What is Liquid Lipstick?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2019
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Liquid lipstick is a type of cosmetic that is applied to the lips for the purposes of adding color and shine. Rather than traditional tube lipstick, which is available in a twist-up tube, liquid lipstick is applied with a wand, a fingertip, or directly from a squeeze tube. In many cases, there is no real reason to choose one over the other; it is a matter of personal preference, and there are many variations of each.

It is typically not possible to get matte liquid lipstick. This type of lipstick by nature is glossier than tube lipstick, and often falls somewhere between a lipstick and a gloss. It gives more color than a gloss, however, and is capable of lasting much longer as well. It may also be slightly lighter on the lips than a lipstick, and some people find lipstick easier to apply with a wand or brush than directly from a twist-up tube.


Long-wearing lipstick is a common type of liquid lipstick. This type is usually sold in a tube, either with the lip color at one end and a clear gloss at the other, or in two separate tubes, one with color and one with a clear gloss. The lipstick is applied to the lips and allowed to dry for a few minutes; it often slightly stains the lips to help the color last all day. Next, the clear gloss is applied over the lipstick to give it some shine. The gloss may be reapplied throughout the day, but the lip color will theoretically last all day.

Though lip stain is a similar product to liquid lipstick as well as the long-wearing lipstick mentioned above, it is a different product altogether. Lip stain is applied to the lips and will stain them, instead of the makeup resting on top of the lips. Many people like lip stain as well because it lasts all day, but is not as drying as long-wearing lipstick.

Liquid lipstick often includes lip conditioners as well as color and gloss; it may help to keep the lips soft and moisturized. Some contain sunscreen as well. It is available in many different shades, though tube lipstick may have a slightly wider variety of darker colors. This type of liquid lipstick can also work well for daytime or evening looks, depending on the shade that is worn; in general, darker, glossier colors look better for evening, while lighter colors are more appropriate for day.


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