The 10 Best Lip Stains for Long-Lasting, Photo-Ready Pouts

Best Overall: Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Cheek & Lip Stain

There’s nothing better than a multi-use product that looks incredible no matter how you wear it — and few compare to Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Rose Lip Blush & Cheek Tint. Not only does it act as a stain for your lips, it also adds a gorgeous flush to your cheeks, too.

Upon application, the liquid formula looks pretty glossy, but as the color soaks into your lips and sets, the end result is very natural, leaving a tint that looks like you just finished a cherry popsicle. The best part is that the pigment won’t fade or budge — it’ll stay in place for up to eight hours, even if you’re eating and drinking. The swipe-and-go formula is ideal for those no-makeup makeup days to instantly add a pop of color to your face.

We do wish we could change the tiny applicator, though, because the brush is a bit flimsy and sometimes causes the stain to feather along the lip line. To avoid this, it’s helpful to use your fingers to blend out the formula.

Shades: 5 | Wear Time: 8 Hours | Finish: Natural

Price at time of publish: $30

Best Value: e.l.f. Glossy Lip Stain

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a quality lip stain. Case in point: The e.l.f. Glossy Lip Stain. The lightweight, glossy formula glides onto lips leaving behind a juicy, long-wearing sheen that’s completely buildable. One swipe gives you just a hint of color, while two coats increases the opacity — this customizable finish makes it a great lippie to transition your look from day to night. If you’re like me and need to have a lip product in every purse you own, this is one you’ll wish you had on hand in every single color. And at $6 a pop, it’s completely attainable to own each of the eight hues. The only downside is that the glossy finish is prone to fading, so to maintain a glazed look, you’ll need to reapply every so often.

Shades: 8 | Wear Time: 4 to 6 Hours  | Finish: Glossy

Price at time of publish: $6

Best Splurge: Dior Addict Lip Tint

It’s one thing for a product to have pretty packaging, but when the formula inside is just as impressive, it’s truly a winner. That’s the case for Dior Addict Lip Tint. The velvety tint feels and looks luxurious, making it worth the extra pocket change. While the lip stain has a semi-matte finish,  it’s still incredibly hydrating and keeps lips comfortable for hours thanks to its key ingredient, cherry oil.

As much as we love the formula, the color payoff isn’t where we want it to be. The product is actually quite sheer in comparison to other lip stains. Keep this in mind, especially if you decide on a darker hue because it won’t be as bold as you would expect it to be.

Shades: 12 | Wear Time: 6 hours | Finish: Semi-Matte

Price at time of publish: $38

Best Color Payoff: FENTY BEAUTY by Rihanna Poutsicle Hydrating Lip Stain

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Poutsicle Hydrating Lip Stain quickly went viral on TikTok shortly after its release in June, which ultimately led to the product selling out by the beginning of July. Luckily, the product is back in stock, and you’ll want to grab it stat.

The application differs from other stains because you actually want to wipe it off after you apply it — this removes the glossy excess, but you’re left with a beautiful, natural-looking pigment that makes your lips look like you just enjoyed a juicy popsicle. The shade names are just as delightful as the color payoff, too: Strawberry Sangria, Berry Banger, Mai Type, and Zesty Bestie are odes to the feelings and flavors of summer.

If your lips are prone to drying out, make sure to exfoliate before applying this lip stain. The formula tends to cling onto dry patches, and can make the overall finish appear splotchy.

Shades: 4 | Wear Time: 7 Hours  | Finish: Natural

Price at time of publish: $24

Best Matte: L’Oréal Paris Rouge Signature Matte Lip Stain



If you’re always on the go and looking for a lip stain that will get you through an entire day, this is the one for you. While lip stains are designed to stay on longer than other lip products, the Rouge Signature Lightweight Matte Lip Stain from L’Oréal Paris creates the ultimate transfer-proof look. Personally, I usually opt for more matte lip stains, and this is one of my favorites because I don’t have to worry about reapplying during long work days — even after lunch or a coffee break. The pointed applicator allows you to precisely apply the product, and makes it easy to line as well as fill in your lips. The formula feels heavy when you first put it on, but rest assured that once it dries you won’t be able to tell that you have anything on your lips.

Shades: 37 | Wear Time: 10 hours  | Finish: Matte

Price at time of publish: $6

Best Shade Range: Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick in Always Red

It’s not common to find a lip product that’s available in over 20 shades, let alone nearly 100. But Sephora is here serving variety and quality with their Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick. When testing the product I couldn’t help but fall in love with the color range, which includes everything from trending colors like Coral Sunset (a brick red), to all-year staples like Honeymoon (a nude pink). The best part is that once you apply the product it truly does not budge — I even tried Dare To Be Pink, a hot pink, and it stayed for hours without fading, feathering, or transferring. If you do choose a darker hue, you may need to swipe on an extra layer on the center of your lips because I find it to be a little sheer after just one swipe.

