Updated: 2022, Feb 17

How Are Lip Stain and Lipstick Different?

Women have been applying lipstick for ages which makes the lips soft and moisturized. Lip stain and lipstick are two different things, how you apply decides it.

Q: I am an addict to lip care and using lip moisturizer. My lips are healthy and soft. Recently I came across lip stain and it is used to give you red hot lips. Well, that’s the same as the lipsticks. I’m curious to know if there is any difference between lip stain and lipstick?

How Are Lip Stain and Lipstick Different?

Expert Answer
Women have been applying color to their lips in roughly the same fashion since 1923 – when an American invented the twist-up lipstick tube. However, thanks to the advent of lip stain, there are a number of newer lip-dressing options.

Lipsticks are usually made up of waxes and oils; including pigments and dyes to add the color effect. They also contain emollients to help keep lips moist. On the other hand, contrary to a lipstick’s texture, lip stains are water or gel-based with color pigments of maybe henna or other dyes.

They might contain plant or mineral oils too. A lip stain is used for a long-lasting effect for up to 18 hours. And this particular feature of a smudge-proof lip stain makes it different from a lipstick of a waxy base.

Another major difference between a lip stain and lipstick is the method of application. Since a lip stain is either roll-on or a gel with a sponge wand and pot and has quick drying feature, it needs to be applied really quickly! Many lip stains might contain alcohol too.

These days lip stains are also coming in marker pen and sponge tips and since the base is always a drying agent that absorbs in the skin really fast, it is a touch and leave process most of the times which take no time to dry up and is quickly absorbed. This is the reason why you need to work really fast.

Also as the base is drying and if you use a lip stain quite often, you need to exfoliate, moisturize and take care of your lips more diligently.

Since lip stains are prominent dye-based, there are a few color choices when it comes to lip stains, especially when compared to the wide color range that lipsticks have. The stains are generally used to enhance the natural lip color.

Lipsticks, as you very well know have all the choices from reds to purples, oranges to browns, all that you want in textures like cream, matte, frost, shine or pearl. Naturally based lipsticks contain Aloe Vera and Vitamin E to add that shine effect, on the contrary, lip stains are water-based and fail to add any texture on the lips.

Still, if you want to add plump and pouty look with a lip stain, always apply a thin layer of a lip balm to moist them up a bit. This will help lasting it for long as well as avoid the lips from drying up quickly.

After doing this you can probably choose your favorite lip gloss and have that perfect look. Remember lip stains are just like color pens, without any emollients.

The cost of the two, i.e. the lipstick and the lip stain is not much different but you will definitely need more lipsticks than lip stains as lipsticks need to be applied again and again. And lip stains last for long so we need lesser quantities of those.

Also removing lip stains is a process that can take long while lipsticks can be removed quickly. Anything that is long staying and lasting always need a dedicated removal process. A lipstick can be simply removed by wet cotton or a cotton puff and cleansing milk.

While in case of a lip stain you will need a makeup remover and soft removal actions in order to keep the lips safe from any harsh actions that would eventually damage them.

When it comes to appealing also, the effect of a lipstick and lip stain is entirely different. All you need is the correct procedure knowledge and of course your preference. They are entirely different in terms of longevity and moist effect.

While lipstick will preserve moisture and avoid dryness but will wear off quickly; a lip stain would stay for long but won’t preserve the dryness, so it’s totally vice versa, but since there is a wide range to choose from, there won’t be much problem in choosing the right option for yourself.

A lip stain would never smudge and a lipstick probably would. There are pros and cons to everything and similar is the case with both lip cosmetic tools. Lip stain would definitely leave you to care free about the long-lasting effect of the color on your lips throughout the day, it will dry up your lips so eventually you’ll have to gloss them up every now and then to maintain the moisture.

Lip stain would also leave you to care free about smudging and feathering whereas lipstick would probably spread, smudge or feather. Always keep a variety for different occasions, stains for long-lasting effect and lipstick for fuller and complete effect.

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