Battle of the liquid lipsticks

Round 1: stila vs. tarte

Like many of us, I jumped on the liquid lipstick bandwagon in 2016. They were all over Instagram and slowly took over Ulta, Sephora and drug store makeup aisles. I love having the option of a stay-all-day lipstick that can stand up to the elements (i.e. a gust of wind that would adhere my hair to my lipgloss).

For this review, I decided to take on the quick-dry  mattes in some of my favorite shades. Now, if you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, what’s the hold-up?), you may have seen my Sunday Swatch post on these little lippies, but I encourage you to read on, because after a little more wear I have changed my mind about a few of them.

I am going to break down these liquid lipsticks by color rather than brand because I found that in both brands, the shade significantly affected the formula.

The basics…

Tarteist Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint – $20

Available at tarte, Sephora and Ulta in 20+ shades (plus the occasional limited edition shade).

This liquid lipstick claims to be a quick dry, full coverage, transfer proof liquid lipstick with skin-softening concentrated mineral pigments.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick – $24

Available at stila, Sephora and Ulta in 25+ shades

This liquid lipstick claims to be a  highly-pigmented, creamy liquid lipstick that is weightless on the lips and delivers long-lasting coverage.

On to the swatches…

1 – stila “Baci”

This is probably the color I wear the most out of all of these shades and it seems like I’m not the only one. Every time I go into Sephora this shade is sold out! I ended up buying a holiday variety pack that included this shade just so that I could get my hands on it.

The color is a really pretty nude pink that is really flattering on my skin tone. It’s a nice shade to wear when you are either looking for a natural daytime look, or if you are going bold with your eye makeup and need a lipstick that doesn’t take away from your eyes.

It can be a little drying (as most liquid lipsticks are), but it is actually pretty comfortable to wear. It goes on much smoother if you moisturize your lips with a good lip balm – a primer also really improves the look and wear of this shade. When applied to well-pampered lips, this color will last you all day and will wear away evenly.

*Fun fact – it smells like vanilla cupcakes!

2- stila “Fresco”

This formula is very similar to Baci but the color is not for me. It is more of a brown nude which I really don’t like. This shade would probably look great on tan and darker skin tones.

Again, I would recommend a good lip balm and primer before applying.

3 – stila “Bacca”

Bacca is such a fun color! I love a good dark pink and this one does not fail. I feel like it is a little more hydrating and comfortable than the lighter stila shades and again, it will last you a very long time and will wear away evenly. What I like the most about this shade is that it is not too blue toned – I hate when colors like this appear almost iridescent because the blue tone shows through. This color also makes my teeth look SO white!

4 – stila “Rubino”

This is more of a brick red. It is really pretty but it is a shade that I really only like to wear when I’m coordinating it with a particular outfit. It is not an every day color for me. I would say the formula is almost the same as Bacca.

5 – tarte “Fly”

Ughh this one broke my heart. This color is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. There has never been a color I have loved more. It is the perfect dark ruby pink. It is beyond beautiful. BUT…. The formula was an absolute nightmare. Upon first application I realized that the “Quick Dry” part of the name is no joke. This dried almost immediately. You have one chance to get it right when it comes to applying this shade and if you put more than one coat on, you are doomed.

The first time I wore this color, it took me 3 tries to apply it perfectly, without accidentally overdrawing my lip line or applying it unevenly. While I was out to dinner, this lipstick proved itself to NOT be transfer proof as it claimed, but wore away somewhat evenly throughout my meal.

The second time I wore this color, I decided to wear it to work. BIG mistake. This color wore away so unevenly throughout the day and left me with the dreaded “butthole lips.” For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s when your lipstick wears away from the inside out, so you are left with color on the outer lines of your lip and your natural lip color in the center. It is really not a good look for anyone.

I was left with no choice but to check in and touch up every hour or so and oddly enough, even though the center of my lips wore away quickly, the outer lines were going nowhere. With each layer that I touched up with, the lipstick began to crumble off my lips quicker than the last.

I wouldn’t say it was the worst day of my life.. but it wasn’t great.

6 – tarte “Cheerleader”

Here is where tarte redeemed themselves. Cheerleader is a beautiful hot cherry color – kind of your perfect “classic” red. There is just something about this lipstick that makes me channel my inner Marilyn.

It is still not totally transfer proof but if you apply 1 thin coat, you will definitely get some wear out of this shade. It typically lasts a solid 4 hours before it needs any fixing or touching up.

Final Thoughts…

As you may have already guessed, there was no clear cut winner  when it comes to brand. If I had to pick my top 2 shades it would be Baci and Cheerleader. I think these 2 colors were the most universal for most skin tones and the formulas worked best for me in these shades. Overall, the lighter shades were a little more drying but it was nothing that couldn’t be combatted with a little extra lip balm.

I was completely confused by how the colors affected the formula in each of these lipsticks. There are so many shades in both of these brands, so I will definitely be doing a follow-up to this blog to see if that continues to ring true.

Share your experiences with these liquid lipsticks in the comments and let me know which lipsticks you would like me to review next!