One Swipe Lipstick: Easy Luscious Lips

Given the popularity of our article on One and Done Eyeshadows, we thought we would put our focus on that other luscious facial feature – lips! Some lipsticks demand careful application and end up with a very made-up look (no shade, just not what we always want). This article is about those one-swipe lipsticks that you can just grab and apply, even without a mirror. No liners or application expertise needed. Want to look polished quickly and easily? These are the lipsticks and lip products you need – and some are less than $5!

Lipstick, Lip Gloss, Lip Stain, Lip Balm: Not The Same, But All Gorgeous

Image credit Dean Drobot via Shutterstock.

We are going to divide into a few different categories. We will look at lipsticks, lip glosses, lip stains, and lip balms separately, because we need a few of each, right?

Lip Balms & Treatments

Lip balm.
Image credit Prostock-studio via Shutterstock.

Let’s start with the easiest to apply of all: lip balms. Gone are the days when Chapstick ruled the roost. There are many lip balm products out there now that are not only great for lip health, but also have gorgeous color and finishes.

Lip balms can soothe, plump, and moisturize, and even provide sun protection with SPF. You will have to learn what works best for you, but luckily, most of them are inexpensive. Note I said “most”. Here are some we love:

  • Burt’s Bees Lip Balms: These come up on many “best” lips lists (say that 3 times fast) for several reasons. The beeswax and vitamin E blend is soothing, they are inexpensive, and are easy to find. They come in un-tinted and tinted (try Red Dahlia). And we have a thing about minis. Order from the site for a mini “extra”.
  • Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm: Beloved my men and women, with several scents available, they have the addition of SPF in addition to the moisturizing base of shea butter, avocado oil, and vitamin E. 
  • Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter: This balm comes in about 20 colors, is enriched with hydrating mango, shea and coconut butter formula said to boost lip moisture by 156%. A good friend says the Sugar Plum color is one of her fave all-time color lip products, and she would never be without it. Easy to find and inexpensive.
  • Romand Glasting Melting Balm: This cult-fave Korean brand might be new to you, but we have been fans for years. Inexpensive and containing olive, almond, jojoba, apricot kernel, and evening primrose oils, shea butters, and many fruit extracts, the elegant formulations have delicate colors and ease of application. Sorbet Balm is a delicate pinky-coral we’ve been swiping on lately.
  • Guerlain KissKiss Bee Glow: A tinted lip balm infused with honey and made with 98% naturally-derived ingredients. They keep adding colors and are up to 8, from a very neutral “Honey Glow” to a trendy “Lavender Glow”, with many peaches and pinks in-between. A tad pricey, but a spectacular product. I applied a stain and then used the “Fuchsia Glow” as my lip of choice for my Mother of the Groom appearance recently. Re-application was super simple whenever I was in the need. Pricey, but lovely. A great splurge. And the packaging! Très elegant!
  • NARS Afterglow Lip Balm: This NARS product comes in 9 colors (including Orgasm, a peachy color, and Dolce Vita, a best-selling rose), but Fast Lane is described as a sheer mauve nude shade that we truly love. The product contains coconut oil and squalene providing moisturizing, long-lasting comfort for smooth, supple lips. Fans love that it feels like nothing on yet plumps and smooths. Very subtle shine.

For Those With Sensitive Lips

women with pink lips.
Image credit Shtennikova Evgenia via Shutterstock.

Lips can be sensitive and my lips, for instance, sting with any product that contains SPF or any kind of essential oil, a common balm ingredient. I have tried all of the products above (and more) and I had relegated myself to using pure lanolin.

Lansinoh, which is pure lanolin, comes in tiny tubes and is meant to ease the sore nipples of breastfeeding mamas, but it known as an excellent, one-ingredient lip moisturizer. It works very well. The company realized that many people were using it for lips, so now they have packaging that actually says, “lip balm”. I keep a tube in my purse at all times. It is colorless and smooths and plumps my lips. It makes them simply look and feel better.

That said, I had wanted something a little more elegant, like a “real” lip product. Thanks to my makeup savvy friends, I was turned on to LA Girl Lip Treatment. I am not a huge fan of the very sweet “berry” fragrance, but this super moisturizing lip product is part treatment, part gloss and I really like the flat, flexible spatula applicator. It contains chia seed oil, sunflower seed oil, jojoba seed oil, vitamin A, vitamin E and glides on effortlessly and is not sticky. The company recommends it as an overnight mask, but I keep it in my makeup bag for day use alone, and for under heavier style lipsticks. Oh, and you can often find it for less than $5.

Lip Stain

Lip tint stain.
Image credit Africa Studio via Shutterstock.

Lip stains do exactly what their name suggests: they stain the lips. Years ago, Vincent Longo had amazing stains, but alas, they are no Longo-er. The benefit of a stain is that it can be very long lasting. The downsides are two-fold. Depending on the formula they can stain quite unevenly, and some brands tend to not have a large color selection.

