Give Me Lip Gels Over Wax-Based Lipsticks Any Day of the Week

Specifically, give me THESE lip gels.
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Specifically, give me THESE lip gels.

After years and years of being an everyday lipstick-wearer, I've become a very picky shopper. Anything that doesn't fit my ideal lipstick formulation — moisturizing, long-lasting, and pigmented — eventually gets tossed into the dark corner of my beauty storage after a few wears.

Drying mattes? Goodbye.

Gritty glitters? Only if there's a special occasion.

Creams that last just one hour? This just isn't going to work out between us.

I know I'm selective, but if a lipstick formula is going to sit atop my lips for most of the day as I talk to people and eat meals, it should be nearly perfect, you know?

There's one lipstick type, however, that never seems to let me down: gel lipsticks.

Gel lipsticks have a translucent gel base as opposed to a wax base and can come in different finishes. For a lipstick-lover like me, that means a lot of great things. 

First off, the translucent gel base means better color accuracy, so the color you're getting is a closer match to the color you think you're getting from just looking at the lipstick bullet. I've been deceived on many occasions by pretty lipstick bullets promising excellent pigmentation, so this is a big deal to me. Secondly, gel lipsticks are more lightweight than wax-based ones, so you sometimes you even forget you're wearing lipstick, which is always nice. Thirdly, because the lipsticks aren't wax-based, chances are, there's a better moisturizing ingredient in the formula to hydrate your lips. On me, wax-based lipsticks go on nice at first, but they always end up drying out my lips. And lastly, in my experience, gel lipsticks have amazing staying power. Maybe it's the lightweight formula, but they always seem to adhere better to lips without being sticky.

Gel lipsticks have been around for a while, but they're still underrated, which is a shame since I think they're superior to wax-based formulas. Plus, many brands don't even mention if their lipstick is gel-based. Unless you're committed to the matte look, lip gels, which tend to be on the shiny side, are worthy of a chance. 

If you're looking to try them out, let me introduce you to some lip-gel lines I've been loving.

Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick

Revlon Ultra HD Lip Gels in Hydrangea, Geranium and Gladiolus

Revlon Ultra HD Lip Gels in Hydrangea, Geranium and Gladiolus

This lipstick line comes in 20 shades and has a gel-based, wax-free formula that doesn't dry out my lips. The finish is slightly shiny. 

One of the best things about the range is there are a lot of very pigmented shades, like Geranium, which I'm wearing below. It also has a sweet scent that's reminiscent of the Bonnebell lip balms I used in my childhood. 

Wearing Revlon Ultra HD Lip Gel in Geranium, a vibrant, coral-red.

Wearing Revlon Ultra HD Lip Gel in Geranium, a vibrant, coral-red.

The only downside is that the colors lose their vibrancy as the day goes on. I have to reapply after about three hours when I wear these lip gels.

NYX Plush Gel Lipstick

From top to bottom: NYX Plush Gel Lipstick in Sacred Mix, Pastel Dust, Breakup and Air Blossom

From top to bottom: NYX Plush Gel Lipstick in Sacred Mix, Pastel Dust, Breakup and Air Blossom

The gel lipsticks in this range are moisturizing and have a glossy finish. Even the darkest lip colors aren't fully opaque at first swipe, but they're easily buildable. The deeper shades are your best bet, since I found that the paler shades are very pastel and could be tricky to pull off. 

Wearing NYX Plush Gel Lipstick in Breakup, a medium purply-brown

Wearing NYX Plush Gel Lipstick in Breakup, a medium purply-brown

In regard to longevity, these wear well throughout the day. I have to reapply after about four-and-a-half hours when using the darker shades, which is really good for a budget-friendly option.

Giorgio Armani Rouge D'Armani Lipstick

From left to right: Giorgio Armani Rouge D'Armani Lipstick in 602, 506 and 510

From left to right: Giorgio Armani Rouge D'Armani Lipstick in 602, 506 and 510

This luxury lipstick line has been a favorite of mine for years. It offers some really gorgeous, very pigmented lipsticks with gel-like textures and satin finishes. 

Wearing Giorgio Armani Rouge D'Armani Lipstick in 602, a reddish plum

Wearing Giorgio Armani Rouge D'Armani Lipstick in 602, a reddish plum

Rouge D'Armani Lipsticks are also very long-lasting. I generally get about six hours of wear when I apply lipsticks from this range, (unheard of, in my book, unless I'm using a liquid lipstick) so I definitely feel like I get the most bang for my buck when I use these. They aren't extremely emollient, but they won't dry out your lips either.

Marc Jacobs New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel

From left to right: Marc Jacobs New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel in Strange Magic, Role Play and Eat Cake

From left to right: Marc Jacobs New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel in Strange Magic, Role Play and Eat Cake

This range is a sheer but buildable, shiny interpretation of gel lipstick. The shades have a very fresh, I'm-not-wearing-lipstick look to them. However, they aren't sticky at all. 

Wearing Marc Jacobs New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel in Eat Cake, a nude pink

Wearing Marc Jacobs New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel in Eat Cake, a nude pink

I get about four hours of wear when I use these vanilla-scented lipsticks, and my lips feel so soft while and after I wear these.

  • What's your favorite lipstick formula?
  • Have you ever tried a lip gel?