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Different Types of Lipstick & When To Use Them

Different Types of Lipstick & When To Use Them

Who doesn’t love a great, new lippy? From balms to glosses, stains to sticks, we are obsessed with the different products created to keep your lips gorgeous. 

The team at RMS Beauty put together an easy guide to help you navigate the world of luxurious lip products so you can better understand what they do and when to use them. Follow us as we explore five different types of lipsticks and help you decide which one you need right now. 

1. Tinted Balm

First on our list is likely the most hydrating but least pigmented lip product available. 

Tinted balms work to hydrate your lips and add a little bit of color. They do this by moisturizing lips with hydrating ingredients and creating an occlusive barrier that prevents moisture loss. 

Tinted balms have a hint of color that works perfectly for a bare face or with full makeup, especially if the focus is on the eyes. 

  • One to try: RMS Beauty Tinted Daily Lip Balm. We don’t mean to brag, but this stuff is the balm! Formulated with jojoba oil for quick and easy absorption, this lip-softening balm provides up to twelve hours of hydration and color. Cocoa seed butter helps protect your lips against free radicals, and candelilla wax ensures your lips feel smooth. 

Watch out for parabens and petroleum in your lip balm. We never use these ingredients in any RMS Beauty products, but they are extremely common in traditional lip balms. Parabens and petroleum are known toxins and not safe to put on your lips, where they could end up in your mouth. 

When To Use Tinted Lip Balm

You can use a tinted lip balm anytime. It’s a great lip product to keep in your bag, car, or desk drawer. These are a step up from regular lip balm and an easy way to add color to any look. 

Tinted balms also work great to add hydration to lipsticks that are drying or uncomfortable on your lips. 

2. Lip Glosses

Remember those ooey-gooey glosses you poured onto your lips in your youth? They’re still around but not quite as goopy as they used to be. If you crave a wet or extremely hydrated finish. 

Perfect for layering over a matte lipstick or wearing alone, lip glosses are best utilized as a finishing product. Wearing them alone (especially extremely glossy formulas) can look like you’ve forgotten the rest of your makeup.

When To Use Lip Glosses

Use a lip gloss if you have a lipstick color you love that dries too quickly or has a matte finish you don’t like. Lip gloss can change the texture and finish of your lipstick and even help adjust the color if the gloss is tinted. 

You can also wear lipgloss alone, but if you want better staying power, try using a lip liner or dusting your lips with a sheer kiss of translucent setting powder before applying the gloss. This will help give it something to grip to help it last longer than your 20-minute commute.

3. Lip Stains

Stains provide a unique lip color experience by adding color without texture. Many lip stains are liquid in form (some even double for cheek color) and are best applied with your finger. 

Use lip stains to give your lips a rush of pigmented color that looks like you’ve just bitten them, but beware: they bite back. Many lip stains are incredibly dehydrating, leaving you reaching for lip balm within minutes of application. 

Instead, opt for a lip stain with nourishing ingredients that won’t leave your lips hanging out to dry. 

  • One to try: RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek. Pulling double duty, our combination lip and cheek color comes in a blendable cream formula that gives you hours of hydration and buildable color. Using highly concentrated pigments, these work like stains, giving your lips and cheeks radiant color that is easy to blend. 

Hydrating ingredients like cocoa butter and wildcrafted buriti oil offer deep hydration and intense antioxidant protection. 

When To Use Lip Stains

You can use lip stains when you want long-lasting color without the creamy, textured feel of lipstick when you want long-lasting color. If you prefer a lot of pigment without any weight. You can dress them up or down, depending on the shade. They also work well under glosses. 

4. Lipstick

The original of originals, lipstick is the classic product you’ve known since you were old enough to sneak your mom’s and try it on. Lipstick comes in various finishes like satin, matte, sheer, and frosted. 

Lipstick is usually thicker and more long-lasting than a balm or a stain and has less shine than a gloss. 

Be careful to avoid unsafe ingredients that are frequently added to traditional lipsticks. Fish scales (on the label as pearl essence), carmine (crushed beetles), synthetic dyes, parabens, and PFAS (a group of toxic chemicals) have all been found in traditional lipsticks. Of course, you’ll never find any toxin in any RMS Beauty product. 

  • One to try. RMS Beauty Wild With Desire Lipstick. Our founder’s favorite. Bold, richly pigmented, and impressively comfortable, you’ll love these satin finishes of intense color. Formulated with RMS Beauty Oil to keep lips hydrated and smooth, you’ll never have to worry about feathering or bleeding. 

When To Wear Lipstick

A better question? When not to wear lipstick. We can’t think of a single instance when lipstick wouldn’t be 100% appropriate (except for sleeping on pure white, 700 thread count, Egyptian cotton sheets). 

Wear lipstick when you want a rich, comfortable color that will last and won’t easily kiss-off on coffee ups or your significant other. 

5. Lip Liner

Technically, lip liner isn’t lipstick, but you can definitely substitute it in a pinch or if you just really love your liner color. Lip liner is used as a guide to help you keep your lipstick in the right places. It’s also great for preventing lip colors from feathering into fine lines and wrinkles or bleeding over the edges. 

Lip liner can be used with or without a coordinating lip color. If you use lip liner alone, choose a product that easily glides onto lips and can be blended inward with a lip brush. 

  • One to try: RMS Beauty Lip Liner. Ethically and sustainably sourced beeswax give our lip liner a smooth, creamy feel that helps keep your lips defined and your lip color in place. 

When To Use Lip Liner

Obviously, you don’t have to use lip liner to wear lip color, but for a truly defined and ultra-full lip, liner is a must. Use lip liner along with your favorite lipsticks, lip stains, or tinted glosses. However, avoid the urge to tap into your early 2000’s roots and wear colored liner with clear gloss. 

Helpful Hints

Want to wear lipstick like the pros? Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get amazing color and long-lasting wearability every time. 

  • Don’t put powder over your lip color. It won’t help set it and can actually oxidize and change your lip color into an entirely different shade.
  • To pull off nude-colored lipstick, choose a color that is one to two shades darker than your skin tone. Finish with a dot of gloss in the center of your lips to help create extreme volume. 
  • Before you apply bright-colored lipstick, make sure your lips are intensely hydrated. If not, your lip color could catch on bits of dry, dead skin. 
  • Learn to blend shades to create a truly unique color you love. Experiment with colors and finishes until you build a customizable color and finish that is exclusively yours. 
  • Wear what you love. Nothing looks as good as confidence. If you love ultra-bright lipstick for days at home or for coffee with a friend, wear it! 

It’s easy to get the looks you love and avoid uncomfortable lipstick or lip color once you understand how lip products are made and the best ways to use them. For more tips and a how-to guide for selecting the perfect color, check out this handy guide

Swipe on Style, Not Chemicals

At RMS Beauty, we make it easy to find the lipsticks and lip products you want without the worry of placing toxins on the delicate skin of your lips. Whether it’s a hydrating balm or an intensely pigmented lip stain you crave, you can trust RMS Beauty to deliver products that are the cleanest available and always outperform their traditional beauty counterparts. 


Parabens | Safe Cosmetics

The Dirty Dozen: Petrolatum | David Suzuki Foundation

Scientists Find Toxic 'Forever Chemicals' in More Than 100 Popular Makeup Products | Smart News | Smithsonian Magazine

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