I Tested Dozens of Liquid Lipsticks—These 8 Deliver Rich, Long-Lasting Pigment | kzfbfkttn.com

I Tested Dozens of Liquid Lipsticks—These 8 Deliver Rich, Long-Lasting Pigment

TL;DR

My favorite liquid lipstick is the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Matte Lip Blur Liquid Lipstick thanks to its creamy consistency that blurs and smooths the look of lip lines. If you’re looking for an affordable option, the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Resistance Liquid Lipstick impressed me with its bold color payoff and comfortable dry down.

I’ve never been a big lipstick person—most formulas either stick to the dry, chapped patches on my lips or wear off after a few sips of my morning latte. After years of being really picky about lipstick, I realized that liquid formulas are the only kind I like. Generally, more long-lasting and durable, liquid lipsticks (similar to lip stains) won’t transfer as easily or require constant reapplication.

But not all liquid lipsticks are created equal (there’s a pretty wide spectrum of quality). I tested dozens of formulas myself to help you find the top performers, considering attributes like comfort (which is huge if you don’t love that dried-down feeling many formulas can have), pigment, transfer resistance, and lasting power. I also tapped a few makeup artists to get their expert opinions. Find the best liquid lipsticks ahead. 

Our Top Picks

BEST OVERALL:

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Lip Blur at Sephora ($35)

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BEST BUDGET:

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Resistance Liquid Lipstick at Amazon ($14)

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BEST LUXURY:

Dior Liquid Lipstick at Sephora ($47)

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BEST PIGMENT:

NARS Lip Pigment at Sephora ($30)

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BEST MATTE FINISH:

Maybelline SuperStay Liquid Lipstick (See Price)

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BEST VELVET FINISH:

Fenty Beauty Icon Liquid Lipstick at Sephora (See Price)

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BEST CREAMY FINISH:

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Velvet Liquid Lipstick at Sephora ($24)

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BEST HYBRID:

Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick at Sephora ($3)

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Best Overall

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Lip Blur

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Matte Lip Blur Liquid Lipstick in Pillow Talk Medium Blur

PHOTO: 

Charlotte Tilbury

$35 AT SEPHORA SEPHORA$30 AT BLOOMINGDALES BLOOMINGDALESVIEW ON CHARLOTTETILBURY.COM

Of all the liquid lipsticks I tried, I keep reaching for this one, thanks to its unique blurring effect and the easy-to-maneuver applicator. The formula lives up to its matte, blurring, and long-lasting claims, and even surprised me with a rich color payoff. It felt creamy and soft when I swiped the product across my lips and it didn’t take long for me to fall for the matte yet glowy finish. I also loved the tube size; it’s a bit longer than some of the other options I tested, so I felt I could get more use out of it. Perhaps best of all, the applicator—which features a flexible yet firm diamond-shaped tip—was as precise as it gets and I never swiped outside the lines of my lips.

A person's lips before and after applying Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Matte Lip Blur Liquid Lipstick
BYRDIE / CAITLYN MARTYN

Best Budget

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Resistance Liquid Lipstick

L'Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Resistance Liquid Lipstick

PHOTO: 

Ulta

$9 AT AMAZON AMAZON$14 AT ULTA ULTA$11 AT TARGET TARGET

Despite the cheap-looking packaging (which was probably my least favorite thing about the product), this formula is unreal. It starts lightweight and almost watery, but the second it comes into contact with the lips, it subtly dries and leaves behind the most comfortable matte finish I’ve ever experienced. The pigment is also phenomenal (available in 12 universally flattering shades); I only had to apply a swipe or two to cover both my top and bottom lips in a rich, opaque color. It’s also very long-wearing and transfer-proof; I dabbed my lips with a tissue a minute after applying and there wasn’t a speck of transfer. When it was time to remove it, I had to enlist a cleansing oil to melt it off my lips.

A person's lips before and after applying L'Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Resistance Liquid Lipstick
BYRDIE / CAITLYN MARTYN

Best Luxury

Dior Liquid Lipstick

Dior Rouge Dior Forever Liquid Transfer-Proof Lipstick

PHOTO: 

Sephora

$47 AT SEPHORA SEPHORA$47 AT NORDSTROM NORDSTROMVIEW ON DIOR.COM

I had some pretty high expectations for this designer liquid lipstick, and, my goodness, it delivered. Right out of the tube, the short, firm-tipped applicator effortlessly deposited the most opulent shade of red onto my lips. I don’t know if I have the tip’s tear-drop shape or the formula’s almost-oily consistency to thank, but the lipstick glided onto my lips and felt almost too easy to control. And despite being incredibly pigmented, it’s deceivingly lightweight and completely transfer-free. Proof: I took a sip of matcha after about a minute of letting it sit and there were no lipstick stains on my white mug, which is nuts because the formula felt like it hadn’t fully dried yet.

A person's lips before and after applying Dior Rouge Dior Forever Liquid Transfer-Proof Lipstick
BYRDIE / CAITLYN MARTYN

Best Pigment

NARS Lip Pigment

NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in Get It On

PHOTO: 

Sephora

$30 AT SEPHORA SEPHORA$30 AT ULTA ULTA$30 AT NORDSTROM NORDSTROM

As the name suggests, Nars’ Powermatte Lip Pigment is packing in the pigment department. It only took a swipe or two to drench my lips in bold color (I personally tried shade Save the Queen) and it settled in place on contact with my skin. I was expecting it to turn matte and crusty, given how fast it dried, however, it stayed pleasantly hydrating during the entire wear. It has a slightly watery consistency, so you’ll want to apply it slowly to avoid a dribbling mess, but once it’s on, it doesn’t move. Boasting 20 shades ranging from a soft rose to a deep burgundy, there’s a shade in the lineup for everyone.

