A sheer lipstick is comfortable for daily wear, and comes in a range of shades for different skin tones.
There’s definitely a place for brightly pigmented lipsticks in anyone’s beauty supply kit, but there will probably times when you want a more subtle option. Sheer lipsticks are the perfect solution for occasions when you want a touch of natural-looking color with a gorgeous finish, to emphasize your lips without coloring them too boldly. Sheer lipstick can be a great addition to your everyday no-makeup makeup look, and can also be a strong option for special occasions, when you’re wearing bold eye makeup and don’t want your lips to compete.
What is sheer lipstick?
Unlike conventional lipsticks, sheer lipsticks have either a very transparent pigment that can be layered to adjust the concentration of color. In terms of texture, they’re somewhere in between lip balm and lipstick: thicker and creamier than lip balm, but not quite as thick as conventional lipstick. They’re much more low-maintenance than lipsticks, although not quite as long-lasting as the typical lip stain.
While you might have to reapply a sheer lipstick a couple of times to keep the color from fading, this product will also help to keep your lips hydrated throughout the day. The best sheer lipsticks contain moisturizing ingredients such as natural plant butters, which plump, hydrate, and condition your lips.
Why buy natural lipstick?
As lipstick is worn extremely close to your mouth, it’s important to make sure that you’re only using products that contain safe ingredients. Not only can harmful products be absorbed through the skin on your lips (and the rest of your skin). These products can also be transferred to your mouth and ingested in tiny quantities as you eat, drink, talk, etc. These small quantities of harmful chemicals can build up in your system over time, incurring health risks.
Many conventional lipsticks contain preservatives called parabens which can penetrate human skin and mimic estrogen. Many of them also contain phthalates to help blend the formula together, but be aware that they’ve been linked to severe hormone disruption.
There are plenty of strong reasons to ditch conventional lipstick products, and favor natural options instead. Luckily, natural beauty has advanced by so many leaps and bounds that there’s no real need to compromise on your next beauty buy. You can find a lipstick that works as well—if not better—than a conventional option, and doesn’t pose a risk to your health.
In contrast to conventional lipstick, the best natural options use plant butters such as shea butter, avocado butter, and cocoa butter as their bases. These ingredients hydrate and heal your lips, and allow the lipstick to impart an even, soft touch of color. Some natural lipsticks also include antioxidant-rich plant oils to condition your skin.
Best sheer lipsticks
- Sheer Lipstick in Vivacious from Elate
- Gorgeous, berry tone with dark plum undertones
- Shea butter and mango butter soften, hydrate, and plump your lips
- Organic vanilla essential oil leaves a subtle scent
- Other ingredients include castor seed oil, cold pressed jojoba seed oil, organic meadowfoam seed oil, and vitamin E
- Enchanted Lip Sheer from Rituel de Fille
- Comes in a range of nine shades, from deep purples and eye-catching reds to soft pinks
- Translucent, light look combined with vibrant color
- Semi-matte finish
- Moisturizing ingredients include castor seed oil, jojoba seed oil, and lavender oil
- Inspired by ancient botanicals
- Organic Sheer Satin Lipstick from Suzanne Somers
- Comes in six different natural-looking, pink shades to suit different seasons, skin tones, and occasions
- Shea butter, cocoa butter, and avocado butter blend to form a creamy, hydrating base
- Orange fruit oil and goji berry oil nourish lips with antioxidants
- Certified Organic Sheerlips Lipstick from Zuii Organics
- Comes in eighteen different shades, including a full range of pinks, medium purples, and soft shimmery neutrals
- Hydrating ingredients include castor seed oil, jojoba seed oil, shea butter, and aloe vera juice
- Features antioxidant-rich essential oils include orange peel oil and rosa damascena flower oil
- Super lightweight for easy wear and a natural look
- Color samples available to test your chosen shade before purchasing
- Sheer Lipstick from Beautycounter
- Comes in twelve unique shades, including orchid and berry tones, and warm neutral pinks
- Conditions lips using jojoba esters and carnauba wax
- Vanilla fruit extract for a subtle scent
- Can be applied to cheeks as a blush, or used underneath sheer lip gloss for an extra sheen
- Lip Tints from Henné Organics
- Comes in four shades: dark crimson, nude pink, bright fuschia pink, and coral
- Can be applied in layers for adjustable color concentration
- Includes coconut oil, castor seed oil, jojoba seed oil, and avocado oil to moisturize lips
- Vitamin E repairs skin damage and promotes cell regeneration
- Tinted Lip Conditioner from Ilia Beauty
- Comes in thirteen vibrant shades
- Lightweight lip color meets nourishing lip balm
- Contains 85% organic ingredients
- Features hydrating ingredients like castor seed oil and cocoa butter
- Rosemary leaf and orange peel wax deliver healthy antioxidants
- Lip Tint from Alima Pure
- Comes in ten different shades, with both warm and cool undertones
- Jojoba seed oil, castor seed oil, and cocoa butter replenish hydration
- Pumpkin seed oil plumps and conditions
- Pomegranate seed oil firms and rejuvenates with antioxidants
- Light peppermint scent
- Free of synthetic fragrances, artificial dyes, parabens, silicones, sulfates, and phthalates
You can use sheer lipstick to achieve a no-makeup makeup look by wearing it with a primer, BB cream, clear mascara, and subtle blush or bronzer. Many of the pink shades of the lipsticks we’ve listed above were developed specifically to complement different, natural lip tones. So with the right shade of pink, you can emphasize your natural lip color without calling attention to the fact that you’re wearing a lip pigment.
Today’s pure beauty companies have brought us a range of lip products in different shades, colors, and finishes, eliminating the need to compromise between health and style. Not only can you use sheer lipstick as an everyday, subtle alternative to conventional lipstick. You can also layer it to achieve a bolder color for a date night or a big night out. However you choose to use it, we’re sure you’ll love the hydrating benefits of a natural, sheer lipstick.
Trying to nail your daily makeup look? We’ll give you a helping hand: