In addition to spending every Sunday buried in Hallmark Christmas movies and finally having an excuse to wear all of the glittery outfits in my closet, to me, the holiday season is all about red lipstick. Whether I’m in jeans and a cozy sweater or full holiday party glam, my look is always topped with a crimson lip. There’s just something about painting my lips in the merry shade that makes me feel like a glitzy grownup, which I love (and which looks really cute in Instagram selfies). But there’s one problem: Whenever I put red lipstick on my lips, it also winds up all over my teeth, hands, face, and clothes… which is not exactly the way I like to accessorize all those sequin dresses.
The internet has dozens of tricks for how to get lipstick that stays on, from priming your lips with lip liner, sucking on your finger, and dabbing them with blotting paper, to name a few—all of which I’ve tried to no avail. No matter what I do, within minutes of applying my lipstick I somehow go from chic and adult to looking like a sloppy vampire after a meal—and it ain’t cute.
To find out if there was some magic hack that had been missing from my lipstick-coated life, I headed to Chanel’s (appropriately named) Le Rouge pop-up in New York City, where I grilled the brand’s artists about how to get my makeup to stay put once and for all. ‘To extend the wear of your lipstick, use a modern twist on an old application technique: powder,” Chanel international makeup artist John Fussell told me. “Apply your favorite lipstick. Take a two-ply tissue and split it into a one-ply piece. Next, press the tissue piece to your lips. Use a loose or pressed powder with a blush brush and dust the powder over the tissue covering your lips, and then remove the tissue.” This technique will supposedly then set your lipstick much like a powder sets your foundation.
“To extend the wear of your lipstick, use a modern twist on an old application technique: powder.” —John Fussell
The skeptical beauty editor in me had some doubts about this so-called trick (I was convinced it was too good to be true, or that it would mattify my creamy lipstick beyond repair), so I decided to try it out for myself. I started with Kosas Weightless Lip Color in Phoenix ($28), which provided the perfect subtle, shiny finish on its own. It was a bit challenging to stick the tissue on my lips without wiping off the lipstick, but once it was held lightly on my lips I dusted it with a coat of Ilia Fade Into You Soft Focus Finishing Powder ($34) using a Revlon Powder Brush ($18).
“The tissue will not allow the powder to disturb the luminosity of your lipstick and it’ll allow a gloss application to follow if desired,” Fussell explained, and it turns out he was right. When I tried it for myself, the powder didn’t dull the color of the lipstick or dry out its finish, and to give it a little extra oomph I topped it off with a coat of Burts Bee’s Liquid Lipstick in Drenched Dalia ($10).
A few minutes post-application, I put the trick to the true test by taking down a kale salad and some (gluten-free) chicken fingers…and was fairly shocked to find that my lipstick had barely budged. My teeth stayed white (aside from the kale that was stuck in them), and I’d finally found a trick for lipstick that stays on, which I’d go so far as to call a Christmas miracle.
Now, if anyone knows how to get red lipstick stains out of my clothes, I’ll be set for the rest of the holiday season.
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