Lip Tint vs Lip Stain – Which one is Really Better

Lip Tint Vs Lip Stain

The makeup products used to add color to lips have been limited to lipsticks and glosses for the better part of a century. But recently more options for lip coloring products have been created.

Now, this article will compare two new lip coloring products Lip stains and Lip Tints, so that you can easily decide which of them is better suited for your makeup routine.

What is a Lip Tint & a Lip Stain?

Because lip stains and lip tints are new products, many misconceptions surround them. People often mistake tints and stains as being the same product and use the names interchangeably.

While lip tints and lip stains work very similarly, they are two completely different products. The major difference between a Lip stain and a lip tint has to do with the intensity of the pigment and the wear time.

Lip stains “STAIN” your lips using a lightweight formula that has full coverage pigment and is long-lasting as well. While lip tints give your lips a sheer natural-looking color, but won’t last as long as stains.

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You can actually use food coloring to tint your lips click here to read – Natural DIY Lip Stain with Food Coloring – Safe & Easy

Lip Tints

Lip tints were originally a Korean beauty product but it has since been gaining popularity worldwide. Lip tints are lip products that use a water-based formula to add a mild, sheer, natural-looking color all over lips.

Lip tints are great because:

  • They tend to have a buildable formula that is great for creating the gradient or ombre style of lip makeup.
  • Some lip tints are multipurpose and may also be used as a cheek tint or as an eye shadow.
  • Tints can be quite moisturizing to the lips and often have a natural dewy finish.
  • They can also be used for covering any mild discoloration on lips.

*The gradient lip style is a brighter color on the inside of the lips that fades as you get closer to the edge of the lips. 

Another great way to stain or tint your lips is to use Beetroot click here to read how.

Related Article: 10 Amazing Benefits of Using Lip Tint (& 5 Drawbacks)

Video Showing Application of Lip Tints

Application of Lip Tints

Related Article: Lip Blushing 101: How long Does it Last, Costs, Pros & Cons

Lip Stains

Lip stains are lip products that use mainly a water-based or gel-based formula to leave a long-lasting, smudge-proof color on the lips.

Some lip stains can last for up to 18 hours. This is because lip stains stain the outer layer of lips like a temporary tattoo. Plus most lip stains have a quick-drying formulation which also helps with their long wear time.

The pigment in lip stains tends to be full coverage and vibrant. This is ideal for covering discoloration on lips. Most lip stains tend to have matte finishes or shiny finishes.

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Video Showing Application of Lip stain

Application of lip stains

Table Comparing Lip Tints & Lip Stains

Lip TintsLip Stains
Color IntensityLip tints have more muted pigments and are suitable for a more natural lookLip stains have colors that are bold and very pigmented
Lip tints have a limited shade range compared to other lip productsLip stains have limited shades. This is because only a few dyes can be used for staining
IngredientsNew formulas of Lip tints have a nourishing effect on lipsLip stains tend to be very drying on lips
FinishesLip tints traditionally
have a sheer, matte,
or natural finish
Most lip stains are matte, shiny, or satin
LongevityTints last about 3-4 hoursThe wear time for lip stains vary. But they last anywhere from 6-18 hours
CoverageA tint has a sheer natural coverage. But depending on the tint coverage can be buildableLip stains have a more full coverage effect on lips
SmudgeLip tints are more easily smudged compared to stains and may need reapplication during the dayLip stains are difficult to smudge because they dry quickly and leave a temporary long-lasting stain on lips.
Gradient EffectThe texture of lip tints makes it easy to layer colors and thus creating the gradient effectLip stains dry easy and can be difficult to control the saturation of pigment
Ease of applicationLip tints are made from a lightweight liquid formula so they must be carefully appliedThe pigments in lip stains are quite strong so careful application is necessary. The formula is also runny and very liquid-like
Texture on lipsLip tints smoothen the appearance of fine lines on lipsLip stains can be drying on the lips because of their water-based formula.
Comparison of lip tints and lip stains

Which Looks Better- Lip tints or Lip stains

The decision of which lip product looks better comes down to personal preference. Lip tints are more natural looking on the lips leaving only a mild flush of color. It is also great at smoothing fine lines on the lips.

While Lip stains are more full coverage and great at covering any discoloration on lips.

But lip stains are more drying to the lips due to the pigments which may highlight dried cracked lines on the lips.

However, a lip balm may be worn over a lip stain to help with hydration. While lip tints tend to have ingredients that are hydrating in them.

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Which Lasts Longer – Lip Tint Vs Lip Stain

Lip stains are more long-lasting than lip tints. Lip stains last anywhere from 6-18 hours depending on the brand. While lip tints last 3-4 hours depending on the product as well as how often you eat or drink after application.

Which Smudges More Easily – Lip Tints or Lip Stains

Lip stains dry quickly and leave a long-lasting stain that is difficult to remove. This means that lip stains require fewer or no reapplication during the day.

Lip tints are easier to smudge or transfer so reapplication may be necessary. This may be because some tints have hydrating oils that may affect wear time.

Differences in How Lip Tints & Lip Stain work

Lip tints and lip stains are often mistaken for each other, this leads to confusion for manufacturers as well as cosmetics users.

The reason why lips tints and lip stains are often mistaken for one another is because they work using a similar lightweight liquid formula that leaves a stain or temporary color on the outer layer of the lips.

The science behind the way lip tints and stains work is that they use a water base with a liquid, gel, or mousse consistency with pigments inside. The pigment in the formula clings to the surface layer of the lips once the watery base has evaporated.

While the formula may have some similarities. The major difference in these lip tints and stains has to do with the quantity of ingredients in the formula.

Lip stains have more intense pigments that stain the lips for a long time. While tints have a more sheer formula that gives a wash of color with a little pigment that mildly “tints” the lips. Also, most lip tint formulas have hydrating ingredients in them that lip stains don’t have.

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