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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. And 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 can’t be beat. Swipe on once, then eat, drink, and kiss to your heart’s content, no reapplication needed. These eight formulas let you do exactly that.
Best Overall: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick
An oldie but goodie, this go-to formula checks all of the longwear 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, longwear lipsticks tend to be liquid formulas, but traditionalist 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 extensive line up of 34 shades. And 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 Option: Maybelline New York Super Stay Matte Ink Lip Color
It’s hard to believe that this standout formula 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 (there is a wide range of 20 shades available) totally saturated, the staying power is truly unparalleled: up to 16 hours.
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). Top tip: Don’t press your lips together after applying, and stick with one coat for the most even color.
Best Matte Finish: Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick
Garnering nearly 1500 perfect five-star reviews on Sephora.com, 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 to make the feel extra comfortable. 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 Universal Colors: Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint Longwear Fluid Lip Color
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—a red, chocolate brown, rosy mauve, peachy nude, and deep black—all of them flatter any and every skin tone, making color choice totally foolproof. Sephora reviewers are especially big fans of the classic red, calling it “truly a perfect, universal red.” 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
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 (it’s also worth noting that the product has pulled in over 50,000 “loves” on Sephora.com). There are nine shades available, plus a mini size that comes in the hero hue, a classic red appropriately dubbed “Icon.”
Best Lightweight Formula: Nars Powermatte Lip Pigment
Liquefied pigments give this its featherweight feel; it goes on wet, but dries down quickly to lock in the vibrant color. For the best results, give it a good shake, then use the doe-foot applicator to line your lips before filling in with one coat of color. You’ll have a few minutes to clean up any smudges or mistakes before the color completely sets. The shade range features 20 hues, ranging from neutral to bold, and many of the happy Sephora reviewers note that there are an especially good array of colors flattering for women with darker complexions.
Best Natural: Lawless Beauty Soft Matte Liquid Lipstick
Even if you’re not super concerned about using natural beauty products otherwise, it may make sense to opt for a cleaner lipstick formula; after all, you probably are inadvertently ingesting some of it. This was the first product from Lawless Beauty, a newly launched brand focused on making clean beauty chic and luxurious. There’s a long list of ingredients that aren’t in this formula, including, but not limited, to: phthalates, mineral oil, petroleum, talc, and silicones.
What is in it is elderberry extract, a naturally antimicrobial ingredient that also delivers antioxidant protection, plus caprylic/capric triglyceride an emollient rich in fatty acids to lock in moisture. And while it’s free of synthetic fragrance, it does have plumeria extract to lend a natural scent. Creamy and luscious, this won’t flake or crack, and can also be layered for more color impact, or if you want to mix and match any one of the 10 shades (nine matte and one metallic). Just be sure to let each coat set for 30 to 60 seconds first.
Our writers spent 6 hours researching the most popular long-lasting lipsticks on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 50 different lipsticks overall, screened options from 40 different brands and manufacturers, read over 40 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 14 of the lipsticks themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.