Long-wearing lipsticks promise us the world.
All day colour. Long lasting formula. No need to apply for the rest of your life. And some deliver. Maybe not on that last part.
But as most women would know, many don’t. It can take as little as a sip of coffee or a vigorous morning chat to derail even the most hopeful of long-lasting lippies.
That’s why when I came across Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint last weekend at Sephora, I felt… conflicted.
The long wear fluid lip colour ticks all the boxes on paper. One-stroke intensity. 12-hour matte wear. High-impact colour. Low-maintenance long-lasting wear.
“Its serious 12-hour hold is so weightless you’d forget you’re wearing it if not for the non-stop compliments. And if that’s not enough, Stunna Lip Paint won’t feather, staying kissably smooth all day. In other words: it behaves so you don’t have to,” the product’s description reads.
But would it last the distance? Was Rihanna telling us the truth?
The striking ‘one colour suits all’ red shade (handpicked by Rihanna) on its own was enough to convince me to hand over $36 immediately. And I’ve tried and loved other Fenty Beauty products, like their Match Stix Trio contouring kits.
But would the colour really last for 12 hours? Or would it crash and burn in a pile of lunchtime burrito wrappers?
The only way to know for sure was to give it a shot, so I did. And here’s what a day in the life of the Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint looked like, for me.
I’ll admit, a part of me thought this product was a lip stain, not paint when I purchased it, so opening the beautiful prism packaging to find a drippy, fluid ‘paint’ inside was a shock. It was also quite intimidating because it’s the kind of pigment that, once it’s on, it’s not coming off. Hence the whole 12-hour wear thing.
The applicator kind of looks like an, erm, appendage but it’s very easy to use. The contoured tip (oh God, sorry now everything’s dirty) makes following the natural shape of your lips quite simple. The formula, like most lip paints, is quite drippy, so I took extra care to remove excess product from the applicator before applying on my lips.
I didn’t quite manage to uphold the ‘one swipe’ part of the product’s promise, but I didn’t need a lot of product to get the intense colour. Again, like other matte liquid lipsticks, smacking your lips together can make the application look patchy, so I did my best not to touch my lips together until it’d dried.
And yes, I definitely had to use my fingers to remove strokes that strayed outside my lip line. I found the corners of my mouth to be a tricky spot for me. I used my fingernail to remove the excess, which worked fairly well, but left my fingers stained.
You can see the applicator, plus how the colour looks on a bunch of other skin tones in the video below…
Throughout the day
For the first few hours, the product behaved in exactly the way it said it would. It felt weightless on my lips, to the point that I genuinely forgot I was wearing it. I got a few compliments – the website promised ‘non-stop compliments’ but it was a quiet day in the office so I let that slide. And the colour was intense. But not too much, it matched my skin tone.
Then came the first of several tests. From hours zero – two, I put the lip paint through a coffee, many sips of water from my drink bottle, and probably too much office conversation. Still it held well, I hardly noticed a difference when I took the first progress shot.
Not much happened in the two hours that followed – I probably licked my lips a number of times, and continued talking (while working, of course). The second progress photo showed a little bit of wear, but the matte pigment was still strong.
Then came lunch, which was a burger. I was afraid. After devouring said burger, the lip paint’s finish was noticeably faded, which was to be expected. The biggest difference I saw was the colour’s intensity in the centre of my mouth. Yes, it faded, but the outside edge of my lip held. On a normal day, I’d reapply at this point, but I resisted that urge and continued along with the experiment.
The final picture is from the end of the day. You’ll note my eyes are weary, but surprisingly the overall effect of the lip colour is still pretty good. Again, the colour stuck to the lip line, but as one of my makeup savvy colleagues reminded me, it’s easier to reapply a product from the centre of your lips, then to deal with a smudged lip line.
The end result looked more like a stain, which if you’ll remember, is kind of how I thought the product was going to turn out anyway, so I wasn’t complaining. It did gather a bit in the cracks of my lips though, but again, any normal person would’ve reapplied at this point.
Taking it off
Removing the product was tricky, because even though a lot of the colour had gone from the centre of my lips by the time I got off the train home, the colour had gathered significantly more around the edges of my lips - especially in the corners.
Rather than rub my face all over with my cleanser like I normally would, I made a wise decision and removed it with micellar water on a cotton pad. This kept the colour from transferring to my chin.
The striking red alone makes this product a winner in my books, but by no means was it easy for me to achieve and maintain the look all day. I struggled the most with the application, and getting the shape and symmetry I wanted.
But once it was on, boy did it hold.
I loved the way the product changed throughout the day - it didn't crumble or ball up like some other matte lip products I've tried, and my lips didn't feel super dry. On lower key days, I'd use it with a plain lip balm over the top for extra comfort.
But most importantly, did it last for 12 hours? Look, it lasted for nine hours and 38 minutes, before I caved and took it off. Mainly because I wanted to eat my snacks in peace. But I reckon the finish after the full 12 hours would've been passable.
Provided I stop eating burgers for lunch.