PSA: We Found the Drugstore Dupes That Rival the Most Luxurious Lip Stains

Whether it's bold or neutral, there's no denying a nice lip color can complete a makeup look. In fact, it can be the centerpiece of your whole look if you don't want to get dramatic with your eye makeup. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: When I'm not feeling a full face of products, my go-to makeup look is a bold lip with a few dabs of concealer and a swipe of mascara. It's my easy out for days when I feel lazy or have zero time to get ready. And I think it's just as flattering as a full face of makeup.

From lipsticks to tinted balms to glosses, I've amassed quite a collection of lip products because of this makeup habit. One product I've really gotten into lately is lip stains. I love that they melt into my skin and leave a sheer color that looks 100% effortless.


(Image credit: @sarahayang)

Criteria: High-Quality Products With Affordable Prices

The good news is that my favorite lip stain, Revlon's Kiss Cushion Lip Tint in Wine Lit, is a drugstore find that costs just $5. I love a good bargain and a wine-hued lip color.

I swear I get compliments every time I wear it. More often than not, people would tell me, "I love your lipstick. Where is it from?" Or they'd say, "That lip color is super flattering. I want it!" I'd get a little thrill each time I told inquiring minds it was a $5 find. Now, I like to wear it during Zoom meetings at work or while FaceTiming 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 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 feel like you're wearing anything.

Even though I'm partial to the Revlon one, I've realized there are quite a few lip stain options in the drugstore aisle. So if you want to try one out without spending a lot of cash, here are some affordable ones.

Editor-Approved Drugstore Lip Stains


(Image credit: @aniyahmorinia)

Best overall:


(Image credit: @ada_oguntodu)


(Image credit: @valerialipovetsky)


(Image credit: @analapizarro)


(Image credit: @em_tong)

Next up, 14 Beautiful Lip Stains That Won't Rub Off on Your Face Mask

Managing Editor

Hi, everyone. I’m Sarah! I was born and raised in Los Angeles, spent 12 years going to school and working in New York City (got my BA in journalism from NYU), and made the move back to L.A. to work at THE/THIRTY. I’ve had 10 years of experience covering lifestyle and wellness, with editor roles at Apartment Therapy, Real Simple, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Veranda, and The Bump (sister site of The Knot). Most of my days are spent writing and editing stories about eating healthy, the latest wellness and self-care trends, the newest (and coolest) workouts, and the best fitness gear that will actually make you want to exercise. I love all the topics we cover at THE/THIRTY, but I especially love writing about mental health—I think that’s one of the most important topics right now and something I am passionate about (and also continuously working on myself!). As for self-care, I stick to these five things: a good workout, “me” time on the regular, a good book/podcast/playlist to unwind after a long day, naps, and decorating my apartment. When I’m not working, I love trying new restaurants with friends, listening to history and true crime podcasts, and enjoying an occasional Netflix binge.