Lip Stain

Jodie Michalak
Need kissable color?

If you haven't ventured into the world of a lip stain, now may be the time to try this unique and simple alternative to lipstick.

Years ago, when temporary lip color such as stains first entered the cosmetic market, the original formulas were hard to blend and work with, the color or pigments were too harsh, and the overall effect was drying.

Today, almost every cosmetic manufacturer has added a staining lipstick to their lineup of lip coloring products. Why? Lip markers and gels provide a saturated wash of color and stain the lips for hours. Without the upkeep of application, a lip stain is the perfect way to pretty your pout for hours on end.

What is a Lip Stain

A lip stain is a cosmetic product that contains either a water or a gel base. To help the product adhere to the lips, many stains may contain alcohol. These lip coloring products are available in a variety of formulas, colors, and application types. With so many to choose from, there's a lip stain that will flatter everyone and provide ease of use.

Types of Lip Stain Products

When lip stains first hit the market, the application type was limited. With much advancement, they can now be found in the following application formulas:

  • Brush-on
  • Marker tip
  • Gel pumps
  • Cream or pot

How to Wear Them

The unique lipsticks can be paired with virtually any makeup style. Because staining lipsticks provide a natural wash of color, they can work with a dramatic makeup application without overpowering other features, and they work beautifully for someone seeking a natural makeup style. Stains are perfect when you have just five minutes to look pulled together. They're also the answer for occasions when you need all day lip coverage, on formal occasions such as dances or weddings. Stains are also the best kept beauty secret of low maintenance gals who want to look pulled together without investing too much time in makeup application. No matter the reason, they ensure your pout will look pretty and flushed without worry.

Application Tips

Once you start experimenting with lip gels, you'll quickly discover each formula varies. Application may be tricky at first, but rest assured the following tips will see you through most lip staining challenges:

  • Exfoliate: Lips should always be exfoliated prior to applying. You may not need to exfoliate daily, but it's important that you slough away dead skin to ensure an even application. A lip exfoliator such as the Body Shop's Lip Scuff is perfect for smoothing the surface of your lips without drying them.
  • Hydrate: Stains apply best on an evenly hydrated surface. Apply a lip balm over the surface of your lips roughly five minutes before you apply a stain. This gives your lips time to absorb the excess moisture, creating a supple surface that they will adhere to evenly.
  • Line: Although lip liners aren't needed with the use of a stain, if you feel the need to frame your pout, lining lips will be your next step. For the most natural pout, stick with a neutral tone.
  • Shake it: Regardless of the formula or application type, shake your lip stain liberally prior to applying. This will help blend all ingredients and ensure an even flow.
  • Work quickly: Application with a stain has to be quick! Once you apply the product, you'll need to blend and reapply as needed before the product dries.
  • Dry: Let your stain dry thoroughly prior to topping it with another coat or a gloss. Once the surface is matte, you can add a clear gloss for shine or reapply the stain if you need more color.

Where to Buy

Ready to take the plunge into the world of kiss-proof color? A few of the most popular stains, and links to buy them, are listed below:

Lip Stain