Lipstick 101: a lesson for lipstick newbies

Hello my loves! The other day, my friend Maggie texted me asking if I could write a post on here talking about the differences between lipstick finishes, lip liners, lip crayons, liquid and tube lipstick, etc. Since I do consider myself to be fairly well-versed in the world of lipstick, how could I say no?

Let’s start with talking about the two most popular forms of lipstick: liquid vs. tube lipstick. Tube lipstick is what you traditionally think of as lipstick, a little tube with a cap that you turn to get the product and apply straight to your lips. Pictured here is a Sephora Rouge Cream lipstick in the color Hot Tango. I bought this in 2013 and it was one of my first ever Sephora purchases and I’ve loved it since! It’s a perfect red with a little pink in it and what I would describe as a satin finish — but we’ll get to that later.

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Next we have a liquid lipstick. This form of lipstick has been all the rage in the makeup world lately, and pictured here is one of the most popular liquid lipsticks: Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in the color Underage Red. With a doe foot applicator, liquid lipstick looks like what we might remember as lipgloss from our younger years, but in reality is quite different. This one in particular is a bright cool-toned red that dries to matte and is about as long-wearing as they come.

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What else is there besides liquid and classic lipstick? Oh, so much more. Here we have a lip crayon from J.Cat Beauty in the color Red Rose. Lip crayons can be worn on their own or under lipstick, much like their slimmer cousin the lip liner. This particular color is a great red with cool undertones that would go great with either lipstick we’ve talked about so far.

Up next we’ve got the slimmer cousin of the lip crayon, the lip liner. This one is a City Color City Chic lip liner in the color Ruby. Lip liners are typically worn under lipstick to define the lip shape as well as extend the longevity of the lipstick you wear. They’re great partners to go with your favorite lipstick, because they can really enhance and even slightly alter the lipstick, and you can mix and match lipstick and lip liners and come up with some great combinations!

So that’s what we’ve got for different type of lip products. I didn’t include lip gloss or lip stains because those are fairly self-explanatory (and also I don’t own many). Let’s move on to finishes, then!

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First, let’s start with one of the most popular (and my favorite): matte finishes. For a lipstick to be matte means that once applied and dry, there’s no shine or glossiness to the lipstick. It’s a great classic look and super pigmented, but it doesn’t come without its downside. Mainly, the dryness. For your lips to be as pigmented and matte as they are with matte lipstick on, they tend to be extremely drying. Therefore, it’s really important to moisturize and prime your lips before applying matte lipstick.

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Top to bottom: Lumière (matte), Fetch (satin), Go Fish (hyper glossy).

These are three examples of matte lipstick: first, we have Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Underage Red (pictured above), which may seem familiar since we just discussed it above in the types of lipsticks section of this post. Next, we have MAC Ruby Woo (pictured below), which is possibly the most popular red lipstick (don’t quote me on this) but also the most drying as it has a Retro Matte finish (thanks MAC). Last, we have the lovely Lumière lippie stix from ColourPop.

Here we have a satin finish from ColourPop in the color Fetch. Satin finishes are great, because they’re just as pigmented as matte, but not nearly as drying, and definitely my second favorite after matte. They’re very moisturizing, very pigmented, very creamy, and very easy to wear. As you can see, they have a slight bit more shine to them than matte finishes.

Lastly, we have glossy/hyper glossy. This one is ColourPop in Go Fish and is much, much shinier than the one before. Glossy finishes are shinier, sometimes not as pigmented as matte or satin, and much stickier depending on the formula. When you wear glossy finishes, it’s almost as if you’re wearing lipgloss on top to give your lips that shine. They’re my least favorite (and I actually had to go get this particular one out of my sister’s bathroom because I got rid of all my glossy finishes).

Top to bottom: Ruby Woo (retro matte), Velvet Teddy (matte), Impassioned (amplified).

Top to bottom: Ruby Woo (retro matte), Velvet Teddy (matte), Impassioned (amplified).

As an addendum, I thought I would talk really quickly about MAC finishes. We already talked about different matte finishes and here we have two of them in MAC form: Ruby Woo and Velvet Teddy. As a retro matte, Ruby Woo is much more drying and more obviously matte than Velvet Teddy, but they’re both still fairly matte. Then we have Impassioned, which is an amplified finish. What that means it that it’s very pigmented but also moisturizing with a little bit of shine to it. These are the only kind of MAC finishes I have, but let’s run through the rest really quick.

Satin finishes are, much like we mentioned above, quite pigmented but not drying like matte finishes with a little bit of shine to them. Amplified creme are long-lasting, creamy, pigmented and glossier. Cremesheen are creamier, not quite as long-lasting, but very comfortable on the lips. Cremesheen pearl are very similar to cremesheen, but with a frostier finish. Lustre are sheer coverage, not long-lasting, and glossy. Frost are very shimmery, fairly pigmented but not the most long-lasting. And lastly, glaze finishes are sheer, with quite a bit of gloss, and probably the least long-lasting of all MAC finishes.

Wow, this got really long! I hope this was a good guide to everyone who is overwhelmed by all things lipstick. Let me know if you think I missed anything or if you have any questions in the comments!

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11 thoughts on “Lipstick 101: a lesson for lipstick newbies

  1. I want to like matte lipsticks but they’re just so uncomfortable on! I need some “slip” on my lips – I can’t stand having dry feeling lips. That’s why I stick with satin type of lipsticks and I like MAC Amplified cremes too. Can you recommend a brand / finish that’s more matte but not drying?
    Great post! :)

    Like

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