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Whether in a natural neutral, a pretty pink, or a retro red, few makeup items pack as much of a beauty punch as a gorgeous lipstick. Immensely versatile, a simple swipe can instantly change up your entire look, not to mention your mood. But all of those lipstick pros often come with one major con—annoying lipstick smudges on your coffee cup, your lunchtime sandwich, or even your significant other.
Sure, there are plenty of tricks you can try to get your beloved tube of lipstick to last longer. Layering coats can help, as can applying lipstick over a thin layer of concealer or dabbing it on with a brush. But when you need serious staying power, long-lasting lipstick formulas are the way to go. Swipe on once, then eat, drink, and kiss to your heart’s content, no reapplication needed.
These are the best long-lasting lipsticks to try now.
Best Overall: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick
An oldie but goodie, this go-to formula checks all of the long-wear lipstick boxes. Vitamin E and avocado oil give it its creamy consistency and comfortable wear, while the full-coverage color packs a complete pigment punch in just one swipe. Also nice: There are 20 different shades available, in both matte, satin, and shimmer finishes (many comparable formulas only come in matte). While the finish lasts six hours, not the longest of the bunch, Ulta reviewers underscore that it does stay put.
Best Budget: Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick
As a general rule, long-wear lipsticks tend to be liquid formulas, but traditionalists will appreciate that this is the classic bullet. Soft and creamy, it still packs eight hours of wear, and delivers high-impact color, not to mention comes in an extensive line up of 34 shades. Plus, at less than the cost of a latte, you can afford to experiment with more than one and not have to stress about choosing a single favorite.
Best Drugstore: Maybelline New York SuperStay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick
It’s hard to believe that this standout formula, a favorite of Byrdie Editorial Director Faith Xue, is sold at the drugstore; it has the same qualities as many of its (much) more luxurious counterparts. Not only is the powerful matte color totally saturated, but the staying power of up to 16 hours is also truly unparalleled. The unique brush makes precise application easy, thanks to its pointed arrow tip that allows you to outline your lips before filling them in with color (we’ve found this technique works best). Pro tip: Don’t press your lips together after applying, and stick with one coat for the most even color.
Best Shade Range: NYX Professional Makeup Soft Matte Lip Cream
Available in nearly 40 hues, both the quantity and the quality of this shade range is impressive. Natural, wearable nudes (in a variety of shades to flatter all skin tones) are plentiful, but there are also more unique offerings (think: a vibrant purple and dusty beige). No matter which one you choose, the whipped, mousse-like consistency dries down to a beautiful, lightweight matte finish that isn’t going anywhere.
Best Hydrating: Urban Decay Vice Hydrating Lipstick
Another great choice for fans of the traditional lipstick bullet, this option from Urban Decay packs in the pigment and lasts for hours. Despite its long wear, the avocado oil and aloe vera-infused formula is super creamy and comfortable on the lips, leaving your pout nourished and hydrated, never dry. Plus, it’s available in 35 shades—covering a range of reds, pinks, berries, and neutrals—and comes in three different finishes: satin, matte, and high shine.
Best Matte Finish: Smashbox Always on Matte Liquid Lipstick
Fans love everything from the color to the texture (and, of course, the staying power) of this lippie. Advanced polymer technology delivers eight-hour wear—no bleeding, flaking, feathering, or smudging—and the applicator is specially made to hold exactly enough product to fill and line lips in just one swipe. Plus, the formula also contains a primer oil complex for extra comfort, and the soft matte finish is sophisticated without ever being chalky. There are 24 matte shades, alongside six metallic mattes, all of which can also be layered or mixed and matched to create a totally unique lip look.
Best for All Skin Tones: Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint
Like the rest of the cosmetics in Rihanna’s makeup line, the shades of this lipstick were specially created to look good on everyone. So while there are only five total—red, chocolate brown, rosy mauve, peachy nude, and deep black—all of them flatter any and every skin tone, making color choice totally foolproof. Plus, the soft matte shades stay put for up to 12 hours, and the tiny, round-tipped brush makes application incredibly easy.
