The Perfect Red Valentine Lip – Liquid Lipstick Edition

I follow a lot of “beauty bloggers” on Instagram and YouTube, just so I don’t miss anything too important in the beauty world. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of duplicated content because they’re all sent the same products and tend to rave about the same things at the same time. Right now, all the bloggers are super into liquid lipsticks, reflecting that quite a few brands have recently launched their own versions with differing formulas and colors. Liquid lipsticks have been around since the 1990s but have recently enjoyed a resurgence in popularity thanks to some very popular brands hopping onto the bandwagon.

For those not well versed in the fickle trends of lipsticks, liquid lipstick is a wax free formula which usually comes in a tube much like a lip gloss would. The color goes on opaque, is often matte (not always) and depending on formula and brand, is intended to be long lasting.

Like any self-respecting, makeup-wearing woman, I have an infinite variety of lipwear. The lipsticks in that picture up there? They are just the lipsticks I carry in my purse! So, much like someone with a vinyl record addiction hunting for that original first pressing on blue coloured vinyl they only made 100 copies of, I am addicted to finding the best red lipstick. Always on the hunt for that elusive and rare long lasting, non-bleeding, not too cool, not too warm red lipstick. As you can imagine, I have a lot of tubes of the red stuff in my possession. I mean I love the classics – Ruby Woo and Russian Red by MAC Cosmetics will never go out of style and will always have a place in my heart. But in the world of the liquid lipstick/everlasting lip stain, I have so far been very disappointed. It either bleeds, or is a terrible colour, or isn’t opaque enough or does not last more than 45 minutes.

But, friends, I have found it. I have found the one. Prepare for gushing.

From Sephora’s own collection, their Cream Lip Stain in “Always Red” has changed the game for me. The color payoff is great: very opaque and it spreads with ease. I didn’t even use a lip liner with this and it looks crisp and polished, like I had spent much more time doing my makeup than I actually had. The color is perfectly balanced, neither too blue nor too orange, and I am certain any skin color could wear this and look exceptionally glamorous. The real test, obviously, was the staying power, which is what most impressed me. As the day wore on, I was still getting compliments on my lips. I would double check in my tiny compact mirror to see if I had entered into hot mess territory yet, and there it all was, staying put on my lips and still looking fresh.

I will say, the formula gets a little dry, so for people who are used to wearing lip glosses or ultra-moisturizing lipsticks, this may take some getting used to. But if you’re after a very wearable red that will last longer than your morning coffee, Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain is your best bet. At $16, the price point beats out a lot of the other liquid lipsticks as well — half the price point of other brands. The hunt for the perfect red lip is over (for now).

Tip: Always make sure you exfoliate before wearing any lipstick, especially in a liquid formula to avoid dry chapped and cracked  lips. A lip exfoliator will have moisturizers like Vitamin E and Shea butter, as well as exfoliants like sugar and ground almonds. You can buy lip exfoliators from a variety of makeup brands, but I prefer the cheap stuff. You can get e.l.f. Studio Lip Exfoliator for $3 and it does the trick.

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Kerry Riordan
Kerry comes from a visual art background, practicing printmaking at OCAD University in Toronto. Eventually she discovered the face was her favourite canvas and pursued her love of beauty, makeup and most of all, people! She studied makeup, special effects and skincare at Seneca College. Working as a makeup artist gives Kerry the opportunity to meet different kinds of people and help them look their best, whether it's sweet and natural, high glamour or avante garde. A lover of all makeup products - from drugstore to professional brands she knows the best products for everyday wear, special occasions and even special effects.
Kerry Riordan