Get the Most Out of Your Lip Stains

Victoria Moorhouse
Lip Stain Tips


The beauty of lip stains? Unlike spilled coffee or a piece of chocolate that oh-so-conveniently (catch our sarcasm?) melted on your blouse, these products give you stains you actually WANT to wear. Learning how to use lip stain will end what seems like a lifetime of beauty woes—the kind that revolve around trying to get color to stay on all day long, through lunch and those inevitable snacks in-between. This was designed to last and with such a lightweight consistency making it seem like you’re not wearing anything at all. To get the most out of this product, follow some of the tips below.

MORE: 5 Drugstore Lipsticks We’re Loving Right Now

Exfoliate and Moisturize
Because lip stains are really, really thin, you’re going to see imperfections a lot easier than if you were using a lip cream or a lipstick. The consistency matches something similar to a liquid, which by nature just skims the surface. That means dry, flaky pieces of skin will be in full view. Moisturize often (make this just as much as a habit as washing your face before bed) and use a product with little or natural fragrance so your lips don’t dry out quickly. We like Fresh’s Sugar Lip Polish, which gets two jobs done with just one use.

Use a Lip Liner
The color is going to stick around, but it’s not going to apply as precisely as something like a standard lipstick tube that comes to somewhat of a point. The liquid in and of itself makes it a little less easy-to-apply, even when it’s soaking up on a doe foot applicator. An easy way to combat this is to use a lip liner of the same exact color or something a little bit lighter, just so you have some guidelines when applying the lip liner. After applying lip liner, really blend those lines in so there isn’t a stark difference between the lip stain and the lip liner.

Layer Under Regular Lipstick
This is your must-use tip when you want the creamier, thicker finish of a lipstick but know the color isn’t going to last all day. Apply lip stain (something with a matte finish, like the e.l.f studio lip stain that leaves a matte finish with the option of making it glossy) before putting on your gloss. Some lip stains have incredibly long wear, so by the time your lipstick rubs off after only a few hours, you’ll still have a whole lot of tint showing. You’ll totally rid yourself of a splotchy look where only the outer rim of your lips are still holding on to the pigment.

Layer Over for Intensity or Gloss
A lot of lip stains leave a glossy finish in and of themselves, but you can make a creamy lip color glossy and even hold more of an intense color on your lips by layering a lip stain on top. It doesn’t have to be the same exact color, though. Pick different shades in the same color family for something customized to you—getting personal with fashion and beauty isn’t only done with monograms.

MORE: Get Ready for a New Maybelline Baby Lips Product!

Need Lip TLC? Check Over the Ingredients
As the barriers between cosmetics and skin care continue to blur, lip stains are taking strides in what they offer to a customer in the ingredients list. Many products are made with nourishing oils that will bring hydration and a heavy repair to lips that are chapped or suffering from flakiness or dryness. Josie Maran’s Coconut Water Lip Stain and Color is made with coconut water and argan oil, a perfect combination for any area of skin that needs quenching. Boasting yet another plus, it holds a 14-hour wear.

Use It as a Cheek Tint
Not exactly a way to make it look better on your lips, no, but lip stain is an amazing multitasker. Dab a bit on your cheeks for blush that won’t budge—just make sure you apply the smallest amount and blend out towards your ears.