Looking for the Best Hydrating Lipstick? Here Are 16 That Will Keep Your Lips Smooth
Looking for a lipstick that won’t leave your mouth parched and flaky after a couple hours? Who isn’t, really? But before we get to the lipstick part, let’s talk about prep, because it’s more important than you might think. For the smoothest application and wear time, we recommend applying a generous layer of lip balm and letting it absorb for a few minutes before you move onto the lipstick itself. (Lip primer can also be extremely helpful if your color tends to settle into fine lines.)
As for the lipstick, look for moisturizing ingredients on the label like shea butter and coconut or jojoba seed oils, as well as any other fruit- and/or flower-based oils. Note that these ingredients are highly emollient and are therefore likely to cause the lipstick to rub off more quickly than others, so you’ll need to reapply them more often. Alas, it’s a price we’re willing to pay for supple lips—which brings us to our top picks for the 16 best hydrating lipsticks ahead.
Best Hydrating Lipsticks at a Glance:
- Best Overall: Glossier Ultralip
- Best Stick: Burt's Bees Matte Lip Crayon
- Best Liquid Lipstick: Honest Beauty Liquid Lipstick
- Fan Favorite: MAC Lustreglass Lipstick
- Best Drugstore: E.L.F Hydrating Core Lip Shine
- Best Color Payoff: Ilia Color Block High Impact Lipstick
- Best Balm: Clinique Chubby Stick
- Best Satin: Sephora Collection Clean Vegan Hydrating Satin Lipstick
- Best Luxury: Victoria Beckham Beauty Posh Lipstick
- Best Clean Option: Kosas Weightless Lip Color Lipstick
- Best Lip Oil: Merit Beauty Shade Slick Tinted Lip Oil
- Best Lip Tint: Peripera Ink Airy Velvet Lip Tint
- Best Newcomer: Elizabeth Arden Lip Color
- Best Shade Range: Dior Addict Refillable Shine Lipstick
- Best Matte: Hera Rouge Holic Lipstick
- Longest Lasting: Bite Beauty Power Move Hydrating Soft Matte Lipstick
The brand calls this “the cashmere sweatpants of lipstick,” presumably a nod to how luxurious it feels when you put it on or how effortless it is. Whatever the reasoning, we can attest that both things hold true. Ultralip has the smooth glide and rich moisture of your favorite balm with the sheen of a gloss and the buildable color of a lipstick. The best of all worlds, really.
We’re big fans of lip crayons because they’re fun to use and easy to apply without a mirror. This one from Burt’s Bees is a longtime favorite because it has a creamy glide, good pigmentation and is comfortable to wear, thanks to jojoba and kendo oil in the formula. The fact that the packaging is 100 percent recyclable is the icing on the cake.
One of the main knocks on liquid lipsticks is that they can be drying. This one is surprisingly hydrating while still holding its own in longevity. A closer look at the ingredients and you’ll see coconut alkanes and pine rosin, two natural ingredients that the brand swapped in place of synthetic solvents and film formers that are typically included in many liquid formulas on the market. Combined with avocado oil and hyaluronic acid, it's truly the first liquid lipstick we've tried that doesn't turn our lips into desiccated prunes after a few hours.
Are you kidding us with that seven-dollar price tag, e.l.f? Get all the bang for your buck with this silky-smooth lipstick. Choose from eight shades ranging from a warm nude to a deep berry (and multiple pinks and reds in-between). Either way, you’ll be delighted by the color payoff and the creamy application.
Many hydrating lip formulas are sheer in color, but not this one. It's called "High Impact" because the color payoff is bold, but it won't leave your lips thirsty thanks to hydrators like apricot seed oil, castor seed oil and mango seed butter.
The perfect tinted balm to throw in your bag, this beloved formula comes in 14 shades and has buildable color coverage. Mango and shea butters keep the lips soft and hydrated.
If you’re looking for a sheerer formula (that’s also free from any potentially irritating fragrances or flavors), this is the lipstick for you. Formulated with rosehip oil and shea butter, it truly does melt into your lips as you apply it. Though it’s not made to last for hours like some of the others on this list, what it lacks in longevity, it makes up for in supple shine.
This silky formula from none other than Posh Spice herself is highly pigmented without being drying and is a true glide-and-go formula that requires no fuss to apply and feels comfortable on your lips for hours. (Tip: A slightly cool-toned red does wonders to brighten up sallow skin and yellowed teeth.)
This formula sits somewhere between an oil and a light stain and is loaded with fatty acids and rosehip oil, so you never have to worry about dryness. Instead, you get a satisfying amount of pigment without any stickiness and just a hint of shine.
A K-beauty classic, this lip tint feels smooth and light as you first put it on your lips, and it stays that way long after you apply it. The matte finish is velvety rather than dry, and despite the light-as-air texture, it delivers an impressive punch of color. (Tip: Try dabbing a little onto the center of your lips and blend the color outward to get that popsicle stain effect.)
Elizabeth Arden’s latest lipstick launch is one the best we’ve come across in recent years. The colors are extremely pigmented and buttery, and the ceramide-laden formula doesn’t turn your lips into a flaky mess after a few hours of wear. Choose between 22 satin and eight matte shades (though we’re partial to “Living Coral” at the moment).
A top choice for many lipstick lovers, this emollient formula features jasmine wax and plum oil to give it a nice slip, so application is a breeze and you’re left with a plumping sheen. “I love the presentation, it looks and feel luxurious, the lipstick is very moist and creamy, well pigmented,” says one user.
These days we’re especially digging this soft matte formula from Hera, a K-beauty classic that’s newly available stateside (and a go-to for BLACKPINK’s Jennie, who is the brand’s ambassador). As one reviewer on Amazon shares, “It glides on creamy smooth. My lips feel like they've got a moisturizer on.”
Another great hydrating matte, this bullet gets its moisture from cocoa butter, while a mixture of tapioca pearls and fatty acid waxes ensure a creamy, comfortable wear. “My lips usually get flaky when I use matte lipstick,” one Sephora reviewer wrote. “But with this one they look perfect, even after hours.”