Five years ago, the concept of liquid lipstick was kinda foreign to us. A lipstick that goes on wet with a wand pretty much sounds like a gloss, but we’re willing to try anything once—and we quickly found that the two products really couldn’t be any more different. And yes, the market was flooded with a plethora of liquid lipsticks with a quickness—but if you’ve tried a lot of them, you know that not all liquid lipsticks are created equal.
The term “liquid lipstick” can translate to a dry, uncomfortable mess of pigment that is impossible to get off and leaves a streaky stain from nose to chin, but some formulas have come a long way. The best liquid lipsticks these days are cult favorites and are so superior to their lesser-than counterparts, they barely even have anything in common.
These formulas are made to give rich, opaque color with incredible staying power—something that traditional lipsticks just can’t do. Easy to apply, no lip liner required, and available in a variety of finishes in every shade possible? Yes, please.
Originally published May 2016. Updated September 2017.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick
The queen of brow products is also the brains behind this outstanding liquid lipstick, which has had a cult following (that includes the Kardashians, of course) since it first launched. The ultra-pigmented matte formula glides on like a dream for vibrant color that stays all day, and you can snag it in 35 different shades.
Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick
The longevity of this formula is unparalleled: It applies wet, almost like a gloss, then dries down to an ultra matte yet ultra comfortable finish that doesn't budge.
Lime Crime Velvetines Liquid Matte Lipstick
This under-the-radar formula is the stuff of legends—it's been around for a few years, but buyers still go completely nuts over them. Rich, vibrant, and with a beautiful velvet matte dry-down, these babies don't budge … and you wouldn't want them to.
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream
Perfectly matte, creamy, and with 34 (!!) colors to choose from, you can’t go wrong with these longtime fave lip creams. They glide on smoothly and don’t emphasize any of the fine lines or cracks in your lips—and to top it all off, they smell amazing.
Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick
Not a drill: you can literally fall asleep with this on your lips and wake up the next morning with color leftover. It's a trooper. The shades range from silky satin to legit gloss, all with excellent pigmentation.
Rimmel Show Off Lip Lacquer
Beautiful, rich color for under $5? Don’t mind if we do. This formula is available in two finishes, so you can choose between matte or glossy. With a doe-foot applicator, they are easy to apply and come in a variety of shades ranging from flattering nudes to bright reds. Perfect to throw in your bag and to apply on the go when your lips need a little pick-me-up.
Stila All Day Liquid Lipstick
The innovative formula that started it all, the sleek packaging and ever-growing shade variety continue to make these a perennial favorite. They apply glossy, dry matte, and provide intense color payoff that never bleeds or feathers.