Monday, October 5, 2009

The Lips Have It: The 411 on Lipstick Finishes

Makeup beginners, makeup fanatics, and pro makeup artists would agree - the lip product is always a staple. When I first started wearing makeup, powder and lipgloss/lipstick is enough. The lipstick was my first real makeup and I guess it carried on. As of the moment, I've collected lip products. I love how lipstick seals the deal and completes the look. Sometimes, good lipstick is all I need. It's fast and fool-proof. I actually own about 100 or probably even more.

With tons of lipstick brands, colors, and finishes, it would be hard to choose what lipstick to buy and how to buy. In order to choose the right lipstick, just try them on. That's why there are testers. How it looks on the tube might be different on you, depending on the finish. Try a lipstick that catches your fancy at the makeup counter and walk around wearing it for a minute or so. If you feel comfortable and good and look good wearing it, then it's a good buy. Also, take note your lips. If you have pale lips, it's best to choose brighter shades. Dry lips should go for moisturizing creamy formulas. Matte is a classic sexy accessory but if you find this too drying, you may need a primer or lip care before wearing matte so it doesn't drag or crack. Thin lips can look plumper using gloss.

There are various different lipstick finishes and here are some of the familiar ones and how to use them:


Balms may be tinted or clear. Basically, balms usually come in sticks or pots and serve not to color the lips but to moisturize them. Whether in clear, stick, or butter-cream formulations, the main purpose of lip balms is to moisturize lips and relieve chapping. Lip Balm also preps the lips for lipstick. Lip balm should be applied during the skincare routine and allowed to set on the lips while applying the rest of the makeup. Blot with tissue before applying lip color to prevent sliding.

Tints moisturize like a lip balm but they serve also to color the lips. Lip tints have only a slight hint of color instead of the highly-pigmented lipsticks. They serve to even out discoloration or brighten dull and pale lips.


Stains are long-lasting but can be drying. The main purpose of stains is to color or "stain" the lip. They're usually in thin liquid formulas. Remember when we eat red candy or lollipops and our lips have that hint of color? It serves the same purpose, without the calories, cavities, or discolored teeth 

These are liquid lip colors thicker than lip stains. They not only moisturize and color the lips with just a little hint of color, they also give lips a high-shine and the appearance of fullness. Glosses come in squeeze tubes or twist-open tubes and can be applied with the finger, brush, or doe-foot applicator. Although gloss gives that pretty shiny lip, too much gloss can be sticky so use with moderation. There are also gloss formulas for children's or tween's makeup with a bit of flavor. Remember the Bonne Bell lip colors of the 90s?


Sheer lipsticks can appear really dark on the stick but once applied, there's just a light layer of color with some shine. Sheer lipsticks let the original lip texture and hints of the original lip color, Sheer red lipsticks, like the one shown are ideal for girls who are starting to wear red lipstick. There's a bit of red but not too shocking. Sheer lipsticks are less drying but they're not as long-wearing as stains or matte lipsticks.


Shining like a disco ball, frost lipsticks have color payoff with high shine and/or glitter. This is ideal for those who want color and shine without being sticky. Frost lipsticks brighten the look while giving the appearance of fuller lips due to the light-reflective particles. Use them alone or a slight highlight on top of matte lipsticks.

Creme lipsticks have a moist finish. The lipsticks are more pigmented than lustres or sheer lipstick. The overall look is moist lips with color payoff. Although they're not as long-lasting as mattes, they make lips look sexy and kissable.


This is an in-between of creme and matte. Satin lipsticks are less dry than matte. This is ideal for dry-lipped ladies who want less shine but a bit more moisture. Satin lipsticks also last long. If you find satin lipsticks too harsh, try diluting it with lip gloss or petroleum jelly before applying.


Matte lipsticks have less shine but intense pigments, hence strong colors. Matte lipsticks have less moisture, hence less shine but more color as compared with satin or creme. Since these have less moisture, matte can be drying for the lips. For dry lips who still insist on wearing matte, I recommend lip balm first, then let it soak in before proceeding to lipliner and lipstick. Mattes are classic and sexy and a favorite of many makeup artists.

These different combinations could be mixed-and-matched, depending on your mood. Try layering a rich matte red with a dollop of glittery gold gloss for example. Makeup should be fun, so go ahead and experiment. If you don't like it, there's always makeup remover.

Do you have like a lipstick shade that you like or a finish that you like? Some girls I know are more of gloss types as they focus more on the eyes. The bright-loving ladies usually stick to mattes or satins. I personally love my mattes due to the staying power and pigmentation and I can change them to sheers and tints with just a few tricks. Aside from going through the makeup counters, you can also shop online for lipsticks. Go online and log on to Sephora and shop for your lippies and makeup sets wherever you are. You may be at work and may need a last-minute gift for a birthday or bridal shower and with a busy schedule, you may have no time to go to a mall to shop. You can however, just go log on to  (which is probably every makeup junkie's poison) and get your lippie fix. Hmmm.... maybe I'll go do that now.

Go get your lipstick fix. Which finish do you like? Do you combine lipsticks? Show your lipstick selfie and tag me @bambikitty.  

1 comment:

♥ mia said...

great post! very helpful :)