5 Liquid Lipsticks for a Bold Holiday Look

Mistletoe calls for a bold lip that lasts. Here, five new liquid lipsticks that marry comfortable wear with intense colour in a chic matte finish

Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet, $45, at Sephora, Holt Renfrew, Hudson’s Bay and Nordstrom


THE LIGHTWEIGHT: Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet

THE PROMISE: Combining the vibrancy of Armani Lip Maestro lacquer with the “second skin” feel of Maestro Fusion foundation, Lip Magnet leaves a super-thin—yet highly pigmented—veil of colour. The 18 matte shades last up to eight hours.

THE TECH: Once it’s applied, the water evaporates from the “inverted emulsion” (i.e., water-in-oil formula); the remaining hydrating oils and pigments fuse together via a silicone polymer, resulting in a more concentrated hue. The flat, calligraphy-inspired applicator makes it easy to define lips.

THE TEST DRIVE: “Usually I can’t stand the feeling of anything on my lips, but this one actually didn’t bug me—and there’s a scientific reason why. The formula’s long-wearing film of pigment is only 10 micrometres thick—the average liquid lipstick is 40.” —Caitlin Kenny, beauty editor, FLARE

BareMinerals Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lipstick, $23, at Sephora


THE NUDIST: BareMinerals Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lipstick

THE PROMISE: With 20 shades to choose from, from light mauve to brown berry, there’s an on-trend nude to suit virtually any skin tone. The cream-to-matte liquid is full-coverage, long-lasting and non-tacky.

THE TECH: The vanilla-scented vegan formula features plant-based waxes, including sunflower seed and candelilla, to lock in moisture, despite the powdery finish.

THE TEST DRIVE: “I’ve never been a lipstick wearer, but I found a pink-based nude that mimics the shade of my actual lips for a subtle wash of colour. It was easy to wear and less drying than other mattes I’ve tried.” —Ally Dean, fashion and beauty editor, Hello! Canada

Chanel Rouge Allure Ink, $43, at Chanel counters


THE PROTECTOR: Chanel Rouge Allure Ink

THE PROMISE: This ultra-fine, ink-like formula, available in eight shades of red, dries down to a matte yet luminous finish with intense colour payoff. Lips feel soft, silky and supple for up to six hours of wear.

THE TECH: An emollient agent, plant oils and an antioxidant complex (made of sappan wood, green tea, sweet almond oil and a vitamin E derivative) keep lips hydrated, as well as protected from environmental aggressors.

THE TEST DRIVE: “The super-luxe formula went on like paint—but once dry, I couldn’t feel it! It was like I had nothing on, but the vivid matte stuck around all evening, even through drinks.” —Dominique Lamberton, associate editor, Chatelaine

Clinique Pop Liquid Matte Lip Colour + Primer, $23, at Clinique counters


THE TWO-IN-ONE: Clinique Pop Liquid Matte Lip Colour + Primer

THE PROMISE: Featuring a built-in primer, this hybrid mousse-like lipstick slicks on smoothly for full coverage. It comes in eight shades, mainly bright candy colours, which last up to eight hours. 

THE TECH: An injection of antioxidant-rich vitamin E and a blend of moisturizing oils, including avocado and sunflower, leave lips feeling pampered, without the dryness that often accompanies such a saturated finish.

THE TEST DRIVE: “This was long-lasting without ever feeling dry and cakey. Although not exactly glossy, the finish is definitely more for those who prefer a hint of shine over super-flat matte.” —Caitlin Agnew, contributing beauty editor, Cosmetics

Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick, $28, at Sephora and Shoppers Drug Mart


THE PROFESSIONAL: Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick

THE PROMISE: Available in 20 velvety matte shades, this lightweight and waterproof liquid won’t smudge or feather, so lips are always photo-ready. It’s been tested for up to eight hours of wear, even under hot studio lights.

THE TECH: The proprietary Primer Oil Complex, a combo of botanical oils like jojoba, apricot and sunflower, seals in hydration. The precision applicator is slender enough to line lips before filling them in.

THE TEST DRIVE: “Reapplying lipstick can be a chore, so I love that this opaque formula stayed put all day, even surviving a multi-course lunch—no touch-ups required. Plus, it didn’t settle into creases as it dried, as some liquid lippies do.” —Kelly Clark, assistant editor, Cosmetics

This article was originally published in the Winter 2016 issue of Cosmetics magazine.