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Lip Color: Gloss, Stain, Lipstick, Balm, and More

Long-wear Lipstick

A newer type of lipstick is thick, opaque, long-lasting lipstick for women who want to apply color in the morning and have it last all day.

Like long-lasting lip stains, long-wear lipsticks are sold in liquid form. You paint them onto your lips, where they stay in place for 8 to 12 hours after drying. You take them off with makeup remover. But that's where the similarities end.

"A tint or a stain is more like a sheer color and doesn't have any coverage," Maderich says. "Super-wear lipstick has a lot of coverage."

Long-wear lipsticks can feel dry, so they're usually sold with a moisturizing clear lip gloss, to be worn as a top coat.

"It feels better and gives lips a little shine," Maderich says.

  • Good for... people who want all-day color.
  • Avoid if... your lips are dry or tend to chap.

Lip Liner

Many people who wear lip liner apply pencil to the outline of their lips to help their lipstick stay in place. The matte liner acts as a barrier, preventing creamier lipstick from migrating onto the skin surrounding the mouth.

Some people color in their lips entirely with liner before applying lipstick, because lipstick comes off after eating and drinking but lip liner doesn't – they don't want to be seen with bare lips surrounded by bold lip liner.

"Coloring in the lips gives you a longer-lasting look," San Diego says. "Top it with a little clear lip gloss to give it a long-lasting lipstick look, because it tends to be on the drier side."

For a seamless look, match your lip liner color to your lipstick.

  • Good for... outlining the lips before applying lipstick to define the lips and create a barrier to contain lipstick.
  • Avoid if... you aren't planning to wear a significant amount of lip color, such as sheer lip balm.
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