Here's a challenge: apply a coat of your favorite lipstick in the morning before you eat breakfast and don't check in on how it's doing until after lunch. It's rare that you'll see a fully intact lip color that hasn't flaked or faded staring back at you in the mirror.
If you like a lived-in lip color that looks freshly blotted rather than lacquered and don't want to add "lipstick touch-ups" to your day's running to-do list, then a lip stain is your answer.
These liquid, gel, and balm formulas leave behind a tint that ranges from sheer to opaque that stays put throughout your mid-morning protein bar, desk salad lunch, and surprise post-work happy hour makeout session. Even better, while these lipsticks hold up, they will come off at the end of the day without any extra scrubbing.
Here, we've rounded up our favorite long-wearing lip stains with staying power.
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1. Giorgio Armani Beauty Ecstasy Shine in Four Hundred
This formula comes in over a dozen colors that range from peachy nudes to a classic true red. Its balm-like texture makes it easy to glide on, but each tube delivers the same pigmented color payoff as your favorite lipstick with a touch of shine.
Giorgio Armani | $38
2. Revlon Colourbust Balm Stain in Honey
Not quite red and not quite oxblood, Revlon's Colourburst Balm Stain in Honey is the ideal in-between shade that looks like cherry-stained lips when you swipe it on. The crayon contains hydrating shea, mango, and coconut butters that keep lips from getting chapped.
Revlon | $6
3. Dior Dior Addict Lip Tattoo in Natural Rosewood
Although it's not exactly as permanent as real tattoo, getting inked is the inspiration behind Dior's new liquid stain. It adds opaque, natural-looking color to lips that won't transfer or fade throughout the day.
Dior | $30
4. Yves Saint Laurent Volupte Tint-In-Balm in Catch Me Orange
While this orange tube may look just as loud as the person on their phone that's sitting next to you on the subway, it goes on subtle. The balm-tint hybrid has coats lips with a shiny hint of orange, while its lip-shaped core simultaneously keeps things smooth thanks to moisturizing apricot butter and jojoba oil.
Yves Saint Laurent | $34
5. Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Color in Baby
A single swipe of Bobbi Brown's Crushed Lip Color gives lips lived-in, not lacquered color. Enriched with vitamins C, E, and beeswax, the formula hugs lips without settling into cracks or getting flaky. While there's 20 shades in the lineup, we love Baby, a soft rosy pink.
Bobbi Brown | $29
6. Neutrogena Moisturesmooth Color Stick in Raspberry
A coat of this nutrient-rich stick gives lips a just-bitten, post-makeout session look, or even better, the same shade they are after a glass or two of your favorite red wine.
Neutrogena | $9
7. Glossier Generation G Matte Lipstick in Cake
A sheer matte lipstick may seem like a contradiction, but that's truly the only way to describe this Glossier tube. It has a shine-free finish that mimics the look of a just-blotted lipstick. Cake is the *perfect* peachy-nude that adapts to your natural lip color, so it's a universally neutral shade for everyone.
Glossier | $18