Photos: Dillards.com | Nordstrom.com | Macys.com | EsteeLauder.com

Blame it on the parade of cherry-stained smackers we always spot on the red carpet, or Vanessa Paradis's come-hither stare in those iconic Chanel ads. Whatever the reason, this is the year of painted lips.

In beauty's version of the Billboard Top 100, NPD Group, Inc. unveiled lip color's top-earners. Like its "Born This Way" spokesmodel, MAC topped the beauty charts. (Maybe its users were trying to emulate Gaga's fierce makeup look in her "Judas" music video.)

The usual suspects were also there: Lancôme, Estée Lauder, Clinque, and Chanel. Crowning the upswing of lipstick sales as the "rediscovery of makeup."

Karen Grant, NPD Group VP, explained the results: "Coming out of the recession, it seems that the consumers' thirst for color and play was reawakened. In 2010, we saw the preference for rich as well as retro colors and in 2011 we are seeing new neutrals come to the fore. As the fashion industry increasingly features bold as well as understated lip statements on the runway and in advertisements, lip color appears to be getting its groove back."

With this stunning array of lipsticks currently lining our cosmetic bag, our thirst is definitely quenched.