When summer rocks around and the temps rise, we strip off our knitwear in favor of sheer, loose, fabrics—and the same goes for our makeup. When it comes to textures, the lighter, the better; we'll switch a full foundation for a tinted moisturizer and matte lipstick for gloss. But gloss has its downsides. Lots of formulas can be super sticky and a magnet for flyaway hair strands—plus the color can disappear faster than your Aperol Spritz at brunch. But there's a whole lip product category that you've overlooked. Enter: glossy stains. They are exactly what they sound like; they slip onto your lips imparting a high-shine gloss, but stain them for a lingering shot of color.
Generally speaking, glossy stains leave more a soft vinyl finish, rather than a juicy gloss (it's some kind of makeup wizardry), and the stain element means you don't have to constantly re-touch. They're deal when you want to spend more time reading on a lounge chair or hanging with friends at a BBQ—aka, anytime when touch-ups are the last thing on your mind. Tempted to treat your pout to a glossy stain? Keep scrolling for the six best.
YSL Beauty was one of the first brands to bring glossy stains to market. This OG Glossy Stain offers high-wattage shine and a color payoff that rivals a long-wear lipstick. We're obsessed.
Want a low-commitment way to dip your toe into the trend? For $4, you can give it a whirl. This affordable option imparts a pretty stain and a subtle sheen that's incredibly wearable.
Packed with Vitamin e and nourishing oils, this soothes lips while offering a wash of color and a water-like gloss. Tude is the only shade still available, but it's a universally-flattering sheer red stain that leaves lips cushiony soft.
Described as "ultra wet," this glaze gives lips serious shine that also nourishes, thanks to vitamin C, vitamin E and omegas 3 and 6. There are eight glossy shades to choose from and each leaves a lingering stain on the lips. The pen applicator is chic, too.
With Shea butter, jojoba, avocado and hyaluronic acid, this gloss stain is seriously comforting to lips—expect your pout to look extra pillowy. It doesn't feel tacky and it leaves a stain on the lips that lasts all day.
Seriously long-wearing (these pass the Aperol Spritz test), there are 14 shades of this glossy stain to choose from. The wet-look finish is impressive, too.
Packed with hyaluronic acid, this new glossy stain from Buxom leaves your lips drenched in moisture so they look incredibly plump. The pigment payoff is impressive and it lasts all day.
Seriously comfortable to wear, one coat of this glossy stain gives a pretty and subtle finish. Apply two to three layers and you'll get the winning combination of bold color and serious shine. It can also be used as a topcoat to turn your lipstick glossy and to intensify the color underneath.
Dior's Lip Tattoo is as light as air when applied to the lips, and it's our Editorial Director Faith Xue's top pick. The stain lasts like, well, a tattoo (okay, not quite that long, but you get the idea). While it doesn't leave your lips super glossy, they will have a flattering luminosity to them, which is the ideal compromise if you're a matte lipstick fan but want to try this trend.
Byrdie's Senior Editor Hallie Gould loves this multi-tasking lip and cheek stain that imparts a rosy glow onto cheeks and a just-bitten effect onto lips. It has a pretty, sheen-y finish, too.