Applying lipstick on chronically dry lips has about the same appeal as biting into a raw onion. However, if you have dry or flaky lips, all hope is not lost — you simply need to use the correct lipstick. For instance, the best lipsticks for dry lips have more emollients than standard lipsticks — such as vitamin E, argan oil, avocado oil, and caprylic/capric triglyceride — which makes them feel more pleasant to use, glide on easily, and leave your lips feeling soft afterward. And, while the most moisturizing lipsticks on this list lack longevity, I’ve included a matte and a liquid lipstick that will last for hours (or all day) without drying out your lips.
Whichever finish you select, you’ll achieve the smoothest results if you first exfoliate your lips with a lip scrub to remove flakes, followed by a thin coating of lip balm. (Wait until the balm is completely absorbed before applying your lipstick.) Additionally, if you have the opportunity, leaving a lip mask on for a few hours prior to applying your lipstick will provide an extensive conditioning treatment.
Whether you prefer glossy or matte lipsticks, subtle or strong, you’re sure to find something you enjoy among the six best lipsticks for dry lips listed below.
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1. Best Matte Finish
2. Best Glossy Finish
L’Oreal’s Colour Riche range is a drugstore classic, and the gloss finishes, in particular, impart a wonderfully lacquered, extremely reflecting — almost mirror-like — appearance. (Though it is also available in matte finishes.) It tastes as juicy as it looks, because of a creamy, moisturizing composition infused with vitamin E, argan oil, and rosehip oil. While this is not the longest wearing lipstick you’ll ever use, it does leave a nice hue behind when it goes off. Along with Everbloom (shown), Amazon offers 51 other colors.
3. Best Sheer Finish
When we speak about drugstore classic lipsticks, we’re referring to Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick: the line that introduced the world to Cherries in the Snow (perhaps the finest red lipstick of all time). This bright, raspberry-red shade applies sheer but may be built up to achieve greater intensity without seeming cakey. The recipe contains vitamin E and avocado oil for additional nourishment, and as a result, it feels rather nice on dry lips. Best of luck narrowing down your selection from this mammoth 130-shade palette.
4. Best Liquid Lipstick
While liquid lipsticks are adored for their rich color payoff and virtually everlasting wear, they are despised for their proclivity to drain every last drop of moisture from your lips. However, dry lips no longer need to fear this Honest Beauty Liquid Lipstick. These liquids include moisturizing avocado oil, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E, and their light, flexible consistency resists cracking and clumping. However, longevity is not compromised for hydration – one Amazon customer noted that the pigment lasted nearly a full day, “despite two meals and continuous water drinking.” Vegan, cruelty-free, and devoid of synthetic ingredients such as silicones and perfumes, all eight colors are available. It’s an all-around miracle.
5. Best Tinted Balm
Although advertised as a balm, this Kiko Milano Coloured Balm has enough color to qualify as a “sheer lipstick.” The unusual jelly-like texture is extremely comfortable (but not sticky), and it coats your lips in an occlusive layer that aids in moisture retention. According to Amazon reviewers, these under-the-radar balms are surprisingly long-lasting, and when the color fades off, they leave your lips feeling silky and smooth. I’m confident it’s on its way to becoming a cult classic.