Liquid lipsticks seem to have taken the beauty world by storm. Catering to the needs of women (and men) who are after that intense colour payoff, coupled with longevity, whilst all packaged up in a liquid yet matte formulation, housed in a deceptive, ‘traditional’ lipgloss package. Confused? Don’t be! As it does not appear to be going anywhere soon.
I previously did a blog post on budget liquid lipsticks almost a year ago and of the five that I featured, four of them could be purchased fairly easily here in the UK, with only the Sephora Cream Lip Stain the only one you could get in the US unless you ordered from the Sephora site to ship over to the UK. This time I’ve rounded up five of some of the most popular US branded liquid lipsticks, which is great as a large portion of my readers are from the US, but also great for my UK readers as I can let them know whether something is worth hunting down and incurring the (annoying) extra shipping/tax/duty/custom fees for.
So in no particular order, here is the low down.
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Patina, £15/$22
This bad boy was difficult to track down. Even though Stila is widely available across the UK, the shade Patina, a dusty rose, was pretty much sold out everywhere! I managed to track down what I justified as not being extortionate (it’s amazing what you are willing to pay when a product is limited edition or always out of stock). Much to my disappointment by failing to read the small print (so ok it was in the description, I just didn’t read it), I had ordered the mini size rather than the full size. Gah!
Anyway, the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick is housed in a classic, clear gloss tube topped with a black lid. Inside reveals a slightly slanted, doe-foot applicator accommodated with a hint of a subtly sweet scent of which I very much approve (you’ll see why later). Out of all the kind of rosy tones that is reviewed in this post, Patina is my favourite as it stays the most true to the colour that you see in the tube. It does dull down a little once applied so becomes much more of a muted, dusky rose.
Upon the lips, the product sits comfortably so it doesn’t feel dry nor does it look dry. I apply it in the mornings around 8am before I head to work. I only start to notice the lips fading as we approach lunchtime after having a Pret bircher muesli pot and a mocha for breakfast, followed by another filter coffee mid-morning. The fading is concentrated mainly within the inner rim of my lips which is quite common. So, as you do, I reapply my lips after I have lunch and I find that it goes on just as smooth as the morning application. However, despite it STILL feeling comfortable on the lips and in no way at all drying, I noticed upon a quick glance in the bathroom mirror that the lines in my lips were deep-set and MEGA enhanced. I don’t actually ever think I’ve seen my lips like this (with so many deep, prominent lines). Needless to say, I was rather swift in whipping the whole thing off and starting again. Or so I thought. It was a complete pain removing it without any sort of makeup remover (it’s not something I carry with me ever let alone have it on me whilst I’m at work). A lot of firm pressure was needed to get the whole thing off and I was quite surprised that my lips were not bleeding (and still intact) by the end of it. Layering isn’t really an option here as I found that things begin to look super, duper dry, and I’d much rather struggle with trying to remove the damn thing than attempt to go in and over with another coat.
Verdict: Looks good, wears well, but doesn’t layer well if you want to touch up and top up. 3/5
The shade Dreamy is more of a peachy pink as opposed to a dusky rose and is the perkiest shade of them all. It comes in a much shorter, thicker tube compared to the others and it’s name is contradictory; Matte Flat Finish Pigment Gloss. How something can be matte but a gloss at the same time, I do not know.
This one has a bazaar smell for a beauty product. It smells more like some sort of an industrial chemical that may or may not be toxic (I’m sure it isn’t). The doe-foot applicator isn’t the best of the bunch as it’s rather stiff compared to the others and doesn’t have that ergonomical slant that nestles nicely on the lips upon application (yet something I can deal with if the product is good). This shade actually looks lighter on my lips compared to in the tube or upon swatch and I think that may be to do with my rather pigmented lips. I don’t often wear light shades without some sort of liner underneath or a lipgloss on top but because it’s rather warm, I think it makes it quite wearable. I found with this one, I needed to apply two coats for an opaque finish. One layer looks streaky but again, not a deal breaker. The only thing that was very different with the LA Girl Matte Flat Finish Pigment Gloss was that it is tacky on the lips and pretty much remains like that for the whole duration that it’s on your lips*. But not the kind of tacky that you get with a traditional sticky lipgloss where it can be very annoying especially when there’s a strong breeze and you have longer than shoulder length hair. This kind of tackiness doesn’t bother me so much as you only really notice it if you purse your lips together.
For me, it performs quite like the Stila All Day Liquid Lipstick. It applies well except you need an additional coat to achieve complete opacity. It starts to wear away as soon as you’ve had something to eat. Drinking is not too bad but a combination of eating and drinking will cause the lipstick to wear away from the inside out and the bolder the colour, the more noticeable it is. However, layering is a bit of a hit and miss. On some occasions, it layers fine. But only if you apply it very thinly. Going ‘ham’ will cause a right ol’ mess as I ‘ve found the product starts to literally peel off the lips.
**update. So on some occasions recently, I find the lips aren’t tacky at all, whilst other occasions, it’s super tacky (go figure!). Strange, I know! I think the trick is to go in with a very light hand, and apply a really thin coat, followed by an even more thinner coat for complete opacity. Also, when it comes to reapplying, only touch up where you need the product. I find this generally tends to be along the inner rim. Don’t reapply where you don’t need it as this will cause product overload, and the product just ends up ‘lifting’ away from your lips.