Shades: 79 | Wear Time: 10+ Hours  | Finish: Matte

Price at time of publish: $15

Best Plumping: Buxom Serial Kisser Plumping Lip Stain

If you want an extra boost in the pout department but are wary of getting fillers (we get it, needles can be scary), Buxom Serial Kisser Plumping Lip Stain is a great alternative and immediate solution that doesn’t require long term commitment. The serum-like formula features hyaluronic acid (an ingredient used in fillers) to hydrate and plump, and it coats your lips with a juicy, glossy color. You won’t experience the uncomfortable tingling sensation that you get with other lip plumpers, making it very comfortable to wear, too. Though the color payoff lasts for about four hours, you’ll probably need to reapply if you grab a bite to eat.

Shades: 7 | Wear Time: 4 Hours | Finish: Gloss

Price at time of publish: $22

Best Drugstore: Maybelline New York SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

While this product is technically marketed as lipstick, it acts just like a lip stain, earning itself a spot on the list. The precision applicator is shaped like an arrowhead, which allows you to have the utmost control when applying — this is key, especially since matte finishes are more difficult to correct once dried. And once it’s dry, you best believe it’s not going anywhere. Like the name suggests, it has super staying power and is completely budge-, transfer-, and kiss-proof for up to 16 hours. I even went out for pasta with a friend after work, and there was minimal fading after the meal. Keep in mind that the formula does take a little bit longer to dry. As a result, it may feel stickier compared to other products on this list, but once the lightweight formula sets, you’re good to go.

Shades: 40 | Wear Time: 16 Hours  | Finish: Matte

Price at time of publish: $7

Best Moisturizing: Clarins Water Lip Stain

Lip stains have a tendency to feel more drying than other lip products, but this one from Clarins could double as a lip balm thanks to ultra-hydrating ingredients like aloe vera and raspberry. The four shades initially apply bold and bright, but as the day wears on they sheer out and look more natural. The watery consistency of the formula can be hard to control with the included applicator, so we recommend applying it with your fingers for the best results.

Shades: 4 | Wear Time: 8 Hours  | Finish: Natural

Price at time of publish: $29

Best Sheer: Victoria Beckham Beauty Bitten Lip Tint

Sure, Victoria Beckham Beauty Bitten Lip Tint looks gorgeous, but what makes it stand out is what it does for your lips behind the scenes as you wear it. Not only does it keep lips hydrated with ingredients like squalane, but it also subtly plumps lips thanks to sodium hyaluronate and mustard sprout extract, which also work to soothe the lip area so you won’t experience that irritating tingly feeling that comes with some plumpers. If you prefer a more sheer lip, this is the perfect product for you because it provides a very low-key, natural look — but if you prefer more dramatic color payoff you may want to go with something else.

Shades: 4 | Wear Time: 10 Hours  | Finish: Natural

Price at time of publish: $36

What to Keep in Mind 

Finish 

Similar to lipsticks, lip stains also come in a range of finishes. Although it’s more common to find matte or satin formulas, some lip stains can be glossy, too. While finish is totally a personal preference, matte and satin lip stains tend to wear longer than those with glossy ones. For a matte formula, we recommend Dior Addict Lip Tint, but if you’re after a more satin or natural finish opt for our best overall pick Benefit Cosmetics Benetint Rose Lip Blush & Cheek Tint. As for a glossy option, you can’t go wrong with Buxom Serial Kisser Plumping Lip Stain.

While you can’t really turn satin or glossy products matte, professional makeup artist and founder of Beia BeautyBrittany Lo, says that you can make matte products glossy by swiping a clear lip gloss on top.

Longevity 

Not only do lip stains look more natural, but they were also invented to be long-lasting. Most formulas will stay put for four to eight hours, but there are others that can last upwards of 10. (Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick can last up to 16 hours!) Keep in mind, though, that how you prepare your lips will impact the longevity of your lip stain. Lo recommends grabbing a lip scrub, then swiping on a layer of lip balm to give your lips a boost of hydration before applying your stain.

Ingredients 

Typically, a lip stain can dry out your lips much more quickly than other lip products, so it’s important to look for ingredients that maximize the hydration factor. Lo says to look at the label and opt for formulas that contain oils, beeswax, or humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid. All of these will help lock in hydration so your lips stay comfortable all day. We find Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Poutsicle Hydrating Lip Stain to be one of the most comfortable, non-drying lip stain formulas.

