Lipstick Vs Lip Tint What’s the Difference & Which is Better

Lipstick Vs Lip Tint What's the Difference & Which is Better
Lipstick Vs Lip Tint What’s the Difference & Which is Better

Adding color to your lips has been a cosmetics ingenuity used to improve your appearance for centuries. Today there are so many specially formulated products designed to color your lips that it can become confusing.

Now in this article, we will be focusing on two leading products in the lip coloring market- lipsticks and lip tints. We will compare the two and show you the differences to help you decide which one is right for you.

Related Article: Lip Tint vs Lip Stain – Which one is Really Better

What are Lipsticks and Lip Tints

Lipsticks are the most used lip product for applying color to lips. Lip tints on the other hand are new to the lip coloring market but are becoming increasingly popular.

Lip Tint

Lip Tints were initially a Korean beauty product but it has since gained popularity worldwide.

A Lip tint is a cosmetic that applies a sheer natural-looking color all over lips. Lip tints are also the perfect product to create the gradient or ombré lip style.

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.  Lip tints can also be used for covering any discoloration on lips.

Lip tints have a liquid texture because it is made from a water-based formula. Tints have a mostly sheer or matte finish. But the level of coverage will generally vary with each type of tint. Lip tints are packaged in vessels similar to lip gloss and lip balms.

Related Article: What is a Lip Tint & Tips How to Correctly Apply it

You can check out the links below to see the lip tints that I think are the best:

Pacifica Beauty Color Quench Natural Lip Tint

TonyMoly So Juicy Lip Tint


A Lipstick is a cosmetic product that is made of pigments, oils, waxes, and emollients– and is used to apply texture and a full-coverage color to the lips. Lipsticks have different textures depending on the finish. They can be glossy, matte, sheer, and metallic.

Most lipsticks are sold in tubes like vessels. Traditionally, lipsticks were manufactured in a solid bullet-like shape. But most recently liquid lipsticks are being made and packaged in cylindrical vessels with a brush utensil.

Lipsticks are easy to apply but wear off quickly. They need to be reapplied throughout the day.

Maybelline offers a wide variety of long-lasting shades. You can click here to check them out on Amazon.

Lipstick and Lip Tint – Which is Better

Lipsticks and lip tints are both amazing products. In deciding which product is better, you need to consider many factors. Below are some comparisons that highlight the differences in both products.

LipStickLip Tint
There are a large variety of lipstick shades to choose from.There is not a large variety of shade
options in lip tints.
IngredientsMost lipsticks have ingredients that are very hydrating & nourishing
to the lips.
Traditional lip tints
were drying to the lips
but recent formulas have improved to be more hydrating.
FinishesLipsticks are available
in metallic, matte,
glossy, & sheer finishes.
Lip tints traditionally
have a sheer, matte,
or natural finish.
LongevityLipsticks need to be reapplied often
because it wears off.
Lip Tints last longer
so fewer touch-ups
are needed.
CoverageLipsticks offer more
full coverage to the lips.
Lip tints have a
more natural
sheer coverage.
TextureLipsticks settle into
the natural lip lines.
Lip tints give the lips a smoother appearance.
SmudgeLipsticks are easy to smudge.Lip tints don’t smudge easily.
Gradient EffectLipsticks are tricky to use for gradient effects.Lip tints give a great gradient effect.
Ease of applicationEasier to apply – Lipsticks glide easily when applied.Lip tints need to be
applied carefully.
Ease of TransferMost lipsticks have a creamy texture so
they may transfer.
Lip tints dry easily
and don’t transfer.

Video Showing the Difference Between LipStick & Lip Tints

Comparing lipsticks and lip tints

Difference of How Lipsticks & Lip Tints Work


When lipstick is applied to the lips it changes the natural color of the lips because the lipstick and its pigment cover the surface of the lips.

Lipsticks work well to color lips because of their ingredients. The exact blend of a lipstick is usually a closely guarded secret by the manufacturer. But ingredients can usually be put into standard categories of waxes, oils and fats, emollients, and pigments.

Each ingredient serves a special purpose that makes lipsticks work so well:

  • The Wax enables the mixture to be molded into the shape of the lipstick.
  • The Oils and the wax enable the lip stick to glide smoothly on the lips.
  • Emollients help to moisturize and protect lips
  • Pigments give the lip a beautiful color.

