How to

How to Make Lip Gloss Last? 4 Tips and Tricks for Longevity

Lip gloss vs. time. We all know the battle.

How can we keep lip gloss around for more than a sad half hour? Well, there are a few tricks, and I’d argue only a few.

And we’re going to cover the most realistic (and unrealistic) of those tricks right here and right now.

a flat lay of several lip glosses
Some of these will last, and some won’t

First Off: The Tips That Didn’t Make the List

You might have heard that you should use foundation or concealer over your lips beforehand to make lip gloss last longer. But lip gloss over skin-toned products will make you look like a ghost. Plus, when foundation mixes with the gloss, you’ll get massive streaking. Perhaps if you have an opaque gloss, this will work better, but lip glosses have oils, and oils break down foundation. You’re looking at a mess if you do this.

I’ve also seen it recommended to sprinkle powder over the gloss. Powder is known for its ability to absorb oil and mattify shine. Why would anyone want to mattify their gloss?

I’m into realistic tricks and tips that don’t compromise what makes gloss awesome. Let’s get started with those!

Tip 1: Use a Sticky Lip Gloss

I’m sorry to share this with all the sticky lip gloss haters out there. But sticky, well, sticks around. Getting a tacky lip gloss is the most important thing you can do to make your lip gloss last.

You want to choose a lip gloss known for a thicker, tackier formula, as opposed to thin, spreadable formulas.

Here are some examples of lip glosses that have good longevity:

Buxom Full-On Lip Polishes in Nicole, a sparkly bright red
Buxom Full-On Lip Polishes, like this one in Nicole, are great for longevity

Here are formulas that will slip-slide away way before you want them to:

 Fenty Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow, a peachy neutral gloss
The much-beloved Fenty Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow is fantastic for those days you don’t care about longevity, but it’s not a good choice if you want lasting power.

Tip 2: Exfoliate Your Lips

Nothing works well with crusty or dry lips—not regular lipstick, not liquid lipstick, not stains, not the lipliner you’re going to use, and not lip gloss. You want your lips to be in good shape to accept the gloss. So try using a scrub.

Lush has some that get rave reviews, and so does Milani and Tree Hut. But truth be told, you don’t need to spend a penny. Just use things in your house, like sugar and honey and oil. Here’s a recipe from Hello Glow that I’ve used before:

  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp almond oil

In my experience, you can sub the oil for whatever kind you have on hand (although things are going to taste a little bizarre if you drop, say, some garlic infused olive oil in there.)

If you’re very, very gentle, you can also try a soft toothbrush. But overexfoliating will make your lips more dry over the coming days, so only try this if you know you can maintain the lightest of hands.

Tip 3: Use a Lipliner Underneath

I get it. Lip gloss, especially a tacky one, can feel even thicker with lipliner coating your whole lips under the gloss. But if you’re wondering how to make lip gloss last, this is definitely a way.

If you don’t want to completely fill in your lips with a liner and affect the color of the gloss, try using a clear liner. Maybelline has one, if you’re lost on where to find this.

And if you want to tone down the thickness of everything on your lips, try drawing on a finger with the lip liner and brushing your lips with it. Just make sure you get enough on there.

JD Glow's glitter gloss in Arubic Jewels, a brown gloss with multicolored glitter
Just a fun pic of JD Glow’s glitter gloss in Arubic Jewels. It’s terrible on longevity, but it sure is a stunning object for your collection

Tip 4: Be Realistic

All lip gloss is temporary by its nature. It will come off throughout the day, even with these tips.

People who tell you they can make lip gloss last all day must be very hungry because no gloss survives eating. Just the everyday things we do, like drinking or talking, chip away at your perfect application.

I would argue you simply can’t make lip gloss last through the day—not while living a normal life. So accept that “making lip gloss last” means making it last five hours instead of five minutes. And that’s only if you don’t eat (or only use a straw to drink).

If you want foolproof stick-to-it-ive-ness, look to matte lipsticks and liquid lipsticks, not lip gloss. Anything with shine will fade.

For me, it’s worth the extra applications throughout the day to have those juicy, shiny lips I love.

Conclusion

If you use good purchase choices, exfoliation, and lipliners as weapons, you’re armed for the fight against the fast fade.

Hopefully, you’re one step closer to knowing how to make your lip gloss last in ways that work for you—and you’re tapering your expectations for what it can do.

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