How To Make Any Lipstick 'Long-Wearing' In 5 Simple Steps

July 27, 2016 by Lisa Fogarty
shefinds | beauty

Applying lipstick is a frustrating exercise in constantly working to maintain a shade keen on disappearing the second we sip a glass of water or lose track of time and forget to reapply. Lipstick is fickle and if you want it to stay in place for longer than an hour or two, you’re gonna have to work for it.

Luckily, pro makeup artist and beauty expert Jennifer Trotter of Lip Service Makeup schooled us on 5 tricks of the trade you need to know if you want to make your lipstick last forever (or at least until the afternoon). Read on:

1. Exfoliate and moisturize. We weren’t kidding when we told you beautiful lips were going to take a bit of commitment–starting with how you prep your lips the night before. “It’s essential that you exfoliate lips with a sugar scrub or a warm wet washcloth to remove flakes, then coat with a lip balm or lip conditioner,” Trotter says. “Do this at night if possible so your lips are super soft in the morning. Avoid lip products containing menthol as they can actually irritate to make lips even more chapped.”

2. Blot and blend. But wait, there’s more prep work needed right before you apply your lipstick. “Blot any excess lip balm so lips are soft, but free of product,” Trotter says. “Use a bit of foundation or concealer on the lips and blend with a dampened sponge, or use a lip prep product like MAC’s Lip Erase. Bonus, this step helps keep lip color from feathering and makes a bright lip color really pop.”

3. Choose the right formula. All lipsticks are not created equal. In order to ensure your lipstick is long-lasting, make sure you choose a highly-pigmented matte formula (Trotter recommends Smashbox Be Legendary Matte lipsticks) with a matching lip pencil. “Matte liquid lipsticks are super long-wearing, but I personally find many of them too drying and uncomfortable to wear for several hours,” Trotter says. “Formulas to definitely skip if you’re after long wear? Glosses, ultra-moisturizing lipsticks, sheer lipsticks, and cheap lipsticks that don’t have a lot of color payoff. Swatch on the back of your hand to ensure vibrant, true color that doesn’t have too much ‘slip’ or smear easily.”

4. Perfect the application. Professional makeup artists don’t just quickly apply lipstick from the tube and run out the door if the goal is to get long-lasting color. “Outline your lips with liner and then fill in with your desired shade (don’t skip this step if you’re choosing a bright or dark shade). Next, apply lip color straight from the tube for the most impact,” Trotter says. “Blot with a post-it (tissue has too much lint) or business card, then apply again for long-wearing color.”

5. Set it and forget it! You’re almost there–there’s just one more step. “After you blot, lightly dust a tiny bit of very sheer setting powder on your lips before applying the second coat,” Trotter says. “[This is] excellent for those situations where you just can’t reapply. Use straws whenever possible to minimize smearing, too.”

For more beauty tips, check out 8 overnight beauty tricks every woman should try and how to prevent lipstick from getting all gross and gunky in the center of your lips.

Follow me at @lisacfogarty on Twitter.

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Lisa Fogarty is a lifestyle writer and reporter based in New York who covers health, wellness, relationships, sex, beauty, and parenting.

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