Women Reveal The Go-To Lipstick Shades That Elevate Them To Boss Status

There's just something about lipstick that ties your makeup look together - it instantly elevates you.

Beauty & Fashion

Being a #BAWSE nowadays may not be easy. Waking up early, staying up late, working that corporate job, that side hustle, or even that dream job, supporting your tribe and being there for everyone while also taking care of yourself? Yeah, not always the easiest.

Despite its challenges, there's nothing like waking up and slaying your day in style and grace! For me, nothing gets me into "go mode" and ready to tackle the day like finishing my makeup off with my favorite lipstick. Seriously, think about it: have you ever noticed how you just instantly look more put together once you throw that lipstick on? There's just something about lipstick that ties your makeup look together - heck, even when going out bare face, it instantly elevates you.

These days, you may be looking for some color inspiration to add to your beauty arsenal. I grabbed 10 women killin' it in their industries to share what's their go-to lip shade:

Renae Bluitt


What She Does:

Founder of InHerShoes / Executive Producer of SheDidThat / Beauty PR Consultant

What She Wears:

"Boy Trouble" by The Lip Bar & "Ruby Woo" by MAC

Why She Loves It:

"My favorite winter (spring, fall, and summer) lip combination is The Lip Bar's 'Boy Trouble' mixed with 'Ruby Woo' by MAC. I rarely step out into the world without a lippie and have always loved statement-making colors against my brown skin. There's something about a bright and bold lip that makes me feel pulled together in any and everything from sweatshirts to sequins. My approach to life has always been put on some bold lipstick and handle it!"

Karleen Roy

What She Does:

Founder of The Vanity Group

What She Wears:

"Toosie" by Scoobie West & Company

Why She Loves It:

"I love this color because it's the color of fire! It makes me feel like the fly women in the 70's/80's who always wore red lipstick and wore long red nails. Bianca Jagger style! Even if you do not have on a full face of makeup, red lipstick instantly pops and give you a polished look."

Delina Medhin


What She Does:

Celebrity Makeup Artist

What She Wears:

"Obsession" by Iman Cosmetics

Why She Loves It:

"I love a dark lip in the winter! One of my favorites is this pigmented brown lipstick. It's a creamy consistency that glides on to the lip and wears comfortably. To give this lip longer wear, pair it with Mac Cosmetics lipliner in the color 'Chestnut.'"

Dana Oliver


What She Does:

Beauty Director at Yahoo Lifestyle

What She Wears:

"Rock With You" by NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment

Why She Loves It:

"During the cold-weather months, I like to accessorize my cool gray and crisp black winter outfits with vampy matte lipsticks. And NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in 'Rock With You' is my new favorite for four fabulous reasons: 1) This is one matte lip product that doesn't dry out my lips. 2) It goes on super smooth — I don't even need a mirror to apply flawlessly, thanks to the precise doe-foot applicator. 3) The rich mulberry pigment is long-lasting, even with drinking several cups of almond chai. 4) The name reminds me of my favorite Michael Jackson record."

Shantel Rousseau

What She Does:

Style, Travel & Beauty blogger / YouTuber

What She Wears:

"Icon" by Hourglass Cosmetics

Why She Loves It:

"I'm pretty exclusive to either Red or Nude lips and, in the winter, it's no different. I like to give it more depth during the cooler season by opting for a richer red than a typical bright one. 'Icon' is one I've been using for 7+ years!"

Africa Miranda

What She Does:

Actress / Spokesmodel / Founder of Beauty by Africa Miranda

What She Wears:

"Media" by MAC

Why She Loves It:

"I LOVE a dark lip in the winter. 'Media' gives great coverage and doesn't dry out your lips, which is a huge plus in the cold. I also love that it is both edgy and glamorous."

Leila Noelliste


What She Does:

Founder of Blackgirllonghair.com & BGLH marketplace

What She Wears:

"Goldie" by Colourpop

Why She Loves It:

"I rarely ever wear makeup. And that isn't, like, a stance or anything. It's because I never learned. But 2017 was the year I decided to step out of my comfort zone, and that included doing a photoshoot in my new Bed Stuy storefront. My publicist asked how I wanted my makeup to look, so I browsed Tumblr and saw a woman wearing this beautiful shade of maroon. I instantly knew that was what I wanted. When the MUA arrived, she brought a bunch of maroon lippies and I picked 'Goldie' by Colourpop. When the pictures came back, I was amazed at how incredible I looked!"

Camara Aunique


What She Does:

Celebrity Makeup Artist & Beauty Expert

What She Wears:

"#NoFilter" by AJ Crimson Beauty

Why She Loves It:

"The color works on all women of color! It's the perfect nude that lasts and keeps your lips conditioned, oh, and it's perfect for kissing!"

Ylorie Taylor


What She Does:

Vice President at Eden Bodyworks

What She Wears:

"Oh Lady" and "High Drama" by MAC

What She Does:

"As a working wife and mom with a very full life, when I have the opportunity to get glam, I allow the makeup artist to make me her palette. I trust her judgement to bring my lips to life! I am always pleasantly surprised at the final look and very appreciative because it accentuates me so well. I rarely wear makeup, but when 'in front of the camera' work calls or a special occasion arises, I make sure to treat myself to a glam session. It's just one more way I take care of me (#selfcare) to put my best foot forward."

Kéla Walker


What She Does:

TV Host / Producer Style Authority

What She Wears:

"Bawse Lady" by The Lip Bar & "Berry" by Kami Cosmetics

Why She Loves It:

"I'm never without a red lipstick. I love it year-round. It's a part of my signature style but, in the colder months, I prefer it to be a little deeper, with a warm undertones like 'Bawse Lady.' Save the bright reds with cooler undertones for the warmer month.

"There's nothing like layering on a deep plum color in the winter. This oxblood berry color provides just the right amount of warmth to the season's cool styles and trends. I love wearing the dark bold color with neutral tones for a great contrast. I also love the edge it gives any look. Either way you pick it, both colors require you to wear in confidence."

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Originally published January 7, 2018

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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