If the formula doesn’t have these ingredients Gloria Lu, Cosmetic Chemist in Residence at Revela and creator of Chemist Confessions suggests “layering a lip balm over top to keep lips moisturized.”

INSTYLE

The Prettiest Nude-Pink Lipstick for Every Skin Tone

Finding the perfect pink lipstick can be a balancing act. I’m not talking about your bright fuchsias or orchids or Barbie pinks — I mean those soft, subtle pinks that are almost nude but not quite. The kind of pink you wear when you want people to notice how put-together you look without thinking you spent a whole lot of effort or time. That pink.

With soft pinks especially, it’s important to take your specific skin tone into account, otherwise, you might end with a lip that’s way lighter or darker than you wanted. According to bi-coastal makeup artist Lavonne, the selection process thankfully doesn’t have to be too difficult. “When I look at depth and undertones for a soft-toned petal pink lipstick, I start by looking at the natural color of the lips,” she explains to Allure.

With that perfect shade in hand, application should be a breeze. “I will choose a concealer to neutralize any blue, yellow, green, or purple [undertones] in the lips. This way I have an even canvas to work with,” Lavone explains. “I choose a lip liner to complement the skin tone and then blend it into the lip before applying lipstick.”

To simplify your search for that petal-soft shade, ALLURE editors have broken down the best nude pink lipsticks based on your skin tone below.

Deep: Fenty Beauty Slip Shine Sheer Shiny Lipstick in Retro Rose

Fenty Beauty Slip Shine Sheer Shiny Lipstick is every bit as comfortable as it sounds, thanks to its frictionless formula that’s packed with reparative castor seed oil. Retro Rose, shown above, is a glossy and sheer muted rose tone that looks stunning on deep skin. 

Buy on their website $22

Deep: L’Orèal Paris Rouge Signature Lightweight Matte Lip Stain in I Rule

If you’re the type who likes super-matte lip that could last a zombie apocalypse, L’Orèal Paris Rouge Signature Lightweight Matte Lip Stain is exactly that. When applied on deep skin tones, its deep mauve shade I Rule transforms into the perfect soft pink that’s not too light or ashy. 

Buy at ULTA $12

Deep: Juvia’s Place The Nude Velvety Matte Lipstick in A Mauve Moment

If your skin tone looks best when paired with cooler tones, try Juvia’s Place The Nude Velvety Matte Lipstick in A Mauve Moment. With just a hint of a purple undertone, this velvety matte lipstick brings full-color payoff with just one swipe. 

Buy at ULTA $14

Deep: Uoma Beauty Badass Icon Matte Lipstick in Miriam

Uoma Beauty’s Badass Icon Matte Lipstick in Miriam might look brown at first glance, but when swiped across the lips, its true neutral pink hue comes to life. And if you’ve tried any of the brand’s other lipsticks, you’ll know this one comes with the same suede-like finish and comfort level. 

Buy at ULTA $24

Deep: Beauty Bakerie Cake Pop Lippie in Funnel Cake

With a comfortable formula that lasts way longer than you’d expect for a cream, Beauty Bakerie Cake Pop Lippie in Funnel Cake is a deep pink with strong peach undertones. And thanks to its smaller-than-average packaging, you can pop it in your pocket and take it everywhere with you. 

Buy on their website $10

Medium: Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Rebellious Rose

There’s a reason this shade of Estée Lauder’s Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick won a 2020 Best of Beauty Award. With sheer pigments in a classic muted pink shade, Rebellious Rose looks great on virtually everyone — but especially on medium skin tones with neutral or cool undertones. 

Buy on their website $32

Medium: MAC Matte Lipstick in Kinda Sexy

You can never go wrong with one of MAC’s Matte Lipsticks, especially if it’s in the shade Kinda Sexy. This long-wear matte is equal parts pink, peach, and nude, making it ideal for warm, medium skin tones. 

Buy at ULTA $19

Medium: Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme in Precious

This medium-toned rose shade called Precious from Milani isn’t extremely light or dark, a perfect middle-ground for any medium skin tone. What’s more: Amore Matte Lip Creme glides on as a thin liquid and dries down to a matte finish, which means it’s practically weightless. 

Buy on Amazon $16

Medium: Pat McGrath Lip Fetish Divinyl Lip Shine in Nude Venus

The slightly glossy and lightly pigmented Nude Venus shade of Pat McGrath’s Lip Fetish Divinyl Lip Shines couldn’t make a more perfect neutral pink for medium skin — take it from Cardi B, who wore it in her infamous “WAP” music video. 

