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15 best lip stains and tints for that famous Korean gradient lip look

South Korea has brought us many notable beauty trends (glass skin, anyone?), but this week we’re looking at the famous gradient lip look that many K-pop singers and K-drama actresses have sported over the past year. The product responsible for this look? Lip stains and tints, of course.

These products are not just lightweight, but are also long-lasting and surprising nourishing as well. Besides, can we talk about the fact a lip stain will stay put on your puckers all day without so much as smearing on your mask?

Unlike lipsticks that form a layer on your lips, stains get absorbed by your lip’s outer layers which gives a natural look. Most of these are water or gel-based and provide the much loved “no-makeup makeup look.” They can also be used as a base for your lip balm or lipstick.

There is, however, a technique to applying these vanity table staples. Experts recommend drawing a “V” at your bow and your lips’ outer corners. Then draw a “U” on your lower lip. Finally, connect the dots with your fingers and you are good to go. For best results, apply on clean, dry lips over a layer of hydrating lip serum or balm.

Most brands offer a range of shades meant for every occasion. From soft and blurry to sheer and balmy, we have found some of the best lip stains that will make for an ideal substitute for lipsticks and give you that soft and supple pout.

Looking for the perfect lip stain to add to your routine? Read on.

(Main and featured images: Pony Makeup)

A non-drying liquid tint for your lips and cheeks, this stain can be used before applying your lip gloss. The fully vegan formula consists of aloe vera which helps in moisturising your lips.

Don’t let its water-light consistency fool you because once you apply it, this lip stain can last up to 12 hours. This is also the first “kissable” tint from the brand. Expect a variety of shades, from playful peach to berry browns.

This is a lightweight, refreshing gel tint with a purified water-infused base. Expect your lips to feel comfortable all day, not to mention hydrated with its water-coating finish. It’s also formulated with Vitamin E and rosewater and goes well with a glowy makeup look.

If you are looking to cover up chapped or dry lips, there is no other lip stain more suitable for you than the Revlon Kiss Cushion lip tint. This stain has a coconut oil-infused formula that moisturises your lips all day.

Popular in many South Asian countries, this tint is made with rosehip, argan, and jojoba oils that nourish and moisturise. This pigmented stain gives your lips a sheer and matte look that’s lasting.

Innisfree Vivid Cotton Ink gives a velvety matte finish and is infused with camellia, mango seed, avocado, and cottonseed oils. It leaves a stunning stain on your lips all day and is smudge-free.

Ladies, you’ll want to pucker up with Clarins’ Water Stain before that big date. Promising to last up to 300 kisses — according to the brand — this stain is made with plant-based ingredients and is 77-percent water, giving you the perfect fluid texture. Expect an au naturel look with this one.

Recommended by many South Korean makeup artists, this lip tint has an ultra-smooth formula which is available in 10 shades. To increase its vibrancy, simply apply more layers.

The best thing about Clio’s Mad Velvet Tint collection is its range of colours on offer. Whichever you choose, look forward to having your lips feeling youthful, soft and ready for that Insta-selfie. It’ll also last up to five hours and keep your lips from cracking or becoming flaky.

This gel-based tint makes your lips look flawlessly juicy and plump, while promising to last around three to four hours. The hydrating formula gives full coverage and makes it easy to spread the tint evenly. Besides, who could resist that cute popsicle-inspired packaging?

The Max Factor Lip Tint has an applicator similar to the tip of a felt pen for easy application. The tint infuses into your lips, giving you a splash of kiss-proof colour. It will stay on for two to three hours with each application.

This product by Benefit Cosmetics is an iconic lip stain first introduced in the 1970s. The beautiful rose-tinted sheer colour will easily glide on your lips and cheeks to give a phenomenal natural finish that lasts hours.

This lightweight lip stain by Nyx Cosmetics gives a gorgeous, glossy look. This brilliant hint of colour needs just one swipe to last the entire day. These lip tints are also available in the form of matte lip creams.

Packaged in a sleek and slim bottle, this is one of the best from Sephora’s in-house collections. The lip stain is highly pigmented and comes in a range of colours. You can wear this product for up to 12 hours without it smudging.

The L’Oréal lip stain has a magnificent matte finish, with a barely-there look to give your lips a natural tint. This lightweight and long-lasting product is affordable and is available in 37 shades, including bright, metallic, and neutrals.

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