Lipstick Finishes 101Pro makeup artist or not, lipsticks probably make up one of the major cornerstones of your makeup collection. From pastel pinks to bold orange hues, there are a billion different colors to choose from—but the difficult decisions don’t just stop there. Picture the deepest, richest brick-red color. Now would you expect the lipstick itself to be sheer or shimmery? Probably not. You can reasonably expect that lipstick to have a matte or satin finish based on the look you are trying to achieve. Not sure what we’re on about? Here’s our guide to every lipstick finish under the sun!
SheerSheer coverage lipsticks give your lips a natural wash of color. Perfect for the office or a simple day-look that’s quick and easy but still makes you look put-together. The texture is super slippery and so you shouldn’t expect hours of wear with just one coat. One of the biggest hassles with bold color is that you really have to watch your application as they often come in satin or matte finishes. Sheer finishes are super forgiving and are as easy to put on as a lip balm! Because they rub off easily without you noticing, make sure you chuck the tube into your bag on your way out the door! Product recommendation: Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté in Peach Passion.
CreamThese lipsticks are comfortable to wear and are often formulated to be moisturizing—it’s no wonder that this the most widely available lipstick type! Cream lipsticks glide onto lips like a dream and are fairly long-wearing. They are a great alternative to matte lipsticks if you want bold color without all the hassle and drying properties. BUT… some cream shades, especially those that delve into deep plum territory, may be too emollient. What does this mean? Well, the colors will slip around on the lips and you won’t achieve opaque coverage. Don’t be fooled into thinking that all cream lipsticks are like this, though! A couple sub-par contenders in the arena doesn’t mean that this lipstick finish isn’t a winner! Pro tip: Cream lipsticks have a tendency to bleed or feather, so try to use a lip liner in a matching shade. If you don’t have a liner in a complimentary shade, try pencil that is clear (no color) that’ll still lock in your color without changing the shade of the lipstick. Urban Decay’s lip liner in Ozone is our recommended choice as it has jojoba oil to relieve your lips from dryness! Product recommendation: Wet ‘n’ Wild MegaLast Lip Color in Spiked With Rum
One of the hardest finishes to pull off, but certainly one that’s on trend is the frosted lipstick. This type of lipstick is loaded with shimmer and can give your look a retro vibe. The best way to wear frosted lipsticks is to layer them on top of cream, satin, or matte lipsticks to give old favorites a face-lift! Frost finishes can give your lips an icy look because of the pearly shimmer—so make sure that you aren’t too heavy handed if you’re just trying to get a subtle sheen. These lipsticks can feel heavy and drying on the lips because of the amount of shimmer in the formula, so make sure to condition your lips beforehand! They are probably one of the higher-maintenance lipstick types on this list since they have a tendency to settle into lip lines and the shimmer will stay even after the color fades… proceed with caution!