom meetings? That, my friends, is when lipstick is your greatest ally.

Granted, I’m a beauty editor and all, but I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that wearing a fantastic lipstick can help make you feel better, even on those days when nothing seems to be going well. In fact, a 2011 study by Edith Cowan University in Australia found that lipstick really can improve your mood and help you feel more confident. In a year when many of us are riddled with stress, anxiety, and fear about the future (self very much included), I’ll happily swipe on a fresh coat to assuage those feelings, even just a little bit.

So with the end of 2020 in sight (but the months ahead still looking more like a question mark than any tangible relief), I’m revealing a few of my signature lipstick shades, guaranteed to make you feel like the baddest, most powerful version of yourself. Trust me, I have literal drawers full of options. I guess that’s one thing this year has managed to give me—plenty of time to swatch test.


Check out my top five favorite mood-boosting lipsticks to help you kiss 2020 goodbye:

Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick in Fever Dream


I will stand by this lipstick until the day I die. It brightens up the most sallow of complexions, which, given our lack of outdoor time these days, is probably a good percentage of us right now. If you’ve never treated yourself to one of Pat’s lipsticks, this deep dusty rose is the perfect place to start. Give her a chance, even if you’re not a matte-finish fan—the staying power and color payoff are 100 percent worth it.


Mac Powder Kiss Liquid Lipcolour in Resort Season


I know this orangey red might look intimidating in the bottle, but wow, it gives your lips the most glamorous pop of color. If the juicy essence of Harry Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar” came in makeup form, this liquid lip would be it. Swipe it on to prevent that midday productivity slump. Bonus—it will not budge, no matter how many cups of coffee you devour.



Gucci 511 Madge Red, Rouge à Lèvres Lunaison Lipstick


Gucci nailed their first foray into cosmetics last year with their line of lipsticks, and happily, every holiday season they debut a few limited-edition glitter options. These are not your typical smack-you-over-the-head type of sparkle. It’s a subtle, even grown-up effect that you can only catch in the right light. The Madge Red shade, a rich cranberry, makes me feel like the most dangerous version of myself.


Burberry Lip Velvet Crush in Military Red No.65


These spongey applicators are hands-down my favorite way to apply lip products. Do not sleep on this Burberry formula—it’s a sheer matte stain that feels remarkably creamy and soft on your lips and gives you the most gorgeous wash of color. I always come back to the Military Red shade when I want to make an impression.



Nars Lipstick in Bad Reputation


If you want Kim Basinger in 9 ½ Weeks vibes, this berry red will take you there. Nars lipsticks are some of the most consistently comfortable I’ve tried (meaning you won’t get that cracked, tight feeling halfway through the day), which makes them perfect for when your apartment radiator is pumping out steam heat like it’s going out of style. On days when I feel especially blah, I add a small dot of color along my cheeks and tap it out with my fingers for a subtle flush.


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