Which long-wear lipsticks are best?
Lipstick is usually the makeup item that requires the most touch-ups throughout the day. Every time you eat or drink, your lip color can smear or fade — unless you have long-wear lipstick in your makeup bag.
Long-wear lipstick is formulated to provide full, vibrant color all day. Traditional lipstick typically only lasts for a few hours before fading and smearing become an issue. On the other hand, a long-wear lipstick can last anywhere from six to 24 hours without requiring a touch-up. If you’re looking for a comfortable, long-wear matte lipstick, the Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color is the top choice.
What to know before you buy a long-wear lipstick
You can find long-wear lipsticks in several different formulas. However, the wear time usually differs depending on the type.
Liquid lipstick is the most common formula for long-wear lipstick. It typically offers the best wear time, too, because it has a thin, wet consistency that dries down to a nearly budge-proof matte finish. These long-wear lipsticks are also incredibly pigmented. On the other hand, they can dry out your lips, though, so some people find them fairly uncomfortable to wear.
Some long-wear lipstick comes in bullet form, which resembles any traditional lipstick in a twist-up tube. The long-wear formulas generally have a matte finish that dries down just a bit to help the color stay in place. You won’t get as long a wear time as you would with liquid lipstick, but many people find long-wear bullet lipstick more comfortable to wear.
Additionally, some long-wear lipsticks come in crayon or pencil formulas. They have a similar texture and consistency to long-wear bullet lipstick, though their packaging is thinner and longer. Some crayons and pencils twist up, while others can be sharpened. These long-wear lipsticks are highly pigmented and have a matte finish, but they don’t wear as long as a liquid lipstick. They are still somewhat drying, though.
For a lipstick to offer a long wear time, it usually has a matte finish. Cream or shine formulas have more moisture, so they’re more easily absorbed by the lips and can fade quickly. On the other hand, a matte lipstick dries down, allowing it to last on the lips for hours.
You can find some long-wear lipstick with a metallic or satin finish. These are generally liquid lipsticks, though they typically don’t wear as long as matte liquid lipsticks.
What to look for in a quality long-wear lipstick
Many long-wear lipsticks include specific wear time claims in their advertising. The majority of formulas usually boast 12 hours, which is generally sufficient to prevent touch-ups throughout the average work or school day.
Others claim to last as long as 24 hours on the lips. In most cases, they don’t actually wear a full day, but they can work well if you’re out of the house for extended periods or just don’t have much free time throughout the day to touch up your makeup.
Like traditional lipstick, long-wear lipsticks are usually available in a wide color range. Most brands typically offer at least 10 shades, including everything from flattering nudes to bold reds. Some formulas are available in as many as 40 shades.
In general, the more shade options a formula offers, the easier it will be to find one that perfectly flatters your coloring or works with a particular makeup look. While some may want a long-wear lipstick in a basic neutral color for an everyday look, it can also be a good idea to pick up a second shade in a bolder, richer color, for special occasions.
Long-wear liquid lipsticks typically have either a sponge-tip or brush-tip applicator. While both make it fairly easy to apply lip color, some users find that a brush tip offers more precision.
While you may love how long these products last, you likely won’t enjoy the drying effect it can have on your lips. Some long-wear formulas come with a lip balm or gloss meant to serve as a topcoat for the lipstick. Not only do these add a bit of shine, but they also help make the lipstick more comfortable by adding some moisture.
How much you can expect to spend on long-wear lipstick
Long-wear lipsticks usually cost between $3-$60. Buyers can find drugstore formulas that are pretty drying for $3-$10, but higher-quality, more comfortable long-wear lipsticks typically cost between $10-$25. If you want a luxury formula with the highest-quality ingredients and the most comfortable feeling on the lips, though, expect to pay between $25-$60.
Long-wear lipstick FAQ
Are long-wear lipsticks transfer-resistant?
A. Many long-wear lipsticks are fairly budge-proof, so you won’t leave smudges behind when you kiss someone. Liquid lipsticks are generally the most transfer-resistant, but you might not have as much luck with bullet or crayon lipsticks. Even with a liquid formula, though, you must let it dry completely before it’s fully transfer-resistant.
How do I take off a long-wear lipstick?
A. If you’re having trouble removing a long-wear liquid lipstick, an oil-based makeup remover can usually do the trick — though you may need to go over your lips more than once to get all the lipstick off. If your lips are still stained afterward, a lip scrub can usually take care of the color that’s left behind.
What’s the best long-wear lipstick to buy?
Top long-wear lipstick
What you need to know: This lightweight liquid lipstick is so comfortable that it feels weightless on the lips while still offering hours of wear.
What you’ll love: It offers a soft matte finish, so it isn’t as drying as other liquid lipsticks. It comes in nine shades that work well on all skin tones. Its wand has a precision tip to make it easy to define the lips during application. The formula is cruelty-free.
What you should consider: It can take some time to dry completely and isn’t fully kiss-proof.
Where to buy: Sold by Sephora
Top long-wear lipstick for the money
What you need to know: This affordable liquid lipstick is one of the easiest to use and offers truly bold, rich color.
What you’ll love: It includes a liquid lipstick and a gloss topcoat that provide up to 24 hours of wear. It doesn’t dry out the lips or cause flaking. The topcoat helps provide hydration throughout the day. It’s available in 39 shades.
What you should consider: The formula isn’t cruelty-free.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This full-coverage liquid lipstick is still lightweight and comfortable and comes in an array of neutral shades to flatter all skin tones.
What you’ll love: It has a mousselike texture that glides on easily. It contains plant-based waxes that help moisturize and condition the lips. The flexible paddle applicator allows for easy application. The formula is vegan and cruelty-free.
What you should consider: It doesn’t last as long as some other long-wear formulas and can sometimes transfer.
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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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