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Your Quick Guide to Lipstick Finishes
Dana Manuel
Published on

Like any beauty-obsessed girl, we believe that lipsticks are a girl’s best friend. It’s that one makeup product that can quickly turn your look from meh to fabulous. But with so many types of lipsticks available, deciding on what to buy can be a bit of a struggle. Choosing a shade is one thing, but you also have to figure out the finish and formula. While that’s good news to us beauty girls, it can be confusing if you haven’t done your research. So before you go buy that new lip color you’ve been eyeing, here’s a quick guide on the different types of lipstick finishes. 


Who's wearing red lips for the fourth? #MaryJo #fourthofjuly #kyliecosmetics 🇺🇸💋@lipstuff

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What It Is:
A matte finish has zero shine and a full opaque color. Matte lipsticks usually have a long-lasting formula with the tendency to be drying. But many makeup brands have been stepping up and coming out with more comfortable and moisturizing formulations to keep our pouts happy and flake-free.
Wear It When: When you have a busy day ahead with no time to touch up. It’s also great for lazy girls who just want to go about their day without worrying if they still have lipstick on.
iamClaire. Recommends: Kylie Lip Kit in Mary Jo K, Dose of Colors in Truffle, Girlactik Beauty Matte Lip Paint in Playful


Everyone's fave Ultra Satin lip in Echo Park @jadeywadey180 Buy 2 liquid lips, get 1 FREE!

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What It Is:
Satin finishes have a creamy texture that leaves a little bit of sheen on the lips. This type of finish provides you with a more moisturizing and comfortable wear compared to a matte lipstick. You’ll have to reapply more than usual with a satin lipstick since the creamy formula makes it easier for the pigment to wear off. 
Wear It When: When you have the time and the patience to reapply throughout the day. It’s great for everyday wear and casual days where you want to look put together without having to commit to a lipstick shade.
iamClaire. Recommends: Mac Satin Lipstick in Rebel,Colourpop Ultra Satin Lip in Dopey, Mac Satin Lipstick in Verve


Loving @glossier Zip on the lips 👄 sheer matte lipstick 💄

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What It Is:
Sheer lipsticks have the most lightweight formula, almost like a lip balm but with the slightest wash of color. They have the least amount of pigmentation, but are one of the most moisturizing lipstick finishes.
Wear It When: When you are doing a no-makeup makeup look and you want to enhance your natural lip color without completely covering it up. The light pigmentation makes it great for when you don’t want to look like you have anything on. Pa-fresh lang.
iamClaire. Recommends: Colourpop Ultra Blotted Lip in Zuma, Glossier Generation G lipstick in Crush, Clinique Chubby Stick in Oversized Orange 


What It Is:
Lip stains usually have a gel or liquid consistency that give the lips a long-lasting wash of color. Most stains settle on the inner part of the lips which is known as the gradient lip, a widely popular Korean makeup trend that mimics a cute, just-sucked-on-a-popsicle look.
Wear It When: When you want to look like your favorite K-drama unnie. This just-bitten look is for girls who want to sport a sweet and youthful makeup look. Just make sure to concentrate the product on the inner lips then blend it outwards with your finger.
iamClaire. Recommends: April Skin Fixing Tint in Peach Crush, Missha Aqua Gel Tint in Scarlet Orange, Seoul Skin Kiss and Blush Lip and Cheek Tint in Red Pink


What It Is: A glossy lipstick gives a high impact shine which creates a glazed, plumping effect on the lips. A lip gloss has a thicker texture, which makes it easier to come off compared to other lipstick finishes. It looks luscious on its own or on top of another lipstick.
Wear It When: You want your lips to look extra pouty and plump à la Angelina Jolie. You can wear a gloss on any occasion really, just probably not on when it’s windy and you’re wearing your hair down. While gloss looks cute on the lips, you don’t want it streaked all over your face.
iamClaire. Recommends: Girlactik Star Gloss in Bella, Kylie Cosmetics Gloss in Posie K, Colourpop Ultra Glossy Lip in Furry.

What’s your favorite lipstick finish? Leave a comment or better yet, show us by tagging us on Instagram @iamclaireph.