True or false: Putting on a bold lipstick always sounds like a great idea until the first sip of whatever you’re drinking, the first bite of whatever you’re eating or any time you make any of your teeth visible to whoever you’re with. Is it smeared into a weird Joker smile? Creating an unintentional ombre effect, but the flaky kind, not the cute K-beauty kind? Probably. What were you thinking?!
To be clear, I’m not going to quit lipstick anytime soon — it’s the perfect excuse to skip smoky eyes, accessories and any outfit that takes actual effort — which is why I’m happy to see that a lot of beauty brands have added long-lasting liquid lipsticks to their lineups. The opacity can be a bit alarming and the lip gloss-like packaging puzzling, but once you paint a liquid lipstick on, that shit stays on.
This kind of commitment is of particular interest to me in the summertime. Sweating aside, this is the time of year I’m most likely to stuff my face with the smear-prone stuff of lipstick nightmares: Ice cream in spoonable form, ice cream in sandwich form, beverage after beverage, straw after straw. So in honor of the first official Friday of summer and because I also forgot to bring my lunch, I decided to pit five liquid lip formulas against summer treats to see if you can have your lipstick and eat ice cream, too.
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick vs. Matcha Soft Serve
You’d think eating soft serve with a spoon would be less messy than eating soft serve in a cone, but this heaping serving was literally melting under the pressure of this very serious beauty challenge, so I ended up alternating spoonfuls with off-the-top licks. But you’d never know that by looking at my lips. The color was unfazed. Nonplussed, even. This formula does skew on the drier side once it sets, so make sure your lips are exfoliated and hydrated pre-application — a good rule thumb for all liquid lipsticks. Making sure you’re hydrated is also good in general, so go ahead and chug some water after you apply. Trust me, it won’t budge.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick vs. An Ice Cream Sandwich
This liquid lipstick had the smoothest, most heavenly application of the bunch. This is great news if a.) you love to treat yourself or b.) you’re terrible at coloring in the lines and need some extra time to get your application just right before it sets. I was certain after taking my first bite that the vanilla ice cream would be tinted purple, but the bite mark came back completely clean. There’s a good chance I ingested all evidence of color transfer, but after wiping remnant ice cream off my lips, I was left with just as bold a lip as before, so there’s an even better chance this liquid lipstick just rocks. Speaking of things that rock, you 100 percent need to track down a Dolly Madison Chippy Chip if you can. Game changer.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar vs. An Iced Matcha Latte
If these lipsticks were songs and I was tasked with predicting the song of the summer, I’d nominate OCC’s Lip Tar because I couldn’t get it out of my head. The peppermint formula makes your lips feel tingly, cool and moisturized — all things you want when it’s swampy outside. Some color did transfer to my straw after I sipped, but it was a pretty boring straw that needed pizzazz, IMHO. My lips, however, looked exactly the same post-latte and still felt surprisingly smooth. If you’re wary of liquid lipsticks because of that sticky, smacky feeling some leave on your lips (especially the super-matte ones), then Lip Tar is what you should seek.
Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick vs. Lupita Pineapple Soda
This liquid lipstick is great if you find yourself applying lipstick in a rush. Like, if there’s only one bathroom in your office and you’re putting on lipstick as quickly as possible so you don’t keep your lovely photog waiting, and you’re also paranoid that someone has to pee really badly. I didn’t need to revisit spots to get an even opacity with this formula — a few swipes and it was soda time. I ditched the straw for this round and went straight for full-frontal sips, bracing during each one because I could feel the fizziness directly hitting my lips. But there were no detectable smudges on the very photogenic glass bottle nor my lips. Success.
Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipstick vs. A Handful of French Fries
Of the five, this was the trickiest for me to apply. It took a bit of trial and error to find out how many layers I needed to get the opacity I was looking for, especially before the formula dried and set, but once I did, I loved the color. I would not recommend it for liquid-lip beginners; I would recommend it for seasoned veterans and summer goths. On to the fries: These were more chunky than thin cut, more soft than crispy, so I was fully expecting them to pull some pigment. False. The color remained glued to my lips like the four before it.
Final score: Team liquid lipsticks: 5. Team summer treats: technically 0, but I’ll throw in 3 consolation points for being delicious and because shutouts are sad.
Photos by Edith Young.