3.5/5 NOW 4/5
Boy was this a bitch to track down! Excuse my french. Everyone and their mama are after this shade and as a result, it keeps selling out (you’d think they’d learn and make even more in the next batch). The shade Lolita is described as a ‘dusky rose’. Say no more. Presented in the best looking tube one has ever seen, they did pretty damn good on the packaging. It definitely has the Kat Von D touch to it and because it’s slimmer than your average, it just feels oh-so sophisticated…in a grunge, tattooed, rock-chic kinda way. The scent is not my fave but not the worse of the bunch. I just wonder what it is in the formulation that gives these liquid lipsticks that really, chemical- like, un-sexy smell. But ah yes, that ergonomically, slanted applicator makes up for it and feels comfortable on the lips and it’s super, light formulation literally melts onto your lips. Swipe left. Swipe right. You’re done. One coat gives opaque coverage and a lovely, muted payoff. However, if you start to build, the colour actually becomes deeper (more grey) which I don’t really like so I always like to go in with as little product as possible and apply a thin a coat as possible.
Compared to the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, the formula is notably drier but it doesn’t feel drying on my lips. Just matte. However, it does actually make my lips look dry as the day goes on, even though my lips still feel the same (same with the Stila). I found with this, as the day wore on and the lips began to fade with eating, drinking etc the drier my lips looked. And dry lips have never been sexy.
Coloured Raine Mars $16.50
I actually don’t know what the name of the product is as it doesn’t have it on the packaging and on the website it just says the colour name ‘Mars’. I was really excited for this one because the shade on the model is absolutely stunning. A soft, dusky pink shade which if you know me (and also judging by this blog post), it’s right up my alley. Sadly, I was deeply disappointed. Dramatic I know but trust me, it’s necessary. The shade Mars is absolutely NOTHING like the shade on the model which makes me rather angry. I feel like I have been totally mis sold this product…BIG time! Mars is more of your muted dusky plum shade with a strong grey undertone, or perhaps it’s the other way round. It’s the shade that is very on trend at the moment but I just don’t think it looks good on me and this is the sort of trend that I feel will go out in a flash and I don’t tend to invest into looks or styles that are slightly a bit ‘out there’ which I think this is. I mean come on, it’s pretty much grey! I draw the line wearing brown back in the 90’s!
The packaging, although housed in the same clear tube as the others, comes with a bright pink cap, which in my opinion looks really cheap and tacky. The scent? Meh. Same subtle whiff of chemicals. At least attempt to mask it (sorry, I’m still raging inside). This is in fact very, very similar to the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita. Lolita has a touch more warmth to it though, which for me is just enough to make a BIG difference and what makes it wearable. The shade Mars makes me look like an extra from The Walking Dead! Longevity? Nothing to write home about. Drying. Yes. Out of all the ones in this review, this felt the most drying on my lips. Dislike.
Girlactik Matte Lip Paint in Allure $23
If you’re looking for that ’90’s’ terracotta, dark nude, brown lip (or lips a la Kylie Jenner minus the fillers for those who were only in your diapers/nappies in the 90’s), then this is your guy. I actually picked up this shade, Allure, and the darker shade in the range, Demure, but that was just a tad too brown for my liking. They’ve tried to mask the smell so there’s a slight sweet kick to it which is quite frankly better than without so I can appreciate that. Like the Kat Von D and Stila, Girlactik have taken the time to create a applicator that is easy to use and comfortable on the lips, with it’s slanted doe-foot tip. The formula on this one is super light and feels almost like a whipped, slightly mousse-y texture, which as a result, makes it extremely airy on the lips that you can barely feel it. With one single coat, you get full on pigment and complete opacity. Me likey. Me likey a lot! This shade is slightly different from the ‘dusky rose’ tones though.
As mentioned already, it’s the perfect, modern day ’90’s’ lip; a warm, terracotta pink with rich, brown undertones. After a few hours of eating and drinking, this will start to fade but I feel that this one fades a bit more gracefully, possibly because it’s quite a close shade to my really naturally, pigmented lips. I don’t think this has ever looked as dry as some of the others either and it certainly doesn’t cause my lips to become dry and flaky. I’m definitely considering picking up the shade Starlet, which is a really pretty, mid tone pink. One of the downsides is that the colour range isn’t great. Theres only five shades I believe but I know that Galit, the lovely lady behind the brand, is working on some new colours, which will hopefully come out soon. I can’t wait!
So none of these got a 5/5 because I feel that I am still searching for my perfect liquid lipstick. None of them completely defy product erosion from eating or drinking. Some perform better than others but they all fade at the end of the day. I want something that is going to stand the test of time and whatever I chose to throw or shovel down my throat. If it’s going to fade, then it needs to fade gradually, not patchy, and then I’ve got to be able to layer it with another fresh coat without things getting a little bit funky looking. And flaky. Not asking for much am I? I’m happy to keep trying them all until I find ‘Mr Right’ so to speak. But for the moment, in terms of graceful, longevity, I think Girlactik pips them all to the post. In terms of colour range, L.A. Girl definitely wins hands down with shades that are bright yet wearable for everyday (not just Instagram). So I call a draw.
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these liquid lipsticks. What do you think of them? and what should I be trying next???! I’ve got my eye on the Colour Pop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick as well as those from another less familiar US brand, Ofra Cosmetics. Dose of Colors is another one but nothing really calls my name in terms of shades….ok, maybe Berry Me does. Just a little.