The struggle of finding the perfect kiss proof lipstick is real. It's not just about the color. If you're anticipating a cozy (wink, wink) end to date night, or even if you just want a color that you know you won't end up eating off during dinner, a lippie needs some serious staying power. But which ones actually live up to those necessities? I enlisted the help of my super patient boyfriend to test out some of the best, new lipsticks on the market. We smooched it out (read: no cop-out pecks here) to see which colors could hold up. Although the majority did not pass our kiss-test, there are still ways to make your color last longer if the perfect shade just isn't transfer-proof.
Lipstick longevity comes from prepped and primed lips. That means proper exfoliation (my pick: Aquareveal Smooth Talker Water Peel), hydration (my pick: Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil), and a primer to lock down color (my pick: Too Faced Lip Insurance). And of course, after application, you can blot with a tissue and set with a translucent powder to take down shine and make color last even longer. In fact, with some of these lipsticks that did not initially pass the kiss-test, this prep routine not only made them more long-wearing but also transformed them from color-transferring to kiss-proof. So without further ado, here are some of the top Valentine's Day go-to lipstick contenders. Will your favorite pass the test?
Left to right: 100% Pure Lipstick in Melon, Alima Pure Velvet Lipstick in Georgia, Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Sweet Talker, Ardency Inn Modster Long Play Supercharged Lip Color in Valentine, Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Balm Perfector in Rose, Clarins Perfect Shine Sheer Lipstick in Coral Dahlia, ColourPop Lippie Stix in I Heart This, Covergirl Colorlicious Lipstick in Garnet Flame, Dolce & Gabbana Shimmer Lipstick in Angel Rose, Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Hellbent, Marc Jacobs LeMarc Lip Creme in Je T'Aime
Left to right: No Worries LipstickGloss in Juju, NYC Expert Last Lip Lacquer in Rockaway Ruby, Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Always Red, Sonia Kashuk Satin Luxe Lip Color SPF 16 in Parisian Pink, Sonia Kashuk Velvety Matte Lip Crayon in Rosey Nude, Susan Posnick Color Duo in Rouge, The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick in Poppy Pink, theBalm theBalmgirls Lipstick in Mai Billsbepaid, Too Faced Melted Lipstick in Melted Velvet, Topshop Beauty Matte Lips Lipstick in Infrared, Topshop Beauty Velvet Lips in Velveteen Ribbon
*Note: This and all following photos feature the "before" shot on top, "post-smooch" on bottom.
This bright, light pink lipstick glides on smoothly for a shiny, cream finish. It is slightly hydrating and made from all-natural ingredients. While the color transferred to his lips, it only appeared to ever-so-slightly leave my own.
This sheer, berry lipstick has a shiny, balmy finish that lightly hydrates the lips. There was a transfer of color to his lips, and the color noticeably left mine as well.
This bright, warm-pink color dries to a true-matte finish. This one takes a little longer to set than the other liquid lipsticks that I will mention, but once it does, it will not transfer. However, it is drying and a little tougher to remove.
First of all, most appropriately-named lipstick ever, or most appropriately-named lipstick ever? This smooth, opaque, rosey-brown has a demi-matte finish and is comfortable on the lips. The color did slightly transfer to his lips (and slightly leave mine), but the neutral color made the transfer mostly undetectable.
This light-pink balm has a shiny finish and is extremely hydrating. The glossiness somewhat transferred to his lips, but the color did not noticeably do so. However, the color seemed to somewhat leave my lips.
This shimmery orange-coral has a glossy finish and is hydrating. The color noticeably transferred to his lips and also noticeably left my own.
This bright, warm, pink-red has a demi-matte finish and is comfortable on the lips. Although the color transferred to his lips, it did not appear to leave my own. Even after blotting a few times, the color still transferred but appeared opaque on my lips.
This warm pink-red has a cream finish and is comfortable on the lips. The color did transfer to his lips, but did not appear to leave my own. If the lips are blotted and allowed to set, though, color will not as noticeably transfer but still appear opaque on the lips.
This sheer light-pink is packed with glitter and has a shiny finish. It is comfortable on the lips. Although a little difficult to tell from a distance, the glitter definitely transferred to his lips. However, my lips appeared unchanged.
This crimson color has a matte finish and is somewhat drying. Color slightly transferred to his lips but did not appear to leave my own. If this color is blotted and allowed to set, it will not transfer and still appear opaque on the lips.
This faded rose shade has a cream finish and is comfortable on the lips. Color slightly transferred to his lips but did not appear to leave my own. If this is blotted and allowed to set, the color will less-noticeably transfer and still appear opaque on the lips.
This shimmery, true-pink color has a shiny finish and is hydrating on the lips. The color transferred to his lips and somewhat left my own.
This opaque ruby has a glossy finish and is hydrating. The color clearly transferred to his lips, but did not appear to leave my own.
This classic red shade of liquid lipstick dries to a true-matte finish and absolutely does not transfer. However, it is drying and requires an oil-based remover to take it off the lips.
This warm pink has a glossy finish and is lightly hydrating. Color clearly transferred to his lips and also left my own.
This rosey red has a demi-matte finish and is slightly drying. There was a very subtle color transfer to his lips, but the color did not appear to leave my own. This is another one of those shades that if blotted and allowed to set, color will not transfer but still appear opaque on the lips.
This pearlized rose-red shade has a demi-matte finish. Although the transfer of color showed up on his lips, it only appeared to somewhat leave my own. Again, if blotted and allowed to set, this shade will not noticeably transfer.
This light, cool-toned pink has a demi-matte finish. Color only ever-so-slightly both left my lips and showed up on his. This product can also be used on the cheeks.
This beige-toned nude has a cream finish. Although the color somewhat transferred from my lips and slightly showed up on his, the color is neutral enough that this change isn't too detectable on either of us.
This opaque, brick red has a shiny/satin finish and is comfortable on the lips. The color clearly transferred to his lips but did not appear to leave my own.
This bright orange has a creamy-matte finish and is slightly drying. Color transferred to his lips and also somewhat left my own.
This one was the most heavy-duty liquid lipstick of them all. It dries during application if you move too slowly, so it's important to keep up the pace when applying. This dark ruby has a true-matte finish and will not transfer whatsoever. This is also drying — the most drying of them all, and requires an oil-based remover to actually get it off the lips.
And whatever your choice, may your Valentine's Day be filled with love and immaculate lipstick.