1 Lipstick, 3 Different Finishes. It’s Easy!

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We love our cream lipsticks. Before all the glitter glosses, metallic balms, and matte neons on the market today, a classic creamy lip color was always our old go-to. And for good reason! It’s still, and will always be, the most-loved and most versatile lippie formula around. Your favorite color on its own always works, but did you know it’s easy as 1-2-3 to change up the finish? Below, we show you three easy ways to adapt any cream lipstick you love.

1: Choose your favorite lipstick. Here, we used ILIA Lipstick in Wild Child.

2: Then, transform it into a…

...tinted balm

Dab color lightly onto your lips using a finger—here, you’re going for the sheerest tint to wake up your face. Top it off with a translucent lip balm, which will bring out the shade without adding pigment, and get you glowing. It’s the perfect low-fuss look for a busy day.

We recommend: Anna Sui Protective Lip Balm | $28 | shop it

...super shiny gloss

Swipe on a full coat of lipstick to start. Then apply a transparent or slightly shimmery gloss just in the center of both the top and bottom lips. Doing that (instead of a full coat) will prevent the gloss from causing the color to bleed, while adding an eye-catching shine that will wear all night long.

We recommend: Armour Beauty Lip Gloss in Marilyn | $21 | shop it

...stay-put matte

Using a precision lip brush (like the 07 from Wayne Goss), apply a coat of lipstick, taking care to create a crisp shape and clean edges. Grab a tissue and blot away the creamy shine, then, do a second coat and blot again. To finish, top it all off with a loose transparent powder for a maxim matte effect (tip: set aside a “lips-only” puff or sponge specifically for this purpose). Your shade should last through lunch and an after-work cocktail outing. For extra insurance, pack your powder along for touchups.

We recommend: RCMA No Color Powder | $10 | shop it