We’re all for a bright, bold lipstick, but sometimes all you want is a hint of color ― that “just kissed” look without (necessarily) having kissed anyone.
That’s where sheer lipstick comes in. It’s basically a hybrid between regular lipstick, lip stain and balm that delivers just the right amount color (which you can layer depending on your mood) and the benefits of each respective product. For instance, it often comes in a handy stick format, like lipstick, offers sheer color similar to a stain and feels hydrating like a balm.
If you’re low maintenance when it comes to makeup, or you lean toward more natural looks, sheer lipsticks are a great option for everyday wear. They easily enhance your natural lip color without making you look too done up, and there’s much less risk of creating a harsh, uneven outline. (If you are one of those people who can apply lipstick perfectly every time, we salute and envy you.)
Check out 13 of our favorite sheer lipsticks and balms below. We highly recommend storing them in purses and coat pockets so you have one on hand for any occasion: