Looking for smudge-proof lipsticks with staying power? We put six of the best through their paces & share our top tips & tricks for giving them extra longevity

Love lipstick but don’t love reapplying it over and over again as you eat, drink, sweat and talk throughout the day? Us neither. But there is a solution to this age-old problem: long-lasting lipstick.

Traditionally, the best long-lasting lipstick was often a liquid formula with a matte finish but now, lip stains and glossier textures are just as common in smudge-proof products – plus, there are some seriously good budget-friendly options to be had.

To help you find your perfect match, Team H&B has tested some of the best and most hyped long-lasting lipsticks out there – searching for a high pigment, long-lasting lip colour that stays put. Armed with our top tips, you’re guaranteed to get the most out of them too.

Revlon Colorstay Suede Ink Lipstick

Tried by Jo Hoare, senior editor, Boots Health & Beauty

Whoever called it Colorstay wasn’t kidding: eating, drinking, kissing, whatever you want to put this lippy through, the colour simply isn’t budging.

Drying down to an almost eyeshadow-like feel on the lips, it’s great for more mature mouths, as the no-budge formula won’t bleed or feather. I also love that there’s zero risk of lipstick ending up on teeth, clothes or cheeks as it’s totally transfer-proof. If you want to choose a bold colour, such as the orangey red shade, Feed The Flame, that I chose, then you want the peace of mind that it’s not going to look a mess after your first sip of coffee.

It can feel a little drying a few hours in, so make sure you’ve exfoliated and primed your lips with balm before applying it, as it will also show up any dry skin. Nail the prep though, and you’ll savour the benefits.

When it comes to removing it, you’ll need something with a bit of power – don’t do what I did and forget your cleanser on a weekend away and ruin two hotel wash cloths! Micellar water will do the trick, but you’ll need to gently scrub.

Fenty Beauty Fenty Icon Velvet Liquid Lipstick

Tried by Ayesha Muttucumaru, associate digital editor, Boots Health & Beauty

Rihanna herself rocked this very lipstick in this exact shade – The MVP – during this year’s Super Bowl halftime show. And its staying power, capable of withstanding everything from flying platforms to scene-stealing choreography (all while RiRi is pregnant), was on full display through countless close-ups and TikToks. Suffice to say, it has a stellar track record, but how would it fare against my equally glamorous line-up of morning coffee, rush hour commute and most importantly, snacks? I found out.

A punchy red lipstick with a matte finish that’s all about high pigment and maximum impact: its shade looked like the perfect disrupter to my current wardrobe of peaches and pinks, so I wore it on a day when I needed a bit of boost and boy did it deliver. It’s a colour that commands confidence.

Despite looking pretty high maintenance, it was really easy to apply. It wasn’t cakey or drying like other matte liquid lipsticks I’ve tried in the past – its whipped texture felt light and comfortable, while its doe-foot applicator provided the perfect amount of precision to keep my handiwork sharp and clean.

With a shade as unforgiving as this one, I was concerned about how it would hold up. I did find that it transferred a bit onto my water glass and coffee mug, but as it doesn’t sell itself as transfer-proof, I don’t think I should hold that against it. The colour was still bold and bright – enough to help wake me up from my post-lunch lull and felt so light and non-drying on my lips that it definitely has an edge against matte lipsticks in my collection that claim to be ‘transfer-proof’.

My recommendations? Apply a lip liner underneath for best results, or blot lips using a tissue and your finger after applying (also great for touch-ups during the day), before pressing your lips together for a stain-like effect. Most importantly though, give it time to dry down (I’d suggest five minutes), to help give it extra longevity. I was impressed overall but for me, the shade and non-drying texture is what gives this MVP its USP, as well as its full coverage colour payoff.

MAC Cosmetics Locked Kiss Ink

Tried by Olivia Perl, digital writer, Boots Health & Beauty

When I first tested this pick, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m generally not a liquid lipstick kind of girl and usually steer towards glossier or more hydrating textures, so a matte, long-lasting liquid lipstick wasn’t necessarily on my wish list.

But after swiping on the gorgeously dark nude shade, called Mull It Over and Over, any worries I had were quickly put to rest because this is a truly beautiful product. The formula is super lightweight so when I used the tapered applicator to apply the pigmented colour, it felt almost like an airless mousse being spread over my lips.

It dries down really quickly and once it’s set, there’s no budging it. At first, it felt a little bit sticky but afterwards, I could barely feel I was wearing it.

