I Blind-Tested Long-Wear Lipsticks: Which Ones Went the Distance?

Updated 12/18/18

We went on a mission to find a kiss-proof color that wouldn’t fade as soon as a drink touches your lips. Be it in a neutral nude, trending brown, pillowy pink or killer red, we wanted a long-wear lipstick that would keep up with our stamina this party season.

Then we got to thinking. Without realizing it, we all hold pre-judged ideas when it comes to beauty brands—even if we haven’t tried them before (or it’s been years since we did). We are all guilty of thinking that only a high price point must mean high quality, that budget-friendly dupes should be dismissed or that we should stick to our faithful makeup lines instead of shopping around.

We decided to up the ante and blind test our long-wear lipsticks for you, dear readers.

best longwear lipsticks: Free people model wearing red lipstick
Free People

Because we take our blind-testing very seriously at Byrdie HQ, we got a non-tester to dispense the colors into plain lipstick vials. We had no idea which was which and no prejudice about which would be best. We were on the hunt for a silky-smooth finish and a color that wouldn’t budge but felt non-drying. Surely not too much to ask, right?

best longwear lipsticks: blind testing lipsticks
Jenny Brownlees

All of the lippies we’ve featured, the below ones were our top picks. They all had seriously vivid color and staying power, so arguably, your money would be well spent on all of them.

So which came out on top? Keep scrolling to find out…

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Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint
Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint $24
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We didn’t touch up this up once. Perfect for busy days.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Venezia
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick $22
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This was a super-pigmented red and stayed on for a full workday. Love.

Topshop Longwear Liquid Lipstick in Pinky Ring
Topshop Longwear Liquid Lipstick in Pinky Ring $16 $9
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After a speedy one-stroke application, we were set for hours on end.

E.l.f. Liquid Matte Lipstick in Blushing Nude
E.l.f. Liquid Matte Lipstick in Blushing Nude $5
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We couldn’t believe this was only $5, as it felt super-luxe.

Buxom Va-Va-Plump Shiny Liquid Lipstick in Make It Hot
Buxom Va-Va-Plump Shiny Liquid Lipstick in Make It Hot $20
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If you’re looking for a glam shade that will last all night, meet our new party-makeup secret weapon.

Laura Geller Fifty Kisses Lip Locking Liquid Colour in Love Blush
Laura Geller Fifty Kisses Lip Locking Liquid Colour $21
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Yes, 50 kisses later, there was no color transfer or bleeding all day.

Kiko Unlimited Double Touch in 105 Scarlett Red
Kiko Unlimited Double Touch $12 $8
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We were seriously impressed by this. If we had to guess, we would have thought it was triple its price point. We’re now going to stock up on the 24 shades.

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Longwear 2 Step Lipstick in Perpetual Brown
L’Oréal Paris Infallible Longwear 2 Step Lipstick in Perpetual Brown $13
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A gorgeous creamy texture that doesn’t dry lips.

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Riviera
Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Riviera $28
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Lasting throughout a day of food and hot drinks, we couldn’t fault this stunning lippie. If you love a velvety matte color that doesn’t flake, this is perfect.

Chantecaille Matte Chic Lipstick in Helena
Chantecaille Matte Chic Lipstick in Helena $39
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We could really feel that the luxurious texture and rich color would mean this lipstick was high-end. If you’re looking to treat yourself to a superior matte style in a trending shade, look no further.

Nudestix Magnetic Matte Lip Colour
Nudestix Magnetic Matte Lip Color $26
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This comes in a chic box and is complete with a pencil sharpener. Why not give the gift of a long-lasting lipstick this Christmas?

Surratt Lipslique in Au Courant
Surratt Lipslique in Au Courant $34
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A dark color can often be tricky to wear all day, but this foolproof formula ensured we didn’t need a second application.

Lime Crime Matte Velvetines in Wicked
Lime Crime Matte Velvetines in Wicked $20
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If you don’t want to wonder whether your lipstick has lasted, trust us that this color isn’t going anywhere. Stress-fee makeup like this is right up our street.

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color in Embrace
Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color in Embrace $10
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We’d wear any of the 12 stunning shades of this matte lippie. The silky smooth finish and staying power proved ideal.

The Winner

We had to hand it to Stila. The Stay All Day shade does exactly what it promises. It’s even taken the crown as our new favorite red. With both a lightweight feel and stay-in-place color that doesn’t dry, we couldn’t ask for better.

It stood the test of a long workday straight into an evening event without reapplying. When we were convinced it would have faded, one look in the mirror proved otherwise.

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