Everything You Need to Know About Lip Stains

Planning for a major event, or something that will involve a lot of eating and drinking? A lip stain may be your best bet! But this long-lasting beauty product is a bit more complicated than a traditional lipstick, so before you dive in, take note of a few things.

If you're a traditional lipstick user, the biggest difference you'll notice right off the bat is the texture. Lip stains are less viscous and come in several forms: roll-on, gel with sponge-tip applicator, or marker-like tube with color-infused tip. Whatever formula you choose, there's one thing they all have in common: You have to work fast!

Lip stains are named as such because they literally stain your lips. To apply, dab on color and build until you achieve the desired color and look you want. You can get a more intense look by applying multiple layers and even topping it off with a gloss if you choose.

One of the downsides is that many lip stains contain alcohol, which allows them to set almost as soon as they touch the lips—but also majorly dries them out. To prevent your lips from drying out, a useful trick is to apply a thin layer of balm or chapstick for moisture. Then, apply the lip stain, which should last for several hours. 

Also if you like a shiny, matte or pearl finish to your lips, lip stains might not be for you. They deliver a more dull, diffused look that can be really pretty, but it's not always for everyone. 

Even though the color sits almost immediately after it touches the lips, application can get messy because the color is incredibly pigmented and the consistency, well, stains. Apply very, very slowly and gently to avoid getting the product on your teeth or face.

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They are typically used to enhance the natural lip color, or to give you that just-took-a-bite-out-of-a-strawberry look. Lip stains often times are offered in fewer shades than lipsticks—typically reds, pinks, peaches and nudes. One the major perks is that lip stains last a long time and you won't go through product as quickly! They also act sort of like a long-wear liquid lip in that you really don't have to worry about them being messy once applied, like if you have a sip of water or eat a snack.

Shop a few of our faves below!


Clarions Water Lip Stain: $28

This award-winning product comes in four gorgeous shades.

Clarins Lip stain

(via Nordstrom)


Bite Beauty Outburst Long-wear Lip Stain: $24

Intensely bold with three bright shades, this formula is truly a standout!

Bite Beauty

(via Sephora)


Buxom Serial Kisser Plumping Lip Stain: $22

Not only does this lip product give your puckers a pillowy plumpness, it also comes in a wide array of shades.

Buxom Lip Stain

(via Nordstrom)


I'M MEME I'm Tic Toc Tint Lip Cashmere: $12

This Korean Beauty product has a cashmere-like formula with loads of color payoff.

Lip Stain

(via Olive Young)


Etude House Dear Darling Gel Tint: $5

Etude's juicy, gel-like formula layers on color that lasts for hours.

Etude Lip Stain

(via Etude)


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