There's no denying that a nice lip color, whether it's bold or natural, can really complete a makeup look. In fact, it can be the centerpiece of your whole look if you're not wanting to go dramatic with the eye makeup. I've said this before, and I'll say it again: My go-to makeup look when I'm not feeling the whole "full face of product" thing is a bold lip, a few dabs of concealer, and a swipe of mascara. It's my easy out for laziness or zero getting-ready time. And I think it's just as flattering as a full face of makeup.
Because of this makeup habit, I've amassed quite a collection of lip products, from lipsticks to tinted balms to glosses. One product I've really gotten into lately is lip stains. I love that they seem to just melt into my skin and leave a sheer color that looks 100% effortless.
The good news for me (and maybe for you if this inspires you to try them) is that my favorite lip stain is a drugstore find that's just $5: Revlon's Kiss Cushion Lip Tint in Wine Lit. I love a good bargain and a wine-hued lip color.
Ever since I discovered this lip stain, I swear I get compliments every time I wear it. Pre-quarantine times, I would wear it both to the office and out and about, and more often than not I'd get the, "I love your lipstick. Where is it from?" or "That lip color is super flattering. I want it!" I'd get a little thrill each time I gushed to inquiring minds that it's a $5 find, followed up with "Isn't that a deal?!" Now, I like to wear it during Zoom work meetings or FaceTimes with friends to make up for the fact that I'm most likely wearing leggings or pajama bottoms.
As for the product itself, the applicator is a sponge-like soft tip that lets you build on color exactly how you want it. You can just do a few quick dabs for a sheer hint of color or more for a saturated hue. It sinks in and leaves a blotted finish without drying out my lips. It's so lightweight that it doesn't really feel like you're wearing anything.
Even though I'm partial to the Revlon one, I've realized that there are quite a few lip stain options in the drugstore aisle. So if you want to try one out without spending a ton of cash, here are some affordable ones.
With this lip stain, you'll get saturated color but won't feel weighed down by product. And with so many colors to choose from, dark reds to browns to pinks, you'll find one that suits you perfectly.
This lip stain applies with a gel-like texture but dries like a regular stain. The water-based formula will provide your lips with all-day hydration.
Revlon is really killing it with the stain options here. This one has all the moisturizing properties of a balm and gives just a hint of color that's buildable. It's infused with shea, mango, and coconut butters.
Although this is technically a liquid lipstick, I think this one has a similar splash of saturated color that doesn't budge like a lip stain. It goes on super smoothly and lasts for 16 hours.
Rimmel's lip stain is a two-step product: First, apply the lip color and keep your lips apart for 60 seconds. Next, add the topcoat, which will set the color and moisturize your lips. You'll get up to 16 hours of wear with this one.
You don't have to worry about dried-out lips here. This gel tint is formulated with plenty of nourishing ingredients to hydrate your lips, like purified water, rose water, and vitamin E.
This Amazon buy provides saturated color that goes on super smoothly. It leaves a lightweight, silky finish that will last you the whole day.
Covergirl's water-based lip stain leaves a natural-looking flush of color. It has a pen-like applicator that helps you define your lips without making a big mess.
This one is more of a crayon and a balm, but the matte finish gives you a similar look to what you get with a stain. The creamy product is enriched with moisturizing ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil, and kendi oil.
Found on Amazon, Golden Rose's lip stain has a chisel-tip applicator to make it easy for you to apply color evenly. The water-based formula is completely buildable, so you can do one swipe for just a hint of color or a couple more for a saturated look.
Another Amazon buy, this lip stain has a matte finish, but it's formulated with panthenol (a provitamin) to prevent any dryness.
Yes, this is technically a lip oil, but if you're looking for that hint of effortless color that a stain provides, this one gets the job done. The long-lasting color is also packed with ingredients that will keep your lips extra soft: vitamin E and jojoba, camellia, and sesame oils.
You don't have to worry about smudging, budging, or transferring after this lip stain is set. It's designed for 12-hour lightweight wear—how low-maintenance is that?
Water based, this tint is absorbed quickly and lasts a long time. It's enriched with pomegranate and grapefruit extracts to keep your lips soft and happy.