How to Get Lipstick to Stay on All Day Long

By Chloé Baudin

Between meetings, power lunches and power walks, women need a lipstick that will keep up with their busy lives. You likely have little time to put on lipstick in the morning, much less reapply it throughout the day. A few key products and some beauty intel are all you need to keep your lipstick going strong from am coffee to midnight cocktails.

Close-up of a young woman applying lipstick to her lips
credit: Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images
Traditional lipsticks are creamy and tend to fade easily if not applied correctly.

Prep Your Canvas

Lipstick will adhere better to a smooth surface, so start by buffing your lips with a warm wash cloth, toothbrush or with a lip balm made with exfoliating granules. You can also combine sugar with honey and rub it on your lips to smooth them. After exfoliating, blot your lips, apply lip balm and finish by administering a thin layer of foundation to prepare your lips for lipstick application.

Choose the Right Formula

Selecting the right formula can have a big impact on your lipstick's staying power. In general, matte lipsticks stay on longer than glossy or creamy formulas. Lip stains, which come in liquid form in a tube with a sponge-tip applicator, also tend to stay on longer; because they don't contain the waxes normally found in hydrating lipsticks, there's more efficacy to long-wearing ingredients.

Color It In

Line your lips with a liner that matches your lipstick color or a colorless liner which helps prevent bleeding but matches any lipstick color. Fill in your lips with the lipstick applied straight from the tube -- this results in a richer color than a lip brush. Next, blot lips with a tissue. Apply another layer of lipstick and then blot again. Bright, dark shades tend to stay on longer than softer ones because they contain more pigment.

Finish Up

Finish by dusting powder in a color that matches your foundation over your lips with a fluff brush, brushing away any excess powder. This technique may mute your lip color a little, but it will do wonders for the longevity of your lip look. If you really don't want to lose any of the original lip color, you can set the look with a blush powder in a similar color as your lipstick. Don't reapply lipstick after this step to avoid a caked-on appearance.