The history of lipstick is long and interesting.
Crushed gemstones. Crushed plants. Crushed bugs. Lead. Vaseline. The list of things humans have used through the ages to decorate their lips is long and –sometimes- downright dangerous.
Lip color has always been a companion to women in history, being a sign of femininity and –since the 20th century- elegance and glamour.
Movie stars and models wear them, women copy the look, just like with everything fashion. Lipstick is an affordable product women can purchase of brands as expensive and exquisite as Chanel and Estée Lauder.
In the modern world, the sheer number of styles, finishes, and functions lipsticks have is staggering and it’s no wonder it can be confusing when shopping for them, especially online.
But fear not, here is a guide that separates lipstick by function and finish, so you know what to expect from each kind you encounter on the internet.
Lipstick by function.
- Tinted Lip Balm: lip balm is a basic product of beauty care, as it protects your lips from drying and chapping in the cold or dry weather. The best way to add color to your lips while keeping them protected and natural looking is using tinted lip balm.Tinted lip balm adds a sheer wash of color that is subtle yet pretty while keeping your lips moisturized and protected. Nowadays, you can find tinted lip balms that go from sheer color to moisturizing lip stains.
- Creamy: Creamy lipstick have the coverage and finish of matte lipstick and the feel of lip balm. They are usually very moisturizing and nourishing, don’t leave your lips feeling tight or dry but they don’t have a shimmer or shine.They are very convenient and have good coverage, so if you want the color of a matte lipstick without the dryness, this is the lipstick for you.
- Moisturizing: When lipstick is mentioned to be moisturizing, it usually means it has ingredients like aloe or vitamin E, that help keep the lips supple and soft. Due to these ingredients usually being oily, moisturizing lipsticks usually have a glossy finish.
- Long-wearing: When working in an office or with the public, having to constantly retouch your lipstick can be a nuisance. Long-wearing lipstick can go looking untouched for anywhere between 4 and 8 hours, depending on the brand and line.Of course, even this lipstick will need retouching, especially after meals with grease or oil, but otherwise, they won’t let you down and stay on all day long.
- Transfer-Resistant: Most long-wearing lipstick is also transfer-resistant, as the effect of not needing to reapply the lipstick for many hours would be lost if it gets transferred to clothes or drinking cups ahead of the hours it purports to last.As with the long-lasting lipstick, transfer-resistant lipstick is not moisturizing and most of them will actually dry your lips instead.
- Lip-Tints and stains: tints and stains are very similar, they go on easily and they last a very long time. The main difference is the amount of pigment they contain, with lip stains contain far more pigments. They can be quite hard to remove and chap your lips, so a moisturizing lip gloss is recommended with them.
- Lip plumpers: Lip plumpers work by causing an irritation on your lips to make them swell and look bigger. They usually come as lip gloss and are not recommended for people with allergic reactions or chapped or dry lips, as it will cause a painful reaction instead of showing the intended result.
- Crayon lipstick: Crayon lipstick is very similar to what we consider “traditional” lipstick, only being slightly firmer and having more color than tinted lip balms.They will last relatively long and be kind to your lips, making them perfect for the kind of event when a soft color that lasts long is all you need.
- Lip primer: Lip primer is, as the name indicates, a product to be applied under your lipstick to make it look brighter and last longer. It’s not necessary for everyday makeup and it’s mostly used in professional makeup for long events.
- Lip liner: Lip liners are crayons used to delineate your lips, keeping lip gloss and lipstick contained and avoiding smears. Lip liner should match your lipstick as closely as possible but certain makeup trends have them being darker than the lipstick. Lip liner is recommended but not necessary for everyday makeup, especially if you’re using transfer-resistant or long-lasting lipstick.
Now that we know the different functions lipstick products can have, let’s talk about the different finishes and effects the different shades can have.
Lipstick by finish:
- Sheer lipstick: A great choice for dry lips, these tend to be very moisturizing and pretty. They don’t have the greatest coverage but they compensate with shine and gloss. A great “first lipstick” for teenagers, sheer lipstick is natural and understated.
- Satin lipstick: another high shine and gloss lipstick, satin is a style that looks very bright and glossy, which makes it unfitting for photographs as it can cause white flashes. They tend to come in natural shades and look very elegant.
- Matte lipstick: As the name indicates, matte lipstick lacks any kind of shine and gloss. It is completely opaque and most long-lasting lipsticks tend to be matte. Some matte lipsticks are moisturizing but most will dry your lips.
- Frosted lipstick: The best way to get your lips to sparkle and shine, frosted lipstick has a finish that looks like ice, with white sparks that look almost metallic. The lipstick you use for a night out, but it needs constant reapplying to keep the shine and sparkle going.
- Pearl Lipstick: Pearl lipstick is made to reflect light, with shine being more important than color sometimes. They are great for formal events but need accompanying moisturizer as they will be hard on your lips, dryness-wise.
We hope our lipstick guide helps you when choosing the right lipstick for you when shopping online. Another way we can help is by letting you see them first-hand, in the comfort of your home, before you buy them with our Try Before You Buy options. Download the Stage Try app today and discover a brand-new way to shop online.