Let’s address patchy application. A lot of this can be improved by lip prep and care. If you take care of your lips and keep them exfoliated and moisturized, you will be ready to go. Here are some lip stains that are worth checking out:

  • Benefit Benetint Liquid Lip Blush & Cheek Tint: Considered the classic stain, that has been around for decades. With its rich berry color, it can be applied lightly, or layered for a bold look. Smudge proof and can be used on lips and cheeks for a coordinated look.
  • Etude Dear Darling Water Tint: This is the Korean brand is a dupe of the Benetint, with the advantage of more color choices, and it is less expensive; you can get all 5 colors for less than $20! The various colors use fruit juices for color, such as grape juice, pomegranate and raspberry juice. And believe it or not, even though it is water based, it is not drying at all.
  • e.l.f Glossy Lip Stain: This is the economical dupe for the beloved Yves Saint Laurent Vinyl Cream Lip Stain. The color selection leans dark, but at this price you can try a few. Sheer color with a hint of sheen, long-lasting, and mango seed butter adds moisture.
  • Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Poutsicle Hydrating Lip Stain: Whether you are a fan of Rihanna’s music or not, she is rocking the makeup world with several products that have become must-haves. This one goes on glossy; don’t touch it or purse your lips. Let it set for a minute and you will be left with a bleed-resistant stain, locking in moisture. Mai Type and Strawberry Sangria are our faves.
  • Colourpop Glossy Lip Stain: Kudos for Colourpop for showing every color on a variety of skin tones. This is an inexpensive stain that is creamy, has great color options, and delivers long-lasting, hydrating color in a non-feathering and non-drying formula. Antioxidant-rich guava extract and lip-loving lychee extract to keep lips feeling plump and smooth.
  • Revlon Kiss Cushion Lip Tint: I first discovered this product on sale at a T.J. Max and was thrilled at first application. A sponge tip applicator with a great shape; you twist and click the color to come up into the sponge tip. Rich with coconut oil with an initial semi-glossy look that quickly settles to a lightweight blotted finish.
  • Milk Cooling Water Jelly Tint: 4 colors in a bouncy, jelly-like, translucent screw up fat tube. Vegan, long-lasting, contains aloe for soothing moisture, and can be used on lips and cheeks. We learned about the Spritz coral color from makeup artist Andrea Ali and are we glad we did!

Lip Gloss

Lip gloss.
Image credit Pixel-Shot via Shutterstock.

Glosses are, well, glossy! Typically providing high shine, but that can vary. Sticky is not necessarily a bad thing and can add to longevity. You can find one-swipe glosses at the drugstore or the high-end department store – and most are online as well. Prices vary from quite inexpensive to splurge level.

  • NYX Professional Makeup Butter Gloss: Billed as non-sticky and available in over 40 colors, from barely there to rich cranberries, plums and purples. Some are sparkly, while others are creamy. Something for all skin tones at a price point everyone can appreciate. Their website has a try-on feature.
  • Chanel Glossimer: This has been my stand-by gloss for years. Some think it is too sticky; I say, not so, and the longevity is excellent. Check out Tendresse for a sparkly pink shade. Melted Honey is a beige gold and goes with everything. Colors galore and look for limited addition releases, too. Moisturizing with an elegant slender, long wand.
  • Cover Girl Clean Fresh Yummy Gloss: Plush and bouncy with a dozen colors, infused with hyaluronic acid for moisturizing properties. Vegan, too. Try the But First A Cosmo, a bright watermelon; Laugh-Vender, a pale lavender; and Acai You Later (a deep berry).
  • Kiko 3D Hydra Lipgloss: 30 shades, from clear to dark purple and all the pinks, berries, corals and reds in-between that you could want. Cute little futuristic bullet-shaped packaging; made with multiple seed oils and vitamin E condition and moisturize. Sparkling Hibiscus Pink has little shimmers of gold. Swoon!
  • Pat McGrath Labs LUST Lip Gloss: These glosses are thick and cushiony, yet non-sticky. The color Aphrodisiac is a lovely pink that looks great on a variety of skin and lip tones. Some colors have sparkle, while others just offer shine. The applicator, which features a tapered precision tip and concave center, was designed to deliver the perfect amount of formula onto your lips in one swipe. 


applying lipstick.
Image credit eggeegg via Shutterstock.

Now we get to the heart of this article – actual one-swipe lipsticks! It is possible, we promise! These are the lipsticks you can whip out of your purse or pocket and apply in a flash, no mirror needed. Great for everyday and on-the-go. Keep a couple in your makeup bag.

