Long-lasting lipsticks work 9 to 5 and beyond

Emotional Brilliance Liquid Lips from LUSH marks the skincare brand's foray into color cosmetics. The 13 shades come housed in little containers that could pass for nail polish or tiny dropper bottles and sell for $22.95.
Special to the Los Angeles Times

Set aside those pots of sheer glosses and tubes of shimmer.

For fall, fashionable lips will be wearing liquid lipsticks, a new generation of lip cosmetics designed to go on almost like paint, create a stained or lacquered effect and last all day — and, in some cases, well into the night.

International brands such as Guerlain and Revlon as well as smaller labels with cult followings, like Hourglass and Lush, are putting out versions of liquid lipsticks, providing a bold and dramatic counterpoint to summer’s lighter sheens. Christina Hendricks, Kat Dennings and Zooey Deschanel all wore Hourglass liquid lipstick to last Sunday’s Emmys.

“The consistency and finish are perfect for this fall’s lush lip stories,” said makeup artist Pati Dubroff, who has worked with Kirsten Dunst and Charlize Theron and is one of the “curators” in the beauty category at


Dubroff says she is drawn to the “richness and vibrancy of color” of liquid lipsticks. They are typically applied with a small brush or sponge-tipped applicator, and some come with a clear gloss to seal in the color.

“This type of lipstick gives a rich velvet-like finish that works so well with fall’s richer texture clothing,” Dubroff said. “Also, vibrant ‘full body’ lips are an important trend.”

Because the colors are so attention-grabbing, Dubroff recommends wearing the liquid lipstick with soft, understated eyes to “let lips make the full statement.” She suggests a well-defined brow, and a harmonizing blush, preferably crème, perhaps something from Kevyn Aucoin.

That approach, she said, will help to “keep the face sweet and healthy looking and to avoid the face disappearing if the lip is very strong.”


Among the new products:

Opaque Rouge liquid lipsticks from Hourglass Cosmetics come in compact spherical shells for $28, but don’t let the size of the container fool you: The product goes on strong, takes about a minute to “set” to a matte finish and then stays on from morning to bedtime, eating and drinking notwithstanding. The nine shades include brilliant tangerine, aubergine and cherry red. Extracts of goji berry keep lips nourished.

Emotional Brilliance Liquid Lips from Lush marks the skin-care brand’s foray into color cosmetics. The 13 shades come housed in little containers that could pass for nail polish or tiny dropper bottles and sell for $22.95. The line is based on the idea that colors should be picked according to the wearer’s mood at that time, so names include words such as “Confident” and “Decisive.” They are strong shades, so a daub of gloss or lip balm can help soften the look.

Stila’s Stay All Day liquid lipstick, $22, glides on and adheres so well to lips it took cleanser and some brisk wiping with a hand towel to remove it. Vitamin E and avocado oil fend off any seasonal dryness. The 10 shades include both matte and shimmer — and even without the use of a mirror it went on perfectly.


The people behind Make Up For Ever clearly take the name seriously: The company’s new Aqua Rouge liquid lipstick, $24, almost melds to the lips. It is a two-headed product: high-powered color at one end, and a gloss on the other to give the lips a lacquered effect and seal in the color, meaning that coffee mugs, wine glasses and pillow cases are almost impervious to it.

At the premium end of the market is Guerlain’s Rouge G L’Extrait, priced at $48. The liquid goes on a bit like a gloss but then dries to a strong matte finish. Exotic ingredients like guggul resin — used in Ayurvedic medicine — and tiger grass soothe, smooth and stimulate while the color does its thing. The shades are named in French after the seven cardinal sins.

Revlon’s Colorstay Ultimate liquid lipstick could be a record-breaker for staying power — it may still be on lips 24 hours after it’s applied. It doesn’t need touch-ups, even after lunch (and dinner) and may need to be removed with cleanser. And at $10.99, it is perhaps the best value of all.