Tips and Treats for Long-Lasting Lip Color

by Sonja on July 24, 2009

Products for long-lasting lip color

Between licking our lips, eating, and the constant movement when we chat and such, it’s no wonder lipstick and gloss quickly disappear from our lips. But you can give lovely lip colors a fighting chance. Check out these tips and recommended beauty treats to help your lip color last longer.

Proper Prep

While most of us just want to swipe on lipstick or gloss and get on our way, a little prep beforehand will definitely help lip color last a lot longer.

Benefit Lip Plump, Benefit Lipliner Duo Pencil, Trish McEvoy FAST-TRACKPrimer. Benefit lip plump ($22) gives lips added oomph, fills in fine lines, and helps color last longer. This classic, flesh-toned primer also tones down the natural color of your lips so colors you apply will show up like they do in the tube. It also contains jojoba oil to smoothe and soften. I’ve got naturally pink lips and love to wear nude lip color so I really love this stuff.

Liner. Anything you put on your lips will last longer if you apply liner first. It serves as a foundation to keep color in place. There’s no need to keep an arsenal of liner colors. One or two nude shades will work for a multitude of lip colors – even red. Definitely check out Benefit’s new automatic lipliner duo pencil ($20, on the bottom at left). There are three nude shades to choose from – each with a lip brush conveniently located on the one end. Trish McEvoy also has a new product FAST-TRACK Lips Chic ($38, in the middle at left) that’s two products in one – a neutral shade of liner on one end and a pinky nude hydrating lipstick on the other.

Powder. Another trick is to apply a bit of powder before and after applying color. But I have to admit I rarely ever do this, because I find it to be drying.

Excellent Application

Step away from the tube. As I already mentioned, it’s tempting to apply lipstick or gloss straight from the tube. But when we do that, we tend to apply more product than needed so we smear our lips together more, causing the product to vanish. You’ll get longer wear if you apply with a brush or dab on color with your finger. Blotting gently with a tissue after application also helps remove excess product, so if you decide to go ahead and apply straight from the tube, be sure to blot a little at least.

Colors that Last

There are several long-wear lipsticks at drugstores. But I can’t think of any long-wear lipsticks from higher end lines. There were some around for awhile but they seem to have been discontinued. That’s probably because they don’t work very well and tend to be very drying. I’ve never found one I like so I don’t have a single recommendation for a long-wear lipstick (but do let us know if you have one you like). I prefer to make my lipstick or gloss last longer by priming and/or lining first.


Benefit pocketpalI have a bad habit of licking my lips so lipstick and gloss wear off even faster on me (must get a handle on that). Sometimes I first apply a stain, like Benefit pocketpal ($20), which has benetint lip and cheek stain on one end and clear gloss on the other. Stains do a great job of staying on after lipstick or gloss wears away. These are also money-savers, because stains can used on both lips and cheeks. tarte also makes wonderful stains I use all the time.

Lip glosses tend to stay on for the shortest amount of time. But I’m delighted to share three glosses that stay on much better than your typical gloss.

Long-lasting glosses from Smashbox, Benefit, and Sue DevittSmashbox Limitless Long Wear Lip Gloss SPF 15 ($21) is a real wunderkind. They say this new gloss provides color and shine for up to six hours. I didn’t get six hours out of it (probably due to my lip licking). But it did last a couple hours for me – a lot longer than most glosses.

I love that it’s not sticky or drying, provides sun protection, and has a moisturizing formula with vitamins A, C, and E, and sea kale. Good stuff! It comes in six shades. I love the lightest shade Infinite, which is a perfect for doing a nude lip (at left). I also like Endless, which is a sheer plum that’s perfect for fall (at the top in the  photo below).

Benefit lip gloss ($18). Benefit has introduced a new formula with their new gloss. Even though it’s not labeled as a long-wear formula, it stays on longer than the previous formula, since they reined in the shine and bumped up the color payoff. There’s still plenty of shine and shimmer but no stickiness. They also have a delightful apricot-lychee scent. The end result is beautiful long-wearing fabulousness. And the eight shades are stunning. Every one of them is a winner.

Of course, I love Zone Out, which is a golden nude (on the right in the top left photo). But I’m also really into Kiss You, which is a clear fuchsia (at the bottom in the bottom photo), and Friends in High Places, which is a sparkling raspberry (in the middle in the bottom photo) – both are fun, plummy alternatives to my usual nudes.

