The Bedhead Version Of Lipstick Is Here — & It's Good

Photo: Imaxtree.
If you ask us, most lipsticks looks best long after they've 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.
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See, the concept of smudgy, soft lip color isn't new — makeup artist Pat McGrath played with the texture on the runways back in 2013 and South Korea's ombré lip trend made the rounds a few years back. It's even been taken to the extreme this past season. What is new, however, is the onslaught of lipsticks hitting the market that have bottled that lived-in effect in one singular tube — no tapping or smudging necessary.
Want to nab one for yourself? Check out our favorites — plus exactly how to wear them — in the slides ahead.
There is a lot of product out there — some would say too much. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team, but if you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
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Photo: Imaxtree.
Jonathan Simkhai's spring show taught us exactly how to revive a natural, no-makeup beauty look by simply tapping on a sheer wash of powdery lipstick.
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Try: Buxom Cosmetics PillowPout Creamy Plumping Lip Powder in Want You

Most powder lipsticks we know and love are beautiful — but also messy as hell. Buxom recently launched its own iteration of the Korean beauty trend in a no-fuss stick that effortlessly sweeps cushiony color onto lips through a sponge. So now you get the blurry finish without destroying your turtleneck.
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Photo: Imaxtree.
The spring show for Hellessy proved that there's no better match for a sun-kissed glow than a faded coral lip.
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Try: MAC Powder Kiss in Devoted to Chili

This formula isn't launching until October, but we're already smitten. Infused with powder pigments, this matte formula creates a diffused, blurry coat of color that makes undone lipstick sexy.

MAC Powder Kiss, $18.50, available in October at MAC.
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Photo: Imaxtree.
Brock Collection's spring show — which featured desert shades of cowgirl flair — proved that smudging your lipstick is as cool as it gets.
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Try: Giorgio Armani Rouge D'Armani Matte Lipstick in 102 Androgino

Without all the downsides, like dryness, this matte lipstick leaves behind a blotted, suede finish to your lips in just one swipe.
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Photo: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images.
Topshop's show had a fuzzy lip line featuring bright orangey-red lipstick.
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Try: Pacifica Devocean Natural Lipstick in Firebird

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.
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Photo: Thierry Orban/Getty Images.
Punchy, berry-stained lips took center stage at Giambattista Valli's show.
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Try: Glossier Generation G Lipstick in Jam

When Glossier's Generation G Lipsticks first dropped two years 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.
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Photo: Catwalking/Getty Images.
Looking for something a little more natural? Makeup artists at Molly Goddard's show gave models the blurred-lip look in a soft, peachy-nude shade.
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Try: ColourPop Ultra Blotted Lip in Vitamin Sea

ColourPop tested the sheer lipstick waters in 2017 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. Sadly, the original is no longer available, but a liquid, matte version is.
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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.
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Try: Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick in Antidote

It's only natural that the woman who ushered in the trend on the runways create her own version on the matte trend.
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Photo: Firstview.
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.
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Try: Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner in Lust For Life

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.
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