While lip stains can give you the naturally flushed look of biting into over-ripe raspberries while lasting for hours, they can also leave your pucker looking and feeling way more parched than you anticipated. Thankfully, there are plenty of makeup alternatives that can help you get the desired washed-out color without any drying effects. Here are four ways to achieve the stained look using products you probably already have.
Lip Liner + Lip Gloss
Lip liners aren’t just great at anchoring your lip color, they also can create a stain effect with the right dilution. Just pencil in the center of your upper and lower lips, staying close to the inner rim and working outwards. Then dot a teeny-tiny bit of clear lip gloss right on top of the color and softly pat both lips together. Make sure not to rub your lips together in a side-to-side motion, otherwise you’ll just smear the whole thing into a glossy-looking lip color. The idea is to keep the color concentrated on your inner lips and allow the gloss to blend it out with a slightly dewy finish.
Other than giving your cheeks a fresh natural glow, cream blush can (and should!) be used on your lips—just make sure to grab one in a much darker shade than you’d normally anticipate sporting on your cheeks since the formulas are generally made to be super sheer. Use your ring finger to press a dab of cream blush into the center of your lips, tapping outwards. A dense cream formula like Revlon’s Photo Ready Cream Blush in ‘Flushed’ gives you a lot of control with color placement. If you’re into something a bit more fluid, Stila’s Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush in ‘Water Poppy’ will do the trick.
By far one of the simplest options, a matte lipstick can easily give you a stained look if you wield it correctly. There are two ways, both of which probably involve getting your hands a bit dirty. You can tap the lipstick bullet directly on the center of your lips and softly pat your lips together to blend before blotting with a tissue or, for better color placement control, rub your ring finger onto the lipstick bullet and then press your finger into the center of your lips, no blotting required (unless you go a bit too HAM).
Lip & Cheek Tints
These are a relatively new product category, not to be confused with cream blush, which may seem similar but has a vastly different formula. Lip & cheek tints start in liquid form but finish as a silky mousse. What you get is bold color that feels weightlessly smooth on your lips (or cheeks). YSL’s Baby Doll Kiss & Blush and Touch In Sol’s Technicolor Cheek & Lip Tint are our go-to’s for this easy stain look. Just dab it in the center of your lips and pat them together. Instant stain.