  •  Glossier Gen G: Billed as a “sheer matte”, which might seem contradictory, this lipstick is truly both! It is sort of like a sheer matte balm, yet it is substantive enough to be a lipstick, and it is fragrance-free. Swipe and go. Sunflower seed wax and vitamin E create a smooth, cushiony texture. Check out the color called Fuzz, described as “rosy taupe”.
  • Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey: You know how they say what is old is new again? Or maybe Black Honey never went away! It has been around for decades and yet, it is the #1 Lip Color Shade in the U.S. The color is said to flatter all skin tones due to the blend of blue, red, and yellow pigments in a creamy, sheer base that melts into lips, playing up their natural color. If you have never tried it, it’s time! If the dark blackberry color is intimidating, try the newer Pink Honey, aimed at lighter lip and skin tones. The skinny bullet makes application a breeze.
  • Dior Addict Lipstick: We have to include a Dior product; there are many who think Dior makes better lip color products than anybody. They have several, but their Addict lipstick is billed as shiny and hydrating and has a huge following. It features a refillable case, with a narrow bullet. With almost 50 colors, you will find a few that entice. We love #329 Tie & Dior (pink), #661 Dioriviera (coral), and #856 Défilé (soft red), but explore the color palette!
  • NARS Gipsy: Just like Clinique Black Honey, sometimes we have to name the color up front. Oh NARS. A lot of us are mad at you right now. Gipsy has been massively coveted by millions of us for years. And now you have said it is discontinued. We are listing it here because you can still find the original formula online here and there. It is considered by many (me included) to be the most wearable red ever. The most effortless to apply berry-red. SIGH. Damn you NARS. All of you go hunt down an original, NOW.
  • Suqqu Moisture Glaze Lipstick: Presently available in 10 colors, this Japanese cult brand has great eyeshadow products and brushes, too, but this lip product is our focus. It has a balm-like texture that provides a color wash (glaze) or color. And there are bullet refills. The juicy Hakanazaki color caught our eye.
  • MOB Hydrating Cream Lipstick: One swipe color saturation, beyond creamy, cushiony texture and lush finish. Infused with vitamins C and E, chamomile, and jojoba for rich hydration. Vegan, too. 17 colors at this point. We love M7, a watermelon pink for summer, and M62 is a gorgeous warm red.
  • MAC LustreGlass Sheer-Shine: This formula is easy to put on. Comes in the classic MAC bullet shape and tons of colors. See Sheer is a gorgeous summery pink grapefruit color; Hug Me is a classic nude; Syrup is a sweet pink; and LadyBug is a rich red.

The Takeaway

Applying lipstick.
Image credit Kmpzzz via Shutterstock.

For you lip product lovers, we know there are some brands and colors here you might not have yet, or maybe have not heard of! Which will you try first? Below is our shopping guide for some of our very favorites mentioned in the article. If I had to guide you to one low end, and one luxury, I would say, try the Revlon Kiss Cushion Lip Tint for a drugstore pick, and the Christian Dior Dior Addict Hydrating Shine Lipstick for an indulgent treat (that lasts quite a while, I might add).

Let’s Go Lip shopping

woman applying lipstick.
Image credit JPC-PROD via Shutterstock.

If you are reading this on MSN, click here for the article on our website to find all of the fabulous recommendations linked.

And For Eyeshadow Lovers…

closeup of makeup on eye.
Image credit Pixel-Shot via Shutterstock.

Some of us put on a full face of makeup every single day, while others go bare-faced. But there is definitely something to be said for a middle of the road approach. Enter the concept of the “one and done” eyeshadow. No need to master blending, eyeshadow placement, or multiple colors. The beauty of this approach is that there are eyeshadows that can be swept across the lid – and that’s it. You will look polished. Like your best you, with minimal effort. Check out the article.

Interested in “Clean” Beauty? You Need To Read This

Clean beauty concept.
Image credit ARTFULLY PHOTOGRAPHER via Shutterstock.

So many of us are interested in self-improvement, from maintaining or enhancing our physical appearance, to tending to our mental well-being. In recent years, one trend that has gained significant traction in this pursuit is “clean beauty”—an umbrella term encompassing various approaches and products designed to promote healthier skin and a clearer conscience. But what does “clean beauty” mean? Read THIS!

Makeup Brands You Might Not Know, But Should 

Beautiful woman wearing bold makeup.
Image credit Beauty Hero via Shutterstock.

It used to be that makeup was roughly divided into two worlds: discount brands that you could get at the drugstore, and the high-end brands available at better department stores. Thankfully, for us makeup lovers, the world of makeup has never been more vast or more accessible. From economical to pricy splurges, we have some suggestions for you about brands and specific products that we bet are new-to-you. Which will you try first? Note: We have listed and linked websites, but many of the products are available on Amazon as well – for almost instant gratification! Read the article.

Join Us

The Queen Zone Join Us Feature Image
Image Credit The Queen Zone

Join us on this empowering journey as we explore, celebrate, and elevate “her story.” The Queen Zone is not just a platform; it’s a community where women from all walks of life can come together, share their experiences, and inspire one another. Welcome to a space where the female experience takes center stage. Sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss a thing, Queen!


  • Dede Wilson

    Dédé Wilson is a journalist with over 17 cookbooks to her name and is the co-founder and managing partner of the digital media partnership Shift Works Partners LLC, currently publishing through two online media brands, FODMAP Everyday® and The Queen Zone.

    View all posts

Last update on 2024-07-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Similar Posts