The Best Drugstore Red Lip Stain For Your Skin Tone Depends On This One Thing


Your lip color is essential for infusing a #mood into any look, whether you're feeling playful or subdued. Red is, and always will be, a staple for a little drama. But a red lip doesn't necessarily have to be limited to lipstick, though: There are dozens drugstore red lip stains for all skin tones that rival their more traditional counterparts.

Lip stains work just as hard as lipsticks when it comes to providing pigment, but they're less work. And who can argue with that concept? Stains can be applied easier, and even though their surfaces seem wet, the color doesn't budge once applied to your lips. They give tint without all of the messy transfer.

When it comes to technique, remember that the application depends on the product. "It gets trickier with the wands and felt pen applicators because they often have much more pigment and messing up gets, well, messy," Brigette Reiss-Andersen, a celebrity makeup artist who includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Taylor Swift, and Emilia Clarke as clients, tells TZR. "It may be wise to line the lips first with a regular pencil in a related shade."

If you're unsure about the color when shopping in stores, don't be afraid to take advantage of those in-store testers. "Swatching colors on your arm is the best way to see the true color and if it works with your skin tone. Also, if it’s daytime, try to step outside after you’ve swatched the colors on your arm. It’s best to see it in natural daylight," celebrity makeup artist Allan Avendaño, who works with Chrissy Teigen, Camila Cabello, and Vanessa Hudgens, says.

Ready for a straightforward approach to finding the stain that will stay on your brain? Scroll to see some of the best effortless red stains for every skin tone that you can grab at your favorite local stores.

If You Have Fair Skin...


"Cool-toned reds that have hints of blue or purple can really brighten their skin and teeth," Avendaño says.

"This is the original hydrating lip stain. The colors are intense enough to have an immediate beautifying effect. This stain is best applied by dabbing with a finger on pouty lips, so there’s no issue with the edges," Reiss-Andersen says.

"I love this shade because it’s moisturizing, yet has a soft matte finish that lasts. Also, the application is unbeatable with pencil-like form," Avendano tells.

Lip stains come in many forms, such as this matte. The texture makes your lips feel bare but still provides a lipstick-like coloring to your lips.

If You Have Medium Skin...

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"Warm-toned lip stains that are more orange-based compliment medium tones very well," Avendaño says.

This gel-based stain is infused with purified water, which ensures that your lips stay hydrated even with color.

Rimmel's liquid lip supplies a satin-textured tints that won't feel dry, even after hours of wear.

Technically labeled as a "lipstick," this shade applies like a stain once on. It's not thick like an average lipstick and feels like air when the formula touches your lips.

If You Have Dark Skin...


"There is really something beautiful about warm tones on darker complexions regardless of their undertone, but people with darker complexions tend to have warm undertones already, so warm compliments warm," Avendaño notes.

This line of lip colors is vegan and cruelty-free. Don't worry about reapplying, the color lasts through a whole day of coffee drinking.

"This genius product is like a Sharpie for lips! There’s no texture and no transfer which means once it’s on you don’t feel it, and you don’t have to worry that it’s bleeding. Full disclosure: you have to be sure of your application, and it may feel a teenie bit drying. But the tradeoff is worth it!" Reiss-Andersen says.

"The Epic Ink Lip Dye in Poised has become one of my favorite products, period. The color is super saturated and dries to a matte finish but feels lightweight and not tight on the lips!" Avendaño says.

If You Have Deep Skin...


"Deep skin tones can pull off both warm and cool-toned reds. The most important thing when looking for a red lip stain for deep skin tones is pigment in your product," Avendaño explains. "Because skin is darker, sometimes the pigment isn’t as visible, so a more vibrant or opaque pigment gets more color payoff."

Yes, another "lipstick," but more like a mixture of a balm and stain. The avocado oil acts as the star ingredient, hydrating your lips so that the color can be applied easily.

"This stain feels weightless while the creamy formula gives you long-lasting color," says Avendaño.

Using a lip pencil has become my favorite way to add color without using a lipstick in my daily routine. Mix this shade with your favorite lip balm for a DIY stain.