How to not wear LipSense
The hype is over.
SeneGence has been mucking around with LipSense over the last year, and — guys — it’s worse. There’s no colour consistency, it’s patchy (hard to apply evenly and smoothly), flaking off, and not lasting as long as it used to. They have cut a lot of their popular colours, especially reds, changed their manufacturing factory, and are trying to ‘improve’ or change their formula (possibly in reaction to the LipSense patent running out in April 2018).
I also could not find SeneGence or LipSense listed on any of the official ‘cruelty-free’ certification sites, so I have doubts about their ‘no animal testing’ claims. I want to see actual official certification before I believe them at all.
Over recent months I have been on the hunt for decent non-MLM LipSense alternatives (so I have excluded offerings from Avon, Younique, The Body Shop etc). Practically every makeup brand out there now touts a long-lasting liquid lipstick.
I know that SeneGence likes to talk about how LipSense has a bigger tube (7.4 ml) and more product than all the others — which makes it more economical by volume. However — don’t forget that you have to apply THREE layers of LipSense each time, and the lipsticks listed below typically don't need more than one.
I am in Australia, so most of the brands I’ve been able to access were purchased here, and most are available from Priceline or department stores, not high-end cosmetics places. I did place orders for ColourPop and Dose of Colours (yet to arrive) from the States, but they’re the only overseas purchases I did. A few from Mecca & Sephora. Also, this review is just how these 20 lippies lasted on my lips. You may get different results.
Price guide $ = Under $20 AUD (~$15 USD) $$ = $20–$25 AUD (~$15–$19 USD) $$$ = $25–$30 AUD (~$19–$23 USD) $$$$ = Over $30 AUD (over $23 USD)
So, to get started, here's what I'm comparing to:
SeneGence — LipSense * Price: $$$$ * 60 colours * 7.4 ml Alcohol-based, so can sting dry lips. Old formula worked well, but new formula is flaking off more. Good colour range (although missing sections such as reds and dark colours), but poor colour consistency. Doesn’t smudge and doesn’t transfer. Requires three layers. Must be worn with their $$$ gloss (shea butter based glosses from other brands will also work). They claim to be vegan and cruelty free, but are uncertified. MLM product.
3INA — The Longwear Lipstick * Price: $$ * 20 colours * 7 ml (close to the amount in a LipSense tube, for half the price) Not too bad. Does wear off gradually, but doesn’t smudge once dried, and doesn’t transfer too much. No animal testing.
Barry M — Matte Me Up Liquid Lip Paint * Price: $ * 5 colours + 4 metallic colours * 3 ml A UK brand, new to Australia. Available from Big W, or online. Feels really nice and silky on. Does not smudge or transfer, and does last for many hours. No top gloss required. The metallic ones comes in a lip kit with a matching lip liner pencil. Will gradually wear off over the day, though. One of my faves. No animal testing, and the brand has a fair few vegan products.
Benefit — lip stain (I got Benetint which is red) * Price: $$$ * 5 colours * 4 ml This is a tinted liquid stain, very watery and sheer. It can be used as a blush as well as a lip colour. It works really well as a blush for me, but while it does colour my lips, without transferring — the stain does not last on my lips longer than an hour or two. Animal testing.
Bourjois — Rouge Laque * Price: $ * 8 colours * 6 ml Nice rich colour, and nicely scented. Goes on smoothly, but this smudged majorly for me. Not long-lasting. I think they have some new lippies released recently, though, which might be more long-lasting. Probably not cruelty free.
BYS — Velvet Lips * Price: $ * 29 colours * 6 g This one was a surprise, considering how dirt cheap it is (about $6). It’s actually not too bad, and while it does fade over the day, it doesn’t transfer or smudge, and doesn’t flake off. I got mine at KMart. Claim to be cruelty free, but are not certified.
ColourPop — Ultra Matte Lip * Price: $ * Over 50 colours * 3.2 g To get this in Australia, you have to order from the USA — there is free international shipping if you order over $50 USD worth ($66 AUD), which gets you heaps of stuff! It isn't too bad, but does come off with oily food and there is some smudging and transfer. No animal testing. NB: The Ultra Satin Lip version is not long-lasting! Get the MATTE one.
Covergirl — Outlast All Day Lip Colour (Max Factor’s sister brand) * Price: $$ * 11 colours * 4.2 ml This stuff stays on! All day! And overnight! No transfer or smudging. Good strong colours. Comes with a separate stick of solid lip gloss/balm, the same as Max Factor. Of the two sister brands, Max Factor is better and lasts longer — but they’re both good. Really good. Animal testing.
Dose of Colors — Matte Liquid Lipstick * Price: $$$ * 29 colours * 4.5 g With shipping from the USA, this was actually more like $$$$. Dose of Colors are a small independent cosmetics company, and do small batches, so there are limits on how much you can order, and popular colors can sell out quickly. Lovely to apply, feels light, and doesn't smudge and transfer too much. If I rubbed my finger on my lips, it does sort of smear. It's tricky to touch up edges — if you do, it smudges and stains your skin quite badly. I have a deep red, it might be easier to handle with a lighter colour (it wasn't). But it wasn't drying, and lasted very well. Nicely contoured doe foot, but still a fairly thick formula that was a bit tricky to get smooth edges. Smells gorgeous. I love the packaging. No animal testing and vegan.
ETA 30 May 2018: Hmmm. I ordered more of these lippies, and am not happy with the other colours I tried, they smudged all over the place, constantly. So I'm not using these any more.
e.l.f. — Radiant Gel Lip Tint * Price: $ * 4 colours * 5.6 ml A lip gloss type consistency. A lip stain really, not a thick lipstick. It does build up a nice colour, if you put on several layers, and it doesn’t transfer — but it is not particularly long-lasting. You''ll get a few hours out of this one. Quite hydrating. No animal testing.
