You guys know I love a good lip, and there's no better way to get bold color, precise lines, and long wear than a liquid lip color. But, they're not all created equal. For a second there, I felt like everyone was talking about the best liquids available, which I felt very threatened by, because I had never touched on them.
SO, for the last month or two, I roped my friends into helping me road test every brand and formula of liquid lipsticks imaginable to bring you guys a roundup of the best liquids around.
Let's jump right in with one of my favorites of the bunch, shall we?
You're already familiar with the Melteds right? Too Faced gets it right on all fronts with their Melted line. They all have vibrant color, reach opacity with nearly one pass, and set to a demi matte finish. The formula is creamy and glides on without being too thick or sticky, feeling comfortable on your lips through the entirety of the wear. This is nice because some liquids force you to trade wearability for great color and pigmentation. I'm all for being uncomfortable for the sake of looking hot, but Too Faced lets you have it all.
Lastly, application couldn't be easier. The tube is topped with an angled sponge that evenly and precisely applies the perfect amount every time. The killer product paired with the applicator even makes lining your lips obsolete. Yea, I said it.
Let's look at some colors. This is my girl crush Claire wearing Melted Chihuahua, a dusty mauve, which is one of my favorite colors. Something something, Kylie Jenner.
And here she is wearing Melted Velvet. Personally, I'm not into reds, but Jesus Christ would you look at this deep, rich red. It looks expensive and luxurious, and it's making me a believer.
So, Butter London is branching out from their chic nail lacquers to an entire beauty collection. If these liquid lipsticks are any indicator, you should get familiar.
Butter's liquids feel more like a gloss than a liquid lipstick and lean more sheer, and both of those factors would normally make this product a giant "nah" for me, but hold on.
The liquid is pigmented enough that it builds to full color coverage in about three passes. It doesn't ever reach full opacity, still letting your natural lips show through, creating an almost a custom color, flattering your natural coloring. That's not a product claim, it's just something I've noticed. I'm wearing it right now and it looks amazing.
Here's one of my best friends Synjin wearing Yummy Mummy (ahem.)
Though it feels more wet than most liquids, it never feels sticky. It hugs lips and has a lightweight, high shine finish, that, if you ask me, is perfect for summer. Only downside is that it remains pretty moveable throughout wear, so it may come off when you're kissing your man. But if your man has any complaints about you kissing him, you should probably find a new one.
This is her in La Moss, which I looove.
What I like about Smashbox is they offer a great selection of shades for each and every product, from lipsticks to eyeliners, and their lip lacquer is no different. Look at Bentley wearing Orange Crush, a bright orange with just a bit of shimmer.
The Be Legendary Liquid Lip Lacquer glides on smooth and has a nice slip, so you barely realize it's there at all. It's intensely pigmented so you can get great coverage with very little product. After a few hours of wear, it dries down into a stain for hours of color.
I've heard mixed reviews about the product from my friends who wear it. Some love the fact that you can put it on and forget about it while still getting great color payoff, others would say it doesn't live up to the claim of turning into a stain. I've seen best results when you pair it with a liner underneath, since stains aren't always the most precise in terms of coverage.
Next is Lipstick Queen's Vesuvius Liquid Lipstick, $24.
Lipstick Queen's liquids are just as good as their standard lip colors. High impact color, long wear, and very comfortable on your lips.
This is Steph, Prettiest Girl In The World, wearing Vesuvian Fuchsia, a petal pink:
The Vesuvius Liquid Lipstick is another instance of a product with an applicator as good as the lipstick itself. It's a pen with a small nylon brush tip that brushes on just the right amount of color, allowing you to build the intensity.
Here we have Vesuvian Blush, a pink-beige that's like your natural lip color, but better, because you paid for it.
Shiseido Lacquer Rouge, $25.
Shiseido Lacquer Rouge is a denser formula that gives you incredible color payoff with just a bit of product. This means that you can full, bright coverage in two passes and get full color coverage with just a little bit of liquid, so it doesn't look like your lips are caked in product.
Here's Ashley in DISCO.
There's something about the Lacquer Rouge that makes the lip color look very natural, even when it's like, hot pink. I think it's because you're able to get a full lip that *pops* with very little product. Just a few swipes and you're good to go.
And he's wearing Kat Von D's Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Backstage Bambi, $20.
Oh, and so am I.
This shit KNOCKS and I would and will absolutely buy it in every color. In terms of ball hard wear, this is your best bet because it goes on and is not going anywhere for as long as you have it on.
On top of the stay power, you get full coverage with as little as one pass, and the matte finish absorbs light and glows off your skin, demanding attention. I wore this to brunch one morning and it stayed throughout the entire meal AND the 24 mimosas, which I did not drink through a straw. Thank you, Kat Von D.
Oh, another killer matte is the Liquid Lipstick from Anastasia Beverly Hills.
This is Sarah. She dresses better than you (though, she's wearing my T-shirt in the photo.) She's wearing Potion, a very deep, greyed out eggplant purple.
Is it reading black in these photos? It's a deep purple. Just go with it.
