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There is truly no better mood booster than a fun shade of lipstick. It can change your whole face and you whole mood. But finding shades which are properly out-there while maintaining a genuinely good formulation can be tricky. Here are some of the very best.

A range I think is consistently overlooked is the Antipodes Healthy Lipsticks. They’re actually amazing – fairly matte whilst still being extremely comfortable and hydrating. The shade range is great (albeit leaning slightly on the natural side). One fabulous concession to the bold side is the shade called Dragon Fruit Pink. It’s a warm, hot pink which, while extremely bright, goes with all complexions.

A range of lipsticks with some fabulously odd offerings is Make Up For Ever. These have more of a slippy, creamy formula, which makes them feel almost like a balm on the lips. They also have a flattering sheen, which helps lips look plumper. Two brilliant (and super unusual shades are C601 (a stunning minty green) and C604 (a deep, pigmented black). The bullet of these lipsticks is teardrop shaped, coming to a sharp point, which makes it easy to map out your lip lines.

Something based in neutral but with a fun twist is the Topshop lipstick in Sashay Away. It’s a deep, chocolatey brown, but applies slightly sheer. This gives it a super cute ‘90s vibe – think Rachel working in Central Perk. It’s also extremely comfortable and lasts surprisingly well. Overall, I think all the Topshop lipsticks are just fantastic.

Illamasqua offer some truly bizarre shades – and I mean that in the very best way. Three of the best are Apocalips (a seafoam green), Disciple (a blackened navy) and Kontrol (a true, regal purple). These lipsticks are all very matte, and tug a little as they apply. While this may make you think they’d be uncomfortable, once they warm up on the lips they actually feel fine. And the benefit of this matte effect? They last impeccably. Expect to be removing them at the end of the day.

If you want an unusual lip effect but struggle with lipsticks, then the Kevyn Aucoin Molten Lip Colours are a great choice for you. These are essentially well-pigmented glosses with intense duo-chrome reflects. The shade Blue Amethyst is a personal favourite – a dusky, greyed-out mauve with bright periwinkle sparkles.

Another winner from Make Up For Ever comes from their Artist Liquid Matte range. The shade 303 is the brightest orange lipstick I’ve ever come across. It almost looks neon on the lips. The application of these can be a little tricky, but once you get it right, it’s so worth it: they truly last all day.

If you’re after an unusual lip bargain, look no further than NYX. The brand has seemingly hundreds of different ranges, and thousands of different shades. Two of my favourites are the Liquid Suede in Little Denim Dress (a bright, aqua blue) and the Slip Tease in Fatal Attraction (a true warm purple). Both are long-lasting, but don’t layer well – so if you’re reapplying it may be best to take off and start again. But for these amazing colours at such a low price, it’s totally a compromise worth making.

Another bargainous range is the Maybelline SuperStay Matte Inks. And their recent Un-Nude range has some totally brilliant (and weird) colours. My top picks are Philosopher (a dusty lilac) and Huntress (a surprisingly wearable grey). As the name suggests, the longevity of these is intense – but you do sacrifice a smidgen of comfort on the lips. But for shades like these, that’s a chance I’m willing to take.

Shop editor-approved lipsticks for every shade and occasion

Featured images via Harper’s Bazaar

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