Coffee trial: how do long-lasting lipsticks really stack up?

Image: Nicky’s latte-sipping experiments

I’m going to come right out and say it: I’m not a fan of long-lasting or long-wearing lipsticks. As someone who rarely has wild nights out anymore, the need for me to own a lipstick that stays on beyond 3am is limited.

Having said that, I do appreciate a lipstick that doesn’t disappear roughly seven minutes after applying it. I can’t tell you how many work functions and meetings I’ve attended and wasted time thinking about the dreaded Lipstick On Teeth Syndrome. That or the chunky dry residue you’re left with when lipstick sinks into your lips and promptly disappears.

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So with that in mind ,I put six so-called long-lasting lipsticks to the test by parking my lips around my coffee cup. In case you’re thinking one coffee does not 24 hours make, that’s true, but these lipsticks should have staying power throughout your imbibing. And besides which, it takes me several hours to get through one small coffee. I applied the lipstick at 8:30am, didn’t reapply throughout the day and wiped it off at 10pm. I chose one from each of the bigger makeup brands, here’s how they fared.

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1. Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain, $25.95

I haven’t bought a lipstick this fun for oh, I don’t know forever. The shade I have on is Rio Rush and the doe-foot applicator gets major points from me. Since I have a weird cupid’s bow I am always smudging lipstick across the top of my lip moments after I’ve carefully applied it, but not with this applicator. Tick.

It goes on smoothly but as a stain with a lip gloss texture, it does feel sticky. After taking a few sips of coffee, the majority of the gloss off is on the coffee lid, but there’s still a decent deposit of colour left on my lips – and it stays like this until after I eat lunch. Towards the end of the day it has faded (I drink a lot of water) and I'd prefer more of a punch of colour than what was left at 4pm.

Shade: Rio Rush

Smudgability: High

Longevity:  2.5/5

2. Clinique Long Last Lipstick, $36

This one was one of my favourites to apply. It’s super creamy and (aside from the Chanel Rouge Coco) feels the most like a regular lipstick. What I loved about this one was that even though a little came off on the coffee lid, the main colour lasted.

Shade: Power With Pink

Smudgability: Not bad.

Longevity: 3.5/5

3. L’Oreal Infallible 10-hour lipstick $24.95

How pretty is this shade from L'Oreal? It's a great one to accompany a smoky eye or a summery peachy coral look. As a lighter lipstick it was a bit hard to tell how much was left on my lips after drinking coffee. As you can hopefully see from the photos, the sheen is no longer on my lips in the right hand photo. However, there was still a little colour left at the end of the day. While it was outperformed by some of the others, this one did feel the most comfortable on my lips (it was also one of the easiest to take off).


Shade: Perpetual Peach

Smudgability: Average.

Longevity: 3/5

4. Chanel Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Color $52

Ok, so this one isn’t technically labelled a long-lasting formula but the woman at the Chanel counter assured me I’d get at least seven hours out of it before needing to reapply. Since I was already sold on trying the reformulated Chanel Coco Hydrating Lip Color she could probably sniff my desperation. And at the upper end of the market I wanted to test how a high end lipstick would stack up next to the cheaper brands. She wasn't lying. It slides on easily, and lasted for most of the day, although I would've definitely wanted to reapply this one before going into a meeting.

Shade: 440 Arthur

Smudgability: Average

Longevity: 3.5/5

5. ModelCo Party Proof Matte Lipstick, $18

Well, ModelCo weren’t messing around when they named this one. It lasts, and lasts, and lasts. It's definitely the kind of lipstick that would get you through a night of clubbing. As a matte lipstick it still has enough creaminess to go on smoothly – and not to make you feel like a grandma whose misplaced her dentures.

Shade: Smitten

Smudgability: High

Longevity: 4/5

6. Maybelline Super Stay 24 2-Step Lip Color $22.95

This one very nearly failed to make the cut when I couldn’t get the packaging open. Seriously, can everyone stop stealing from Priceline so the rest of us don't have to break our (gel-weakened) fingernails trying to open our beauty goodies?

This is one of the many two-step formulas on the market. First you apply the colour, wait two minutes then apply a balm which is meant to lock in the colour. And lock in it does. This one had the least amount of transference – almost nothing compared to all the others. You can see how shocked I am. It's a clear winner.

Shade: Continuous Coral.

Smudgability:  ZERO.

Longevity: 5/5

FYI: The best way to get long-lasting lipstick off is with micellar cleansing water or a facial oil. Except for the Maybelline 24 hour colour lipstick above, I’m still trying to work out how to get that off.

One of the best things that came out of the trial was that ALL of the lipsticks passed the Lipstick On Teeth Test – I didn't even need to do that creepy finger-in-mouth-and-pull-it-out trick.

Are you a long-lasting lipstick fan? What are your favourites?