Sheer lipsticks can appear really dark on the stick but once applied, the color is really see-thru. Sheer lipsticks let the original lip texture and hints of the original lip color shine thru the 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.
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. Testers are there for the consumer to be able to experience the product before purchasing it. 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 instead of matte. Thin lips can look plumper using gloss. Here are some popular lip product finishes and techniques on 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 :)
GLOSSThese are liquid lip colors thicker than lip stains. They not only moisturize and color the lips with a 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. Kiddie glosses often have flavors too.
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.
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 proceding 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.