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A Guide to Cosmetic Products for Your Lips

A Guide to Cosmetic Products for Your Lips

There’s something innately satisfying about putting a lip product on. For many people, a makeup look is incomplete without something to dress up the lips. Beginners, however, might feel intimidated by the sheer variety of choices available to them, all of which have different formulations and finishes. This is a guide for those who want to try lip products out but don’t know where to begin. Below, we list down the most common types so that you can choose something that’s right for you:

The Gateway: Lip Balm

Girls taking their first steps into the makeup world usually start with lip balm. A product that’s meant to moisturize and protect the lips, lip balms often come in tub or tube form, made with a wax-like substance or a goopy, sticky liquid. While lip balms are traditionally clear, many brands today offer tinted balms that provide a subtle hint of color, like Innisfree’s Eco Flower Tint Balm. It’s a product that alleviates dryness and chapping, with a finish that still looks natural.

For a Hint of Shine: Lip Gloss

Before the world went mad about matte, glossy lips were seen as an attractive feature. Lip gloss provides the sheen of a glossy effect and can be used atop other products as a complement. New formulations even provide a decent amount of pigment that will stain your lips long after the shine wears off. There’s also plumping lip gloss, which gives your lips a fuller appearance. However, lip gloss can be sticky, and product will transfer, prompting frequent reapplications. This is not the product you want to have on if you’re looking to get a little romantic with a partner, but it does provide intense hydration and protection.

Convenient and Long-Lasting: Lip Stain

Lip stains or tints have recently come into vogue again: these products are usually in a liquid of gel form and stain your lips, providing long-lasting color that doesn’t need to be reapplied very often. However, these products can emphasize the appearance of chapping on lips and some formulations can be extremely drying, further exacerbating the look of dryness. Still, these tints are best applied on bare lips for the pigment to really sink in and prevent transfer.

The Classic: Lipstick

There are as many different types of lipstick as there are colors of the rainbow. We’ll discuss the ones most commonly found in drug stores and makeup counters everywhere:

Satin lipsticks provide a sheer, moisturizing finish with just a hint of shine, thanks to the oils they are formulated with. However, these same oils can dilute the pigment, so how it looks on your lips may differ from the packaging or the swatch. They look great but don’t offer much by way of coverage and will need to be reapplied frequently throughout the day.

When a label says “velvet”, chances are that lipstick has a matte finish. This type of lipstick provides intense coverage and can stay put for hours, provided that you don’t eat anything while you have it on. It goes on velvety, and can give the appearance of having smooth, beautiful lips. You can also use matte lipstick to make your pout look fuller by combining it with a lipliner and using the overline technique.

Liquid lipsticks only differ from conventional lipsticks in that they don’t come in a solid wax format. Still, you can find as much (or as little) pigmentation from them as you would in a regular lipstick, and some are formulated to stay on for hours without transferring, even if you have a drink or meal. They also come in all sorts of finishes, from creamy to matte to sheer and gloss-like.

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