Product Smackdown: Long-Lasting Lip Colors

A bold lipstick is a surefire way to brighten up your look, and it's pretty obvious that here at R29, we're big fans of the bold. Problem is, most dramatic lip hues are also high-maintenance, requiring tons of touch-ups to keep the color looking vibrant. Long-wearing lipsticks promise to keep their color for hours on end, but we've been burned before by empty pout promises, so we challenged three staffers to put their money where their mouths are and test out the latest stay-put lippies. They tried out an all-natural tint, a drugstore stain, and a high-end lip color for five hours to see how each held up to coffee breaks, office pizza parties, accidental napkin wipings, and multiple meetings. Read on for their lip diaries and to find out which new long-wear reigns supreme.
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Who: Julia Anderson, senior brand integration manager
The Contender: Clark's Botanicals Ultra Rich Lip Tint
This all-natural lip tint is free of scary chemicals, but does the trade-off for all that natural goodness mean a lip color that slips off after a few hours?
10:28 a.m.: "I like the idea of color in a squeezable gloss form. Anything that resembles Vaseline Lip Therapy I can totally get behind. Cons? It took caking about four layers of goop on for the color to even begin to pop. Right out of the gate, I'm a little hesitant about its staying power."
12:35 p.m.: "I considered sushi a smart lunch option in my noble effort to preserve my pucker's stain. But with all the chewing and soda sipping I'm guessing a lot of the shine has worn off — the red gloss on my Diet Coke can is a pretty sure sign."
1:54 p.m.: "My work station in the R29 office has a subtle draft that makes makes me a little sniffly. I go to blow my nose and see some lipstick smudges on the tissue. Argh!"
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2:30 p.m.: "Lots of calls and meetings mean stress-induced pursed lips. I catch a glance of my pout in my iPhone and notice that most of the ruby color and glossy sheen has faded."
Result: "My lipstick stayed in place for probably an hour or two before heading seriously south. I might grab this if I needed a touch of color and shine for a quick snapshot, but not for long-lasting pigment."
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Clark's Botanical Ultra Rich Lip Tint in Rachel Red, $19, available at Clark's Botanicals.
Photos: By Erin Yamagata, Courtesy of Clark's Botanicals
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Who: Christine White, director of communications
The Contender: Maybelline SuperStay 10 Hour Stain Gloss
This drugstore gloss is easy on the wallet, has a unique glossy-stain finish, and comes from a trusted line of long-wearing lip colors.
8:00 a.m.: "Scrubbed my lips with a little Fresh Lip Polish and loaded up on my favorite lip moisturizer, Aquaphor, in prep for my long-lasting lipstick. (Did I mention I'm a chapstick addict? Going all day without my beloved chapstick is going to be a HUGE challenge for me!)"
10:00 a.m.: "Lipstick applied. Loving the scent and easy application. The wand has an oval shaped tip and the product is more of a glossy stain — which upon first application is rich in color, but has that creaminess I need. Not at all drying like some of the other stains I've tried in the past. Phew, maybe I CAN make it a whole day without chapstick."
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12:00 p.m.: "Lips are a little dry, but not horrible — yes, I'd like to be smearing on a little chapstick right about now. I'm itching to re-apply even though the color still looks bright! But it is nice taking a drink from my water bottle and not leaving a lipstick mark!"
12:45 p.m.: "Pizza party lunch at work = my worst long-lasting lipstick nightmare. Needless to say, I now look like I'm channeling the 90s, when people thought it was okay to walk around with JUST liner on their lips. The stain has settled in the cracks of my lips and around the rim of my mouth. Not cute. "
2:00 p.m.: "Embarrassed to be walking around the office with what I've deemed 'lip liner lips' — all of the color has since faded on the interior of my lip and either spread to the cracks or the rim. Desperate for chapstick and lipstick re-application."
Result: "After taking the final 'after' shot, I beelined for the restroom to wipe off my lips. Bad news: While the middle of my pout faded easily, the rim still remained a bit stained even after some paper towel scrubbing and soap.
After speaking to a few of my beauty expert friends, I suppose I need to 'fess up and take part of the blame. I'm thinking the reason for my mid-pucker fade is due to the fact that I applied chapstick prior to lipstick application. If you have any beauty know-how, you would recognize that the moisture barrier would prevent the stain/color from binding properly. I'm definitely willing to give this product another go — good color, cool packaging, and pleasant smell/taste are all thumbs up in my book. Next time, sans chapstick!"
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Maybelline SuperStay 10 Hour Stain Gloss in Fresh Fuchsia, $8.99, available at Ulta.
Photos: By Erin Yamagata, Courtesy of Maybelline
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Who: Neha Gandhi, deputy editor
The Contender: Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Love Lipstick
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Straight from the Queen of Ink herself, this liquid lip color boasts a stay-put lifespan that's more like a tattoo than a lipstick.
10:00 a.m.: "Not a lip color wearer, I figured I needed to moisturize as much as possible, relying on a thousandth reapplication of Rosebud salve before I applied the red lipstick in question. Felt acutely aware of how lopsided my lips were. Also smudged my lipstick approximately three times during the application process, and raced to clean it up before it set. Egh. Lipstick is hard."
10:24 a.m.: "Made myself a cup of coffee. Found the inside of my coffee mug rimmed in red, but the outside looked clean. Clearly I was being a careful drinker. My bottom lip began itching and I was scared to touch it for fear of smudging. Finally gave in and touched my mouth. It seemed the lipstick had set — no smudging."
12:00 p.m.: "Had coffee #2 and went into a meeting. Felt hyper-aware of how bright my lips were. Nobody said a word."
1:52 p.m.: "Went out to get lunch. The wind kept whipping my hair not-so-much back and forth, but into my mouth. I worried it would smear lipstick all over my face. It didn't. Had a sandwich for lunch. I definitely saw the lipstick smear all over my sandwich, but it didn't look less red on my mouth afterward."
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2:20 p.m.: "Rechecked my lipstick. All seemed to be well. I would have loved to apply some gloss, but even still, it looked pretty good, and very red."
Result: "The lipstick stayed strong all day long, but I wished it had more glossiness to it. When I went to wash it off at 11:50 p.m. that night, the color was just starting to fade, but I still had to use eye makeup remover to get it off of my mouth."
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Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Love Lipstick in Outlaw, $19, available at Sephora.
Photos: By Erin Yamagata, Courtesy of Sephora
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