Unless it’s some really strange formula (new to me) or has some quirks, it usually just takes one wear to find that out — initial application tells me a lot (does it grab my texture, does it settle, how does the color work for me) and then one wear will usually indicate how drying or hydrating it is and how it wears down. This assumes, of course, that I didn’t put it on and then immediately eat the world’s oiliest meal an hour later, though!

— Christine
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It’s often down to the rest of the makeup I’m wearing that day, a lip colour can look great one day and make me look a bit too sophisticated/old when I use it with different makeup the next. I can usually tell straight away if I don’t like it, but will try other lipsticks or glosses to find a better suited one, sometimes it’s more to do with the texture, how sheer/opaque it is, or whether it’s better for day or night, and sometimes it might never work and stays in my drawer forever.

If it’s not drying and has a reasonable wear time (hey, Hourglass – your GIRL Lip Stylos fade practically before I can get the lid back on the product!) and if they fade in an attractive way – sort of evenly and leaving an even stain behind rather than that ugly lip outline – then I’m happy. I really dislike the feel of almost all the liquid lipsticks I’ve tried and I won’t trade wear-time for that dry feel and cracked, desiccated look they give. Goes without saying that the colour has to be one that flatters me.

I just tried L’Oreal Infallible, their new Chocolate collection. I was so impressed. These things literally wore all day long, even through salad dressing. They wore evenly, no butthole in the center of my mouth, and they never fully dry. No transfer, but my lips always had that lipstick feeling on them.

I can usually tell within a couple of hours whether a lip formula or color is working for me. By that time it will either bleed or not, will ball up on my lips or not, or will just wear of completely or feel extremely drying.

I have a formula preference based on shade. I prefer a glossier or satin finish to nudes/pinks and a more matte finish for reds/deep shades. Orange/Peach/Corals I can go either way based on opacity. I’m quite fair so for me finding the right shade is more important. Fair skin can be very unforgiving. Anything that I put on that feels immediately like its setting is usually a no go. That typically means it’s really high in alcohol and will just suck all the life out of my lips.

I never thought about it until I read your comment, but I do the same thing. Unconsciously, apparently. The vast majority of my unusual colors (black, blue, green, etc) are matte, and the ones that aren’t, I don’t prefer. Same with reds — very strong preference for matte red, and my non-mattes don’t get much use. But berries, roses, and tawny/brown shades … satin, even a few metallic.

Here are all the questions that go into my evaluation of a lip color:

Does it compliment my skin tone? (Sorry, greige, you and I just don’t get along.) How does it feel on my lips? Is it too drying? (MAC Retro Mattes kill my lips.) Is it sliding around too much? If there’s shimmer, is it gritty? (I absolutely detest feeling glitter on my lips!) Does it seep into the tiny lines that go outside of my lips? (Ah, the joys of middle age!) Does it sit smoothly on my lips? (Vegas Volt, you’re so very pretty, yet so patchy.) How long does it wear? (NARS Stefania—OMG, so hard to take off at the end of the night!) Do I have to remove it completely before reapplying it? (This is one of the things I dislike about liquid lipstick.) Does the scent annoy me? (Givenchy and Rimmel = Yuck. Chanel Rouge Coco and MAC = Yum.) Does it get all over my teeth? Does it wear off evenly or am I left with a weird line around my lips with nothing in the center?

If I need a new lipstick color in my collection I just go to a MAC counter with my daily make-up, try various shades in that color range, decide which is the best and leave the store with it on my lips to see how it wears in the next couple of hours.
I always have issues with lipstick not flattering me, so I really need to test on myself each shade. Also, I need to wear the lipstick for some hours to see if it’s comfortable, if it bleeds, if it smears, if it goes away patchy (I prefer formulas that leave a stain).

If we are talking about actual color; then I suppose I’m fairly lucky to have a neutral olive undertone to my skin because it allows me to wear *almost* anything I want with few exceptions. Those being blue-toned pinks and neon cool-tone fuchsia (yet, I’m able to wear MAC Heroine?), or overly yellow-based oranges and browns.

If we are talking about lip product formula, then I know fairly soon if it’s a “go” or not, by how it wears on me. Feathering, though rare, is a deal-breaker. And I despise it when a lipstick either gives me the dreaded gummy line where my lips meet or where it wears off the center of my lips giving me “butthole” lips! As for lasting power, I appreciate a lipstick that will give me upwards of 4+ hours wear without drying the living daylights out of my lips. I’m NOT a fan of dry-down liquid matte lipsticks at all. I own only a few, and always use MAC Prep & Prime Lips underneath those.

Aside from performance, how it feels and if the color suits me, how it looks in candid pictures always gives me an objective view on whether or not it truly suits me. 🤦‍♀️

I should know better but it’s funny how different a formula or color may look (to me) in real life versus everything the camera + daylight or flash reveals.

I remain with my mates just wearing chapstip underneath them all even gloss. I’ll decide if if it works and I like it especially when t notice my hazel/greenish eyes pop with happiness! Some colors will just do that like a cool blue red, warm orange or copper. Berries! Ginger! Did I say I love my WetnWild ones? I can’t find fault with those they staycfir goid and do not dry at all my lips. Gloss I have started to hate are the L’Oréal #: 201 Rose Symphony, 202 Coral Encore, 303 Rouge Allegro and 304 Ruby Ooera I love the shades but they bleed on me! Yuck! I been using pencil liner but still. Blotting excess on napkin seems best. But I love all lipsticks! 🤦🏻‍♀️
Looking for a real nice ginger one and thanks for the preview review on those!

I’m not super picky — it needs to be not especially drying, not pill up after a few hours of use, not glossy (ideally), not glittery, and not pastel. Everything else is game.

I try it on without lipliner and see how it applies and whether I like the color on me. I see whether the color bleeds. If it’s not bleeding, I wear it for the rest of the day. I don’t usually need my lipstick to last all day without reapplying, so as long as I get a couple hours wear out of before having to touch it up, I’m happy.

For liquid lipsticks, they shouldn’t immediately make my lips look shriveled. If my lips look good, I’ll wear the shade for a day and see whether it dries out my lips, smears, etc. I don’t care whether a liquid lippie dries down completely.

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