A person's lips before and after applying NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment
BYRDIE / CAITLYN MARTYN

Best Matte Finish

Maybelline SuperStay Liquid Lipstick

Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

PHOTO: 

Ulta

VIEW ON ULTAVIEW ON ULTA$10 AT TARGET TARGET

I have a weird relationship with matte lipstick. My lips are often very chapped (anxious lip biter here!) so I’m always hesitant to wear a matte formula out of fear that it’ll dry down and settle into the lines. I was worried about trying this lipstick (it has a reputation for being very matte), but, spoiler alert: I loved it. It was surprisingly soft and hydrating upon application and it (somehow) didn’t dry out my lips at all. It felt lovely all day and completely changed my mind about matte finishes. Put simply: If you’re looking for an opaque color payoff and a silky matte finish with an easy-to-control wand, this is your product.

A person's lips before and after applying Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick
BYRDIE / CAITLYN MARTYN

Best Velvet Finish

Fenty Beauty Icon Liquid Lipstick

Fenty Beauty Icon Velvet Liquid Lipstick

PHOTO: 

Fenty Beauty

VIEW ON SEPHORAVIEW ON ULTA$22 AT WALMART WALMART

Right off the bat, this formula from Fenty Beauty feels luxuriously creamy—I’d compare it to really smooth paint. It glides across the lips beautifully, and I found that one coat was more than enough. After it has a chance to settle, it imparts a subtle blurring effect that made my lips look plumper and healthier—a total treat compared to the dry, chapped lips I started with. The only gripe I had with this formula is that it transferred more than some others, but given how smooth and non-drying it is, I can’t say I’m shocked.

A person's lips before and after applying Fenty Beauty Icon Velvet Liquid Lipstick
BYRDIE / CAITLYN MARTYN

Best Creamy Finish

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Velvet Liquid Lipstick

Sephora Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Velvet Liquid Lipstick

PHOTO: 

Sephora

$24 AT SEPHORA SEPHORA$24 AT ULTA ULTA$24 AT NORDSTROM NORDSTROM

If you’re looking for a supremely creamy finish, this is the one you should consider. It’s not fully matte but it’s also not glossy—it sits nicely in between the two. The consistency is subtly powdery right out of the tube (which can lead to some clumping, FYI) but it smooths over the lips evenly. Since it’s so rich in color, I only had to go over my lips once to achieve an opaque finish, which I appreciated since too much of the formula would probably get pretty messy. Amazingly, despite never quite drying down, it stayed put on my lips throughout the day. I put it on one morning and it was still in place and full of color by the time I finished brunch with my friends hours later.

A person's lips before and after applying Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Velvet Liquid Lipstick
BYRDIE / CAITLYN MARTYN

Best Hybrid

Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick

Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick

PHOTO: 

Sephora

$3 AT SEPHORA SEPHORA

This lip stain-slash-liquid lipstick formula is as special as they come; it’s very (and I mean very) matte, but it never transfers, cakes, or creases, which is huge considering how dense the formula felt on my lips. It slowly dried down to a matte finish but never sunk into the crevices of my lips—it was like magic. And as for the pigment, it’s bold! This product delivered intense pigment with one coat and stayed on for what felt like forever. It only came off when I scrubbed my lips with a cotton round soaked in micellar water, and even then (since it’s also a lip stain), my lips were tinted for a few hours afterward.

A person's lips before and after applying Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick
BYRDIE / CAITLYN MARTYN

What to Look for in a Liquid Lipstick

  • Comfort: According to pro makeup artist Ashley Rebecca, the most important thing to look for is the wearability of each lipstick. “Liquid formulas tend to be matte, which can be quite drying in some cases,” she explains. “The formula needs to go on buttery soft and maintain some level of moisture to ensure you don’t want to rub it right off your lips.” 
  • Lasting power: The second factor to consider is whether the formula stays on your lips and not on your straw, coffee cup, or glass. Look for a lipstick that will last for as long as you need it to—i.e., from your morning commute through happy hour drinks or from a wedding ceremony through the after party. 
  • Easy removal: It might seem counterintuitive, but the removal process shouldn’t be arduous. “Liquid lipsticks should be easily removable with a makeup remover (wipescleansing balms, or micellar water on cotton pads work here) and not stain your lips for days following,” adds Rebecca. 

Why Trust Byrdie

Caitlyn Martyn is an experienced beauty writer, editor, and product tester. She’s on staff at Byrdie, where she covers all things skincare, makeup, and more. For this story, she tested dozens of liquid lipsticks at her home, noting the pros and cons of each formula along the way. When evaluating each lipstick, she looked for lasting power and removability—after all, you want a formula to stay put all day and then come right off when you want it to. Caitlyn received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Lehigh University and now has years of beauty writing and editing experience under her belt, so she’s well-versed in these products’ formulations. 

She chatted with several experts, including: 

  • Ashley Rebecca is a professional makeup artist and beauty writer based in New York City. Her experience as a makeup artist includes weddings, NYFW, print, editorial, television, and celebrity. You can read her work on Makeup.com, E! Style Collective, and more. 

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