The 9 Drugstore Liquid Lipsticks We're Fully Obsessed With

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When it comes to super intense, super long-lasting color, liquid lipsticks reign supreme in the lippie world. No other type of formula packs quite as much pigment and simultaneously stays put as long as a liquid option does. And the even better news? There’s an amazing array of liquid lipsticks to be found at the drugstore, meaning you can get that gorgeous, opaque coverage and staying power without having to shell out the big bucks. Plus, more affordable price tags mean you can experiment with a ton of fun shades, guilt-free.

Here, the best drugstore liquid lipsticks.

Our Top Picks
This is undoubtedly the longest-lasting liquid formula we’ve ever tried—and it comes in a whopping 46 shades.
This true red looks great on almost every skin tone thanks to its cool blue and warmer orange undertones.
This nude blends cooler brown undertones with a touch of pink that looks great on wide range of complexions.
This rich berry-red is the best cross between raspberry and Bordeaux.
The metallic sheen of this peachy-champagne lip color delivers a gorgeous multi-dimensional effect.
This clean liquid lipstick boasts a vibrant velvet matte finish that lasts all day.
Unlike most liquid lipsticks, this formula has a high-shine finish that’s more akin to a gloss.
Ringing in at less than $5, this liquid lipstick delivers long-lasting complete coverage in just one coat.
Packed with hyaluronic acid and avocado oil, this liquid lipstick will keep your lips nourished and hydrated.

Best Overall: Maybelline New York SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

Maybelline New York SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick
What We Like
  • Long-lasting

  • Great range of shades

What We Don't Like
  • Dries and sets very quickly

If we’ve sung the praises of this liquid lipstick once, we’ve sung them a thousand times. Drugstore or not, it’s undoubtedly the longest-lasting formula we’ve ever tried, never budging no matter what you eat, drink, or whom you smooch. (Seriously, it’s make-out-proof). It also comes in a whopping array of 46 different hues, with options for everyone’s color preference and to flatter every skin tone. Plus, the arrow-shaped applicator makes precise application super easy.

Shades: 46 | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Red: NYX Professional Makeup Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Kitten Heels

NYX Professional Makeup Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Kitten Heels
What We Like
  • Feels comfortable on lips

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers say the removal process is tricky

There are two dozen shades to choose from, but it’s the true red that really gets us going. With the best combination of both cool blue and warmer orange undertones, it flatters almost every skin tone (not to mention it has the added benefit of making your teeth appear whiter and brighter, too). And per the name, the finish is more velvety than truly matte and feels nice and creamy on lips, thanks to the addition of avocado oil and vitamin E.

Shades: 24 | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Nude: Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor Moisturizing Lipstick in HD Seduction

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor Moisturizing Lipstick in HD Seduction
What We Like
  • Feels comfortable on lips

  • Pleasant scent

What We Don't Like
  • Not clean or cruelty-free

This aptly-named pick boasts a much more hydrating, cushiony feel than many other mattes; credit a wax-free, gel formula that glides on super smoothly. You really can’t go wrong with any of the 16 shades, though this cool-toned nude is one of our favorites. While not all nudes are created equal, this one blends enough cooler brown undertones with just a touch of pink to work surprisingly well on a wide range of complexions. On top of that, the mango and vanilla scent is a nice added bonus.

Shades: 16 | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Berry: Flower Beauty Miracle Matte Liquid Lip Color in Merlot Kiss

Flower Beauty Miracle Matte Liquid Lip Color
What We Like
  • Great range of shades

  • Blurring effect improves the look of lips

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers say it dries slow

  • Can be messy

Those who prefer deeper shades of lipstick will love this rich red, a cross between raspberry and Bordeaux. And anyone will love the cushiony matte formula, which has the added benefit of a subtle blurring effect that leaves your lips looking both fuller and lips looking smoother sans lines or creases.

Shades: 14 | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Metallic: Wet n Wild Catsuit Megalast Liquid Catsuit Metallic Lipstick in Bali in Love

Wet n Wild Catsuit Megalast Liquid Catsuit Metallic Lipstick in Bali in Love
What We Like
  • Easy application

  • Even more affordable than other drugstore choices

What We Don't Like
  • Limited shade range

When you want to rock a metallic lip, a liquid formula is the way to go, and this one is an especially choice option. No, your mouth won’t look like it’s covered in glitter. Instead, the metallic sheen creates a multi-dimensional effect that gives you just enough of that extra wow factor, particularly when it’s this peachy-champagne color. Not to mention, it’s even cheaper than many other drugstore options.

Shades: 5 | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Matte: The Lip Bar Vegan Matte Lipstick

The Lip Bar Liquid Lipsticks
What We Like
  • Long-lasting

  • Vegan and cruelty-free

What We Don't Like
  • Limited shade range

More often than not, liquid lipstick is going to have a finish that skews towards the matte end of the spectrum, meaning there are plenty of picks to choose from. But this is a real winner for Jo Levy, a conscious beauty artist and educator. “It has a vibrant, beautiful, and bold velvet matte finish and is created with clean ingredients,” she says, adding that it also lasts all day. 

