I have a confession. I’ve written a lot of day-to-night makeup articles in my time. You’ll see them crop up around this time of year when Christmas parties and New Year’s Eve are on everybody’s mind. While I do sometimes need a soft-to-sultry eye shadow or a vibe-changing blush to liven up my face, in real life, I tend to just recommend adding a showstopping lip. It instantly brings a new dimension to your daytime look and is the easiest thing to have in your bag without the need for extra tools. Let’s be honest—as great as a blended-out smoky shadow is, fitting my palette and two to three brushes in my bag is less appealing than one simple lip product.
A lip stain or liquid lipstick are my absolute go-tos, and as I have lips that are sensitive to anything too drying, I’ve tentatively tested a lot of them to find the ones that are worthy of a place in my makeup draw. My quest is to find lip products that don’t make your lips feel too tight and dry while lasting all night. A stain is always the best option for undisputed lasting power so you aren’t left with the ring around your mouth when the middle of your shade has worn away with all the canapés and fizz. A good lip stain will need touching up infrequently, shouldn’t feather or bleed out of the lip line and can be applied precisely without the need for a lip liner.
Here are the 10 lip stains that I’ll have on rotation this party season.
These are the liquid lip products that I have the most shades of in my collection. The formula is matte but doesn’t dry patchy. I love the shade Devoted to Chilli for a warm red or Ruby Boo for a blue-red.
Okay, technically not a liquid, but I needed to include for those among us who prefer a light wash of colour that doesn’t budge. This balm-like formula applies like lipstick, but I then pat it off with a tissue and am left with a long-lasting stain.