The 5 Best Lip Stains

There’s nothing more frustrating than taking the time to perfectly apply the right shade of lipstick only to find that it has completely smudged away less than an hour later. Fortunately, lip stains can last longer and give you a more natural appearance, so your lips will remain beautifully “stained” for hours.

What Is a Lip Stain?

Lip stain is a cosmetic item that will stain your lips, leaving a lasting effect throughout the day. It is usually water or gel-based, which means there is no stickiness to worry about. Even after the lip product wipes off, your lips should still have a stained effect for hours. Lip stain is lightweight enough to be worn alone or layered under lip gloss or lipstick.

Top 5 Lip Stains

Revlon Just Bitten Kissing Balm Stain

If you don’t like the feeling of heavy, sticky lip products, then the Revlon Just Bitten Kissing Balm Stain is perfect for you. The stain feels comfortable and hydrating, like a balm, but leaves the color payoff of a lipstick. It offers long-lasting color, shine, and a dose of moisture. Your lips will be left conditioned, soft, smooth, and perfectly pigmented after using this lightweight balm. The moisturizing formula glides on the lips, is never sticky, and won’t ever dry your lips out. It leaves a glossy appearance and rich color payoff. The self-sharpening chubby crayon can be easily stored and transported in your purse or travel bag. You just draw the stain on (like a crayon) and it will last for hours with no smearing. It comes in endless color choices to match every outfit.

In head-to-head comparisons, this stain proved to last longer than any others, even through eating and drinking. It is the stain that all others are compared to. It is recommended by Total Beauty, PopSugar, Glamour, publications like Into the Gloss, and celebrity makeup artists alike. If this stain isn’t right for you, Revlon offers a number of award-winning lip colors and lip stains, including the Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain and Balm, which is an Allure favorite.

Currently $9.46 on Amazon

Benefit Benetint Lip and Cheek Stain

The Benefit Benetint Lip and Cheek Stain can be used on the lips and cheeks to add a bit of healthy, natural-looking color. A little goes a long way and you can always layer it for more color payoff. It is kiss-proof, smudge-proof, and should last all day. This cult classic can be used in a number of ways, making it the perfect travel essential. It will save you time in the morning and you can count on getting your money’s worth.

The long-lasting stain is easy to apply with the convenient brush applicator and available in a range of colors. It has outstanding online reviews, is frequently recommended by celebrity makeup artists, and was selected as one of the best lip stains by Total Beauty and publications like Into the Gloss.

Currently $14.88 on Amazon

New York Color Smooch Proof Lip Stain

The New York Color Smooch Proof Lip Stain will leave a natural flush of color that will last for up to 16 hours, even through eating and drinking. The lightweight water-based formula is creamy and never sticky. The long-lasting balm can be worn alone, layered for a more dramatic effect, or worn under your favorite lip gloss. The color is designed to last, so it won’t rub off or smear. It is easy to apply with a precise felt-tip applicator, which allows you to essentially draw in the lip lines.

It has a pleasant taste and scent, but some reviewers find this drying, so you may need to layer it over chapstick or under a moisturizing lip gloss. It is available in a wide variety of colors to suit your personal makeup style and skin tone. It was selected as one of the best lip stains by Good Housekeeping and has outstanding online reviews.

Currently $4.47 on Amazon

CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain

CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain absorbs instantly and once it’s set, it won’t budge or smudge. The lightweight stain leaves behind a flush of color that will last for up to 16 hours. Many reviewers found that this also works great as a last minute cheek stain. It is easy to apply and will leave a glossy shine behind. It is available in 10 colors to best match your skin tone.

This was selected as one of the best lip stains by Good Housekeeping. While some reviewers swear by this, there are others that didn’t like the smell or taste of this stain, and found that it dried out their lips. If you find this drying, you may need to layer it over chapstick or under a moisturizing lip gloss.

Currently $6.00 on Amazon

Lime Crime Velvetines

Lime Crime Velvetines is a waterproof liquid-to-matte stain that's touch and smudge-proof, and expected to last all day. The highly pigmented formula glides on the lips and dries to a soft matte finish. The cruelty free, vegan stain should last through eating and drinking, making it the perfect addition to your party makeup essentials. The cult classic stain is available in a range of colors to best suit your skin tone and personal style.

As Amazon’s #1 best seller in lip stains, the Lime Crime Velvetines has outstanding online reviews, including more than 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. It is also frequently recommended by professional makeup artists and beauty vloggers.

Currently $20.00 on Amazon

And those are our recommendations for the best lip stains. As always, be sure to check Wise Bread's Buying Calendar to learn when and how to buy just about anything!

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Guest's picture
Kelly deJarnette

Thank you for the info! When "stains" were introduced a couple of decades ago....they did the trick but really dried out one's lips; a top layer (regularly applied) moisturizer was necessary. I'm looking forward to trying a few of the products you mention in the article~K