What to Do When Your Long-Lasting Lipstick Won’t Come Off

Rachel Nussbaum

long-last lipstick

Long-lasting lip color has come far. We dare say too far. Because while it may be nice knowing that there’s a good chance your morning lipstick will still look good 18 hours later, it’s a double-edged sword. Sometimes we don’t want to be pinned down. Sometimes we have second thoughts re: lipstick/outfit coordination, occasion, whether we can really pull off violet lips —and sometimes we just feel like doing a quick-change lipstick and attitude switch, and isn’t that decision all makeup’s really about? Meanwhile, this mauve lipstick thinks you want to be “work-casual-but-professional” for days on end. It doesn’t even know you.

But alas, when have we ever realized what our day will hold before committing to the long-lasting stain/lacquer/tar/lip tattoo? Just about never, and so we’re just about always caught in a bind when we realize it’s a stage-five clinger. So here, the steps to take to get rid of long-lasting lipstick that takes its job a little too seriously.

MORE: 10 Amazing Lipsticks for Under $10

Loosen It Up: First things first: That lipstick may be clinging to your lips like there’s a tomorrow and it’s going to see those first rays of sunrise, but loosen its grip by getting your lips nice and slippery. Load on the lip balm (a drugstore option like Vaseline Lip Therapy
or Carmex works best, because you’re going to need a lot of it and it’s coming off immediately) until your lips are saturated at max capacity. Imagine your lipstick is climbing Mt. Everest and there was just an avalanche.

Exfoliate: Continue the extended metaphor—be the rocks under the snow. The lip color’s probably done its job well and stained your lips to really give it that groundwork to hold onto, so beat it at its own game and exfoliate away. Fresh’s Sugar Lip Polish or Sarah Happ’s The Lip Scrub are safe bets, or go for the common denominator and rub on a combination of brown sugar and honey. If you’re at work or on the go, that public restroom 1-ply paper toweling will finally do something right—it’s rough enough to buff.

Recover: By now, your lips should be smooth like a baby’s bottom and free like a leaf in the wind. Add a heavy-duty moisturizing lip balm like MAC’s Lip Conditioner or Smith’s Rosebud Salve to keep the good feelings going into your victorious, blank-slate future.

Image via Imaxtree