Long-lasting Lipsticks: Do they really last?

We've all seen the commercials: gorgeous women with flawless lipstick that lasts all day. Are these advertising claims really true?
We've all seen the commercials: gorgeous women with flawless lipstick that lasts all day. Are these advertising claims really true?
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We've all seen the commercials. Gorgeous (and unbelievably energetic) women with perfect red lips laughing together, drinking coffee, exercising, eating lunch and kissing gorgeous men -- all the while maintaining their flawless lipstick and leaving nary a red stain on a coffee cup or gorgeous male cheek. What's the secret to this amazing achievement, you wonder? It's nothing more than long-lasting lipstick.

Most of us take advertising claims with a grain of salt. Sure, it would be great if a lipstick actually lasted all day -- and it sure makes for a pretty commercial -- but do we really expect the claims to be true? We know better than to assume that this lipstick is somehow going to turn us into professionally made-up models, but should we drop $15 a tube to find out what it really does?


Here's the general consensus on long-lasting lipstick: Yes, it does hold up longer than your run-of-the-mill lip color, although it might not stay put for exactly 12 hours or whatever the packaging might claim. A lot of it does depend on the individual and the brand -- and closely following the application directions -- but sometimes you actually don't need a touch-up after a cup of coffee or glass of wine. And sometimes you can make it home from work with your morning lipstick application still perfectly intact.

"CBS MarketWatch" and "Good Housekeeping" magazine have both done (pretty nonscientific) long-lasting lipstick testing in the past few years, and the results weren't identical. For example, "MarketWatch" found that Max Factor's Lipfinity actually did last the advertised 10 hours, while the "Good Housekeeping" tester said it wore off after seven hours -- but they came to the same basic conclusion. Long-lasting lipsticks might not be exactly all they're cracked up to be, but they're still an improvement over basic lipsticks. Also -- perhaps surprisingly -- drugstore brands performed just as well as their department-store counterparts.

So, long story short, if you like your lip color to stay put all day and don't want to be bothered with constant touch-ups and worrying about leaving embarrassing lipstick stains all over the place, long-lasting lipsticks are a safe bet. Yes, they cost a little bit more, but they last a little bit longer, too.


Lots More Information

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  • Consumer Search. "Cover Girl Outlast All-Day Lip Color." April 2012. (July 13, 2012) http://www.consumersearch.com/lipstick/covergirl-outlast-all-day-lip-color
  • Draelos, Zoe Diana. "Lipstick." Medscape, July 22, 2011. (July 13, 2012) http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1066966-overview#aw2aab6b7
  • Edmonds, Molly. "12-Hour Lipstick." How Stuff Works, Nov. 30, 2009. (July 13, 2012) https://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/beauty/skin-and-makeup/12-hour-lipstick.htm
  • Good Housekeeping. "Long Live Your Lipstick!" (July 10, 2012) http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/product-reviews/beauty-products/lipstick-product-tests-0103
  • Miller, Josey. "Road Test: Long-Lasting Lipsticks." iVillage, April 25, 2005. (July 13, 2012) http://www.ivillage.com/road-test-long-lasting-lipsticks/5-a-146748
  • Neal, Rome. "Long-Lasting Lipsticks." CBS. March 29, 2004. (July 13, 2012) http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/03/29/earlyshow/living/beauty/main609240.shtml