Shades: 8 | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best High-Shine: L'Oréal Paris Rouge Signature Matte Lip Stain

L'Oréal Paris Rouge Signature Matte Lip Stain
What We Like
  • Great range of shades and finishes

  • Easy application

  • Feels comfortable on lips

What We Don't Like
  • Not as long-lasting as other options

Since most liquid lipsticks have a matte finish, this is one of the rare alternatives that it’s actually shiny, more akin to a gloss. It’s lightweight and non-sticky: “It feels like a balm, but delivers full coverage and is super easy to blend,” says Levy of another one of her picks. “It’s great for those new to liquid lipsticks,” she adds.

Shades: 12 | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Budget: Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Lip Colour

rimmel-london-stay-matte-lip-color
What We Like
  • Long-lasting

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers say it doesn't smell good

Sure, all drugstore liquid lipsticks are going to be affordable, but this one rings in at less than $5, a true steal of a deal. One coat delivers complete coverage that lasts up to 12 hours.

Shades: 27 | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Best Hydrating: Honest Beauty Liquid Lipstick

honest liquid lipstick
What We Like
  • Wearable colors

  • Hydrating feel

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers say it doesn't smell good

  • Not as long-lasting as other options

“I love this for its nourishing and hydrating ingredients,” says Levy. That includes things such as hyaluronic acid and avocado oil, which ensure this keeps your lips stay nice and moisturized—and prevents the color from ever cracking or looking cakey. Similarly, it has a semi-matte finish, slightly shinier than a true matte.

Shades: 6 | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Final Verdict

Liquid lipsticks take the cake when it comes to impactful, long-lasting color, and there are plenty of great ones to be found at the drugstore. The Maybelline New York SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick (view at Ulta) earns the top spot on our list, a tried-and-true favorite in our makeup bag with unparalleled staying power. Most liquid lipsticks are matte, though if you prefer a shiny finish, the L’Oréal Paris Brilliant Signature Shiny Lip Stain (view at Ulta) is well worth a try, a lightweight formula with a glossy texture. The Honest Beauty Liquid Lipstick (view at Target) is another great choice, a very hydrating pick that touts a semi-matte finish.

What to Look for in a Liquid Lipstick

Comfort

Urban Decay’s Global Makeup Artist Steve Kassajikian says that the comfort of a liquid lipstick formula is an important thing to keep in mind. Liquid lipsticks are notoriously drying (though today’s iterations have come a long way), so he suggests finding one that is hydrating and moves with your lips. Levy agrees, noting that a non-drying feel is paramount.

Wear

“The main purpose of liquid lipstick is longevity, so you want one that will wear all day to avoid constant touch-ups,” says Kassajikian. In fact, constantly touching up can leave the lipstick clumpy, so the longer it lasts after the first application, the better.

Adjustable Color

Liquid lipsticks do pack bold color, though Levy says ideally you want one that packs saturated pigment—but can still be adjusted. That means that you can easily blot it down if you want it slightly more subtle or layer another coat if you want to pack even more of a punch.

FAQ
  • How do you apply drugstore liquid lipstick?

    “I recommend starting by placing two to three dots of color on the bottom lip and then pressing lips together with a back and forth motion,” says Levy. “This allows you to create a color ‘base,’ and you can then add a few more dots for extra intensity from there.” Then, use the tip of the applicator as you would a lipliner, softly drawing along the edge of your lip and blending everything in with your pinky finger, she says.

  • How do you pick the right shade of liquid lipstick for your skin tone?

    Ideally, try to find some natural light in the drugstore (not always easy) to see the truest version of the color, Levy suggests. “Generally, fair skin looks best with cooler to neutral shades, like a blue-toned red or deep, cool pink. Light to medium skin complexions with neutral to yellow undertones look best in shades of raspberries or muted pinks and beiges. Medium to tan skin looks great in shades of pomegranate, corals, and deeper warm pinks, while for tan to deep skin tones, shades of cherry, deep crimson, or even plum-browns are flattering,” she says. That being said, it really does boil down to a matter of personal preference.

  • How long does drugstore liquid lipstick stay on?

    According to Levy, since most have a satin to matte or velvet finish, they usually last at least four to eight hours.

Why Trust Byrdie?

Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. She reaches for a liquid lipstick anytime she doesn’t want to deal with touch-ups; the Maybelline New York product featured on this list is a staple in her arsenal. (Yes, it really does last forever.)

Meet the Expert

  • Conscious beauty artist and educator Jo Levy has spent nearly two decades working in the beauty industry. Working with brands such as Armani, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown, and BECCA Cosmetics, Levy has extensive experience in the bridal and editorial space.
  • Steve Kassajikian is Urban Decay’s Global Makeup Artist.

According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find enough drugstore liquid lipsticks from Black-owned and/or Black-founded businesses to meet this percentage. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at contact@byrdie.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.

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