Pigmented lips have been a key component to makeup throughout history, and lip stain products have been around for decades. The more contemporary lip tints, as popularized by Korean makeup brands and celebrities, offer a more natural-looking finish that doesn’t stain on the lips. The difference between the two lies within the formulation: lip stains bleed into top layers of the skin to leave a bright, pigmented finish that lasts all day, while lip tints boast a sheer look that can be smudged during application for desired effect.
Because of the lip tint’s surge in popularity, ease of use, pretty pigments and long-lasting effects, many people find themselves asking, “Are lip tints better than lipsticks?” There’s never a right or wrong answer when it comes to preference in cosmetics, and the finishes between lip tints and lipsticks are rather different. Lip tints, however, do take the win on long-lasting wear as lipsticks generally aren’t transfer- or budge-proof, and require frequent touch-ups throughout the day.
Korean lip tints are long-lasting for up to 12 hours of wear, depending on which type you choose. The more common ones are liquid, peel-off and tint sticks. Liquid lip tints usually come in a bottle with a doe-foot applicator and deliver light coverage that won’t require frequent reapplication. As implied by the name, peel-off lip tints are peeled off after the initial layer has fully dried, and the pigments last up to 12 hours without the need for touching up. Similarly, tint sticks offer long-lasting color even after the first layer has worn off, but the look and finishing usually resemble a lip balm or lipstick.
Many K-Beauty brands carry lip tints due to the popularity of the product. Singaporean online magazine Female Mag ranked the following as some of the best Korean lip tint brands: romand, LANEIGE, MISSHA, innisfree, [email protected], Dear Dahlia, IM'UNNY, Mamonde, 3CE, HERA, PONY EFFECT and moonshot. Brands often present lip tints in different types, formulas and lines to appeal to different customers. For example, innisfree Vivid lip tints come in a variety of finishes, ranging from cotton and jelly to shine and blur, and there’s even an oil tint formulation that is moisturizing. Easily recognized thanks to its signature cute packaging, peripera’s lip tint collection offers an extensive selection of colors and finishes.
Common lip tint formulations include watery, creamy, gel and oil. Water-based lip tints are great for those who want a natural look, but with an added versatility to craft vibrant and vivid lip makeup. A thin layer of watery tint can offer a non-glossy finish that enhances natural lips, but it can also be layered on for more intense color payoff. Water-based tints are usually long-lasting, but they tend to lack moisturizing properties due to their buildable nature. One of the more popular ETUDE lip tints, the Dear Darling Water Tint is known for its water-like sheerness and buildable pigments.
The ETUDE Dear Darling Water Gel Tint is the perfect example of a gel-type formulation. Boasting a jelly-like consistency that offers slightly richer pigmentation than water types, it leaves a dewy and glowing finish, as if you’re wearing lip gloss. The glossy shine can wear off rather quickly, so reapplication may be needed to maintain the same glossy effect.
Creamy lip tints function like a liquid lipstick, offering rich pigments and long-lasting wear. Most creamy tints boast a matte finish and aren’t very moisturizing. As matte formulas do have a tendency to dry out lips, prepping beforehand with a lip balm is recommended. 3CE lip tints are known for their iconic petal-soft effect, and the Cloud Lip Tint sets the example with its super soft and smudge-proof application that leaves a slightly blurred, matte finish. Similarly, THE FACE SHOP‘s Gelato Tint boasts a mousse-like texture that glides on lips for a smooth, airy velvet finish. Its adorable ice cream cone-like container also adds to its appeal.
Oil-based lip tints offer the most moisturizing power, making them a popular choice for those with dry lips. These usually leave a gloss when freshly applied, but dry off with a more prominent tinted effect. The lilybyred Bloody Liar Coating Tint, as modeled by K-pop multi-talent Kwon Hyun-bin, does exactly this while creating vivid and lustrous lips. Infused with nourishing oils, oil lip tints are great for dry climates and also for summer as they require minimal touch-ups throughout the day.
When it comes to Korean makeup trends, many looks become popular after they’re seen on K-pop idols and famous actresses. The gradient lip look, also known as the bitten lip look or popsicle-stained lips, is the most iconic Korean lip look. To achieve gradient lips, start by exfoliating and moisturizing your lips with a lip balm. Apply a thin layer of concealer over your lips so that your chosen lip color can really pop. Fill in the inner lip with your chosen lip product, and then use a cotton swab, lip brush or your finger to blend the color with slightly outward motions until you achieve the desired ombré effect.
Another popular look is matching your lip and cheek makeup. Usually sheer formulas and more muted shades are recommended for this to create a “naturally flushed” look, but it can also work with vibrant hues for a statement makeup look, as seen in K-pop music videos. VILLAGE 11 FACTORY’s Real Fit Lip And Cheek is designed to craft a balanced look with just one product that functions as both a lip tint and blush.
Unless you’re opting for an ambitious lip look that requires more patience and technique, applying lip tint is usually pretty straightforward, depending on the type of applicator it comes with. Water, creamy and gel formulas often come with a doe-foot applicator that ensures easy layering and fairly good control over application. Always have a mirror handy when applying and remember to moisturize your lips beforehand.
Lip tints are completely safe to use, but many can be quite drying. Because of the strong pigments and long-wear formula, it also requires a little more effort to thoroughly remove lip tint. Gently massage lips with cleansing oil or an oil-based cleansing balm. The oil will gradually dissolve stubborn residue, but it’ll take a few tries to completely remove the tint.
Many beginners wonder how to choose a lip tint when starting their journey in Korean makeup. The best way to figure this out is to choose a formula that works well with your skin and comes in a finish that you love. Picking out a color that goes well with your complexion is critical. Warm hues such as orange and reds complement those with a warmer skin tone, while plum and blue hues suit those with a cool undertone. Learn how to identify your skin’s undertone here.
So, can men wear lipstick and lip tint? Of course! Many Korean cosmetics are modeled or inspired by male stars. VT Cosmetics made a whole line of products in collaboration with BTS, and the BTS Gloria Lip Color Balm is just one of the many lip products the brand offers.
Overall, lip tints are handy to have as they require little to no reapplication throughout the day, making them perfect for those who have no time for touch-ups. Whether you’re looking to attain enviable pink lips that last all day, or a natural and subtle MLBB shade that works with your skin tone, dive into YesStyle’s hundreds of lip tint offerings. There’s bound to be one that’ll have you jump on the lip tint bandwagon!