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In the time of Kylie Jenner, liquid lipstick is king and for good reason. More pigmented than your traditional lipstick and longer lasting than most stains, liquid lipstick is the gift that keeps on giving. With a color range more impressive than a wall of paint chips, there’s a shade for every occasion and every skin tone. If you’re looking for a product that won’t budge no matter how many kale chips (or chocolate chip cookies) you shovel into your mouth, liquid lipstick is the way to go.
With every great cosmetic comes great responsibility, though. Liquid lipstick, while it has many great benefits, also requires some know-how. Before you go to apply one of these, you should exfoliate so that you’re starting with a smooth canvas. If your lipstick of choice is matte, it can be super drying and thus can call attention to any unevenness or dry skin that might have built up over time. If you don’t have a lip exfoliator on hand, you can simply use a mix of sugar and coconut oil. Swipe it on and smush lips back and forth, then wipe away for an even surface. Now you’re ready to pucker up and slick on one of these liquid lipstick formulas.
The drugstore aisle is abounding with liquid lipsticks worth wearing and thankfully, they are all budget-friendly buys. Read on to learn about the best drugstore liquid lipsticks you can buy and try now.
Best Long Lasting: Maybelline Super Stay 24 Color
Available in 24 super saturated shades, you’ll have your pick of everything from pinky nude to a bright cherry red. Infused with micro-flex technology, this formula promises not to flake, cake or dry out. Apply with the doe foot applicator for all day comfortable wear. It’s not flat like a matte, but it’s also not shiny like a gloss. The finish is somewhere in between and appears to look freshly applied all day. This stain is so serious that you may find yourself with it on long after you still want to wear it. In that case, an oil based makeup remover will do the trick. Gently scrub at it either with a lip brush or a tissue and it’ll come right off.
Best Matte: Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor
The velvety matte lipstick is best suited for when your lips aren’t too dry. If you’re worried about drying out your pout, your best bet is to apply an ultra moisturizing lip balm. Then, blot it with a tissue so that it won’t mess with the flat matte finish of the lipstick. You can of course apply lip balm throughout the day as needed, but it will change the look. For a truly clean application, wipe off any remnants of the original liquid lipstick before adding balm and then reapply. Adding extra layers of the matte formula over top can wind up looking cakey, so starting fresh is key.
Reviewers love the creamy yet matte consistency of this drugstore liquid lipstick and say the formula hardly needs to be touched up throughout the day.
Best Red: NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Kitten Heels
The creamy formula feels like suede as the name suggests and dries down to a pretty velvet matte. It’s waterproof and is laced with moisturizing avocado oil and Vitamin E. Kitten Heels is the perfect combo of blue and orange undertones, so it will flatter most skin tones. Another bonus: it will also make teeth appear brighter and whiter. Concentrate the rich pigment on the center of your pout and blot outwards for an ombre like effect.
Best Nude: e.l.f. Liquid Matte Lipstick in Blushing Nude
The right nude is hard to come by, but this one has a pinky cast to it so it’s like your lips, only better. To really define the border of your lips so that they stand out against your skin, go in and clean up the edges with concealer and a sharp angled liner brush. To make it really look like your own lips only more polished, dab the matte cream lipstick on with your finger. Simply remove the wand from the tube and dip your finger into the formula before pressing it onto lips. On the opposite side of having super sharp edges, you can diffuse the border of your lips for the popsicle stained lip effect that was so popular on the runways this past season.
Best Metallic: wet n wild Megalast Liquid Catsuit Metallic Lipstick
A little sparkle goes a long way and can actually make lips seem fuller and more plump. For an extra wow-factor, look for a lipstick that really shines. Metallic lipsticks are super hot right now and they’re even more fun when they have an almost “is it or isn’t it?” metallic quality to them. Rather than looking like your pout is coated in glitter, the metallic sheen in this liquid lipstick creates a multi-dimensional appearance. The pigments change depending on the lighting—in daylight, you can see more of a shimmer, but otherwise it just looks like a lovely lipstick with a subtle reflection.
Best Transfer-Resistant: L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Lipcolor
One of the biggest reasons women don’t wear lipstick is because of how messy it can be. You accidentally touch your face and all of a sudden your shirt sleeve is covered in rouge, then it gets all over your face, etc. For this reason and so that you can eat, kiss and do everything else freely, a transfer proof lipstick formula is clutch. This dual-ended version features a high-intensity lip color and a color-seal lip balm. Swipe on the color first and then follow with the balm to lock in the pigment for up to 24 hour wear. You can re-apply the balm throughout the day for extra moisture.
Best High-Shine: Milani Amore Shine Liquid Lip Color
Most liquid lipsticks have a matte finish, but if you’re partial to more of a sheen, you’re going to love this. One stroke delivers full coverage pigments and a glossy reflection without the sticky feel that some glosses can leave you with. Spiked with collagen microspheres, your lips will get anti-aging skincare benefits that help to plump up over time. The brand recommends applying a thin layer to the center of your bottom lip and then gently pressing lips together. Finish by filling in the cupid’s bow with the pointed applicator tip.