Which Smashbox liquid lipstick is best?

Makeup enthusiasts know Smashbox for its makeup primers, but it also has a reputation for creating high-quality, long-lasting cosmetics for every part of your face. For example, you can rely on Smashbox liquid lipsticks for hours of rich pigmentation and flake-free wear.

For intense matte-finish color that can last all day, Smashbox Always On Longwear Liquid Lipstick is a great choice. Here’s how to choose the best Smashbox liquid lipstick, plus some other favorites for lip colors that are sure to last.

What to know before you buy a Smashbox liquid lipstick

Long-wearing formulas

Beauty lovers rely on liquid lipsticks for color that lasts longer than classic bullet formulations. Depending on the formula, a Smashbox liquid lipstick can last up to eight hours.

That said, even the most long-lasting lipstick formulas are vulnerable to oils. Applying oil-based lip balms or lip glosses on top of a liquid lipstick will cause it to transfer or fade.

Depending on how well you prep your lips, your Smashbox liquid lipstick may outlast anything you eat or drink. If you’re worried it won’t stay on through the day, bring it with you for easy, one-swipe reapplication.

Flattering shade options

Whether you’re shopping for a bold lip or an upscale, natural color, Smashbox liquid lipsticks come in various colors, so you’re sure to find the right shade for you. The Always On liquid lipstick line offers multiple nude shades to suit a wide range of skin tones. It also has several bold colors, such as bright corals, oranges and reds.

Matte vs. shimmer finish

If you’re craving some variety in your liquid lipstick, matte isn’t the only option. Smashbox liquid lipsticks come in metallic finishes too. Add drama to your look with Always On Liquid Lipstick in Vino Noir (a metallic burgundy) or Be Legendary Liquid Metal in Petal (a pale peach that gives lips a foiled effect).

What to look for in a quality Smashbox liquid lipstick

Primer oil complex

Liquid lipsticks tend to dry out your lips. However, Smashbox formulates its long-wearing liquid lipstick with a primer oil complex. These hydrating oils help keep your lipstick from cracking and flaking, giving you a more comfortable feel throughout the day.

Waterproof formula

A waterproof liquid lipstick resists smudging and smearing. However, this depends on the formula. For example, the Always On liquid lipstick line is waterproof, but the Be Legendary Liquid Metal line is not.

Precision applicators

Many liquid lipsticks come with doe-foot applicators, but the Smashbox Always On line uses an arrowhead-shaped applicator to help create sharp lines and defined points. This kind of applicator delivers perfect coverage of the vividly pigmented formula in one swipe. The Smashbox Be Legendary liquid lipstick also has a custom applicator that’s similar to a classic doe-foot, but it’s smaller and more cone-shaped. This unique shape gives you more control for precise, even application.

How much you can expect to spend on Smashbox liquid lipstick

Depending on the formula and shade, Smashbox liquid lipsticks cost between $24-$26. 

Smashbox liquid lipstick FAQ

Is Smashbox cruelty-free?

A. Smashbox is certified cruelty-free. The brand does not test products or ingredients on animals and does not sell its products in places where animal testing is legally required.

Do Smashbox liquid lipsticks contain fragrance?

A. If you’re sensitive to added scents in your makeup, Smashbox liquid lipsticks are a great addition to your collection because they use fragrance-free formulas.

What’s the best Smashbox liquid lipstick to buy?

Top Smashbox liquid lipstick

Smashbox Always On Longwear Matte Liquid Lipstick

Smashbox Always On Longwear Matte Liquid Lipstick

What you need to know: This liquid lipstick is infused with a primer oil complex to help it feel comfortable for up to eight hours.

What you’ll love: It has impressive staying power and resists feathering and bleeding. The primer complex includes jojoba, apricot and sunflower oils to moisten lips. Choose from two metallic finishes and 22 matte finishes, including multiple diverse nude shades.

What you should consider: Eating and drinking can cause it to transfer. It may dry out in the tube before you use it up.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora, Ulta Beauty and Amazon

Top Smashbox liquid lipstick for the money

Smashbox Be Legendary Liquid Metal Lip

Smashbox Be Legendary Liquid Metal Lip

What you need to know: For a dramatic, foiled look, try these metallic gel-formula liquid lipsticks.

What you’ll love: It has a glossy consistency, but the saturated pigmentation and shine are perfect for bold looks. It comes in unconventional shades, such as blue, silver and copper. The formula also works as a topper to transform other lipsticks without smudging them.

What you should consider: The formula doesn’t dry down, leaving lips feeling sticky.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Sephora

Best alternatives to Smashbox liquid lipsticks

Top alternative to Smashbox liquid lipstick

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick

What you need to know: With a shade selection that rivals Smashbox’s, this creamy formula also has hydrating oils and vitamin E.

What you’ll love: It comes in 24 matte-, shimmer- and sheer-finish shades and lasts up to 12 hours. The pigmented formula goes on smooth, plus it dries quickly.

What you should consider: Like many liquid lipsticks, they can feel dry over time. It’s not as transfer-resistant or long-lasting as Smashbox Always On.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty and Amazon

Top alternative to Smashbox liquid lipstick for the money

Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

What you need to know: This long-wearing liquid lipstick can last up to 16 hours, even through eating and drinking. Plus, it costs less than half the price of Smashbox.

What you’ll love: Beauty fans and professionals alike swear by the staying power of this drugstore liquid lipstick. It’s available in more than 50 highly pigmented shades, including moody burgundies and bold purples. The pointed wand helps with precise application.

What you should consider: Some colors don’t correspond well to their online photos. It may require a specialized makeup remover to take off at the end of the day.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Ulta Beauty


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Laura Duerr writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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