The Secret to Longer-Lasting Lipstick Has Been Hiding at the Drugstore

Katharine McEntee

When it comes to lipstick, we would spend just about anything on a product if it meant fewer touchups and more color. Lucky for us, we don’t have to break the bank; the best drugstore lip primers are both affordable and effective.

If you’re a lover of a classic red lip, or any statement lip for that matter, lip primer should become your new best friend. Curious about what lip primer actually does? Much like the primer we use (or forget to use) before smearing on our foundation, lip primer creates a smooth canvas for flawless coverage. And if chosen correctly, lip primer has the ability to nourish lips, prevent feathering, provide long-lasting lip color, and add dimension to your shade of choice. Brighter lips and fewer touchups? Count us in.

So whether you’re a lipstick junkie or someone who dabbles in the art of a statement lip, we’ve compiled the best drugstore lip primers because everybody deserves a bright bold beautiful lip. Keep reading for our favorites.

1. Long-Lasting

NYX Lip Primer ($7)

Unlike other primers that tend to be drying, this primer preps lips for long-lasting enhanced lip color while also moisturizing chapped lips. At least, so says Target reviewer Jay17 who wrote, "I love wearing this under all of my lipsticks especially matte ones or just liners, it keeps them from being dry."

2. Smudge-Proof

Gabriel Cosmetics Lip Primer ($15)

While a bit more expensive than other drugstore lip primers, this creamy matte primer keeps lipstick in place, preventing both feathering and fading. And according to Target reviewer MaddensQueen, it makes "lipstick last all day."

3. Plumping

e.l.f. Studio Lip Primer and Plumper ($3)

If you like a little plump in your pout, try E.l.f.'s dual lip primer, which creates a base for smudge-proof lipstick while also plumping the lips, thanks to cinnamon, a natural lip plumper. While the lip plumper may "tingle," Target reviewer, m8kupfix says, "the primer works awesome as a lip base."

4. Smoothing

Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Lip Conditioning Balm ($7)

According to Ulta reviewer Elizabeth, Rimmel's lip conditioner can be used alone or under lipstick, as it leaves lips "soft, smooth and feeling conditioned." The perfect primer for a drying matte lippie, no?

5. Moisturizing

Aquaphor Healing Ointment Tube ($5)

While not technically a primer, Aquaphor is a multipurpose product that I personally use to prime my lips before applying lipstick. Simply dab a thin layer of the ointment onto the lip area, let soak in for a few minutes, and by the time you are ready to apply your lipstick you'll have a smooth, moisturized pout.

Want more tips for achieving the perfect pout? Check out these editor-approved statement lip colors.

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