13 Best Lip Stains of 2024 for Transfer-Proof Color, Tested & Reviewed

Editor Tip: The inky lip color is available in a whopping 72(!) shades, including matte and metallic finishes, so whether you’re someone who goes for a more natural lip look, or you’re partial to dramatic pigments, you’ll find something here.

Key Ingredients: Avocado oil | Who It’s For: All skin types and tones | Available Shades: 72

Best Affordable Lip Stain: Etude House Dear Darling Water Gel Tint

Etude House

Etude House Dear Darling Tint

Why We Love It: Etude House’s Dear Darling Water Gel Tint could withstand a zombie apocalypse if you ask Allure contributor Sable Yong. And you’ll have plenty of product to hold you over because a little bit of the pigmented, gel-like formula goes a long way. Not to mention, it’s budget-friendly enough that you might as well drop all 10 gorgeous shades into your cart.

Editor Tip: The pigment is super long-lasting, so Yong likes to blend it into her lips with a cotton swab to prevent the formula from staining her fingers.

Key Ingredients: Soapberry extract | Who It’s For: All skin types and tones | Available Shades: 5

More Etude House Lip Stains We Love:
Etude House Glow Fixing Tint, $14
Etude House Fixing Tint, $14

Frequently Asked Questions

How to apply lip stain

Before you apply lip stain, keep these tips in mind. Especially if you have dry lips, “a lip mask or light, clear lip balm will help even out your lips’ hydration levels, prepping them for a more even application,” makeup artist Andrea Claire says. She also recommends using a lip liner as a base, which helps extend the stain’s wear time.

Once you’re ready to apply your lip stain of choice, Claire recommends drawing a “V” at the bow and outer corners of your lips and a “U” towards the bottom. Then, connect the dots, fill in the lips, and voíla. For a natural-looking finish, makeup artist Genevieve Garner advises tapping the product directly onto your lips using your fingers. For a more saturated look, Claire recommends applying the stain straight from the tube.

To seal the deal, both Claire and Garner suggest laying a one-ply tissue over your lips before dabbing a small amount of translucent powder on top.

How we test and review products

Before reviewing any makeup, we ask questions about a number of factors: What ingredients are in it? Does the brand offer a wide shade range inclusive of consumers with all skin tones and undertones? Is it safe for readers who have sensitive skin or wear contact lenses? Is it on the affordable side or more of a splurge? Is its packaging consciously designed or needlessly wasteful?

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