We’re all for playing around when it comes to different lip colors (we’ll try anything from lavender to oxblood), but there’s one thing we take very seriously: Figuring out how to make lipstick last.
Whether you’re wearing a nude shade or you’re braving a fuchsia color, there’s nothing more frustrating than leaving your house with a perfect pout and needing to adjust and reapply an hour later after two sips of coffee.
By taking the time to do the extra steps to prep your lips, you’ll save yourself the frustration of the hourly reapplication of your lipstick. From reverse lip liner to setting your hue with a translucent powder, these are the lipstick secrets we swear by—so you can keep lipstick on all day (and night) long, no matter which brand you’re using.
Originally published March 2013. Updated March 2017.
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Here's our complete step-by-step on how to make your lipstick last all day, no matter which lipstick you use.
Step 1: Exfoliate
Dampen your lips and use an exfoliator (like this one from Lush), applying the product and rubbing lips gently with a toothbrush. Clean your lips with a damp washcloth once you're finished.
Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub, $10.95; at Lush
Step 2: Use Concealer
Like using a base on your eyelid before shadow, putting concealer down as a foundation before lipstick helps the color to stick and set to your lips. For the best results, use a waterproof concealer for a lasting effect.
Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof 12-Hour Concealer, $23; at Sephora
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Step 3: Reverse Lip Line
You can use a traditional lip liner as well, but we highly suggest using a reverse lip liner, like the Wonder Pencil, before applying color. By lining the outer lines of your pout, a barrier is formed so the lipstick can't bleed over the edges of your lips. This step is incredibly crucial and forgotten all too often.
NYX Wonder Pencil, $4.50, NYXCosmetics
Step 4: Use a Lip Brush
Though a lip brush isn't necessary all the time, using one will give you greater control and precision when applying your color of choice. We love this retractable one because it stores in a makeup bag without an exposed brush, so your lipstick doesn't get everywhere. Remember to clean your brush about once every two weeks, if not more often.
Sephora Collection Hide and Sleek Skinny Lip Retractable Brush, $5; at Sephora
Step 5: Blot
After you apply the first layer of color with your brush, take a tissue and lightly blot your lips to take off any excess oil and product.
Kleenex Tissues, $12.99; at Target
Step 6: Apply Translucent Powder
Once you've blotted away excess oils from your lips, use your finger to apply a translucent powder over your lips to set and seal the color. By using a powder, the lipstick is less likely to slip or fade.
Invisible Loose Setting Powder, $38; at Laura Mercier
Step 7: Apply Your Last Coat
Again with your lip brush, apply lipstick over the top of the translucent powder. This final coat will be your last step, and has no chance of budging with the solid foundation you set up for your lips.
NYX Matte Lipstick, $5.99; at Target