Buy at Sephora $36

Medium: KKW Nude Crème Lipstick in 3.5

OK, so KKW Nude Crème Lipstick in 3.5 leans a little more into nude lipstick category than it does pink — still, with strong pink undertones and a super comfortable cream formula, we’d be downright silly not to give it an honorable mention. 

Buy at ULTA $18

Medium: Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Mousse in Seduction

A Best of Beauty-winning formula, Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Mousse matches even the most high-end lipsticks in terms of pigment, comfort, and overall quality. The shade Seduction might look like a warn nude at first glance, but its soft pink hue will be revealed the moment you swipe it onto your lips. 

Buy at ULTA $10

Light: Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk

If you ask around long-term beauty aficionados, you’ll find that few lipstick shades get as much talk as Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk Matte Revolution Lipstick (a Reader’s Choice Award winner). And it’s no wonder, considering how pretty this muted light-pink with peach undertones looks on fair skin. 

Buy at Bloomingdale’s $34

Light: Chanel Rouge Coco Flash Lip Colour in Ferveur

Chanel Rouge Coco Flash Lip Colour in Ferveur won a Best of Beauty award in 2019, thanks to its orange-pink tint and the glossy, slippery formula that feels just like a hydrating lip balm. 

Buy at Nordstrom $38

Light: Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Color in Babe

Bobbi Brown’s Crushed Lip Color in Babe has subtle blue undertones, which pair perfectly with skin tones that have cool or neutral undertones. Even better, this balm-like formula contains reparative vitamin E for added nourishment.

Buy at Nordstrom $29

Light: Huda Beauty Power Bullet Matte Lipstick in Honeymoon

When Huda Beauty named this lipstick formula Power Bullet Matte, it really was not kidding because this formula is as matte as they come — thankfully without sacrificing any comfort. The shade Honeymoon, above, gets its slightly dusky quality from cool lavender undertones. 

Buy at Sephora $25

ALLURE article

5 Easy Steps To The Prettiest English Rose Make-Up Look

Wind-flushed cheeks; flawless skin; and just-bitten lips: all hallmarks of the “English Rose”, the term used to describe a delicate kind of beauty long regarded as classically English. The likes of Keira Knightley, Kate Winslet, Ella Balinska, Emma Watson and now, newcomer Emma Corrin – who appears on British Vogue’s October cover as her The Crown character Princess Diana (another famous English Rose) – all share a certain innocent appeal.

“The quintessential English Rose look comprises berry-stained plump lips, ruddy, flushed cheeks and a dewy, invisibly-perfect complexion,” says make-up artist Neil Young. “The complexion should feel real and translucent, so as to reveal all the natural undertones of the skin.” Here, Young shares exactly how to achieve the look for yourself with the assistance of some cleverly applied make-up.

Keep skin fresh

To create a luminous and dewy effect, Young loves a tinted moisturiser or lightweight foundation that will allow the skin’s natural undertones to shine through. “This allows you to further enhance what’s already there with your subsequent products,” he says. Try IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation for a radiant second skin finish; Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation, which does exactly what it says on the tin; or Smashbox’s Halo Healthy Glow All-In-One Tinted Moisturiser, another lightweight wonder.

Find your colour

To create a harmonious balance of colour on the face, Young recommends using a multi-use lip and cheek product. “Creams and gels lend themselves to this look as they melt into the skin, creating a believable pink undertone to the lip and cheek – think royal flush and berry-bitten lips. Deeper complexions should opt for darker red and fuchsia tones,” he says. Look to Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge creams – there’s a shade for everyone – or Westman Atelier’s Baby Cheeks Blush Sticks for an ultra-natural, dewy finish.

Use your fingers

To create that natural, just-been-outside flush, use your fingers to apply your blush. “It pushes the cream formula into the apples of the cheeks, which makes it look like the colour is radiating through the skin, rather than floating on top like a powder blusher,” explains Young. “If your complexion is combination to oily, then a powder blush [like Hourglass’s Ambient Lighting Blush] with light-reflecting particles will achieve the same effect.”

Where to apply

The aim is to make your flush look totally natural, as if it hasn’t been applied, so mimic where you would naturally redden: “Apply to the apples of the cheeks and pull down towards the jawline for a flushed appearance,” advises Young. “If you’re using a powder, sweep across the apples of cheeks and pull the brush down towards the jawline to create a ruddy effect.”

A light touch on the lips

For a lip colour that looks natural but won’t budge, try a lip stain. YSL’s new Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres Water Glossy Lip Stain leaves lips looking plump and reddened and, crucially, stays put; Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Lip Stains are another great option. You can also apply them to cheeks for a lit-from-within blush.

VOGUE article