I’m not one to always have color on my lips (or even very often, if we’re being real), but I do love trying new things. And so the recent slew of lip products promising innovative hybrid formulas and other fancy marketing differentiators — including cloud-like softness and 10-hour “kiss-proof” color — has piqued my interest over the last few months. How good are they really?
From young millennial-focused brands like ColourPop to lifers like Dior, I tried four of the newest, buzziest lip formulas out right now — be they more of a lipstick, a gloss, or a hybrid of the two — to answer that question.
Dior Addict Lip Tattoo ($30): In a sea of uber-pigmented lip kits and Instagram liquid mattes, all I wanted was this Dior lip stain. As it claims, it’s a really lightweight, natural wash of color that stays on pretty long (let’s say five to six hours, not exactly the 10 touted in its description). I was left with the same sheer flush of pink on my lips before and after my bodega BLT. Plus, since it’s a tint more than anything else, it didn’t dry me or out or move when I layered Glossier’s Balm Dotcom over it.
My biggest gripe about this product isn’t the formula itself but rather the packaging, which I found to be a bit misleading. It comes with a doe foot applicator, but because it’s a pretty inky product, I wouldn’t recommend applying like you would a regular matte lipstick or a lipgloss if you don’t want a patchy finish. I ended up using the applicator to put a couple dots onto my lips and patting in with my finger to get the desired blotted lip, which I actually ended up really loving.
Em Cosmetics Infinite Lip Cloud ($16): When this product launched, Michelle Phan said the goal was to create a non-drying liquid formula blending the “line-filling properties of a lip primer with the color saturation of a liquid lipstick,” and it’s safe to say the goal was met. I would liken the feeling of this formula to actual Chapstick — really light, velvety smooth, and comfortable. It doesn’t dry the lips out at all, or feel gross when you rub them together. That said, the product doesn't completely dry either, so it will end up on your coffee mug. You’re left with a really pretty stain by the end of the night, not a patchy mess. (There’s also a slight vanilla scent, which didn’t bother me much at all, but might bug you.)
CLE Cosmetics Melting Lip Powder ($20): Lip powder is yet another thing we can thank K-beauty for. This stuff is so cool, and its formulation is exactly what it sounds like: lip color in dry powder form that liquifies when it hits your lips thanks to magic, also known as silica silicate, a hydrogel molecule found in the product’s ingredient list. It’s easy to apply — you can just swipe it on like any typical gloss — but it can be messy if you’re not careful when you open it. The product feels really lightweight and soft, more so than I was expecting (probably because of the vitamin E and coconut oil), and gives you a really buildable flush of color for a few solid hours. It doubles as a cheek stain, too, which is by far my favorite part; it stained matte on my skin just as easily and quickly as it did on my lips.
ColourPop Ultra Blotted Lip ($6): I thought I was going to love this (because CP is known for good color and an uber-accessible price point — two things I’m partial to), but I felt pretty meh about this formula. It’s a completely new one for the brand, touted earlier this spring as a cross between the infamous Ultra Matte and OG Blotted Lip formulas (a sheer, lighter take on the matte lip). It promises long-wear and medium coverage for that #trending popsicle-stained lip look. I will say it is super lightweight, transfer-proof, and ultra-sheer (which is nice because you can build it up to your liking). After a few hours of wear, though, it began to fade, making my lips super patchy and flaky when it came time to reapply.