9 Lip Stains to Try STAT (and How to Wear Them)February 22, 2019
Nothing says effortless and sexy quite like a lip stain. It's the perfect way to go sheer on your lips while imparting a sexy flush. Once you’ve mastered how to use these game-changers, you’ll find there’s just about no look they don’t work for. But they do come with their own set of rules.
Because most lips stains are, by definition, drier than your lipsticks, they can (and will) emphasize any flaws — think flakes, small lines and general dehydration. Plus, they’re usually thinner in texture than creamier products, which means they just aren’t very forgiving. So don’t even think about reaching for one until you’ve prepped lips properly. Trust us — the extra minute it takes to do this will be more than worth it to make the long-wearing color look perfect all day long. Here’s how to get started.
The biggest amateur mistake you can make before reaching for your new fave lip stain isn’t the lip stain you choose, but skimping on lip balm. That little layer of moisture keeps flaky dryness at bay and gives you an overall smoother, softer surface with which to work. Throw a tube in your bag to keep lips looking fresh and juicy throughout the day. We like the Maybelline New York Baby Lips Dr. Rescue Medicated Lip Balm.
Lock It In With Lip Liner
Yes, lip stain is designed to stick around, but it’s not going to apply as precisely as a good old-fashioned lipstick with a point and the creaminess to trace a line. Reach for a lip liner in a matching color (or clear, if you’re going for a more natural look). The goal here is use a soft stroke, just to have a guideline. Pro tip: Blend the lip liner so there’s no obvious outline.
Choosing The Right Color
Once upon a time, lip stains were all about berries — looking like you munched on them and left behind a pretty purplish stain. But all that has changed with glossy stains, matte stains, thick stains, thin stains, the range of colors has exploded. Now it’s all about finding the right shade for your skin tone. Cooler tones, those that are blue-based, work better for fairer skin. Warm tones, those closer to orange or red, look gorgeous on olive complexions. Warm, peachy pinks light up olive or darker complexions, while cool ones look tres romantique on fair skin. Back to berry, the reason it’s the original lip stain? It looks gorgeous on everyone.
Ahead, we rounded up the best matte lip stains that you need to try STAT.
Made as a lasting matte liquid lipstick, this lightweight lippie has become a new favorite stain in our collection. It’s long wearing, applies smoothly with a doe foot (like a liquid lip) and is extremely comfortable to wear.
This non-sticky liquid lip has a gorgeous matte finish and feels super hydrating with each wear. Maestro is perfect if you’re looking for that sultry bold lip (try shade 400 if you’re looking for an iconic red) and wears for nearly eight hours without budge.
We love this Vivid Matte because it gives lips a pillowy look and feel. We also dig how small the applicator is because it allows us to apply the color directly onto lips without liner in a pinch. One swipe gives you the perfect dry-down into a stained matte finish.
The water-in-oil emulsion feels like a second skin and dries to a lush matte finish. This baby is perfect for doing an ombré lip that flawlessly melds into your natural lip color. Use the sponge applicator tip to apply the color to the center of your lips only and blot out for slightly-tinted finish.
For a watercolor soft wash of pigment, this Tatouage Couture Matte Stain won’t disappoint. What we love about this product is that you can layer it a few times (make sure to blot in between) to pack some extra punch.
This matte lip cream by Sephora is one of our favorites because of its cloud-like consistency and powerful stain. It has extremely high coverage that keeps your lips colored for hours and comes in 80+ shades.
This Oil Lip Stain is a makeup minimalist’s best friend, simply because it’s speciality is subtle color. Not only will this formula give you a slight pink sheen, but it also contains a ton of nourishing oils and Vitamin E for hydration.