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Which plum lipsticks are best?

There are so many different lipstick options to choose from, so why not start with plum? Plum lipsticks come in various shades to suit any skin tone so that anyone can find the perfect one for them. It’s usually a deep, rich color that can be quite impactful on its own or with a dramatic eye look as well. 

The best plum lipstick is the MAC Lipstick Cream in Party Line, thanks to its long-wearing and moisturizing properties.

What to know before you buy plum lipstick


Plum lipsticks can lean warm, cool or neutral. That means they can be more reddish, bluish or somewhere in the middle. In order to figure which shade of plum would work best for you, you should know your undertones. Undertone is the color of your skin just below the surface. For some, this is easy to discern just by looking in the mirror, as many folks look distinctly peach, golden, more pink or even slightly blue. There are various ways to determine the undertone, but probably the best way is to see whether you prefer gold or silver jewelry and look at the colors you enjoy wearing the most. It’s important to note that people do often like the opposite shades of their undertone and look great in them. So, feel free to experiment and see what makes you happiest.


You can wear plum lipstick anywhere you want. But since it is considered a more dramatic color, it might feel more appropriate for a more dramatic occasion than another day at the office or a coffee date. This is especially true if your plum lipstick contrasts very noticeably with your skin tone because it will stand out and look like more of a statement. In that case, if you want a more intense look, definitely go for more intense contrasts.


Don’t feel shy about wearing plum if it’s outside your normal style repertoire. Since plums can be flattering on anyone, they’re easy to incorporate into any style at all. The best way you can test this out is by swatching different plum shades in person. Dab a little of each on the back of your hand and see how they compare against each other and on your skin.

What to look for in a quality plum lipstick


As mentioned, finding the right shade of plum for you is important. Using your undertones is a good guideline, but it’s not a hard and fast rule that someone with cool undertones must wear cool lipstick. Look at shade options and descriptions and see which ones seem to match your undertones or are similar to the lipstick you already own. If possible, swatch them in person to see which one you like best.


Lipsticks come in different finishes. The main ones are matte, satin and gloss. Which finish you get is up to you, and it is a matter of personal preference. Matte lipsticks are less likely to transfer than satin or gloss, but most lipstick transfers to some degree, even with primer. However, many mattes tend to be more drying than other finishes, which is worth considering, especially if your lips are already prone to dryness.


Lipstick comes in different formulas, usually solid in the form of a bullet or pencil or a liquid that can be applied with a doefoot applicator. Many liquid lipsticks have especially good staying power, but as a result will be more drying. Solid formulas might be lighter and more comfortable to wear but will likely need extra touch-ups throughout the day. With a shade like plum, it’s a good idea to get a formula that feels most comfortable for you.

How much you can expect to spend on a plum lipstick

A plum lipstick can cost from $6.50-$22.

Plum lipstick FAQ

Can my undertone be different from my surface skin tone?

A. Yes. This can make choosing makeup trickier if, for example, you have neutral undertones but warm surface tones. Don’t feel pressured to perfectly know your undertone; focus on knowing what colors you like the most.

Can I wear dark lipstick like plum if I have thin lips?

A. Yes. Anyone can wear any makeup that makes them happy and makes them feel good.

What are the best plum lipsticks to buy?

Top plum lipstick

MAC Lipstick Cream in Party Line

MAC Lipstick Cream in Party Line

What you need to know: This satin-finish lipstick goes on smoothly and is comfortable to wear for hours.

What you’ll love: It’s a warm-toned plum but will look good on any skin tone for a vivid pop of color. Layer it for a vampy effect or dab it on for a sheer, stained look.

What you should consider: It transfers easily due to the satin finish, and some find it too drying.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta

Top plum lipstick for the money

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Copenhagen

What you need to know: This liquid lip is affordable and easy to wear.

What you’ll love: Featuring a matte finish with a creamy liquid formula, this neutral-toned plum is so rich it almost looks like a berry shade. It goes on smoothly and wears comfortably, usually with minimal transfer.

What you should consider: Some people have had quality issues or stated that it is too drying due to the matte finish.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta

Worth checking out

Melt Cosmetics Ultra-Matte Lipstick in Dark Room

Melt Cosmetics Ultra-Matte Lipstick in Dark Room

What you need to know: Melt’s plum lipstick is especially deep in color and looks gorgeous.

What you’ll love: This is a deep, cool-toned plum that will look beautiful on anyone who’s going for a dramatic look. It comes in a matte finish and solid formula and promises full coverage.

What you should consider: The formula is a bit dry, and some customers have reported difficulties with the application.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora


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

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