Many of us started our makeup journeys with traditional, solid lipsticks. They came in all sorts of fun, roll-up tubes. Then liquid lipsticks made an entrance and it was all the rage.
Some of us switched and swore we would never go back. Some of us decided liquid lipsticks just weren’t for us.
And, some of us (not calling names but “some of us” could be “me”) simply cannot pass up any lipstick so we have hoards of both solid and liquid ones. But which lipstick is better – solid or liquid?
What is the Difference Between Solid and Liquid Lipstick
The biggest difference between sold and liquid lipsticks is the formula.
Liquid lipstick, as the name suggests, has a more fluid consistency. It is designed to stain your lips and dry down so that it does not budge.
On the other hand, solid lipsticks have a thicker, creamier formula that we can think of like Crayola for your lips. It is designed to sit on top of your lips like a coat of color.
However, at the end of the day, a lipstick’s formula will determine how it is packaged, how it needs to be used, how long it will last on your lips, how it will look, and even how it will feel.
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Solid vs Liquid Lipstick – A Comparison
|Solid Lipstick||Liquid Lipstick|
|Ease of Application||The common bullet-shaped, twist-up stick is easy to use and apply.||Harder to apply due to the runnier formula but |
|Ease of Removal||Usually easily wiped off.||Harder to remove. You may need to use some sort of makeup remover.|
|Appearance||Can be available in a variety of finishes – the most common being satin.||Also available in a variety of finishes – the most common being matte.|
|How long will it last||Can last a few hours if you are careful.||Most are designed to last all day or night, food or no food.|
|Wearability (Comfort)||More comfortable to keep on your lips and some are even moisturizing.||Less comfortable to wear as they tend to get very dry.|
|Hygiene||Easier to keep clean and avoid germs.||Harder to keep clean and avoid germs.|
|Shelf Life||Will have a longer shelf life.||Will expire faster than solid lipsticks.|
|Color Payoff||Available in MANY shades but the pigmentation is average.||Pigmentation is more intense. Also available in MANY shades.|
Which Last Longer Solid or Liquid Lipstick
Solid lipsticks can hold up well and last a few hours if you do not eat or drink using your lips directly. Most ladies use a straw and utensils to avoid food touching their lips. Kissing (ahem) is a definite no-no! And remember, no wiping!
Liquid lipsticks, on the other hand, are designed to hold up all day or all night. Some even survive food and blotting with napkins! I haven’t put any of my liquid lipsticks through the kiss test, but I would not be surprised if some of them lasted through that too!
Which one is Easier to Apply
Solid Lipsticks usually come in a twist-up tube that is applied directly to the lip like chapstick, or with a lip brush that is brushed over the lipstick first to pick up some pigment and then passed over the lips like shading a painting.
On the other hand, liquid lipsticks usually come in a tube with an applicator wand. The wand comes out of the tube with the lipstick on it and is used to apply the lipstick on your lips like a shader brush. The lipstick itself is much runnier and harder to control when shading your lips.
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Which is Easier to Remove
Solid lipsticks just sit on top of your lips and can be easily wiped off. Some even come off gradually if you constantly lick your lips.
However, liquid lipsticks are a kind of stain that dries onto the skin of your lips. You will most likely need some kind of makeup remover to get it off.
Related Article – 7 Tips on How to Keep Lipstick & Gloss on While Eating
Which Looks Better – Liquid Vs Solid Lipstick
Both solid and liquid lipsticks are now available in formulas that look different on your lips. There are matte, glossy, metallic, frosted, shimmer and even satin. Solid lipsticks can look matte (no shine or gloss) but still maintain that creamy feel.
Or they can be designed to contain ingredients that provide gloss, shimmer, frost or even a satin look.
Liquid lipstick, however, is a bit more tricky. A very common one is matte liquid lipsticks which dry on your lips and look completely flat (no gloss, shine or moisture to be seen) or they dry down and look metallic (shiny but not glossy).
Others may come with a separate gloss to apply over the lipstick to give it the gloss, shimmer, frost or metallic look that you want.
Which is more Comfortable to Wear
Solid lipsticks are usually more comfortable to wear. Many are moisturizing and do not dry on your lips so you feel almost like you’re wearing chapstick.
On the other hand, liquid lipsticks get very dry on your lips and many people find that their lips feel stiff or too dry.
Which is Safer to Wear
Both solid and liquid lipsticks are generally safe to wear on your lips. It all depends on the ingredients. Always patch test first to make sure that you are not allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients in either kind of lipstick.
Related Article – Lipstick Allergies: How to Spot and Treat
Which is more Hygienic
Solid lipsticks are easier to keep clean, especially if you are using a clean lip brush to apply them rather than using the lipsticks directly on your lips.
This prevents the transfer of bacteria from your lips to the lipstick. If you use a clean brush every time, your lipstick should be relatively clean and last you at least until the end of its determined shelf life.
However, liquid lipsticks are usually formulated with more preservatives and other ingredients that prevent bacterial colonization inside the tube as the applicator is used and replaced.
Now, some bacteria will end up on the applicator and ultimately in the tube (unavoidable). After a while, you will need to dispose of and replace your lipstick (as you should).
Related Article – Does Lipstick Darken Lips & Can it be Bad for Your Lips
Which one has a Longer Shelf Life
Solid Lipsticks will have a longer shelf life. Eventually, creamy solid lipsticks will dry out and the preservatives will expire, which means their texture and ability to use safely will change. This happens slower than with liquid lipsticks.
Liquid lipsticks will expire faster than solid lipsticks. I’m sure many of you have noticed that sometimes your liquid lipsticks become dry or thick in the tube.
This is because the oils and emollients dry out, which makes the formula too thick (and probably unsafe) to use properly.
Related Article – Do Lipstick Expire & Is it Safe to use – Possible Dangers
The cost of both solid and liquid lipsticks will depend on the brand and the formula. Some solid lipsticks are more affordable than liquid lipsticks and vice versa.
Both solid and liquid lipsticks are now available in an endless range of shades and colors. However, when it comes to pigmentation, vibrance, and intensity, liquid lipsticks take the win. As they dry, they become more of everything.
Solid vs Liquid Lipstick – Which Is Better
Whether solid lipstick is better than liquid or vice versa will depend on personal preference.
Many things will factor into your decision.
If you do not mind reapplying your lipstick and you prefer the creamier, chapstick feel on your lips, or if you have dry lips and do not want to make them more dry, then solid lipsticks are your best bet. They are also easy and quick to apply.
However, if you prefer to apply your lipstick once and not have to worry about it again, and you do not mind the dry feeling, then liquid lipsticks will be your bff.