7 Cutting-Edge Lipsticks With Crazy-Cool Applicators

A few years ago, my lipstick stash consisted of about 15 to 20 traditional bullets in a rainbow of colors (purples, pinks, reds, nudes, you name it). But with lippies launching pretty much daily in innovative shapes and sizes, my collection has tripled. This is not because I'm a beauty hoarder — although one could make a case — it's because new applicators change the finish, texture, and ease of use of any given product. So although I already own my fair share of red tubes, a new wand completely changes the game.

Maybe you don't want to buy every single new lipstick technology that's out there. Or maybe you weren't even aware there was so much going on in the lipstick sphere. That's why I'm here. I'm breaking down all the new application methods hitting shelves, so that you can walk into a store fully aware of what type will work best for you. Because, let's be real: Even if you've found the perfect lipstick, there's a tiny part of you that's always looking for the next best thing.
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Doe Foot
We're starting simple. Doe-foot wands are the most ubiquitous of the non-traditional applicators. They're best suited for lifting and smoothing viscous formulas, which is why they're often paired with glosses. But with the rise of liquid lipsticks, the doe-foot applicator has been reclaimed. Why? Because the slim, precise shape can be used to carefully line the lips in lieu of a lip pencil.

Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Matte Lipstick, $21, available at Too Faced.
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Reservoir Tip
This is a clever little riff on the doe tip. It's equipped with a small divot in the center of the pad to collect an extra well of product. Because of this genius detail, you'll be able to apply the gloss to your entire pout in one fell swoop.

L'Oréal Infallible Pro Matte Gloss, $9.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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Sponge
Sponge tips provide a sheer, unfussy finish that's a little less precise and opaque than those from narrower applicators. In April, Lancôme launched the Juicy Shaker lip oil, which has a triangular sponge tip that smoothes a light layer along the lips. Drugstore brand Milani has also introduced a sponge applicator with the launch of its lip treatments. The way we see it, sponges are perfect for on-the-go application, when you can't get super type-A with your process.

Lancôme Juicy Shaker Pigment Infused Bi-Phased Lip Oil, $21, available at Ulta Beauty.
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Stick
Sticks are hot makeup commodities because they're crazy fuss-free (think Clinique Chubby Sticks, Revlon Balm Stains, and ColourPop Lippie Stix). The thin, often pointed cylinder makes it easy to draw within your lip line while still getting a lot of coverage. Crayon or stick formulas usually have creamier, balmier textures than traditional bullets.

ColourPop Lippie Stix, $5, available at ColourPop.
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Marker
At first glance, this marker is a straight-up doppelgänger of the highlighters you stashed in your middle school pencil pouch, but look closer and you'll see that this colorful pen is really a baller lip product. Like Crayolas, lip markers dispense lightweight pigment that stains your lips — making it ideal for those of us who can't be bothered with reapplication. (Raised-hand emoji.)

The only downside? Because the formula's consistency tends to be thin and viscous, it's not super-hydrating. Follow up with a lip balm if you notice things getting dry or cracked.

Milk Makeup Lip Marker, $20, available at Birchbox.
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Squeeze Tube
Squeeze tubes are easy to whip out in a hurry. (Like when you're driving or texting, though please not at the same time.) And, since the product is dispensed using pressure from your fingers, it's a cinch to control the opacity of your coverage.

Maybelline Color Jolt Intense Lip Paint, $9.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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Powder
Okay, so powder lipstick isn't technically an application method, but the unique formula gets an honorable mention. Take the applicator, and distribute the powder. The second said powder hits your lips, it melts into a spreadable cream. (If you pull out the wand too fast, you might spill a little powder, just FYI.) You're left with a rich, matte stain that looks a bit like those super-matte lips we saw during Fashion Week.

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