If you ask us, most lipstick looks best long after it's been applied. We're talking about the subtle, cool stain that's left behind after you've been wearing the same shade for a few hours. It's an effortlessly cool, soft, and flattering way to wear color — and hard to fake. Over the years some have called it
"lipstick nirvana," but we call it the "blurred lip."
Unlike typical lipstick application, which usually involves carefully coating your lips to achieve crisp, opaque color, a blurred lip calls for nothing more than a layer of sheer, matte lipstick with perfectly
imperfect edges. Makeup artists frequently use a variety of techniques to get the effect, minus all-day wear. Think: Blotting, patting, layering, and the like.
Want to nab one for yourself? Check out our favorites — plus exactly how to wear them — in the following slides.
Photo: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images.
Topshop's Fall 2017 show had a fuzzy lip line featuring bright orangey-red lipstick.
Try: Pacifica Natural Lipstick Swipe on one layer of Pacifica's 100% vegan lipsticks for sheer pigment, or add a few more coast for more intensity. Plus, the formula is packed with coconut oil, shea butter, and vitamin E to hydrate parched lips. Pacifica Devocean Natural Lipstick in Firebird, $10, available at Pacifica.
Photo: Thierry Orban/Getty Images.
Punchy, berry-stained lips took center stage at Giambattista Valli's Fall 2017 show.
Try: Glossier Generation G Lipstick in Jam When Glossier's Generation G Lipsticks dropped a year ago, the beauty world lost it. A tinted lip balm that's matte? Novel, yes, but they don't disappoint. The lipsticks offer the ideal wash of color without drying out the lips. We prefer the darker shades, which look great on all skin tones and offer a more impactful dose of pigment. Glossier Generation G Lipstick in Jam, $18, available at Glossier.
Photo: Catwalking/Getty Images.
Looking for something a little more natural? Makeup artists at Molly Goddard's Fall 2017 show gave models the blurred-lip look in a soft, peachy-nude shade.
Try: ColourPop Blotted Lip ColourPop tested the sheer lipstick waters earlier this year with the launch of its Blotted Lips (as part of a collaboration with Instagrammer Alexis Ren). The pair hit it out of the park with a creamy formula that deposits just the right amount of matte color (see this shade in action here). In fact, the collection did so well, the brand decided to add eight new shades. ColourPop Blotted Lip in Candyfloss, $5, available at ColourPop.
Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images.
The blurred effect is gorgeous in all shades — but fuchsia just might be our favorite. Sweep on your favorite matte formula, then tap all over and around the edges with your ring finger to diffuse your lip line.
Try: ColourPop Ultra Blotted Lip Hot off the success of the brand's Blotted Lips, ColourPop launched the Ultra Blotted Lip earlier this week. It may look like any ol' liquid lipstick in the tube, but its effect on the lips is medium-coverage, buildable, and comfortable — not exactly common of most liquid lippie formulas. ColourPop Ultra Blotted Lip in Split, $6, available at ColourPop.
MSGM The best part about MSGM's unfussy stained lips? They can be swept on quickly and haphazardly — like, say, in the back of a moving taxi. Start from the inside and work your way out.
Try: Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner Most tinted lipsticks come in only a handful of shades, but Ilia's offering features 15 diverse hues ranging from peachy nudes to vibrant reds. Despite its demi-matte finish, the lipsticks are also comfortable to wear all day, thanks to the coco butter and oils in the formula. Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner in Lust For Life, $26, available at Sephora.
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