After the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I found myself never wearing lipstick anymore (for context, I used to wear lipstick every day). However, all my daily colors were in the stick form, and they all turned the inside of my mask into a wannabe crime scene, shades of red smeared all over the cotton (and in turn, all over the lower half of my face).
Lipstick used to make me feel confident and sexy. Even though I knew it wasn’t practical anymore, I still missed the sensation of strutting around campus, knowing my lips looked amazing. To compensate, I began experimenting with liquid lipsticks, which dry onto your lips and don’t rub off like lipstick or gloss. I could put liquid lipstick on before class, and then run to pick up a coffee without the fear of ruining yet another mask.
No matter what look you’re hoping to achieve, here are the eight best liquid lipsticks that will not only leave your mask clean, but also look amazing all day long – whatever color you’re going for.
- If you’re looking for a red
A fresh red lip is a great choice for date night or an elevated day of classes. Paired with a neutral eye, a red liquid lipstick will stay on all day and look fashionable with any outfit. My suggestion is Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in “Beso.” This true red can be dressed up or down for day or night. It’s not so bright that it’s overpowering, and not so dark that you can’t wear it during the warmer months. The best part about this liquid lip, however, isn’t even its color – but the creaminess of the formula. One of my biggest complaints about liquid lipsticks is that they’re too drying, but Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick is long-lasting and moisturizing.
Stila, Ulta, $22; shop now
- If you’re looking for a nude (for lighter skin tones)
There is nothing more satisfying than a bold eye and a nude lip. Anastasia Beverly Hills has dominated the liquid lipstick game for years now, and is the best choice for a nude liquid lip for lighter skin tones. My color choice is “Stripped,” since it has a fresh peachy tint, but doesn’t have too much orange in it. “Stripped” really emphasizes the natural blush in your cheeks and isn’t too overpowering if you want to experiment a bit more with the rest of your makeup. What I love most about it, however, is that it’s such a pretty color that it can be the only makeup you put on and it will 100 percent be enough! Even with a mask on, I promise this shade will boost your confidence.
Anastasia Beverly Hills, Sephora, $22; shop now
- If you’re looking for a nude (for darker skin tones)
Mented is one of the best makeup brands out there right now, and their liquid lipstick is no exception. The vegan and cruelty-free formula looks beautiful on every wearer. Mented’s best nude liquid lipstick, “Hot Date,” is a soft brown that stays on for hours without chipping off. This entire line glides on with ease, and looks really refined without giving the impression that you’re wearing a ton of makeup. “Hot Date” is matte, but not drying, which makes it a good choice for drinking a cup of coffee or talking on Zoom for hours on end, making it the perfect pick for the pandemic.
Mented, $20; shop now
- If you’re looking for a pink
For a sweet and warm look, a pink lip is always the way to go. Less aggressive than a red but more noticeable than a nude, a pink lip may be just what you need to feel upbeat all day. I suggest MAC Cosmetics’ Powder Kiss Liquid Lipcolour in “A Little Tamed.” This medium pink is a statement without being too flashy and will match perfectly with bold eyeliner or mascara. MAC’s liquid lipstick stays on for 10 hours and moisturizes your lips during that time, so by the time you’re ready to take it off, your lips will look amazing underneath.
MAC Cosmetics, Ulta, $24; shop now
- If you’re looking for an orange-brown
I love orange-brown lipsticks. They’re the perfect blend of being understated while still making your lips pop. Orange-brown lipsticks can either be the entire look or can be matched with fun eyeshadow colors. “Ashton” by Anastasia Beverly Hills is my favorite orange-brown — I’ve been using it at least twice a week for five years now, and I love the way it looks. While it might be a bit daunting to try an orange-brown since they feel very mature, I always suggest that you do. I love putting on my favorite turtleneck and mom jeans and embracing the intellectual vibe of this lipstick shade.
Anastasia Beverly Hills, Sephora, $20; shop now
- If you’re looking for a purple
If you’re like me and you’re trying to live your Chilling Adventures of Sabrina fantasy (Sabrina Spellman validated my love for sherpa jackets), you probably want to wear purple lipstick. Sexy, dark and effortlessly stylish, purple lipstick is a staple for a fall/winter wardrobe. My top choice for purple lipstick is from Fenty Beauty, because it’s moisturizing, really matte, and stays on all day. This formula is also really strong, and won’t come off when you eat or drink — I’ve always needed micellar water to remove it —, making it the ultimate lipstick for when you’re wearing a mask.
Fenty Beauty, Sephora, $25; shop now
- If you’re looking for a black
When I went through my emo phase when I was 13, all I wanted was to wear black lipstick. My mother was not so keen on the idea. While I grew out of my Tumblr, I did not grow out of black lipstick, which I learned could elevate any outfit. When you put on the right black lipstick, you can look powerful, sleek and fashion-forward. Plus, it looks amazing with any of these retro-inspired outfits. My suggestion is KVD Vegan Beauty’s liquid lipstick in the shade “Witches.” It stays on all day and is so velvety when you apply it. I’ve worn this shade dozens of times and it hasn’t smeared onto my mask once.
KVD Vegan Beauty, Sephora, $21; shop now
- If you’re looking for a metallic
In my opinion, Too Faced has the best metallic liquid lipstick. All of the shades are really beautiful, and they glide on really easily. My favorite shade is “The Real Teal” since the color is so rich, and I have yet to find another brand that makes a metallic teal that stands out that much. Paired with fresh and healthy skin, this metallic liquid lipstick is a total win.
Too Faced, $20; shop now
Just because people may not always see your lipstick, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t benefit from the confidence you get from rocking it!
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