Best for Lip Care: Hourglass Cosmetics Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick
Emollients serve as softening and moisture-locking agents, like butters, oils, esters, lipids, and fatty acids. It can also be used to describe a category of products that contain these ingredients, like lotions, creams, and ointments.
Not your average lip color, this touts an ingredient list that reads more like that of a skincare product. We’re talking skin-conditioning emollients, antioxidant fruit extracts, and vitamins A, C, and E to protect your pout. Along with the silky feel and texture, it also packs a bold color punch that lasts up to 14 hours. There are nine shades available, plus a mini size that comes in the hero hue, a classic red appropriately dubbed “Icon.”
Best Stain: Dior Addict Lip Tattoo
As the name suggests, this imparts a transfer-proof stain that lasts up to 10 hours. The water-based formula melts into lips, leaving them feeling completely bare but with the perfect flush of color. And, unlike many other stains, the pigment this formula offers is more subtle—a nice option for those who like more of that "just-bitten" effect. (It can also be used as a primer, layered under another lipstick to boost its wear time.)
Best Natural: ILIA Color Block High Impact Lipstick
Even if you’re not super concerned about using natural beauty products, it may make sense to opt for a cleaner lipstick formula; after all, you're probably inadvertently ingesting some of it. This one is formulated without a long list of questionable chemicals but does contain a litany of various oils, waxes, and butters. Also noteworthy are the pigments, which are derived from castor oil and make for both an ultra-creamy feel and insanely vibrant color. Speaking of, the lineup of reds, nudes, pinks, and berries is totally spot-on.
Best Luxury: Armani Beauty Lip Maestro Liquid Matte Lipstick
Byrdie email editor Karli Bendlin vouches for this splurge-worthy pick. While the brand may get tons of attention for their complexion products, this lippie is the unsung hero. Despite the matte finish, it’s deeply hydrating and the color stays consistently comfortable and as true as when you first swipe it on, even hours later. Dab it onto lips with your fingertips for more of a stained effect or apply it directly. (The pointed, slanted doe foot applicator makes precise swiping super easy.)
Best Color Payoff: Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick
If you’re looking for a lipstick that will deliver completely even, saturated color in just one swipe, this is the pick for you. A powder film combined with rich pigments deliver opaque coverage with a “look at me” finish, and spherical particles make the texture feel creamy rather than heavy. Bonus points for the addition of optical diffusers (to blur away the look of imperfections) as well as super chic packaging.
Best Waterproof: Beauty Bakerie Matte Lip Whip
This hero product is the brand’s claim to fame, the star of many viral social media videos showcasing just how well it stays on—even under running water. It truly does take staying power to the next level, yet somehow still manages to feel comfortable and never drying, no matter how long it’s on your lips. Just keep in mind that you’ll definitely need a dedicated makeup remover to take it off once you’re ready to do so.
What to Look For in a Long-Lasting Lipstick
When shopping for a long-lasting lipstick, Urban Decay Global Makeup Artist Steve Kassajikian first recommends deciding what kind of formula you’d like to use. Generally, long-wear lipsticks tend to come in liquid form, but there are plenty of traditional tubes and lip stains that can also bless your pout with color that’ll last all day. It’s really up to your personal preference.
Creamy, Hydrating Texture
No matter which formula you choose, Kassajikian says a creamy, hydrating texture is best—and this goes for matte finishes, too. Long-wear lipsticks are notoriously drying, so to avoid caking, cracking, and chapping, reach for a lipstick that’s infused with hydrating oils and vitamins and moves with the lips, even when it dries down.
High Pigment Payoff
If you want your lipstick to last, Kassajikian says it's best to opt for pigment-rich formulas that deliver high-impact color. This will prolong how long your pout stays painted, as sheerer shades will fade much faster.
Meet the Expert
Steve Kassajikian is Urban Decay’s Global Makeup Artist.