Liquid lipstick – the makeup trend that just wont die

Liquid lipsticks have never been a favourite of mine. The concept is great – a lip colour that won’t wear away over time or after eating and drinking. But in practise? It SUCKS.

I remember when liquid lipsticks first came on to the scene. The first one I ever had was from Bourjois and while it was a nice colour and loved that it lasted, it just didn’t feel hydrating enough on my lips. I ended up giving it to my little sister. This must have been 6 years ago maybe? It didn’t really take off all those years ago. It was when a certain Miss Kylie Jenner stepped up to the plate and released her lip kits that every brand started to come out with their own. The height of the LL frenzy was probably 3 years ago now…right?

Most people I speak to or watch on YouTube say that liquid lipstick isn’t their favourite thing. I’ve watched so many formula reviews where people say that the formulas are too dry and it puts them off using them. So that brings up two questions: 1) why do brands not listen to feedback and make their formulas more hydrating, but more importantly, 2) why are brands still coming out with them!?

If you are one of these lucky people that can get along with liquid lipsticks, then you are one of the lucky ones. I don’t have particularly dry lips – they are always lathered in lip balm. Yet when I applied Kylie Jenner’s Koko K lip kit this afternoon my lips felt uncomfortably dry. I think for a while there was maybe a mentality of ‘Everyone else might find it too drying, but it will be fine for me’ for every single brand of liquid lipstick… then the realisation hit that they were the rule rather than the exception. I’ve tried a few now, from Jeffree Star to Jouer and I just. Don’t. Like. Them. Regardless of how ‘hydrating’ they claim to be, they aren’t. The colour is always flat, it isn’t the same in the tube once it dries down and they always tend to run cool toned which can make me look devoid of life.

Surely I am not alone here? Lips are probably my favourite part of my makeup routine. My makeup can look a bit iffy, but as soon as that lip is on, it just looks perfect.

So why won’t this trend die? I have a few theories:

1. King Kylie is still bringing out new shades. And whatever Kylie is bringing out for her enormous following, other brands want to try and join the party. Unfortunately by now we all know that whatever Kylie does will sell out.

2. Brands aren’t really listening to the consumer, and it wouldn’t be the first time. Thankfully there has been a slight shift back towards glossy lips, there hasn’t been a complete overhaul. It’s still viewed as a ‘trendy’ product because it isn’t in the the typical lipstick bullet and supposedly lasts longer.

3. The target market has changed. These days, girls and boys are becoming interested in makeup much younger than they did before (you can thank Kylie for this one too). You’ll often see 12 year olds in a full face, with contour, highlight and Instagram eyeshadow (aka heavy coloured eyeshadow). This new target demographic will buy ANYTHING they perceive as trendy. I always think that liquid lipstick is aimed towards a younger audience – whose lips are already perfectly moisturised and not covered in lines.

In a recent video for Refinery 29, Pixie Woo’s Nic and Sam said that the trend that they wished would die was liquid lips because the colour looks too flat and drying. Very rarely do makeup artists speak with such candour about trends they hate in the beauty industry, and maybe because I don’t like liquid lipsticks either that I appreciated the comment. But as with every trend, the sun will eventually go down on liquid lips… but probably not for a few more years yet.


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