Our Guide to Smooch-Proof Lipstick

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Maybe it’s my recent fixation with anything covered in hearts (candy or otherwise) or maybe it’s because Bey’s got us crazy in love with her big news, but this year, I’ve had everything hearts, hugs, love, and kisses on the brain waaay before the Groundhog missed his shadow. I’m generally not one to get excited for Valentine’s Day, truly, but I’m already prepping and, yes, primping for the love fest coming our way, because this one might be the kissiest yet. Nothing makes a girl weak in the knees like a good kiss—be it steamy, sweet, or, sure, even a little sloppy—but nothing is a bigger buzzkill than post-makeout-lipstick-carnage. The holy grail: is it possible to have a perfectly pouty lip that’s also totally smoochable? The perfect kiss? The perfect lipstick? No small feat. And because this was all in the name of Science and Saint Valentine, I decided to rope in my beau and put my expansive lipstick collection to the test. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it.

Prep Time

Before applying any lipstick, I scrub my lips and apply a super hydrating balm while I do my makeup. It helps with liquid lipsticks (which I tested a lot of) because they tend to settle in lines and highlight dryness. After applying the lipstick and letting it set for a few minutes, it was time for the smoochfest to start.

Glossier Lip Gloss

When in doubt, a clear lip gloss is a safe bet. Plus, shiny lips are coming back in a big way. I used a lip gloss from Glossier. There was little to no movement post-kiss, but some did come off.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Abu Dhabi

Despite their popularity both in Insta and IRL, I am not a huge fan of liquid lipstick. I find them drying and a little shine is more flattering on my smaller lips (did I mention how excited I am for the resurgence of lip gloss? See above.). But this one from NYX is super comfortable to wear, and a great 90’s neutral. This stayed on my lips pretty well. The lines stayed clean and only a little transferred off.

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

This pencil is a cult classic for a reason. The red is simply stunning, and the formula feels like nothing on my lips. This one is a great long-wear lip color…but I was surprised to find it did not pass the kiss test. The color smudged around my lips. I think this would hold up well for a goodnight kiss, but it’s not gonna cut it for anything hotter than that.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Venezia

This one’s looked at as one of the gold standards in the industry. And while the bright red Beso color is a favorite among bloggers, I think this orange is really beautiful and unexpected for Valentine’s day. This lipstick lives up to its name and stays forevs, but after a few kisses, there was a wee bit of transfer. Good go-to for a steamy date.

Rimmel Provocalips in 430 Wish Upon a Berry

This stuff is no joke. I have literally worn this to bed, and when I woke up it looked freshly applied (an oil cleanser is 100% necessary to get this one off). Post kiss, there was no disturbance to the color at all. Not to mention the color is beautiful, it sits somewhere between berry and rose. Plus for $7, the staying power can’t be beat.  

I was actually surprised by how well every product held up. I expected far more smudges and stray lipstick than I ended up with. It’s hard to pick a clear winner because of the range, but you can’t go wrong with the Provocalips or the Lip Cream. But don’t take my word for it—go out and test them for yourself. You know…for science 😉

by Bella Cacciatore

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