Lipstick can be intimidating to purchase, especially since so many women are used to relying on lip gloss or not wearing lip color at all. It can be tricky to figure out what shade and formula works best for you, but being informed will definitely take out some of the guesswork! Here's part one of what you need to know:
First, not all lipsticks are created equal. There are a lot of different formulas depending on the kind of finish you want, but most fall into one of the categories listed below.
Matte lipsticks have a "flat" finish; there is no shine or gloss, just thick opaque color. They last longer than other formulas and are great if you want a retro or more serious look, but beware: matte lipsticks can be extremely drying. Layer it over a lip primer (I've found lip balm also works well) and make sure your lips are exfoliated.
Moisturizing is the opposite of matte. These lipsticks contain extra vitamins and moisturizing properties to add shine and keep your lips hydrated. They're much less drying due to less wax in the formula, but the color can fade quickly so you'll need to reapply more often.
Cream lipsticks are the best of both and kind of an in-between. The color isn't as flat or pigmented as a matte lipstick, but it's not as shiny as a gloss or moisturizing lipstick. It doesn't last as long as matte, but doesn't wear off as quickly as moisturizing. Most lipsticks will fall into this category.
Long wearing lipsticks are designed to last much longer than regular lipsticks. They are the most drying of all and usually come with a primer or gloss to help seal in the color and keep lips moisturized. Frost lipsticks are a little more shimmery and typically come in pale colors. If you insist, use extra caution with these to avoid looking like you're stuck in the 1980s. If you want shine, go with gloss.
Now that you know the different types, it's time to pick a color! Part Two of Lipstick Buying 101 will tell you all about how to choose a shade that looks best on you.