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How To Keep Lipstick In Place All Day: 3 Tips From An Expert

Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
By Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director
Alexandra Engler is the Beauty Director. Previously she worked at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com.
Image by Hirurg / iStock
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March 13, 2021

Lipstick can be a touchy subject of late. Just last week I was sitting in my hairstylist's chair (after a good 10 months without a trim), and in the midst of our catch-up, we both complained at length about how much we miss lipstick. As someone who actually isn't super into makeup—not that I don't love it! I just happen to love other beauty categories more—it felt odd to be longing for this particular product. But as the cliche goes: Absence makes the heart grow fonder.  

Since masks have dominated our lives over the past year, other makeup products have soared. (Notably, eye products and blush.) Of course, this is understandable—and has given many of us a newfound appreciation for a lush swipe of mascara or a dewy dab of cream blush. But there are still many, many beauty fans who cling to the idea of reviving a bold lip. 

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And for those individuals? Well, fear not. There are surprising ways to keep your lip in place and smudge-free no matter whether your concerns are fine-line-related or due to masks: 

1.

Prep with primer. 

As for keeping the lipstick from bleeding into the fine lines around the mouth (it happens to the best of us), use your primer and concealer wisely. "Apply primer—it can be the same primer that you use for your face—around the lip area, then blot the area with translucent powder before lipstick application," says Nechelle Turner, global makeup artist for Jane Iredale—The Skincare Makeup

2.

Layer your lip products strategically. 

The key to keeping your lipstick in place is, first and foremost, understanding that this is not a one-swipe-and-we're-done scenario. Instead, it requires thoughtful application of multiple products—and then reapplication.  

"You'll want to begin with a clean, dry lip," says Turner. "Then, fill in the entire lip with a lip liner that is the same shade as the lipstick. Next, apply lipstick, blot with a tissue, and reapply lipstick." The trick here is that the lip liner's waxy formula provides a thick grip for the product to rest and stick onto—and then the bloating of the first layer really presses the formula into the liner so it stays put. Then your last layer is for the lush finish.  

To top it off? "I usually save the concealer for sharpening the lip line," says Turner. The concealer can help fill in the lines so the lipstick doesn't have anywhere to bleed into. 

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3.

Stick to matte for now.

Not only can the application technique keep your lipstick in place, but you want to be careful about your choice of lipstick itself. Gloss and shiny formulas are sticky—steer clear. 

"It is best to use a matte lipstick underneath your mask," she says. "Find one that's a highly pigmented liquid lipstick that dries down to a lightweight transfer-resistant matte finish. But it's important to find an option that never feels dry on the lips. This matte lip stain contains plant-based oils that condition and protect."

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Alexandra Engler
Alexandra Engler
mbg Beauty Director

Alexandra Engler is the Beauty Director at mindbodygreen. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She has worked at many top publications and brands including Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends and updates in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as travel, financial wellness, and parenting. She has reported on the intricacies of product formulations, the diversification of the beauty industry, and and in-depth look on how to treat acne from the inside, out (after a decade-long struggle with the skin condition herself). She lives in Brooklyn, New York.