There’s only a little transfer onto glasses when drinking and as the day goes on, you might find yourself wanting to add a little lip balm to give the matte shade a refresh, as it can start to get slightly dry after a few hours of wear.

But – and I must admit, I was sceptical when I first tried this – the colour really lasts. I’ve worn this out for dinner, to the office and even to a Sicilian wedding. And I trusted that I didn’t need to pack my little tube with me, which is a huge bonus because I don’t always love carrying a handbag.

This long-lasting lipstick is a dream and now a colour I wear practically daily. A huge green tick from me.

Huda Beauty Lip + Cheek Stain

Tried by Andrea Leebody, associate editor, Boots Health & Beauty

I have to confess, I’m not usually the biggest fan of a lip stain. In my mind, one false move and you’re scrubbing mistakes off those lips for days. But, having been promised (by TikTok, obviously) that new gen lip stains are more hydrating and forgiving than their predecessors, I was willing to give Huda’s latest lip offering a go.

Super-easy to apply with the reservoir doe-foot applicator, the formula was creamy and dried to a matte-lipstick look – my usual comfortable go-to. When the stain was semi-dry, I smoothed the edges by dabbing with my finger for a slightly blurred look. Dry lips – another classic bugbear of lip stains – wasn’t an issue as this felt surprisingly hydrating (it’s boosted with hyaluronic acid powder and coconut extract).

As for the shade? At first, I was worried the pigment was a little lacklustre but once it dried, the colour popped to a really pretty, wearable coral – true to its shade name, Coral Kiss. I’d definitely keep this one in my bag for daytime summer socialising, or trips to the office.

But the big question is how long does it last? Well, first off, this one passed the transfer test. I’m someone who grapples with lip products often smudging on my teeth, so this was an unexpected perk of a lip stain!

Just don’t expect it to last all day; I reckon I got around four hours of wear at a BBQ, which, to be fair, included eating, drinking, and grappling with a toddler. However, despite not lasting quite as long as I expected, it did fade pretty evenly to a less punchy coral that still had a little touch of colour.

All in all, I’ve been won over to the benefits of a stain in my make-up bag – mainly for its one-swipe-and-forget-about-it charm.

NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment

Tried by Jo Hoare, senior editor, Boots Health & Beauty

I loved that with the help of the super precise doe-foot applicator, I was able to draw (read fake) a perfect lip shape. Great for smaller mouths or if you like to use a lip liner, as you can be more targeted with your coverage.

Unlike a lot of long-stay lip products, this product has a really creamy feel that I couldn’t believe was going to be long-lasting, but as soon as it dried, there was no moving it. It does take a little longer to dry down but be patient – it’s worth the wait.

The finish is a super saturated, soft matte that looks like an inky stain – ideal if you don’t like the look and feel of a hard matte finish. And if you have dry lips, as it doesn’t feel or look like it’s drying them out further.

Shade-wise, a statement pink, such as Low Rider, is a winner for me. Flattering and easy to wear, this is a lovely holiday lipstick that offers up lasting colour and great coverage. Perfect for any and all summer plans.

Maybelline SuperStay Vinyl Ink Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick

Tried by Olivia Perl, digital writer, Boots Health & Beauty

Good news, fans of budget-friendly beauty, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a genuinely good long-lasting lipstick. The Maybelline SuperStay Vinyl Ink has been part of my make-up collection for the last few months and I reach for a brilliant red shade, such as Wicked, more often than I ever thought I would when I first tried it.

Not quite a lipstick, not quite a lipgloss, the hybrid, latex-like finish instantly piqued my interest and when I first slicked the decidedly rock ‘n roll shade over my lips, I couldn’t help but notice that my pout looked fuller and juicier.

Was it love at first swipe? Honestly, no. It takes quite a bit of time for the lippie to dry down and when I touched it with my finger, it felt tacky and transferred. But once it has – give it five minutes before you eat a pizza or drink a cup of tea – the magic begins. It doesn’t move.

I wore this just the other day to eat picky bits and enjoy a tipple in the sun. I confidently left the little rectangular tube at home because I knew I wouldn’t need to top it up, even though the shade I was wearing was a vibrant red. 

Red is a particularly difficult shade to wear because it’s so obvious when it comes off, but with this little hero you’ll be fully covered.

Shop more top lipsticks with glowing reviews in our full range.