Admittedly, I have very high makeup standards. In fact, I believe that we each have the power to be picky when it comes to our makeup, because there are TONS of options out there. For example, between all of the different makeup stores, makeup lines, and makeup shades, the possibilities are practically endless! One thing that’s very important to me is a long wear lipstick. Between talking so much, constantly drinking water, having really long hair, and always touching my face, it’s important to me to have lipstick that won’t smear all over the place. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I thought it was the perfect time to go on the hunt for the best long wear lipstick around.
Although I usually stick to prestige makeup brands on this blog, today I wanted to expand into drugstore products as well. Just because products aren’t expensive doesn’t mean they can’t be good. However it goes the other way too. Just because products are expensive doesn’t mean they’re good! I hope you guys bear with me, as this is a super long post. I ended up trying out 10 different lipstick formulas from different stores, brands, and prices to really cover all of the bases. If you don’t have time, or TL; DR – jump to the end where I share my picks for the overall best long wear lipsticks. I also wanted to find products that are easily available at local retailers like Sephora, Ulta, Walmart, and Target, that way you can grab your favorite before any hot dates this weekend.
My rules for the great lipstick search are as follows: 1. Easily available. 2. Advertised as a long wear formula. 3. Liquid lipstick formula. 4. It comes in red. (The last one doesn’t matter in the long run. Just wanted to keep things consistent. Plus it was an easy color to match across all brands, and I knew it would show any transfer, feathering, etc.)
Let’s start with drugstore. I tried the Cover Girl Outlast All Day (Your Classic Red), Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink (Dancer), and L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte (Matador).
First up – Cover Girl Outlast All Day. It has a traditional doe foot applicator and the formula is less opaque than traditional liquid lips. In fact, it’s almost more like a light stain than a liquid lipstick. I did have to go back over it to make sure everything was covered. Although I didn’t like the smell of the liquid lipstick, I am a huge fan of the gloss stick. Honestly, this one brings back memories of my childhood back in the Cover Girl heyday. Plus, my mom still wears this formula, and now I know why she swears by it.
Next up for drugstore options is the Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink. First of all, this formula is really thick and kind of hard to control. Plus it tastes funny, is suuuuper sticky, and left weird sticky lipstick strings on the inside of my lips. That part got better once I blotted my lips, but it did stay sticky. However, when it comes to long wear, they mean business. This formula would not come off with a makeup wipe and I had to rely on actual eye makeup remover to take it off.
Last up for our drugstore contestants – L’Oreal Infallible Pro Matte. This one smells yummy and I love the wand/applicator. It has a great pointy tip that is perfect for lining your lips and really emphasizing your cupids bow. However, it’s very sticky and I had to wait a really long time for it to dry. It’s not fully transfer proof, but it didn’t seem to impact how it looked on my lips. And it was super difficult to remove.
Now let’s move on to prestige brands. Although these lipsticks had the same criteria as the drugstore group, they do come with a higher price tag. The prestige candidates for best long wear lipstick are as follows: Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip Matte (Mon Cheri), Kylie Cosmetics Liquid Lipstick (Mary Jo K), Sephora Collection Cream Liquid Lip Stain (Always Red), Too Faced Melted Matte Liquid Lipstick (Lady Balls), Huda Beauty Liquid Matte (Alluring), Nars Powermatte Pigment (Starwoman), and Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick (Beso).
First I want to start with a brand I had never heard of before I began my best long wear lipstick search – Beauty Bakerie. This Lip Whip Matte liquid lip formula is super thin and I’m not a fan of the wand/applicator. Between the two, the application process seemed a lot more difficult to control and get a nice clean edge. Although it was tight and sticky as it was drying, the staying power was intense! I even ate Chipotle and the edges didn’t fade or transfer. However, it did come off of the inside of my lips a bit, so with red lipstick it was kind of obvious.
Although I’ve written about Kylie Cosmetics liquid lipsticks before, (you can read my full review here), I knew I had to include them in this list. First of all, I love the way these lippies smell. The wand is very firm and the formula is thin, but you don’t get a lot of product at a time, so it’s easy to manage. Plus, the lipstick dries almost velvet, which feels really nice. I used Mary Jo K without a liner to make sure it was a fair comparison to the other brands. It wears nicely and did not transfer.
Next up is one of my all time favorite liquid lips – Sephora Collection Cream Liquid Lip Stain. Of course one of the biggest benefits of this liquid lip is that it comes in almost 100 shades and only costs $15. (Although that’s closer to drugstore cost, I’m still considering it prestige since you can only buy it at Sephora.) I love the smell of these liquid lips. They have a very soft applicator and a creamy smooth formula. There was a slight transfer onto my hand during my wear test, but it didn’t impact the look or wear time.
Now onto the Too Faced Melted Matte Liquid Lipstick. Although I didn’t like the smell or taste, this lippie has a very standard wand/applicator and a standard cream formula. It did also have a little bit of transfer.
The fifth brand on our prestige list is Huda Beauty. The Liquid Matte Lipsticks have the most yummy vanilla smell. The formula is quite liquid but feels creamy once it’s on. The wand is very sleek and nice. However it transferred onto my water bottle straw and my hand, but that didn’t seem to impact the way it looked.
Next up – Nars Powermatte Lip Pigment. I absolutely love the wand/applicator on this lipstick. It’s so firm and precise. It almost makes it like you’re applying a lip liner pencil. Although it’s more of a liquid formula, there’s no excess creamy product during application and it feels great on. This one also transferred slightly onto my straw and hand, but didn’t fade or impact how it looked or wore.
Last, but not least we have the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick. This one is super easy to use and is very long wear. However, it did eventually fade around the edges and the edges did slightly transfer. But there wasn’t any smudging, smearing, or bleeding.
Honestly, I think it would be too hard to rank these in a list from 1-10, so I’m just going to share my absolute favorite best long wear lipstick options. I know makeup is personal and products and formulas wear differently on different people. In fact, there’s a chance that your holy grail lipstick is not on my favorites list. And that’s ok. We’re all unique and our body chemistry is unique too. Don’t be afraid to keep using the products you love and the ones that work best for you. Life is good.
Without further ado… Here are my picks for the best long wear lipstick:
- Cover Girl Outlast All Day
- Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip Matte
- Kylie Cosmetics Liquid Lipstick
- Sephora Collection Cream Liquid Lip Stain
Of course, there is nothing wrong with the other lipstick formulas. I actually really enjoyed almost all of them. But when it comes down to our initial criteria, and wanting to give you the best of the best long wear lipsticks that will take you from morning to night, I wanted to be super critical to give you guys the best information possible. After all, no one wants to be sitting in a business meeting with lipstick on their teeth. Or out on a date and your salad dressing causes your lipstick to smear everywhere. Or better yet, you walk out into a windy day and all of the sudden have red cat whiskers across your face from your lipstick getting stuck in your hair. That would be quite the first impression, am I right?
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