Sue Devitt Microquatic Lip Enhancing Gloss ($22). I’ve been trying Sue Devitt makeup and skin care for the first time and really liking it all. All of the makeup includes ingredients that are good for the skin. This gloss includes peptide-5 to promote collagen production for fuller lips while shea butter, orchid extract, and marine collagen help hydrate, soothe, and prevent the signs of aging.

Like the Benefit gloss, this one isn’t labeled as long-wear but it does last longer than most glosses and doesn’t feel sticky. It also has a touch of refreshing mint, which feels great on the lips. This comes in three shades. The beautiful golden, shimmery, sparkly Bermuda Triangle is shown in the middle in the top photo above.

Do Tell

What’s your experience with lipstick and gloss? Does it tend to slide off in the blink of an eye? Do you have any tricks to make it last longer? Do tell.

P.S. Check out our Beauty Resources page for some amazing beauty deals at,, Sephora, and more.

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sweety P July 24, 2009 at 4:55 am

I heart glosses. Smashbox is one of my faves!
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2 Skinny Mini July 24, 2009 at 5:55 am

thank you for your tips! i’ll be sure to use these puppies :)
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3 Robin July 24, 2009 at 6:58 am

I have to disagree with you about the long-wear lip colors. I’ve been using Max Factor’s Lipfinity for about seven years now, and nothing else even approaches its quality (and I won’t wear anything else now). Drying isn’t a problem (I apply the gloss coat only once, in late afternoon), and it stays on through meals, drinks, everything. The Cover Girl long wear isn’t as good as the Max Factor, but it’s okay.
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4 WendyB July 24, 2009 at 9:34 am

This is my fave:


5 grechen July 24, 2009 at 10:30 am

did i mention in my last comment here how much makeup scares me? you know what scares me the most? lipstick!!! i always feel like i look like a clown or way too made up when i try to wear lipstick - even a very simple shade. so i always stick with a very neutral lipgloss - but mostly i just use lip balm. i did get a NARS big lip pencil thing-y a while ago, but don’t use it much.

a stain sounds intriguing though, is there a specific one you might recommend for a makeup chicken like me? something that will add a little color, but that’s not too overwhelming?

the smashbox lipgloss you mention sounds good, maybe i’ll try that
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6 Sonja July 24, 2009 at 10:31 am

❤ Sweety P, me too! LOVE glosses, especially ones that stay on!
❤ Skinny Mini, you’re welcome. Hope they help!
❤ Robin, very good to know! Thanks for sharing!
❤ WendyB, I don’t use Mac so I didn’t know they made long-wear lip colors. Thanks for the tip! It looks awesome on you!
Sonja´s last blog ..Tips and Treats for Long-Lasting Lip Color My ComLuv Profile


7 lisa July 24, 2009 at 10:41 am

Ooh I always have trouble with getting glosses to show up more on my lips. I’m going to have to try the nude pencil or lip primer trick! Thanks Sonja.
lisa´s last blog ..Since You Asked… My ComLuv Profile


8 Sal July 24, 2009 at 10:50 am

Gloss definitely fades/absorbs for me, but I will probably still stick to my old fave: Kiehl’s tinted lip balms. They don’t last, but they feel and look GREAT!
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9 Tami July 24, 2009 at 10:53 am

that lip primer is a great idea….i need to try it!
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10 Carolyn July 24, 2009 at 3:07 pm

I may try the primer.

My lips have lost a lot of color since I’ve…ahem…aged. (ok, I’m 32…not too bad)

Color is a must. I’m a big fan of Benetint- but I like more substantial stuff too.

I wear a lot of red- my two faves being Rage by MAC and Misfit by Kat Von D. The MAC formulation is not great, though- the Kat Von D lasts longer and wears more evenly.

Chanel makes an AWESOME long-wearing gloss/lipstick, but the colors, for me, are lacking. If you like the colors, though- that stuff is indelible.
Carolyn´s last blog ..Some MORE thift-goodies My ComLuv Profile


11 Sonja July 24, 2009 at 8:41 pm

❤ lisa, let me know how it works for you.
❤ Sal, feeling and looking good – can’t beat that!
❤ Tami, definitely! It’s awesome! A true classic from Benefit.
❤ Carolyn, I usually don’t wear a stain alone. I use it more as a color back-up so to speak so I still have color after the lipstick or gloss wears off. I’ll have to check out the Kat Von D and Chanel stuff. Thanks for the tips!


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