Lip Makeup

Lip Stains And Lip Tints | How To Tell Them Apart?

Even a bare face can be instantly lifted with a pop of color on the lip. Lip Stains vs Lip Tints, we are effortlessly spoiled for choice when it comes to makeup for the lips!

Written by Aashika Rajendran

On Feb 12, 2024 – 8 minutes read

Lip Stains vs LipTintsHow To Tell Them Apart

If you are someone who wants to make a statement, yet likes to keep things subtle, then a full matte or glossy lipstick could be too much for you. 2023 is mostly about glazed skin and natural-looking makeup. Bold looks, for now, are staying on just the runways and special events. If you look at celebrity weddings that took place recently the makeup is barely there.  So far if you have only limited yourself to the world of lipsticks, lip glosses, and lip oils, it’s time to open new doors and explore the world of tints and stains. 

Beware though, lip tints and lip stains could quickly become your go-to lippies and you might forget your lipsticks. Though there is no doubt you will love both a lip tint and a lip stain, we are here to help you bring it down to one—lip stains vs lip tints.

People usually tend to confuse lip stains vs lip tints to be the same when both are two different products serving different purposes. If you are looking for low-maintenance, little to no touch-up lip products, then keep reading. 

Lip Stains vs Lip Tints: What Is A Lip Stain?

Lip stains are super long-lasting as well as lightweight. Initially, when one applies a lip stain it might look like lipstick,  but if you give it some time it might settle into the lips giving you a soft and natural flush. A  lip stain is absorbed into the epidermis of the lips, unlike lipsticks that sit on top of the lips.  Hence the epidermis is stained temporarily. Usually, a stain needs to be removed by a makeup remover.  If you need a long-lasting lip color that looks natural and requires very little to no reapplication at all, then lip stain is the perfect option for you.

How Does One Apply Lip Stain The Right Way?

Just like how the product is very effortless to carry, the application process of lip stain is also effortless. But even with lip stains to make it look flawless and natural, lip care is very important. Proper lip care can make a lot of difference in how the stain looks on the lips. To look very natural, it is recommended to scrub the lips and apply lip balm before applying a lip stain. With lip stains, a little goes a long way. The product is buildable to the desired intensity. Once your lip is moisturized well, apply a few dots of lip satin and rub your lips together to blend the product across your lips evenly. You can also use your fingers to dab the product over your lips to give a nice blurred-out effect(1).

What Is A Lip Tint?

If you are into comfortable and almost non-existent makeup then lip tints are your best friend. A lip product that can give the most natural-looking color to your lips would be lip tints. If you want your lips to look natural but just a bit put together then lip tints can help you get the job done.  Lip tints come in cream and powder formulas and go perfectly well with a no-makeup makeup look or can be used on just your bare face to give a nice healthy color.

How Does One Apply Lip Tint The Right Way?

Similar to the application of lip stains, lip tints also require prepping before application for a flawless finish. Using a gentle lip exfoliator along with a very nourishing lip balm will make your tint application even more flawless.

Tip: Avoid a lip liner and use a lip base or an eye shadow base as a primer to make your lip tints last all day.

Lip Stains vs Lip Tints, How To Tell Them Apart?

Lip Tint vs Lip Stain, is a tough choice to make, here is a comparison of lip tint and lip stain  to help you understand better and find the one you are looking for:

  • Finish: Lip stains come in a variety of different finishes similar to lipsticks, such as satin, matte, and shiny while lip tints usually come in a more sheer, watery, and natural finish.
  • Intensity: Lip stains have various color choices and are usually more pigmented and eye-catching compared to lip tints. Lip tints have more subtle and natural-looking shades that are on the neutral side and suitable for almost all skin shades.
  • Shade options: Lip stains vs lip tints both have limited shade ranges when compared to normal lipstick. Lip tints have neutral and versatile shades that are suitable for all, while lip stains are restricted to a few shades as the stains can only be developed for a few selective shades.
  • Ingredients: Lip stains that are on the matte side can be drying on the lips when not hydrated properly before application whereas lip tints are more hydrating as they have moisturizing ingredients added to them.
  • Staying power: Lip stains vs lip tints, lip stains can stay put without smudging for longer hours when compared to lip tints. Stains can last for up to 8 to 16 hours while tints can last for up to 4 to 5 hours. Lip tints might need touch-ups.
  • Smudge-proof: Lip stains are smudge-proof as they stain the upper skin, epidermis, the lips, whereas tints can get faded out after having food or drinks and might require reapplication.
  • Coverage: Lip stains are full coverage when compared to lip tints. Tints are very natural looking and they add a slight natural flush of color to the lips. One can build the coverage of a lip tint as desired for a bold look.
  • Easy Application: Lip tints and lip stains are both runny. But lip stains need more careful application as they can be hard to correct once stained. Lip tints on the other hand are very easy to apply as well as remove.
  • Texture: Lip tints even work on very dry lips making them look plump and hydrated whereas lip stains can be drying and accentuate dry and chapped lips.

