A Love Letter to The Best Berry Lip Colours

"For all intents and purposes, it's become my life shade."

If you were to track my lipstick evolution, you would see it started at frosted pink in my early teens, had a brief stopover with red (L’Oreal’s “British Red Coat”) during an angsty goth phase, and by my early 20s, I was fully committed to 90s brick red brown like everyone else. (Side note: before I knew magazine beauty credits were mostly fake, I hunted down whatever Cameron Diaz was wearing on the September 1998 cover of Jane Magazine.) But at some point in my mid to late 20’s, I settled comfortably into a plum berry, and there I have stayed. For all intents and purposes, it’s become my life shade. It’s the one I feel most me in and what I apply as a final test when I’m trying on something in a change room, and I need to know if the item will truly integrate with me.

Unlike red or nude, berry has never been one of those shades that seems to be trending, or is so classic and universally loved that it gets an entire collection devoted to it. In fact, it’s always felt more like a bit of an underdog, the one your eye searches for when sizing up a lipstick range to see if a good one made the cut. Like anyone who has a favourite shade, I’ve accumulated several of the years and keep multiple variants in my purse as well as my makeup bag. My friend Katherine is as equally devoted to this lip colour and it’s come to be our shade, which we one day started calling “dream berry”. It’s basically shorthand for not too red, not too dark, not too fuschia, just that glorious hue that’s on par with dark pink peonies. (It’s no coincidence we both wore MAC’s “Rebel” on our wedding days).

After much ruminating, and rummaging through drawers and forgotten makeup bags, these are the ones that make our ultimate list:


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