All Lipsticks Are Not Created Equal- Finish, Opacity, & Lasting Power

I don't know about you but, in the world of beauty, lipstick stands out as one of the most exciting things to purchase. They come in such a wide range of colors and act as the chameleon of the makeup bag. You can make the same makeup look go from demure to daring with the swipe of a lipstick. However, not all lipsticks are created equal. 

When choosing a lipstick there are a few things you want to take into consideration. Keep reading below to become a lipstick know-it-all.

The Finish

Lipsticks come in a variety of finishes. Matte lipsticks are classic and give you the biggest bang for your buck. You also have sheer, satin, high gloss and shimmer, among other finishes. These offer a less opaque finish (see more on opacity below) that can be easier to wear on a daily basis because they contain more moisture, thus keeping your lips nice and hydrated. 

The Opacity

Let's talk about opacity. Since lipsticks come in a variety of formulas they also tend to have a wide variation in opacity. Think about it this way; When you glide a lipstick across your lip, what do you see? Do you see a sheer wash of color with your natural lip color underneath or do you see the bold, solid color of the lipstick with no natural lip color to be found? Generally, the more matte the finish, the higher the opacity of the lipstick. 

So, the question is, are you looking to conceal your natural lip color completely or do you just want to add a sheer wash of color to your already beautiful natural lip color?

The Lasting Power

Here's the deal. Higher pigment lipsticks in a matte finish are going to give you 6-8 hours of wear. This is because they have less moisture in them, which gives them less of an opportunity to slide around on your lip and wear off. If you choose a shear or satin lipstick, you should only expect 3-5 hours of wear at the most before reapplying. 


Bottom line. Matte lipsticks are bold, long lasting, and make a serious statement no matter the color. They can be drying, which can be uncomfortable for some but won't let you down only a few hours after application. The sheerer you go with the finish, the less color payoff you're going to get and the more often you'll need to reapply. And you know what? That's okay too! Not all lipsticks are made for everyone or every occasion. 

Choosing a lipstick that works best for you takes a little bit more effort than most people realize. It's all about figuring out what you want a lipstick to do for you and how you want it to look and feel. It's kind of like dating, only you don't have to buy your lipstick's dinner. 

On the next installment of ALANCE, we're talking all about nudes. Until next time!

- Margaret Snider of Margaret Snider Makeup Artistry

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