SoulFactors recommended: Best Lip Tints And Best Lip Stains of 2023

List Of Best Lip Stains Of 2023

  1. BENEFIT COSMETICS, Benetint Cheek and Lip Stain
  2. R.E.M. BEAUTY, Practically Permanent Lip Stain Marker
  3. YSL BEAUTY, Vinyl Cream Lip Stain
  4. CLARINS, Water Lip Stain
  5. L’ORÉAL, Rouge Signature Lightweight Matte Lip Stain
  6. FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA, Poutsicle Hydrating Lip Stain
  7. FLOWER BEAUTY, Bitten Lip Stain
  8. SEPHORA COLLECTION, Cream Lip Stain Liquid Lipstick
  9. WONDERSKIN, Wonder Blading Peel & Reveal Lip Stain Kit
  10. Dior Addict Lip Tattoo
  11. Colourpop Fresh Kiss Glossy Lip Stain
  12. THE BODY SHOP, Lip, and Cheek Stain
  13. Buxom Serial Kisser Plumping Lip Stain
List Of Best Lip Stains Of 2023

List Of Best Lip Tints Of 2023

  1. ETUDE HOUSE, Fixing Tint 
  4. FRECK BEAUTY, Cheekslime Blush, and Lip Tint
  5. Earth Rhythm Lip Cheek Tint
  6. RENEE Super Natural Tinted Lip Oil
  7. The Face Shop Water Fit Lip Tint
  8. Nars Powermatte Lip Pigment
  9. Tonymoly Liptone Get It Tint
  10. The Etude House Dear Darling Water Gel Tint 
List Of Best Lip Tints Of 2023

Lip Stains Vs Lip Tints – Which One Should You Choose?

Picking a favorite from Lip stains vs Lip tints comes down to its staying power. If you are looking for something that will stay put all day long no matter what you eat or drink, then lip stain is the one you are looking for. Most lip stains have incredible staying power and won’t budge unless you remove them using a makeup wipe or a cleansing balm. 

Lip tint, on the other hand, will require frequent touch-ups but is very hydrating and almost non-existent on the lips giving only a slight tint of color, making it perfect for an everyday no-makeup makeup look.

Soft And Plump Lip Hacks: Tips To Carry Lip Tint And Lip Stain Like A Pro

Dead skin is never easy on the eyes. No matter what you apply to your lips, dead skin can make everything look patchy. All makeup products need an even surface to sit well. 

  • Get rid of those dry and flaky skin with a good lip scrub. You can make your lip scrubs at home or get one from your nearest drugstore. Take a generous amount of your favorite lip scrub and apply a thick layer on your lips. Now using your fingers massage the product into your lips(2). 
  • Rinse off the product with lukewarm water after a minute and lather on some lip balm or just good old vaseline. Doing this once or twice every week will give you plump and soft lips.

Note:  Do not apply force while applying a lip scrub, this can damage the lips and even hurt them.

  • During day time use a lip balm with SPF for added hydration as well as protection
  • Start by applying the lip product (lip stain or lip tint) from the center of your lips and gradually follow the lip contours, this will give a nice natural and gradient effect on the lip, giving you the perfect pout for a selfie.

How To Remove Lip Tint And Lip Stain The Right Way?

Lip tints can come off easily when compared to lip stains. An oil-based makeup remover or a cleansing balm will do the job. Soak a cotton pad in the makeup remover and gently place it on your lips and wipe off till the product fully transfers to the cotton pad.

Final Verdict

Lip stains vs lip tints, both are great for everyday wear as well as occasional wear. Choosing one will depend on what your needs are, but here is a little tip. Wear lip tints when you are out having fun or running small errands and don’t feel like applying anything apparent on your lips. Choose lip stains when you are busy and have no time for touch-ups and you need something that will be long lasting but also not so obvious looking. For example, lip stains are perfect for date nights, you can eat your favorite food and drink all you want, not worrying about retouching.

So which one did you pick, feel free to let us know.

Pout away like it’s nobody’s business!

  1. (2021). Clinical Assessment of a Combination Lip Treatment to Restore Moisturization and Fullness. (Online). Available at
  2. The Skin Cancer Foundation A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. (2023). 5 Tips for Taking Care of Your Lips. (Online). Available at

Subscribe to Newsletter

Elevate your routine, stay on trend, and embrace a personalized beauty journey with our curated insights.


Aashika is a makeup and beauty expert known for creating stunning looks that not only accentuate facial features but also empower women to feel confident in their skin.

Reviewer name

Reviewer bio

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *