Looking at your lip color options can feel overwhelming. First, you have to decide on a color out of thousands, and then you have to decide what type of lip product you want. There’s lip gloss, lip stain, lip mousse, and multiple types of lipstick. It can make your brain hurt to think about it all!
Don’t worry, Kutie. We’re going to break down the differences between lip stain and lipstick so you can become familiar with two of the most popular options around. Once you understand how these products differ, you’ll be able to pick the best product for you and your lips!
What Is Lip Stain?
Lip stain is one of those rare makeup products where its name tells you exactly what it is. Simply put, lip stain will stain your lips. Other lip products form a layer of color over your lips, but lip stain is designed to be absorbed by your lips so that the color penetrates and lasts longer.
This product also has historical origins as ancient civilizations would grind beetles, plants, and other substances to stain their lips. Unfortunately, some of these items proved to be toxic. As the skin absorbed them, they caused harm to the wearer.
Luckily, we don’t have to worry about crushed deadly beetles anymore!
Ingredients in Lip Stain
The consistency and ingredients in lip stain differ quite a bit from lipstick. Because it’s designed to sink into your skin, lip stains are usually liquid rather than solid like lipstick. Lip stains are mostly water or gel-based for easy absorption.
As the water or liquid is absorbed by the skin, the dye is left behind to stain or tint your lips. It’s important to make sure this dye is safe for your lip, so the variety of colors for lip stains is smaller than other lip products.
The Pros and Cons of Lip Stain
Now that we know what lip stain is and how it’s made, let’s talk about the pros and cons. Knowing the benefits and drawbacks of each lip product can help you determine which one is right for you.
Pros of Lip Stain
Here are reasons why lip stain might be a good option for you:
- It’s long-lasting. Even a lipstick that brags about its long-lasting abilities can’t outlast lip stain. A coat of lip stain can last nearly all day without reapplication.
- You can easily layer products for a custom look. If you want long-lasting color but also want a pop of shine, you can easily put lip gloss on top of lip stain without affecting the color.
- In a pinch, you can put a dab of lip stain on your cheeks for a pop of color. (Still, we recommend you stick to Kaja’s Cheeky Stamp when possible!)
- Because lip stain can stay on your lips all day, you won’t have to use as much product and replace your tube as often, saving you money!
Cons of Lip Stain
Some things to be mindful of when choosing lip stain:
- It’s trickier to apply. Because it’s staining your lips, you want to make sure not to make any mistakes as they can be tricky to remove.
- Lip stains can dry your lips out, so you’ll need to ensure you keep your lips extra hydrated.
- There aren’t as many colors and hues as other lip products.
- Lip stain is also known as lip tint, and sometimes the color is more of a natural-looking tint than a boldly pigmented stain. While this might benefit some, if you like saturated lip color, you most likely won’t find that with a lip stain.
What Is Lipstick?
Let’s start with very basic information- what is lipstick, anyway? Simply put, lipstick is a substance put on your lips designed to change their color.
The concept of lipstick has been around for thousands of years and started when Mesopotamians used dust from ground gemstones to put glimmer and color on their lips. Lipstick was made from various natural ingredients and used by people in ancient Egypt, Greek, and Rome. Some ancient techniques are still used today, although with much safer ingredients.
Ingredients in Lipstick
One of the main ways to differentiate between lip products is to examine their ingredients and the base of their products. Although all lip products use some sort of pigment to color the product and color your lips, their formulas are all different.
The top ingredients found in lipstick are wax, oils, and emollients. Wax provides the shape and texture of the lipstick and can include beeswax or plant wax. Oils can include plant oil such as olive, coconut, or mineral oils.
Oils also change the formula's intensity and finish, and the amount of oil can dictate whether a lipstick is matte or sheer. An emollient helps add moisture to the lipstick to help soften dry skin on your lips.
Of course, different brands use different versions of these ingredients in their lipsticks. Because the FDA doesn’t regulate cosmetic ingredients, you might be surprised to see some less-than-natural items in your lipstick when you look closely at its ingredient list.
Be sure to pick a clean beauty brand with cruelty-free products.
The Pros and Cons of Lipstick
You’re probably already familiar with lipstick, but let’s talk about the pros and cons!
Pros of Lipstick
Here are some reasons to choose lipstick over another product:
- Application is a piece of cake! With a few simple tricks, you can apply lipstick perfectly every time.
- Any color you could imagine is available in a lipstick.
- You can also pick any finish you want, such as sheer, glossy, shimmer, or matte.
- Many lipsticks contain ingredients that soothe and nourish your lips, in addition to providing a pop of color. Kaja’s new product Love Swipe is filled with cottonseed oil, raspberry seed oil, and vitamin E, which can soften your skin and keep your lips moisturized.
Cons of Lipstick
Lipstick isn’t perfect, so let’s talk about some negatives when it comes to this product.
- It’s much easier to smudge lipstick. Drinking, eating, and kissing can leave your lips empty of color and your lipstick on something (or someone!) else.
- Lipstick requires frequent reapplication throughout the day.
- Lipstick can end up smeared to your teeth or your cheeks, so you’ll want a mirror handy when applying to peek at from time to time.
Lip Stain or Lipstick: Which Is Right for Me?
You should be a lip product expert by now, but we still need to determine which product is right for you.
If your lips need a little extra TLC, or they’re dried out from the cold weather, stick to lipstick for now. Lipsticks can include products that will give your lips the extra attention and nourishment they need to get healthy. You can take care of your lips while still looking kute!
If you’re planning a busy activity and won’t have time for reapplication, choose a lip stain. Whether you’re skiing all day or lounging by the beach, lip stain will ensure you always have a pop of color without having to step away from the sun or snow to reapply.
Lip stain is also a good option if you’re going to an event with lots of eating or drinking. Want to look kute at a black-tie event? Stick to a lip stain so that you don’t have to worry about your lipstick rubbing off on your glass.
If you’re a makeup junkie and love to experiment with new looks, lipstick might be a better option for you. You can try a dark, sultry lip, a classic red lip, or a soft romantic lip. Whatever the look you want, there are thousands of lipstick colors and finishes to help you achieve it.
For Kuties that perfect a natural look and don’t like traveling with a ton of products, lip stain might be a better choice. It’ll give your lips a natural pop of color, but you won’t need a new lipstick for every outfit, so you’ll be able to shrink the size of your makeup bag.
Lip Stain vs. Lipstick: The Finale
It should be clear by now that everyone needs lip stain and lipstick in their arsenal for different moments and different looks.
Lip stain is a liquid designed to be absorbed by your skin to give your lips a tint of long-lasting color. Lipstick is a waxy substance that goes on top of your lips to color them in any hue you wish.
There are pros and cons to both lip stain and lipstick, but overall there are more pros to each. Pick and choose when it makes sense to use each and have fun experimenting, Kutie!