Battle of the Lip: Lipstick vs. Lipgloss vs. Lip Tint

One of the most widely debated issues within the beauty community centers around the pros and cons of different lip products. Questions of staying power, finish, application, and price, are all factors in determining what type of lip makeup is for you. While there are many different mediums for lip product, such as lip pencils, stains, and tinted lip balms, three of the most popular are lipsticks, lip glosses, and lip tints.

The differences between these three are what create so much variety for makeup users. Lipsticks, the most widely used of the three, is super creamy and vibrant. Though lipsticks were initially only matte finish, they’ve now expanded into glossy, shimmer, and even metallic finishes. However, lipstick has a tendency to smudge and require frequent re-application–not ideal for the clumsy or the lazy makeup user.

In contrast, lip glosses have sticky and wet finish, with strong staying power. Glosses are generally low color, consisting of translucent glitter or shimmer-based color. Glosses can help with maintaining lip moisture and plumpness in the summer, but can have a tendency to stick to everything. In the summer, this means stray baby hairs, passing pollen in the air, or food crumbs. Awkward!

Finally, lip tints are ideal for lasting color and easy application. They can dry your lips out quite a bit, so they are usually paired with a lip balm or ointment. Lip tints usually have a vibrant matte finish, bringing color to any makeup look. In all honesty, lip tints are the least common of the three, except for when it comes to Glossier’s Cloud Paint. Despite being marketed as a “cream blush,” Cloud Paint is a phenomenal all-over stain that works for cheeks, lips, and even subtle eye looks. Cloud Paint is the front-running contender for lip tint advocates, given its buildability, soft hues, and color range.

Lip glosses are usually the most affordable of these three, meaning that many brands can execute a great lip gloss. ColourPop, a low-cost vegan cosmetic brand, has a massive range of gloss. Between pigmented red and pinks, metallic finishes, shimmery finishes, or even glitter finishes, there’s something for everyone at ColourPop. Their formula is highly nourishing and plumping, especially their new Moonlight Magic line, which consists of jojoba and argan oils for extra hydration. 

Given that lipstick is most popular, it comes in multiple forms aside from the traditional bullet. NYX and ColourPop both have lines of cream lipsticks that make application incredibly easy, with vibrant formulas. In terms of a more traditional lip bullet, MAC is universally known for having incredibly pigmented lipstick in a massive variety of colors. Due to their global recognition, MAC’s lipstick retail for $18 on average. Still, there is enough pigment in the sticks that with careful application, a single bullet could last you months.

All in all, it’s hard to say which lip product is the champion. Although glosses seem to offer the best pigment to finish to cost ratio, the stickiness and application methods aren’t for everyone. Traditionalists will advocate for stains and sticks to the very end, given that they are tried and true means of created vibrant lip looks.

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