I'm really excited that Anastasia is expanding from brow products because they are really killing it with each new drop. Their liquid lipsticks leave behind saturated color, dry down quickly, and don't move an inch throughout wear. Potion is the darkest shade, because you guys know I love a dark, but the rest of their color collection is beeeaaaauuuitful! They do pinks really well, check out Bambi.
Tucker, either take your shirt off or get the fuck out of the picture.
That's Lauren. She's a reader of xoJane who I met last summer in my natural state: shopping while casually sauced. Turns out, her makeup skills put all of ours to shame.
Oh, anyway, she's wearing Dose of Colors Matte Lipstick in Pinky Promise, $18.
How is it fair for anyone to look that good? Who gave her the right?
Pinky Promise is, I think, the most vibrant blue-toned hot pink almost fuchsia situation I've ever seen, and for once I'm not exaggerating when I say that.
These matte liquids are not going a-ny-where once they dry down, so you're going to get long lasting wear from them. Like, they're going to last until you die. Lauren was taking off Pinky Promise to switch to another color and said "These liquid lipsticks are like impenetrable" and I was like "SAME."
Below, she's wearing Dose of Colors Purple Rain. If that color doesn't send you through the roof then you should call your doctor.
That color is called Stone, also from Dose, a rich, grey-leaning mauve that might be my favorite shade of the whole bunch. Plot twist, it's sold out! I'm including it in this roundup because I want them to bring it back and also because I want you to be jealous.
Don't worry guys, I didn't forget about the drugstore gang.
This two part system is made up of a lacquer and a balm for long lasting color and all day wear. First off, just lay the color down and give it a second to set. Then, just top it off with the topcoat that moisturizes, making actually feel wearable, and locks in color and shine all day.
Worth noting: These come in a variety of colors and finishes. I'm all about creme colors on lips, nails, whatever, but if shimmer is your thing, these have got it locked.
Here, Synjin is wearing Lingering Spice which looks amazing on her.
And here she is in ~Luminous Lilac~.
Look at all that shimmer!
Yo, look at how good Bentley looks in the MODSTER Long Play Lip Vinyl by Ardency Inn, $23.
This formula is...quite something. When I first put it on, I didn't think I was going to include it because it's very thick, to the point of causing the applicator to drag as I put it on, and it's pretty sticky. I hated it.
But for all its faults, there's something that really sets it apart. The pigmentation is insane, I mean, this shit is PINK. It's the bluest pink of the bunch, the undertones are like, almost not even undertones, but it really makes the color jump.
I got even, opaque coverage in about three passes and crisp, clean lines, thanks to the thickness of the product paired with the contoured applicator. And "vinyl" in the title really is an appropriate descriptor, because the thick product works to sort of fill in lines on your lips and really does have a smooth, plasticized finish, almost like, I don't know, one of those PVC body suits or something.
I wanted to hate this, but I can't. At the end of the day, it has some of the best color payoff and finish of the bunch. Go out and try it for yourself but don't send me hate mail because I warned you that it's cute but difficult. Like me!
Speaking of ones that I'm not crazy about, let's discuss J. Cat Beauty's Wonder Lip Paint, $4.99.
Below, Sarah is wearing "Ches Desire Cat," a cool lavender.
I thought this product was going to be a low rent version of the OCC Lip Tars, but as it turns out, they just don't stay. At all. They barely even cling to the lips, instead, they just sit on top of them waiting to be smudged.
This is a real bummer, too, because they come in such a killer array of colors. The reason I'm including them is if you're someone who wants great, hard to find lip color that doesn't need to be wearable out in the real world, say, a photographer or a drag queen, then look into these. For the rest of us, don't waste your time.
And for those of you who say I never have anything negative to say about products, there you have it.
WELL THAT WAS AWKWARD, MOVING ON.
Topshop Velvet Lips in Velveteen Ribbon.
Rian is letting us have it and showing no remorse while wearing Topshop's deep red liquid lipstick.
The color jumps off of his skin, and he told me that he put this on for the shoot, and then wore it out, and it lasted the entire damn night. He's been singing its praises since, and if that's not a testimonial, I don't know what is.
Shea Moisture Lip Stain, $10.99.
So this one is a lip stain rather than a liquid lipstick, which, to be honest, I only just realized, but I'm still including it because it's awesome and also because I can do whatever I want.
The stain comes in a double-ended applicator. One side applies the stain itself, which goes on as thin as water with no emollient, then is topped off by the clear topcoat which goes on more as a gloss. It dries down and provides hours of color and moisture while staying put and hydrating lips.
Steph is wearing Dania, a dark purple with red undertones. This shade best illustrates how it has the stay power of a stain while having the supple shine of a lipstick.
Lauren is wearing I'm Royalty, the beautiful royal purple from Jeffree Star's new line matte liquid lipsticks. I had to fight for a few months to get my hands on this because these lipsticks sell out as soon as they're restocked.
They're very lightweight, the color can't be beat, and they stay right where you put them. I want to cop a bunch more colors, but I'm Royalty is the clear standout (right now.) It's a little more blue than Dose's Purple Rain, for comparison, but they're very similar.
Which products and shades are you loving? Which ones do you love that I didn't include? Tell me and show me pictures in the comments! What else are you wearing this summer? Tell me everything in the comments!
Tynan is on Twitter @TynanBuck.