How to make sure your lipstick lasts all day

Model wearing lipstick
Pucker up: get the perfect pout in six easy steps

Lipstick can really lift a mood and look, but it can easily come off, smudge or look dry after a few hours. Follow our guide for long-lasting lipstick in six easy steps

If you’re a make-up fan, chances are you’re a sucker for lipstick. Lipstick has the ability to take a look from one thing to something else entirely, and to boost your mood and confidence, as well as your face. However, many of us tend to struggle to keep our lipstick looking and feeling fresh all day long. Keep reading to discover the easiest ways to make your lipstick stand the test of time. 

Prep and prime

For the best results, it’s worth exfoliating your lips before applying your lipstick, if you have time: a lip scrub or an unused toothbrush can be used to gently buff away any dead skin. After everything is soft and smooth, finish by applying a layer of lip balm – such as the Code8 AM/PM Tinted Lip Balm – to ensure your lips are nourished and smooth prior to the main event: lipstick. 

Touch of colour: Code 8 AM/PM Tinted Lip Balm softens and moisturises lips. £24

Pick a long-lasting formula

Not all lipstick formulas are created equal, and some are naturally just that little bit longer-wearing than others. Mattes tend to stand the test of time most, owing to their dried-down feel. However, ensure your matte lipstick isn’t too drying, as this will just make your lips look flaky in the long term, which will in turn only take you back to the prep and prime stage. Code8’s Matte Velour Lipstick is a perfect example of a formula that is mattifying but super comfortable to wear, thanks to its velvety finish. 

Red hot: Code8 Matte Velour Lipstick in Opera is a universally flattering shade. £27

Don’t rush

For long-lasting results, take your time to apply a coat of lipstick straight from the bullet, and then blot with a tissue before reapplying another coat of your chosen lipstick. This gives a much smoother result and will help to keep it in place longer. 

Use a liner

Perhaps one of the oldest (and most obvious) tricks in the book is to use a lip liner. It seems obvious, but the humble lip liner went slightly out of fashion in the early 2000s after it peaked in the 1990s. But modern lip liner is nothing like the harsh, heavy-handed versions we remember from decades past. You can now match just about any lipstick’s colour with a corresponding liner, and they are the best product for achieving a flawless finish. Begin by applying to the outside lines of your lips, before working the product inward and filling in the lines. This way, the liner will also act as a great base for your lipstick to grip and so boost longevity. 

Invest in tools 

While there’s perhaps nothing more satisfying than applying lipstick straight from the bullet, using a specialised lip brush can actually be more conducive to perfect application and longer wear. With a brush, you are picking up the exact right amount of product, and you have more control over where it goes. It also helps to achieve a smooth finish, without colour bleeding. 

Set it 

It may sound odd, but setting your lipstick is just as handy as setting your face make-up. Dusting a little translucent powder over the area both helps to mattify your colour and set it, so it stays put for longer. If you want to really set things in place, why not also try a setting spray? Spritz it all over your face to ensure nothing – including your lipstick – budges before the day is out.

Code8: simplifying beauty

To find out more or to create your own lipstick, visit