The Raddest New Lip-Color Formulas To Try Now

In 1976, Benefit flipped the script on lipstick aficionados with the launch of its groundbreaking liquid stain Benetint. (It came in a bottle! With a brush!) More recently, YSL introduced Vernis à Lèvres Glossy Stain, which unexpectedly combined the texture of a gloss with the color and wear of a stain. With each of these releases, it was like the makeup gods pulled a logic-defying magic trick that made the art of looking good shockingly simple.
Well, brace yourself for impact, friends, because a slew of new lip products is defying the category altogether. Take the trusty lip stain: New-school versions are made in powder form. Another version delivers a rosy stain...after being peeled off. Classic lip gloss is also getting a reboot, thanks to glazes, which lend color and a mellow shine sans stickiness.

Meanwhile, last year’s liquid-matte lipsticks are so, well, 2015. The new kids on the block offer innovative formulas with impressive lip-plumping technology. In short, it’s a brave new world for lipstick. Ahead, find a few surprising formulas that are changing the game, one swipe, stain, or sprinkle at a time.
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Ask those silvery dudes from Mad Max: High shine is in the DNA of most metallics. But when you're after a more muted vibe — think gunmetal or burnished gold — try a matte metallic. This complex shade perfectly captures the dark finish of true gunmetal, with nuances of blue, purple, and polished silver that can bring out the gray and green in blue eyes. The formula is also 99% natural and very hydrating.

Rituel de Fille Forbidden Lipstick in Shadow Self, $23, available at Rituel de Fille.
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Haven’t you heard? Lip gloss is popping — as in, making a major comeback. And thankfully, the latest versions contain hydrating oils that help us get our shine on without desiccating our lips. This formula is stocked with a bevy of botanical oils (including jojoba and hazelnut), and leaves behind a non-tacky tint and major shine.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil, $25, available at Bloomingdale's.
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This super-creamy concealer is made just for the mouth, masking your natural lip pigment so lipsticks will appear more true to shade. Happily, it feels smooth going on, not dry or cakey like some concealers.

Sigma Lip Concealer, $15, available at Sigma.
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Peel-off beauty makes another appearance! Here's how this one works: After layering on a few coats of the thick and goopy, highly reflective formula, we waited 10 minutes for the stain to dry like a mask before peeling it away. (Our lips were a bit tingly in the process.) The result: lips that remained deeply stained through a latte and a conference call.

Cailyn Cosmetics Cocoon Lip Stain, $22, available at Evine.
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We never thought we'd see the day when matte lipstick could also be comfortable. We just accepted the dry feeling as collateral for the formula sticking around all day. But the new Wildly Whipped Lightweight Liquid Lipsticks from Buxom Cosmetics have somehow cracked the code. They apply like a gloss, leave lips feeling slick and plump, and dry down to a soft-matte finish.

Buxom Cosmetics Wildly Whipped Lightweight Liquid Lipstick, $21, available at Ulta.
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Caught matte mania? This cushion applicator delivers a believable tint that dries down to a powdery finish. After a few layers, the color builds to a near neon intensity, making it an ideal pick for a candy-raver vibe.

Peripera Peri’s Cushion Lips, $14, available at Peach and Lily.
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There’s a level of shine so glossy that it’s reserved for candy apples and custom sports cars. At least until now. This lipstick delivers a slick-looking, sexy finish you'll want to sport on your lips again and again.

Tom Ford Patent Finish Lip Color, $52, available at Nordstrom.
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Don’t be put off by this bright-green gloss. It’s designed to use your body’s pH to morph into a bespoke shade of pink when swiped onto the lips.

Lipstick Queen Frog Prince Lip Gloss, $25, available at Barneys New York.
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What, exactly, is a lip glaze? Well, it's a lip color with the best kind of identity crisis: From the outside, it looks like a lipstick; on the lips, it reads like a stain with the subtle shine and moisture of a balm. How progressive!

Clinique Pop Glaze Sheer Lip Colour + Primer, $18, available at Neiman Marcus.
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Your Instagram sheet-mask game just got a whole lot cooler. This five-minute, lip-shaped gel mask speeds up the delivery of the softening serum with which it's infused. The pink flush of color it leaves behind is an unexpected treat — it reminds us of Kirsten Dunst’s bitten pout in Interview With the Vampire.

Patchology FlashPatch Lip Gels, $50, available at Ulta Beauty.
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Finding the perfect nude lip shade is crazy-challenging — some hues turn lips pasty, others completely stamp them out, and also, what does "nude" even mean? But the encapsulated pigments in this lip-and-cheek stick self-adjust to make the perfect skin-flattering neutral, no matter the wearer. For us, it morphed mood-ring style from beige to a complexion-enhancing mauve in seconds. Even better, it did the same for our browbone and cheeks.

Make Beauty The Universal Stick, $24, available at Make Beauty.
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Some metallics can get a little sheer, shimmery, and '80s. This one is rich and opaque — and costs about the same as a pair of leg warmers.

Milani Amore Mattallics Lip Crème, $8, available at CVS.
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We all have a can’t-function-without-it lip shade for which there is no substitute. For me, it’s Sigma Power Stick in Bloody Good. But sometimes, I want my trusty creamy formula to read like a liquid matte. When patted over lipstick with a finger, this clear gel turns any cream or stain finish into a deep matte without messing with the color one bit. It works so well, I let out a “whoa” after seeing its transformative trick. Yes, out loud. It’s that mesmerizing.

Smashbox Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer, $24, available at Smashbox.
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When it comes to game-changing products, K-beauty never disappoints — and this trippy powder-to-liquid-to-stain is no exception. After you dab pigmented powder on your lips, the formula turns a bit slick (for easy swiping) before settling into a matte stain. The color is buildable, making it easy to create a natural wash or high-wattage vibrancy. Even at its most saturated, the stain won't turn shiny, so it's great for those who want bold color without any shimmer or gloss.

Touch in Sol Chroma Powder Tint, $20, available at Sephora.
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