5 Liquid Lipsticks That Aren't Drying

Updated 02/21/18
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We've had a bit of a rocky ride, liquid lipstick and I. When the formula reached the fore a couple of years ago, obviously, I gave our relationship my best shot. It was my job after all. But alas, it was nothing more than a short fling; an illustrious holiday romance fueled by heady dreams of long-lasting pigments and suede-finish matte textures that inevitably ended in heartache. And I went running back to my old faithful: the trusty lipstick bullet.

Back then I just couldn't find a single liquid lipstick formula that didn't hoover up every last drop of moisture in my lips. Yes, they delivered in color saturation, but for the weeks our romance ensued, my lips better resembled two tiny rashers of streaky bacon—that's how dry and shriveled up they had become. And nobody wants bacon lips.

Recently, I toyed with the idea of revisiting our romance once more, and guess what—liquid lipstick has changed. The new pool of formulas might still not be as moisturizing as lip balm, but they won't leave your lips pleated and crispy either. And for the gloriously high-impact and unwavering color they provide, I think that's an acceptable compromise, don't you?

While I'm all for monogamy in my personal life, when it comes to makeup, I can't help but be a little polyamorous, so I've pulled out my five favorite liquid lipsticks—I've no doubt they'll show you a good time too.

Best liquid lipstick: NARS Lip Cover in Under Arrest
Nars Lip Cover in Under Arrest $28
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The more stringent amongst us might claim Nars Lip Cover falls more into the lip gloss category, but it has pigment that puts so many liquid lipsticks to shame, so I've included it here. As well as teeny-tiny color particles, the formula is bulked out with passion fruit seed oil and vitamin E—both brilliant skin hydrators and protectors, which make up for the fact that it requires a few extra reapplications throughout the day. This peachy/beige/terra-cotta tile shade looks divine on most skin tones.

Best liquid lipstick: MDM Flow Liquid Matte Lipstick in Retro
MDM Flow Liquid Matte Lipstick in Retro $27
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I hate when you pick a lipstick according to the color that shows through the tube only to find an almost unrecognizable tone when it hits your lips. That doesn't happen with MDM Flow. Its liquid lipsticks are the truest pigments I've tried—holding out on their promise to shroud lips in a flexible coat of color that makes them especially well-suited to darker skin tones. And this peachy shade is basically pure joy bottled.

Best liquid lipstick: Huda Beauty Liquid Matte
Huda Beauty Liquid Matte $18
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What I like most about Huda's liquid lipsticks is that they have enough grip that they won't travel down your chin or up your cheeks (even when battling an incoming tuna baguette), but they don't feel heavy. You can pretty much apply it and then forget it's there. I particularly love the darker rouge noir–esque tones, which look rather striking below mascara-free eyes, although there are some brilliant neutral shades too.

Best liquid lipstick: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Cannes
Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream in Cannes $6
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If you like your liquid lipsticks matte, Nyx's are a pretty safe bet and come in plenty of shades, spanning fleshy tones to electric blues. The matte finish isn't in the slightest bit chalky (my main gripe with that texture family) and doesn't cloy or create uncomfortable friction either. They last a good four or five hours too.

Best liquid lipstick: Marc Jacobs Le Marc Liquid Lip Crayon in Flaming-Oh!
Marc Jacobs Le Marc Liquid Lip Crayon in Flaming-Oh! $22
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It may not look like a regular liquid lipstick, but I felt Marc Jacobs' deserved a shout-out because it totally acts like one. As soon as the crayon touches the heat of the lips, it melts into this heavenly creamy slick of color that comes up super poppy. It doesn't offer the same precision of that of a doe-foot applicator, but taking a few extra seconds of concentration to apply lipstick can't hurt.

And with that, may you and your liquid lips live happily ever after.

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