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As much as we love a long-lasting, full-coverage matte lipstick, they can be notoriously drying. After a while, your skin will need a break from mattes, and that's where lip stains—the incredibly hydrating, skin-softening lip-product that leave lips with subtle to full-coverage color—come in. Yes, lip stains basically offer the same long-lasting results of a matte lipstick, only your lips are left softer (no dry or flakey spots in sight), deeming them the ideal, year-round lip product.
Ahead, we rounded up the absolute best drugstore lip stains on the market right now.
Best Overall: Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain
Revlon’s Colorburst Balm Stain isn’t your average lip crayon. It delivers the deep moisture of a balm and the lush texture of a lipstick. Whichever of the six shades you choose will bring the perfect hint of color that wears for a long, long time. The lightweight gel formula is easy to apply thanks to the chubby crayon, which also happens to be retractable, so you never have to worry about finding a sharpener.
Best Budget: e.l.f. Radiant Gel Lip Stain
The only cheap thing about this lip stain is its price. e.l.f.’s Radiant Gel Lip Stain has impressive staying power, plus radiant sheer color thanks to a formula that is packed with nourishing rosewater and vitamin E. It softens and moisturizes lips with its infusion of purified water, feels cool on contact, and is most importantly comfortable to wear all day long.
Best Long Lasting: NYX Professional Makeup Epic Ink Lip Dye
NYX Professional Makeup's Epic Ink Lip Dye will make it through your workout, meals—you name it. The dramatic, high-impact color is lightweight on your lips and dries to a matte finish, living up to its name of “Lip Dye.” It’s a great go-to when you want a bold lip that will last all night.
Best Balm: Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick
Tinted lip balms tend to deliver only a gentle hint of color. When you want a bit more drama but the same moisturizing magic, reach for Neutrogena’s MoistureSmooth Color Stick.
The blend of shea butter and mango, which is packed with antioxidants, will hydrate even the most parched, chapped lips. One swipe delivers a touch of color, which can be built up for a bolder look. The twist-up applicator erases the need for a sharpener, and the smooth formula glides right on for easy application.
Take a look at more of the best lip balms on the market.
Best Color Range: L'Oréal Paris Infallible Lip Paint
When you’re looking to make a statement, L'Oréal’s Infallible Lip Paint is key. A cross between a stain and liquid lipstick, it packs in pigment like no other lip product and it lasts all day and night. The luxe applicator paints on high impact color in a single swipe. Available in a range of finishes from matte to metallic, choose your favorite from a high-fashion color range of jewel-toned blue to light purple.
Best Glossy Finish: Pixi by Petra GelTint and SilkGloss
This dual-sided tube brings double the fun. One side has a gel-based lip stain while the other is a shiny gloss. You can wear them solo or together for more of a statement. The stain has staying power while the gloss adds shine, and combined they’ll leave lips feeling hydrated and looking their best.
See more reviews of our favorite lip glosses available for purchase.
Best Buildable Color: Revlon Kiss Cushion Lip Tint
Whether you want a dab of color or a vibrant pucker, Revlon’s Kiss Cushion Lip Tint will deliver. The water-based lip stain boasts buildable color—it’s impressive how pigmented it is for being so lightweight. The cushion top feels luxe, and so does its hydrating powers, thanks to the infusion of coconut oil.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best lip stains of all time.