Suede, silk, satin—we’re talking lipstick, not fashion. With new technology and product formulations, lip color is available in a wide array of textures and finishes. But with so much selection, how do you choose the right coating of color for you? We break down common lip color lingo so you can paint on the pretty pout you want.
Lip pigments with a matte texture appear dull and flat on the skin, with no shine at all. Similar formulas termed “suede” or “velvet” have the same lackluster finish, but appear more powdery on lips than smooth. Typically, these formulas are extremely dense in pigment and have wonderful durability, but they may dry lips out without a balm or primer underneath.
Silky satin formulas are similar in color payoff to matte lipsticks, but are formulated with an emollient base of oils and butters. Because of the slip-factor, they have medium staying power—a couple of hours without food or drink. Available in solid swivel-tube and as a dense liquid lip color with wand applicator, they’re the most comfortable pigment-heavy formula for daily wear.
Frosty or shimmering lip colors are formulated with special micas designed to impart an iridescent, organza-like finish to the lips. Glimmering pigment adds luster to a flat surface like lip gloss, but relies on solely on actual flecks of shimmer—not sticky gloss—for the sheen. We recommend a translucent layer for the classiest daytime radiance.
Not quite a gloss nor a satin lipstick, tinted lip butters provide ample, high-shine coverage from a tube. These pigmented, travel-friendly shine alternatives won't leak in your purse as lip gloss can, and nourishing ingredients hydrate your lips all day. Unfortunately, their moisturizing formula doesn't bode well for longevity.
Zany, textured lips aren’t exactly the office beauty standard, but companies are beginning to develop innovative new finishes that break out of the mold and appeal to a more youthful, experimental generation. Appliques, temporary tattoos, and tar-like rainbow finishes—what will they think of next?