Kat Von D Beauty — Everlasting Liquid Lipstick * Price: $$$ * 40 colours * 6.6 ml Elegant packaging. Good strong colour, and creamy. Nice light feel. Doesn't smudge. However, it flaked off for me, despite letting it dry for a long time after application. After a few hours, it had pretty much worn off my inner lips, and was patchy, just from drinking tea. Purchased from Sephora Australia. Heaps of colour choices. Certified cruelty free, and vegan.
Lacura (Aldi) — liquid lipstick * Price: $ * 4 colours * 3 ml Not too bad, it doesn't smudge or transfer too much. Doesn't last all day— wears off fairly quickly. Very inexpensive, though. Comes with a solid lip balm/gloss at the other end of the tube.
Max Factor — Infinilips (Covergirl’s sister brand) * Price: $$ * 15 colours * 4.2 ml This stuff stays on all day. And the next day. It’s actually hard to remove. Comes with a separate stick of solid lip gloss/balm. Good strong colours. Feels nice on the lips. Animal testing.
Maybelline — Super Stay 24 Color * Price: $$ * 13 colours * 4.1 ml Stays put all day. Nice shaped doe foot. Fairly thick, and can be tricky to get a smooth line when applying. Feels nice on. Comes with a solid lip gloss/balm in the same tube — I usually only need to apply the gloss once or twice during the day. Colour lasts all day, no transfer or smudging. Animal testing.
Maybelline — Super Stay Matte Ink * Price: $ * 10 colours * 5 ml This stuff definitely stays put all day! No transfer or smudging. No top gloss required, although you might want to use one. Nice pointed doe foot applicator. I find the mixture quite thick, and it can be a bit hard to apply a clean, even line. It is rather thick and drying on my lips. Might be worth experimenting with wearing with a gloss. Animal testing.
NYX — Lip Lingerie * Price: $ * 20 colours * 4 ml No top coat or gloss. Good matte finish. Bit of a chemical-y smell. Bit of transfer, but not too bad, considering the cost. Good range of colours. Cruelty free.
NYX — Liquid Suede * Price: $ * 22 colours * 4 ml Great rich colours, but smudges like mad. Gets on your teeth, cups, everywhere. Not long-lasting at all. But great colours, and goes on smoothly. No animal testing.
Revlon — Colorstay Overtime * Price: $ * 16 colours * 2 ml Not a lot of product in the tube. Comes with a clear liquid gloss that you brush on. Applies smoothly, and feels fairly light on. Does last very well — actually hard to remove — and doesn’t transfer or smudge. I like the doe foot applicator. Good colours. Animal testing.
Rimmel — Provocalips * Price: $ * 16 colours * 4 ml Yes, this lasts really well, goes on smoothly, does not smudge, and does not transfer. Like it! Comes with a top gloss in the same tube. Their official website lists 16 colours. Animal testing
Rimmel — Stay Matte Liquid Lip Colour * Price: $ * 25 colours * 5.5 ml Make sure you let this one dry on your lips thoroughly before putting it to any transfer or smudge tests. Does transfer a bit and smudge a bit, but it’s not too bad for the price. Not my favourite, though. Smells nice. Animal testing.
Stila — Liquid Lip Colour * Price: $$$$ * 32 colours * 3 ml Excellent colour range. Lovely scent / taste. Make sure you let it dry thoroughly. A little transfer, but not too bad. Feels light and silky, and not dry on lips. On my lips, lasts about 4 or 5 hours before needing to be reapplied. Purchased at Mecca Cosmetics. No animal testing? They seem to have recently started selling in China, though. Really like this one, I need more colours!
Sugarpill — Liquid Lip Colour * Price: $$$ * 13 colours * 5.4 ml Great colours. Make sure you let it dry thoroughly. Some smudging and transfer, but not too bad. Nicely scented. Limited availability in Australia, I got mine from Beserk. Cruelty free and vegan.
Tarte — Tarteist Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint * Price: $$$ * 26 colours * 6 ml Purchased from Sephora Australia. Doesn't smudge or transfer. Feels quite light and a bit silky on, but also a bit dry. My lips looked quite dry and lined. Did not last frightfully well, and completely collapsed under the onslaught of oily food. Nicely contoured doe foot. Bit of a painty smell. Cruelty free.
Tony Moly — Perfect Lips Shocking Lip * Price: $$$ * 4 colours * 7 g This is a Korean brand. It is more of a lip stain, and is quite sheer when going on. You can build up several layers. It will wear off, but does stain the skin on your lips too, and that stain lasts for over a day. I didn't find it stained my lips very evenly, though — so it gave a patchy result.
My top picks
- Barry M Matte Me Up Liquid Lip Paint
- Stila Liquid Lip Colour
- MaxFactor Infinilips
- Rimmel Provocalips
- Covergirl Outlast All Day Lip Colour
- Revlon Colorstay Overtime
- Maybelline Super Stay 24 Color
These are the lipsticks I wear most days now. I am not happy about the animal testing of most of these brands, though, so will keep looking for a certified cruelty-free brand that does a really superior long-lasting lippy — watch this space! I think Barry M is the best option so far (which is easily available in Australia, anyway) if you’re after inexpensive and cruelty-free. It also feels the nicest to me — very silky. You can find it online, and from Big W department stores.
For much more thorough long-lasting liquid lippy reviews, I recommend Stephanie Nicole's series on YouTube.
— Aussie LipStick Addict
Updated 5 June 2019