ask the expert | how do I get my lipstick to stay

When I have a question—whether normal like What time does BJs open? or obnoxious, like when I’m trying to prove to my husband that I know all of the things and type Is Chris Hemsworth Australian?!—I usually turn to the magical oracle that is Google. It doesn’t let me down and leaves me feeling like a smug, fancy pants know-it-all (he is, indeed, Australian).

Still, once in awhile, I want the added comfort of speaking to an actual expert on the topic that I’m looking into, rather than a chorus of randos on the internet. I know I’m not alone in this, right? Google is my BFF, but there really is no substitute to an actual trained expert.

That’s why I decided to start a new series called Ask the Expert. I’ll take our burning questions and bring them to trained professionals. My first burning question?

There’s something about slapping a little lipstick on that makes a girl feel instantly put together. I could be in yoga pants and a top knot, but if I add a little lipstick I suddenly feel more prepared to take on the world. Nothing puts a damper on that feeling faster than looking in the mirror an hour or so later to find that nothing is left but a ring of color around the outside edges of your mouth. This happens to me every friggin time.

When I asked my Facebook followers if they had any questions they wanted answered and my pal Jackie mentioned this same question, I knew I had to ask my favorite makeup artist for a solution.

Meredith Hayman, Makeup Artist | How to get lipstick to last

Meredith Hayman is a rock star. I first met her at my bridal makeup trial. When I got to her house I was not sold on the idea of having my makeup professionally done, but when I walked out I loved her and needed her to be there. She did my makeup for my wedding and we’ve continued to work together since—whether it was her coming in to do makeup at a photoshoot Jackie and I were running or me writing blog posts for her or reworking her bio page (complete with a video in which I am incredibly awkward—but at least I’m awkward with a flawless face). I completely trust her professional opinion, so I threw my burning question at her to answer.

As expected, she did not disappoint. Here’s what she had to say:

The most common question I get asked as a makeup artist is “How do I make my lip color last all day?” I recommend the following steps for a pretty pucker that will last from morning coffee to after-dinner drinks:

  1. Long-wear formulas work their best when applied to smooth, hydrated lips. If you have a dry layer of skin, use a soft toothbrush and warm water and gently exfoliate using a circular motion. Protect the fresh layer of skin with Aquaphor (the best product for lips and cuticles). Do this routine in the evening and sleep with the Aquaphor on your lips—you should wake up feeling soft and smooth.
  2. I don’t recommend applying more Aquaphor or other lip balm before the long-wear lip color—you want the product applied directly to clean lips that are dry to the touch (not dry and cracked).
  3. The best colors to choose in a long-wear formula are coral, bright pink, or red. The peach, light pink, and nudes can sometimes make you look washed out as the best long-wear formulas have a more matte finish. Most formulas have a gloss side that you use to set the color—once the gloss wears off, you are left with a creamy more matte finish. If you are willing to touch up the gloss and prefer a lighter, more natural shade on your lips, you should skip the long-wear formula and just reapply your gloss throughout the day as needed.
  4. A precise application is imperative—so don’t apply your long-wear lip color as you are driving to work. Take a couple of minutes to apply the color onto your clean (no lip balm) lips. Apply the color side of the long-wear formula first and then apply a long-wear lip liner in the same color to the outer edge of the lip using light, short strokes. The addition of the lip liner will help with a more precise lip shape since you are most likely using a brighter or darker shade. If your formula comes with a clear glossy side, apply this last.
  5. Use a q-tip with a little bit of makeup remover to clean up any mistakes.

long-wear lipcolor recommendations

Makeup Forever Aqua Rouge // 2 Makeup Forever Aqua Lip Pencil // 3 Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick // 4 Revlon ColorStay Lipliner

Thank you, Meredith! I can’t wait to try these tips out!

And in case any of you local ladies are interested, Meredith doesn’t just do weddings. She also does other services that you might be interested in (including parties!):

Makeup Overhaul with Product/Color Recommendations: You go to Meredith’s home studio and sort through all of your cosmetics, skincare and makeup tools (brushes, tweezers, etc.) with her. She will recommend application techniques for existing products as well as which items should be replaced or tossed. You’ll receive a detailed shopping list including where to purchase items and the approximate price of each.

Makeup Lesson:  After the Makeup Overhaul and purchasing the correct products and brushes, Meredith will teach you how to apply your new products. A “half-face” technique will be used as a tool to ensure you understand each step of the lesson. As you look into a hand mirror, she will apply the makeup with a full explanation of brushes and products used on each feature of the face. You will then mimic each step on the opposite side of your face. You will go home with step-by-step instructions on how to apply new products.

Meredith Hayman makeup artist | long lasting lipstick

If you have any questions you would like answered in a future edition of Ask the Expert, feel free to leave them in the comments or email them to me at

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.