I remember the first time I ever purchased red lipstick. I had to be about 16 when I walked into Sephora, overwhelmed by the store’s layout and selection of products (it was a lot to take in for someone who only knew drugstores as a place to buy makeup) and started to pick up various shades at the Sephora Collection section with a mission to find a budget-friendly yet statement-making red. Finally, I mustered up the courage to ask a sales rep for some recommendations and we landed on the Rouge Cream lipstick in Hot Tango.

I walked out one confident lady that day.

Fast forward a few years, and I’m back at Sephora getting a complimentary 45-minute VIB beauty session with an appreciation for lipstick that had really grown into a full-blown obsession. I couldn’t help but notice my artist’s red lips – a matte, scarlet red with crisp, clean lines (no bleeding in sight) that just popped on her porcelain face. She was about to apply an entirely different product to my lips when I politely asked her to show me what she was wearing. The product? Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain in Always Red.

Since then, liquid lipstick has been a staple in my beauty bag and I’m forever on a hunt for new colours and brands to try out.

Liquid lipstick comes in a variety of names, but I often find a few keywords usually mean you’re looking at one – cream stain, lip cream and liquid lip colour are a few I’ve come across. You know it’s a liquid lipstick when it’s in gloss-like packaging with a doe-foot applicator, looks like an opaque gloss fresh out of the tube but dries matte. If it makes promises to last anywhere from 8 to 14 hours and beyond, that’s also a good indicator.

Why liquid lipstick? Let me see…

  • Lip liner = not necessary. Every single liquid lipstick I’ve ever tried has needed little to no priming (I’ll chat about this a little later on) or liner to stop bleeding. When it says it stays put, it stays put.
  • They REALLY last. Seriously – in some cases you need industrial strength makeup remover to it off, but if you ask me, this is a actually a benefit when you’re working 14 hour days or need to last through a messy meal.
  • What you see is what you get. If it’s a bold, hot pink colour in the tube, that’s what’s going to show up when you apply. Liquid lipstick, in my experience, is as opaque and true-to-colour as it gets.

I’ve got three to share with you today that have been in my rotation. Let’s begin with the one that started it all – Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain. At $16.00 CAD, it’s a mid-priced product that comes in both matte and satin finishes, however I’ve only ever tried the matte red. It doesn’t dry out my lips or settle too much, dries totally matte and is a true red that’s so versatile and can work for most skin types.

On the low-priced end of the spectrum, there’s Wet N Wild’s Mega Last Liquid Lip Colour, which retails in the neighbourhood of $5.00 to $7.00, depending on where you shop. The range of shades is much better in my opinion, and I’ve got Red My Mind and Back To The Fuschia (which I pretty much bought solely based on its name). This product definitely lasts as promised, however I find out of all three of these it dries out the most, almost to the point where it’s too dry – it can really settle into the lines on your lips and have a negative effect appearance-wise. I recommend using a balm or primer with this particular product for this reason, but if you’re looking for an entry-level liquid lipstick and don’t have issues with dry, chapped lips, I think this is a great one to pick up.

Finally, my most recent addition to my liquid lipstick family is my Kat Von D Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick in Backstage Bambi. I can’t say for sure, but I do believe this product is being discontinued as it’s out of stock online and it’s slim pickings when I have come across it in store. All that said, I still would recommend trying it if you can find some in a shade you like! At $23.00 it’s the most expensive on my list, but realistically that’s still reasonable for quality lip colour. I find this product performs at about the same level as Sephora’s, but the colour range is absolutely the best – I would love to find one in Outlaw, but it’s looking like I won’t be so lucky. For now, I’ll have to enjoy my hot pink for the summer!

So there you have it – my passion for liquid lipstick explained. I think if you go in trying them with the expectation that they’re going to be drier than your typical lipstick and play around with colours and brands, you just might find something you like. Are there others you’ve tried you would add to this list? I’d love to hear more recommendations!