How To Keep Your Lipstick On Through Anything—And We Mean Anything

Sable Yong
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Getty Images

Getty Images

Lipstick is always our #1 go-to when we need to glam up in a pinch. Seriously, was there ever an occasion where a bright lipstick didn’t cheer you up or pull your look together even a little? That said, as much as we rely on the stuff (and hoard it like crazy), lipstick has a habit of getting us into some beauty pickles—for instance, what are you doing on our teeth, lipstick? How did you even get there?

It has a way of migrating outside of your lips at times or leaving its mark on your clothes (or someone else’s clothes), or fading in the most awkward ways. Worse—when we jump through hoops to ensure a long-lasting lip color, we’re tasked with eating or drinking all the while praying that those efforts were not in vain. Well, if you find yourself at a BBQ or just have loads of wedding receptions to attend and don’t want to be constantly checking on your lipstick, keep these tidbits in mind to dodge any lipstick snags.

MORE: You CAN Wear Dark Lipstick In Summer

Prep your pout. Seriously, as we’ve all learned from skin care—a good base is everything. This goes for your lips and lipstick. Dry, chapped lips will not only feel more uncomfortable with layers of lippy on, it’ll make your lipstick look worse. So exfoliate and condition. You don’t have to use abrasive scrubs. Your toothbrush or a wet washcloth will do just fine. You can apply a hydrating face serum onto your lips (hey, lips are skin too!), a nourishing oil like coconut oil, or a balm. All good things to make your lips a smooth canvas to paint.

Choose your formula. It’s easy enough to just pick a long-wear lip color—one of those liquid lipsticks that will last through an atomic explosion (probably), but sometimes our favorite go-to lip colors just don’t come made in “perma-lipstick” forms. That said, mattes will last longer than satins and glosses. Pencils will last longer than mattes though. Lip stains tend to be budge-proof in general.

Set it and (maybe) forget it. Of the many ways to set your lipstick, a popular one is always to dust translucent powder on top. If you’re going to be eating and have that pesky problem of your bottom lipstick smearing on your chin, powder your chin as well, and your set lipstick is less likely to rub off. However, other ways to work around the setting factor—use a lip stain generously and then apply a balm or clear gloss on top without worrying about color bleed.

Eating With Lipstick. This is a little trickier. It entails choosing your food wisely. Generally anything you can cut into smaller bits with knife and fork is best. Bite-sized snacks are good too. Try to bite things with your teeth more so than wrapping your lips around it. However if you’re going for a burger, it’s pretty much unavoidable that your lipstick is going to rub off on that bun. For larger finger foods like burgers, you can press a napkin to your chin as you take a bite, which may solve that pesky problem altogether (though it now presents the problem of eating food oddly). If you’re dedicated to digging in, this could very well be the moment where you blot before you bite. You don’t have to remove your lipstick completely, but blotting it down a lot will prevent smudges much better than doing nothing at all.

Drinking With Lipstick. It can be done. Simplest tactic—use a straw. At a fancier event? If you lick the rim of your glass where you’re drinking, your lipstick won’t stick to the glass and leave a mark. The trickiest part is trying to appear like you’re not licking your glass. It also helps to drink from the same spot on your glass or cup.

When it’s time to wave the white flag. Sometimes no matter what your efforts, they still remain thwarted and you find yourself sporting some strangely smudged clown lip. Rubbing it with a dry tissue or napkin won’t get you as far as rubbing some oil or even a heavy moisturizer over your lips before wiping it all away. The emollients in the oil and moisturizer will break down the lip formula, so it doesn’t leave streaks as you attempt to remove it.

MORE: How To Make That Lipstick Last

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