What are your tips for making your lip color last longer?

I exfoliate my lips first, add lip balm, let the balm sink in for 20-30 minutes, and then I start applying the actual color products. I start with lip liner and fill in all over my lips, and then I use a lip brush to apply and press in the lip color. For longer-lasting color, matter color tends to wear the longest, just as deeper/richer shades (like a red) last longer and can also stain (which gives the illusion of longer-lasting color).

— Christine


Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.
Tessa Avatar

Unpopular opinion time: I actively avoid most long lasting lip products and prefer a lip color that is forgiving of reapplication, instead. The problem with longer lasting lip colors is that they inevitably go gross looking on me if I’m talking a lot or if I eat anything… And both of these are unavoidable for me in my daily life. So I’d rather have something that reapplies nicely. Thus I almost never try to prolong the life of a lipstick.

Carla Norris Avatar

I exfoliate gently with a damp toothbrush, blot dry, then apply a light layer of balm and let it sink in.
Then I line my lips with a colorless pencil (Milani makes a great, inexpensive one), blot, and apply a lip stain in a shade similar to my chosen lipstick. For even longer-lasting color, I sometimes apply the stain directly to clean, dry lips, then apply a bit of balm, then line, then apply lipstick + a drop of gloss.
This combination is so long-lasting that all I need to do for the rest of the day is reapply gloss as desired.
BTW, I love the Silk Naturals lip stains. I have a deep pink (“Doll”), true red (“Scarlet”), and a deep plum (“Vamp”). I also have a Joah stain in a pink-red (“Thirst”), and this “wardrobe” of stains is quite adequate for all of the lipsticks I own.

Carla Norris Avatar

I don’t remember how I got started using stain as a base for my lipstick, but I’ve been doing it for years now. I really like the fact that this “trick” eliminates the “ring-around-the-lips” effect that results when a deep or bright lipstick wears away first where the upper and lower lips touch.
Also, it makes touching up after a meal *very* easy – I just take my gloss along with me in my purse, and discreetly dab it on at the table.
Once, when I was out to lunch [at a Mexican food restaurant] with my aunt, she remarked to me after we’d finished eating, “Your lips are still red! I don’t know how you did it, but your lips are still red.” I just smiled, and said, “There are ways …”

Carla Norris Avatar

I wish I could accept credit for being coy or clever, but the truth is, I started to reply, “Stain – they’ll stay on through anything!”
But I knew the reply would be, “I’ve never heard of that! Do you get it at Walmart?”
Stains are a little hard to describe to someone [like my aunt] who isn’t fluent in the language of makeup, and besides I get my lipstains online, from companies most people have never heard of, and it just seemed too complicated to try to explain.

Seraphine Avatar

I don’t mind—and even kind of enjoy—retouching my lipstick, so the only thing I need to worry about is feathering, mostly with creamy formulas. I dab a little bit of NYX Proof It Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer on the edges of my lips where feathering usually happens. (Just the teeniest, tiniest amount completely rubbed in, or else it will be kind of yucky.)

Nancy T Avatar

Keeping my lips on the BEST shape possible does give lip products a good canvas with which to work with. So does exfoliating before applying any lip products!
So, I exfoliate, apply lip primer (MAC Prep & Prime Lips), line lips along the outer perimeters and smudged inwards , then I apply my lipstick and/or gloss. As you mentioned above, Christine, reds (or anything else that stains my lips) are my best option for a lip color that really lasts for most of the day, too!

Kitty Avatar

I’m way different from everyone else (I think). I don’t really expect my lip color to last longer.

I don’t wear any mattes but mostly satins w/some sheen or metallics w/o too much glitter. (Mattes make my lips look dried out and I can’t stand how drying the mattes feel.) No reds or pinks.

I don’t wear any lip liners anymore except for two–one that’s MYBB for lining the lines that have shaded from aging and the slightly darker one to create a shadow on bottom of my bottom lip. I usually use these liners before applying lip balm (Chapstick or similar). Wait a bit. If I apply lipstick afterwards, I slightly smear the lip line of the lipstick or blot along the lip line so the lipstick doesn’t smear or go outside the lines or look weird as it wears off. I don’t want a “hard” or well defined lip line of lipstick anymore. If needed later, I reapply the lipstick (smearing or blotting the edges again). Otherwise, I may apply clear lip balm like Jack Black or similar on the faded lipstick.

Genevieve Avatar

Hmm – I have never exfoliated my lips and it is probably time I did so. I just like creamy lipsticks and I do find that the Colour Pop ones last quite awhile. I do find lip stains tend to dry out my lips badly and some lipsticks that promise and deliver long lasting lipstick actually look quite awful on me when they are drying down. I don’t mind reapplying lippie.

Rachel R. Avatar

I usually don’t worry too much about my lip color lasting along time. When I do: 1) Exfoliate. 2) I apply lip balm and leave it on while I do the rest of my makeup. After my other makeup is done, I blot off the balm. 3) Fill in my lips lightly with lipliner. 4) Apply lipstick. I’ll use a lip brush for more finicky shades. 5) Line my lips.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!