Product Fave: Liquid Lipstick - QC Makeup Academy

Lipstick fanatics know that unless you want to fork over $30+ for a good lipstick that is both bold AND long lasting, you often have to sacrifice one for the other. But what if we told you there is another alternative? Enter: Liquid lipsticks!

When liquid lipsticks first came out, a lot of people were confused—after all, how can a lipstick (something solid) come in liquid form? Some skeptics saw it as just another fad, but it seems to have the enduring star power of a pumpkin spice latte!

Unsure if you should be dropping all your hard earned cash onto this lipstick craze? Read on!

What is liquid lipstick?

Liquid lipsticks are highly pigmented, matte lipsticks that are packaged like lip glosses. They are meant to give you bold, smudge-proof lips that’ll last all day—yes, even through lunch and dinner! This is the original concept of liquid lipsticks, but some brands are playing fast-and-loose with this definition. One thing’s for sure, though—don’t expect to make anything less than a daring statement with these lipsticks!

How is liquid lipstick different from other lip products?

Liquid Lipstick Tubes

Liquid lipsticks are more than just a rebranding of old formulas. Let’s find out just why they have taken the makeup world by storm:


We are floored by the staying power of these suckers. Depending on the formula and the intent of the brand, some liquid lipsticks are kiss and smudge proof (Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipsticks), while some will still transfer and wipe off while you eat (Nyx Liquid Suedes).

True to Color

What you see is what you get! Remember when you finally got the guts to buy your first vampy lipstick shade and it turned out to be a bright berry color on your lips instead of that gorgeous deep plum in the tube? Because of the highly pigmented nature of liquid lipsticks, you’ve got one less thing to worry about!


Liquid Lipstick Red Lips

You can expect most liquid lipsticks to come in a matte formula. Matte lipsticks are hard to achieve with creamy lip crayons and tubes, and it’s even harder to find a flat matte color that is also long-lasting. But if mattes aren’t your thing, don’t worry! Brands like Ofra, ColourPop, and Kylie Cosmetics have come out with liquid lipsticks with gorgeous satin and metallic finishes to compliment all skin types.

Opacity and Vibrancy

Because of the extra shots of pigment in the formulation, liquid lipsticks have been eagerly adopted to be the formula of choice for alternative colors. We’re talking stone-cold greys and the tropical orange lipsticks for those adventurous makeup mavens! Traditional lipstick has a creamier formula that doesn’t always suit unusual colors—your natural lip color often shows through no matter how many times you go over it! It may be easy to fake opacity for nude shades or bright corals in traditional lipsticks, but when it comes to funky colors (blue-tinted black or sea-foam green, anyone?), liquid lipsticks are your best bet.

Some drawbacks…

Liquid Lipstick Purple

They can feel drying and tight

Early promoters of these lipsticks know that they can make your lips feel like the Sahara Desert. Especially since liquid lipsticks are quite intense in color, if you don’t exfoliate your lips properly, darker shades may end up latching onto the dry patches on your lips.

But now cosmetic companies are upping the ante to set apart their product from the competition. Stila seems to have perfected their Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks for a budge-proof, long-lasting, and moisturizing formula that’ll turn you into a lifelong fan.


Like all other lip products, you can’t expect every shade in the product line to behave the same. Confused? Basically it means that because each shade of lipstick has a different combination of chemicals in its formulation, they end up applying and wearing differently. Usually it’s the darker, bolder shades that will emphasize dryness or flaws in your lips. From a streaky/patchy application to bleeding or settling into lip lines after 20 minutes, liquid lipsticks can be fickle creatures!

What else can you do with liquid lipstick?

Like regular lipsticks, liquid lipsticks are multifunctional. As Jeffree Star has demonstrated with his vegan lipsticks, you can use them as eyeliner with some fantastic results. Just make sure that the company has provided information on its safety for use around the eyes—makeup is about taking risks, but not when it comes to affecting your safety and health!

Can’t find that perfect shade of greige? Liquid lipsticks also make it easy to mix together colors to create stunning new colors or Instagram-worthy ombre lip looks.

With so many different ways to work liquid lipsticks into your everyday look, it’s no wonder that makeup artists everywhere are listing them as personal and professional staples.

Thinking of donning your new liquid lipstick tomorrow but have chapped lips? Check out QC tutor Nathan Johnson’s post on tackling dry, chapped lips!

Author Celina Feng

More posts by Celina Feng

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