As much as
we love lipstick, it's safe to say that wearing it is a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. Without it, your makeup look is just incomplete, but with it, you're checking the mirror every half an hour to make sure it's still there. Most likely, it's not.
Long-wear lipstick formulas are supposed to solve this problem. But, being the skeptic that I am, I've often wondered: How long is
long-wear? And will I have to compromise comfortability for lasting power?
Well, I decided to put five top-rated, long-wear lipsticks to the test to see how they hold up through an entire day. These formulas claim to be smudge-proof, waterproof, kiss-proof, and sweat-proof — and reviewers tend to agree. I made sure to drink plenty of coffee (and a few margaritas) to really see how they'd hold up during the last days of a humid summer. See how each of the lipsticks did, ahead.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Bareminerals Barepro Longwear Matte Lipstick in Boysenberry The Claims: A soft-matte, full-coverage lipstick that has Mineral Lock Long-Wear Technology, which makes it everything-proof. My First Impression: For me, waterproof automatically brings to mind liquid lipsticks, so when I saw this stick, I thought, "No way." When I first applied, it delivered great pigment and felt incredibly comfortable on my lips. bareMinerals
BAREPRO Longwear Matte Lipstick, $20.00
Buy How Long It Lasted: 8 Hours The Verdict: For a cream formula, this lipstick was super impressive. It doesn't transfer on straws, nada. And the color fades out so evenly that, even when it was almost gone, there was still some color — similar to a tinted lip balm. I only had to reapply it once right before happy hour, and it stayed put until I got home around 11 p.m. The best part was how hydrating it felt throughout the day and upon reapplication. This lipstick earned a spot in my collection. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Forza The Claims:
A pigment-packed, waterproof lipstick that's lightweight, hydrating, and won't budge for 12 hours.
My First Impression:
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has voiced her
love for this lipstick
, so I had high expectations from the start. I was immediately impressed with how pigmented it is. You don't need more than one swipe. But I will say that if you don't apply it carefully, it can get messy. I don't recommend putting this one on in the back of the cab or on the go.
Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick , $22.00
Buy How Long It Lasted: 5 Hours The Verdict: As much as I wanted to love this lipstick, I found it to be drying and too messy. Throughout the day, my coworkers pointed out how it was on my cheeks and nose, as if I had just been making out with someone. I hadn't. Ultimately, I had to reapply it about five hours in, but I will say that was after two cups of coffee and a sandwich. My recommendation: Wear it with a healthy layer of lipstick primer underneath. Bite Beauty Outburst Longwear Lip Stain in Sangria Slush The Claims: A boldly pigmented lip stain that applies like a lipstick, has the hydration of a balm, and the long-wear of a satin formula. My First Impression: Another solid lipstick? Interesting. Instead of a creamy consistency, this one has a satin-matte finish. The color is definitely vibrant, and it swipes on smoothly. The sharp edges are great for lining, and ensured that I didn't get any red on my teeth. Bite Beauty
Outburst Longwear Lip Stain, $24.00
Buy How Long It Lasted: 9 Hours The Verdict: Out of all the lipsticks I tested, this one was definitely the most hydrating. It lives up to its testament of being like a balm. I had to touch up my lips after an entire work day and four margaritas (TGIF), and it was the first time I've felt comfortable applying a bright-red shade with no mirror. It was that easy to apply! I'd recommend this formula to anyone who's always on the go. Beauty Bakerie Matte Lip Whip in Cranberry Stiletto Claims: A one-swipe lipstick that will stay on so long that it can be left at home. My First Impression: The amount of color that transferred over in one swipe left me shook, especially since I picked a darker red. It was also a lot less messy than other liquid lipsticks I've tried. It did feel a bit heavy on my lips at first, but after 2-3 minutes, it settled comfortably. Beauty Bakerie
Matte Lip Whip, $20.00
Buy How Long It Lasted: 11 Hours The Verdict: When the brand says you can leave this lipstick at home, it's not lying. The color did get patchy towards the end of the night, but this was after an 11-hour day that involved being out in the sun, eating fried seafood, and kissing my boyfriend — no reapplication. I couldn't believe how much of the wine shade was left. It got a little dry at the end of the day, but nothing a little balm couldn't fix. I will admit that I was afraid it wouldn't come off, but micellar water easily did the trick. Overall, I would trust this lipstick to last through a day at the waterpark. NYX Liquid Suede Lipstick in Cherry Skies The Claims: A matte, long-wear liquid lipstick that provides hydrating color and a velvet-cream finish. My First Impression: For a liquid lipstick, this application was creamy. It didn't dry up my lips, and left them looking like I smoothed them with an Instagram filter — absolutely zero lines. NYX Professional Makeup
Liquid Suede Lipstick,
$6.99 $4.88 Buy How Long It Lasted: 9.5 Hours The Verdict: This lipstick lasted over nine hours. And it fades evenly, so if you forgot to reapply (like I did), you don't look like a mess. It turns into a flush of color on the lips towards the end of the day, like seen here. My favorite part was how hydrated my lips felt afterwards, which is a shocker for a matte liquid formula. The Winner: This decision was tough. Bite Beauty and Beauty Bakerie were neck-in-neck. The Bite Beauty stick has easy application, comfortable wear, and (somewhat) long-lasting coverage. But when it came down to choosing the one that I'd wear to a pool party, Beauty Bakerie's Matte Lip Whip was the winner. I can't imagine my next vacation without this truly waterproof formula. Beauty Bakerie
Cranberry Stiletto, $20.00