Related Articles-

Does Lipstick Darken Lips & Can it be Bad for Your Lips

Solid vs Liquid Lipstick- Which Looks Better & Last Longer

Lip Tints

Lip tints are mostly water-based with a liquid, gel, or mousse base with pigments inside. The pigment in the tint clings to the surface layer of the lips when the watery base has evaporated.

What makes a lip tint formula work differently from lipsticks has to do with its chemical formulation. Most lipsticks are oil-based, whereas tints are water-based or gel-based.

In tints, the water is what makes it easily absorbed by the skin, and the dyes are used to give color to tint the lips. When the water in the tint dissipates, the pigment remains and “tints” or “stains” the lips.  

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

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Lip Tints Effects

Once applied Lip tints work quickly to add an effortless flush of translucent color to lips. However, some tints can be a very drying effect. If your lips are already dried or cracked make sure to moisturize them with a lip balm before applying the tint.

When choosing lip tints look for ones with hyaluronic acid and other hydrating ingredients that are good for the lips.

Related Article – Natural & Permanent Ways How to Darken Lips

Lipsticks Effects

Once your lips are not dry or cracked- lipsticks are easy to apply and glide smoothly on the lips. Once applied most types of lipsticks tend to have a hydrating effect on the lips which will give the appearance of plumper lips.

However, some lipsticks such as matte and long-wear lipstick tend to dry out your lips so if you already have dry lips, you should use a conditioning lipstick or a tinted lip balm over them.

It is also important to note that some studies have found that some lipsticks have a small amount of lead in them and researchers have advocated taking a break from wearing lipstick at least once a week.

Related Article – Natural DIY Lip Stain with Food Coloring – Safe & Easy

Which One Lasts Longer – Lip Tint Vs Lip Sticks

Lip Tints last longer than lipsticks. Lip tints last an average of six hours when applied correctly while traditional lipsticks tend to last 3-4 hours.

Lip tints are mostly water-based so they are very resistant to your lip movement which lengthens the duration of the pigment. Lipsticks on the other hand don’t last as long because they are made with wax and other oils so they are easily removed.

Matte lipsticks, however, tend to last much longer than traditional lipsticks but they are very drying.

Which one Smudges More Easily – Lipsticks Vs Lip Tints

Traditional lipsticks are easier to smudge when compared to lip tints. This is because Lip tints stay on the lips without moving because the pigment tint the actual surface of the lips,

Unlike lipsticks which just sit on top of the lips, this is because the ingredients in lipsticks are oil-based.

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

Tips for applying a lipstick to avoid smudging

Follow these steps to properly apply lipstick

  1. Exfoliate lips to remove dead skin for a smooth application.
  2. Remove the exfoliator using warm water.
  3. Use a lip balm and allow it to sit on lips for a few minutes.
  4. Next, remove lip balm.
  5. Then apply a lip primer, this will help the lipstick to last longer.
  6. Use a lip liner, to trace the out line of your lips. This will prevent bleeding or smudging.
  7. Drag the lipstick from the center to the corner of your mouth. Swipe the lipstick from the center of your Cupid’s bow out to the corner of your upper lip.
  8. Then, position your lipstick in the center of your bottom lip and spread it out to the corner of your bottom lip on each side.
  9. Use your fingers to apply a second layer.
  10. Blot the excess lipstick with a tissue.

Steps to Applying lip tint

Follow these steps to properly apply lip tints.

  • Make sure your lips are soft and smooth by using a lip scrub.
  • Rinse thoroughly to remove lip scrub with lukewarm water.
  • Apply a moisturizing lip balm for a few minutes then remove.
  • Apply the tint carefully, starting in the center of your upper lip. Work from the middle to the outer edges of your lips, following the contour of your mouth.
  • Then, glide across the bottom lip and fill in.

The Difference Between a Lip Stain & a Lip Tint

Many people confuse lip tints and lip stains because they work similarly, but they are actually different lip products.

Lip stains “stain” the lips (leaving behind temporary, long-lasting color). Whereas lip tints tend to deposit color that is milder in pigment, more translucent, and more easily removed than lip stains.

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