By Oluwatoyin Adeleye
Finding a matte liquid lipstick that wears comfortably and lasts all day without fading, smudging, or drying your lips seems near impossible. To complicate things, the market is inundated with hundreds of products that claim to do it all—but rarely deliver. So we took the liberty to help you to choose which of the many lipstick options that have flooded the market today, is actually true to their word. Here’s a list of the best lipsticks of 2018 as packaged by USA Today
- Wet n Wild Megalast Liquid Catsuit Lipstick
Our main takeaway: An amazingly smoothing lip color that comfortably grips your lips and lasts all day.
The details: I expected this budget brand to be passé, but the lipstick delivered. It’s the cheapest of the lot, yet it wore the best by a large margin. The lipstick is lightweight and so smoothing, it seemed to fill in any lines on my lips instead of settling into them. I only needed one swipe to get full color coverage, and the shade on my face matched the tube, which is super important for a drugstore brand that you can’t test in-store. Once the lipstick was dry, it was still slightly tacky to the touch, so it wasn’t drying, but the color didn’t transfer onto anything… through 10 hours of wear. There are only 13 shades, but at under $5 a pop, it may be worth grabbing them all.
2. Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick
Our main takeaway: A comfortable lipstick that feels moisturizing and doesn’t budge.
The details: I completely understand why this is a top-selling lipstick across retailers. The formula is buttery smooth, comes in 38 shades, and the applicator is a flat oval with some flex to it for easy application. The lipstick itself feels rich, dries quickly, and requires only one coat for full coverage. It holds your lips in an almost latexy way that doesn’t dry them out, especially compared to the rest we tried. It takes second place only because the color fades a bit through the day, though not offensively. I actually wore it on a day I forgot I had a dentist appointment, and she said through her mask, unprovoked, “good call on this lipstick—it has not budged.” Need I say more?
3. Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain
Our main takeaway: A creamy lipstick with serious color staying power—but transfers onto everything.
The details: This best-selling Sephora formula feels light and creamy on application and has great pigmentation: You definitely won’t need a second coat or touchups through the day. That being said, it never fully sets and keeps a tacky finish. In other words, it’s not drying, but it transfers onto everything: Cups, napkins, utensils, my boyfriend’s face.
Despite its crazy transfer, the color did not budge from my lips all day, almost acting as a lip stain. It was as pigmented when I scrubbed it off at 8 p.m. as it was when I put it on at noon. If you can stand the lipstick marks on everything your mouth touches, it may be a good pick—and with more than 80(!) shades at a reasonable price, you can’t go wrong.
4. Too Faced Melted Matte Liquefied Lipstick
Our main takeaway: A consistent bestseller with a very thick formula, but requires multiple coats for an opaque finish.
The details: This lipstick has a thick, almost mousse-like texture (nearing on clumpy). It also sets to an intense hue: The seemingly fun color “Mrs. Roper” looked so garish when it dried that I actually startled my boss. Even so, the formula is somewhat translucent—It required two applications for a truly opaque finish. The upside? The color didn’t fade at all, but did flake toward the center of my mouth by 8 p.m. It dried my lips slightly, but it has a nice visually smoothing effect, more than 20 shades, and decent staying power that still makes it a winner.
5. Kylie Lip Kit
Our main takeaway: This booming social media brand performs OK, but charges for it.
The details: You can’t talk about lipstick without mentioning (or at least thinking about) billionaire makeup mogul Kylie Jenner. But the formula on this cult favorite is thin and liquidy, felt drying at first, and has a slightly cloying cherry smell. The formula does have great pigmentation and coverage that only requires one coat. It feels lightweight, and while it transfers a lot, it doesn’t slip outside the lip line—but it did fade after a few hours.
Truthfully, it’s not a standout among the pack, and I’m not sure it’s worth the hype. The lipstick settles into fine lines, making lips appear dry and cracked at times. Also, the retailer site has a rigid $9 shipping fee, which brings the cost of a single liquid lipstick up to $26. That’s almost 7 Wet n Wilds, for those keeping track at home.
Didn’t see your favorite brand here? Don’t worry: we tested them all. To see every lipstick we tested—including Stila, NYX, ColourPop, and more—check out the full story on Reviewed.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.
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