12 best liquid lipsticks
We’ve found the top pick of liquid lippies that offer longwear, colour intensity and comfort
It seems impossible to believe that liquid lipsticks weren’t all the rage a few years ago, but now it’s clear they’re here to stay. With brands big and small repackaging and liquifying their classic shades, it can be difficult to differentiate the drying from the matte.
The key to the perfect liquid lipstick lies in its pigmentation, staying power and moisturisation, and that’s before finding the best shade for you. From high street to high end, we’ve tested the best products the beauty industry has to offer.
Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick: £18, Cult Beauty
Huda may be best known for its palettes, but in our eyes its most impressive offering is its liquid lipsticks. Feeling more like an oil than a lipstick, it applies lightly and is buildable in both colour and matteness.
Our favourite thing about this product was how non-drying it is on your lips – while it sets matte, it’s not too thick to lock out moisture, leaving lips with a subtle sheen. The pink-undertoned nude Trendsetter was our shade of choice.
It might be awkward to apply at first as due to its light texture, it can often transfer onto your teeth until completely dry – but the hours of long-lasting colour are more than worth it.
L’Oreal Chocolats Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick: £8.99, Superdrug
We knew that this lipstick was a winner after our tester swatched it on her hand and it didn’t come off for two days. Available in a range of chocolate shades, it has a strong cocoa scent to match, making this an addictive product to apply and reapply all day long.
Applied over the top of a light balm, our tester found that her lips didn’t crack or smudge throughout several meals. It utilises a unique applicator shape, tapered to mould around the edge of your lips and prevent the thinning effect a lot of matte products can have on your pout. We especially loved this deep, chocolatey brown shade, Truffle Mania.
Too Faced Melted Matte Lipstick: £19, Debenhams
Too Faced’s infamous Melted Matte is the most eye-catching entry on this list, coming in an unusual, angled glass tube. Thankfully the product inside is just as impressive: bold and pigmented, it’s easy to apply and requires minimal touch-ups throughout the day. Each of the collection’s 16 shades is both lightweight and long wearing, but our tester’s favourite was Lady Balls, which is her new everyday red.
The most exciting thing about these lipsticks is their use of Volulip, a lip plumping ingredient, and avocado oil, which combine to plump lips without a stinging effect as well as protecting them from dehydration. However, it’s worth noting that we did experience a little bit of transfer when wearing Melted Matte without lip liner.
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick: £17, Stila
Boasting over 30 different shades, Stila’s liquid lipstick collection is one of the most extensive on this list. The packaging may claim to provide matte coverage for six hours, but our tester found it to be much longer in practice – her lipstick stayed vibrant and smudge-free well into the evening.
One thing we noticed about this collection was that each shade becomes slightly cooler in the minutes after application, so it’s worth swatching each one to check that it’s a perfect match. Our favourite – Bacca –was a deeper raspberry shade than expected.
Maybelline Vivid Hot Lacquer Liquid Lipstick: £7.99, Boots
Most liquid lipsticks tend to be matte, requiring a gloss or balm for those who prefer their lips shiny and moisturised. Maybelline’s latest liquid lipstick offering eliminates the need for an extra product altogether while still providing the staying power of the best matte lipstick.
Although we were initially worried that this would leave our lips sticky or congeal after extended use, the Vivid Hot Lacquer more than outperforms its thrifty price tag, staying glossy all day. Those looking for a lipstick with more punch will particularly love the shade Classic.
Burberry Lip Velvet Crush: £24, Burberry
Our tester was sceptical of this lipstick at first. Unlike most of its competitors, product is dispersed through a small sponge, rubbing onto the lips rather than applying in a neat sweep. However, after getting the hang of application, we were soon impressed by this product’s staying power, opting for the shade Military Red.
The pillowed applicator means that colour is buildable from a faint stain to full coverage. This was the most moisturising lipstick we tried and would suit anyone who hates the crumbling sensation a lot of liquid lipsticks produce several hours into use.
Dior Rouge Liquid Lipstick: £29.50, John Lewis & Partners
Dior’s first liquid lipstick formula is a worthy addition to its Rouge Collection, providing three different finishes: matte, metal and satin. Each has a lifespan of at least 12 hours on your lips, with a non-sticky, creamy formula.
Our tester especially loved the range of shades in this collection, singling out the slightly metallic-sheened Poison Metal as a highlight. However, we recommend keeping a lip balm handy when wearing it, as it can be quite drying after a few hours.
NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment: £23, NARS
One of the most frequently recommended liquid lipsticks, this product more than lives up to its reputation. The range features one of the widest selections of shades on this list, offering everything from pale pinks to deep, chocolatey browns.
While it’s difficult to single out just one, our favourite was Don’t Stop, which is so strongly pigmented that it provides full coverage with just one sweep. If we had just one critique, it’d be that the narrow shape of the applicator can sometimes make it fiddly to achieve a neat line around the edge of your lips.
Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte: £15.30, Debenhams
Boasting another impressive shade range, Make Up For Ever’s offering features a creamy consistency and hydrating formula. While it may not have the strongest staying power on this list, it sits more comfortably on the lips than most, thanks to its use of glycerin and avocado oil.
We loved the autumnal colour Rust, which lasted for about four hours without reapplication. Unlike a lot of liquid lipsticks, when it eventually faded it did so gradually without leaving unsightly patches of colour on the lips.
Bobbi Brown Luxe Liquid Lip High Shine: £28, Bobbi Brown
This is a different take on the classic liquid lip, delivering vivid colour and a light-reflective glow. As it comes out thicker than you would expect from a glossy lipstick, we recommend using a lip liner first to keep the edges of your colour neat.
As well as discovering our new favourite nude – Au Natural – we found this product to have the best finish of those on this list, which outweighs the only negative that it can smudge quite easily if you’re not careful.
Sleek MakeUP Matte Me Lip Cream: £4.99, Feel Unique
For a product that can be so drying, it’s a common misconception that more affordable brands struggle to deliver when it comes to liquid lipsticks. However, Sleek, as always, manages to prove itself a worthy competitor with its Matte Me Lip Cream.
Comfortable on your lips and highly pigmented, our tester was impressed by the shade Hellacious in particular. The formula is creamy upon application before quickly drying, however it does liquify after drinking or eating, making it is easily transferable.
Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick: £17, Debenhams
With over 40 shades, Kat Von D offers the best selection of any lipstick on this list. Spoilt for choice, our favourite is Sanctuary, a neutral mauve with a matte finish. The packaging may recommend applying the formula twice for ultimate staying power, but we found that one more than suffices for a whole day of use.
This lipstick may be unparalleled in its longevity, but it can be quite drying if you’re prone to chapped lips, especially in the colder months. We recommend pairing it with a chapstick or balm to be safe.
The Verdict: Best liquid lipsticks
For a long lasting, non-drying liquid lipstick, there’s no better choice than Huda’s Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick range. However, if you’re looking for a budget alternative, L’Oreal’s chocolate scented Chocolats Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick collection is equally impressive.
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