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Ask the Strategist: What’s the Best Long-lasting Natural Lipstick?

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In our advice column, Ask the Strategist, we take your most burning shopping questions and quiz our friends, scour the internet, call up experts, and draw from personal experience to answer them. As always, please comment with one of your own — we’re here to help.

Question: What’s the longest-lasting (as in doesn’t come off within 45 minutes), most inexpensive natural lipstick?

In a post from last year published right here on the Strategist, the Cut’s beauty editor Kathleen Hou wrote as follows: “While the U.S.-government-regulated definition of ‘natural’ remains elusive, it’s clear that people increasingly want beauty products made of more natural-oriented ingredients, fewer unnecessary chemicals, and paraben-free, sulfate-free, and phthalate-free formulations.” You’re not alone in your want of natural! (And because the regulation is so imprecise and convoluted, the Cut put together this handy explainer.) As a general note, to determine the naturalness of any given product, people in the natural-beauty world often look to the Environmental Working Group, who rate every single beauty product by how natural and healthy for you it truly is. Check out that entire list on lipsticks. You can look into how your existing favorite lipsticks stand up, but to get to the bottom of what actually works, we’ve polled some experts on what’s the best in both natural and long-lasting lipsticks. (And if you just want the best red lipsticks of all time, read on here.)

Make Matte Lipstick - Fire
$25 at Make Beauty

First we got in touch with our fave Rio Viera-Newton, who replied with a link to Make’s matte lipstick, specifically in a color called fire. “It’s one of my favorites,” she said. “It’s paraben-free and hypoallergenic. It’s matte, but not super-dry matte, so it glides on and stays put all day.” Rio wears this bright-orange tint with a bold dark brow.

Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint
$39 at Nordstrom

She also reminded us that she loves the Tata Harper volumizing lip and cheek tint. This is a tint, not a lipstick, but like many natural products, it works for multiple areas, so it might be good to have in your arsenal anyway.

Alima Pure Lip Tint — Blackberry
$14 at Amazon

To cover our bases, I also got in touch with the people over at CAP Beauty, a favorite all-natural beauty and skin-care shop here in New York City. Their flagship manager responded: “I love the Alima Pure Lip tints. A little bit more matte than others and therefore longer-lasting, but still very moisturizing!”

Kjaer Wise Lip Pencil — Rose
$30 at Net-A-Porter

Amity Speigel, a CAP aesthetician, got back to us with an unconventional approach: “I use Kjaer Weis lip liner all over the lip. Super long-lasting, amazing quality and pigment.” Might be worth experimenting with.

Ilia Beauty Tinted Lipstick, Arabian Knights
$16 at Amazon

But your best bet on the cheap, “most inexpensive” part of your question might actually be something we’ve written about before. In that post on natural beauty from last year, Kathleen had this to say about one favorite lipstick: “Visit any online natural-beauty shop and one of the best sellers in their makeup section comes from Ilia. The shades are often fashion forward enough to put them on par with NARS, and the lipsticks are pigmented, moisturizing without being greasy, and have the soft-yet-silky lip feel of luxury lipsticks. The brand’s tinted lip conditioners are also lip balm–y yet give the lips a pretty flush (all through “natural” dyes). A few months ago, I was watching Fifty Shades Darker and found myself more titillated by the pretty fuchsia shade Dakota Johnson was wearing on her lips than anything that was going on in Christian Grey’s bedroom. The movie’s makeup artist, Evelyne Noraz,was using the Arabian Nights shade, which looks dark in the tube, but when blotted on becomes a pretty lip stain.”

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Ask the Strategist: What’s the Best Long-lasting Lipstick?