Diary / Beauty / Apr 17, 2023
What Is Lip Tint, and How Is It Different from Lipstick?
Written by: Piper Gray
Photography by: Ben Ritter & Jon Paterson
Growing up, you may have learned all about lipstick and how to apply it to dress up your looks, but lip tints are easy, worthwhile additions to your vanity or handbag. While the application of lip tints and lipsticks might be similar, there are differences in textures, intensity, and finishes. Read on to learn more about what exactly a lip tint is, what makes it different from lipstick, and even what lip stains are.
What is Lip Tint?
As you may have guessed from the name alone, lip tints offer color payoff that is on the more subtle side. Think: Lip tints, ours especially, offer a hint of color. They’re moisturizing and easy to apply. If you want a sheer wash of color that you can intensify or dial down, reach for a lip tint. But what kind of lip tint? There are a few options out there, so let’s explore which might be best for you.
The Different Types of Lip Tints
Sheer Lip Tint
Lip tints are great if you’re keeping your look natural, and sheer lip tints are what you should be searching for if you want just a little bit of color with a soft shine that you can seamlessly reapply throughout the day. Sheer is in the name, after all, so these are the lightest, most buildable options out there. Jones Road’s Lip Tints fit in here as they can build to a bold look or stay neutral-but-better.
Matte Lip Tint
Matte lip tints let your lips’ natural texture stay front and center, while adding a fresh flush of color, sans any gloss or sheen. Depending on the color you opt for, matte lip tints are an effective, easy way to keep your look ultra-natural.
Liquid Lip Tint
Liquid lip tint is just what it sounds like: a fluid, smooth color, usually in a wand form. These lend your lips more of a glossy shine than the other options, and can be more intensely pigmented as well.
What Makes Lip Tint Different from Lipstick?
Lip tints tend to be less pigmented in comparison with lipstick, but are buildable and moisturizing. Because they are lighter in texture and not as intensely colored, you don’t have to worry about being so precise when you swipe on the tint. You may find that your lip tint can be applied without a mirror—it’s that seamless to use and touch up.
How Long It Lasts
Lip tints aren’t meant to be long-wear; you’ve probably noticed that lip products that purport to last all day aren’t all that moisturizing and in fact may dry your lips out. You can wipe off your moisturizing lip tint without residue, while lipstick, as it deposits a more uniform, potent color, may require a makeup remover as you cleanse.
When to Use Lip Tint Instead of Lipstick
While lip tints may also come in stick form, lipsticks’ tubular formula plus their intense color offering may require a precise application that lip tints don’t always call for, and a little more upkeep throughout the day. So if you’ve got a busy schedule ahead of you or you just want a quick-to-apply dose of color that doesn’t need much maintenance, lip tint is the product to reach for.
How You Apply It
The application depends on the formulation of the tint, of course, but no matter if you’re working with a stick formulation or a liquid wand, all you have to do is swipe on your preferred color. From there, reapply as you like to build up to your preferred intensity. And if you like the light, moisturizing properties of the lip tint but want even more color and shine, top it off with a gloss. Our Cool Gloss is a perfect addition to your routine because it’s never sticky, tacky, or heavy.
It’s always a good idea to make sure you apply any lip color—whether it’s a sheer lip tint or a creamy lipstick—after sufficiently but gently exfoliating your lips, and that’s especially important with a matte lip tint. Because matte lip tints leave a more muted wash of color, any flakiness or cracking will be more apparent if you haven’t smoothed the surface. Give your lips a quick, gentle scrub and top with a light moisturizing balm, like The Lippie Stick, to cushion the color before applying your preferred pigment.
How Are Lip Tints Different From Lip Stains?
The color payoff for lip stains is in the name: they leave a sheer but still potent color. (Picture a wine-stained or popsicle-stained mouth.) They are longer-wear in comparison to lip tints, and lip stains tend to be tougher to remove as the color is not meant to budge.
The Bottom Line
Whether you opt for a lip tint, lipstick, or lip stain, it all comes down to a few things: how much color you’re looking to add, how often you want (or don’t want) to maintain, and if you’re looking for extra moisture. The versatility of Jones Road’s Lip Tints are light and ultra-buildable so they’re a good place to start if you’re deciding how to add more color to your makeup routine.