Have you ever been “encouraged” to purchase LipSense or other cosmetics online? You would have to live under a rock to avoid all the multi-level marketing products that your friends, and their friends, are marketing on social media. I’m sure there’s somebody you know who promises they can improve your body or life with LipSense, Rodan + Fields, Younique, It Works!, Scentsy, Mary Kay, LuLaRoe, and many, many more. No pressure, right?
I try REALLY HARD to avoid all of these. Not because I don’t believe the products work, but because it means choosing WHICH friend I’m going to buy it from, and risking offending all the other people (including some clients) who are selling the same thing. It’s a challenge.
Brides are always asking me what brand of lipstick will last, and look good, through their wedding ceremony and pictures. And then again, through the reception after a touch up. I don’t offer suggestions for products I cannot stand behind, and so when I have multiple brides asking me if I’ve tried something specific, it’s time for me to do research.
My apologies for the quality of the comparison pics – I wasn’t planning to blog this when I first started the test. But I think they’re still worth showing you for comparison’s sake.
I bought the LipSense starter kit (which is how you HAVE to start out) that comes with one color (I chose Fire N’ Ice), the glossy gloss, and the Ooops! Remover for $55. I also purchased a second color (Kiss for a Cause) for $25, and the matte gloss for $20. Oh yeah, I went all in. My distributor, Rebekah Anderson, actually discouraged me from trying everything at one time, but I wanted to be able to play with it all. And I’m also a matte lipstick girl. Glossy gloss feels icky to me. So I wanted to try both from the start.
I’m a long-wearing lipstick devotee. I’m lazy about makeup – I don’t get a kick out of getting up earlier to make sure I’m wearing appropriate war paint for the day. Because I spend half of my life planning weddings in the Caribbean, I can usually get away with just mascara and lipstick. Everything else sweats off so fast that it isn’t worth the effort.
Over the years, I found a couple of lipsticks that last a bit longer to wear for wedding receptions, but it was always a crapshoot. If it was a hot night and I sucked down lots of bottled water, most of my lipstick would be left on the bottles instead of my lips. And I rarely have time to check my own makeup when I’m making sure that everything is running smoothly at a wedding or event, so once it was gone, it was gone. The first long-wear lipsticks I tried were failures. They’d wear off gradually so that I had weird-looking patches of color left if I didn’t keep an eye on it. Not a good look.
A couple years ago, I had the pleasure of starring in a TLC reality show called “Wedding Island,” and it was the first time I truly experienced a lipstick crisis. No longer was it about wearing lipstick just for appearances, it was about wearing something that would “pop” on camera and look the same through 18 hours of filming every day. They need that for continuity because, if you haven’t already figured it out, reality TV is heavily edited and they need your appearance to remain uniform so that they can cut and paste just about anything to appear as though it happened when the storyline dictates. And that includes lipstick.
I survived 66 days of filming with tubes of Maybelline Super Stay 24 HR Color lipstick. Once I figured out it worked, I bought all the colors I’d need to get through production, and wore that stuff all day long, every single day. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but it was the best I’d found.
The color lasts through half a day before it needs touch-up, and even through meals if I’m super-careful with my napkin. But it gets crusty around the edges by late in the day – almost as if the lipstick had faded and all I had left on was lip liner. Except I wasn’t wearing any liner. And simply wiping it off wasn’t an option if I noticed it was looking ragged. Maybelline 24 HR Super Stay isn’t going anywhere without lipstick remover. It’s like that from the second you put it on, so I had to be super-careful with the application if I wasn’t someplace I could use remover to wipe it off and start over.
It wasn’t until LipSense came on the scene – or should I say across my Facebook news feed multiple times a day – that I saw something new that MIGHT be worth a try. Still, I didn’t rush to buy it. It wasn’t until a friend’s post about a new color called Fire N’ Ice that I really looked twice. Mostly because the color was gorgeous, and it appeared to flatter the wearer by looking like a slightly different shade on each woman featured in the advertisement.
I was excited to try my new purchases as soon as they arrived. I set out to compare my old favorite with the new popular product to find out whether it was worth spending three times as much money because it was THAT much better.
Compare and contrast of Maybelline 24 HR Color vs. LipSense
LipSense costs $55 for the one-color starter kit. Each additional color is $25. Glosses are $20 each. It must be purchased from a bona fide LipSense distributor.
The Maybelline 24 HR Color’s two-part tubes are annoying. On one side, you have the lip color and its wand. On the other side, there’s the gloss stick that is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to make the stuff set and stay, so that it doesn’t rub off on anything. While it’s convenient that every color comes with its own gloss attached (no thinking required when you toss it in your purse), the caps come off the gloss end of the tube wayyyyy too easily. Imagine a chapstick rolling around without a cap in the bottom of your purse. Ew. Yep. I quickly made a habit of keeping tissues in my purse to wipe off the gloss before putting it on my lips. Carrying tissues was probably a good habit to get into, but I’m wiping away half the product on a regular basis. So I run out of the gloss much faster than the color. And you can’t buy the gloss by itself as a replacement
LipSense products all come in separate tubes with wands and screw-on caps, so the gloss doesn’t open in your purse. I think a frequent wearer would want to purchase two tubes of gloss so one could live in your purse full time. If you don’t keep reapplying it, the color doesn’t stay.
The application of the Maybelline is pretty straight-forward – paint your lips with the wand and then go over it with the gloss. All set!
LipSense is more complicated, and you really do have to follow the instructions:
- Three layers of lip color (drying each in between)
- One layer of gloss
You MUST let each color dry before applying the next, and you can’t shut your mouth at any point during the process, or your lips will stick together and pull color off some spots. You have to make sure your third layer is really dry before you apply the gloss layers. And then you can close your mouth. It probably only takes a minute for each layer to dry, but it’s an awkward feeling. I felt like I was going to drool. Attractive, right?
I strongly suggest you watch this how-to video before you try LipSense for the first time. It’s a big help.
Scent and feel
Maybelline doesn’t really smell like anything – maybe a little citrusy? And it feels like any regular lipstick for the first few hours.
LipSense has a slight rubbing alcohol scent to it while it’s wet, and it feels cold going on. There’s a tingling sensation, but I wouldn’t say it stings or hurts in any way. I compare it to using a shampoo with Tea Tree or Eucalyptus oil in it. If you’re expecting it, it’s not an unpleasant sensation. The gloss doesn’t smell like anything at all, and the lip color smell seems to go away after the gloss is added.
You must use makeup remover to take off both of these products. LipSense has the Ooops! wand for little mistakes during application, but it would cost you a holy fortune to use that to remove the lipstick every day. And despite what they say, the remover wand does pick up color when you’re using it (their marketing claims the gloss and remover wands don’t even pick up the color but that’s not true after a couple uses – although I didn’t see it affect the quality of the lip color at all).
Maybelline wipes of easily with remover, LipSense requires a little more effort, and feels like sand as it wipes off. Kinda weird, but hopefully, it’s functioning as an exfoliator.
Trying to remove either one of these products without remover is really rough on your lips, and should be avoided. And they will both stain light colored washcloths and towels.
As I said before, I’m not a fan of glossy gloss – I don’t like the gooey sticky feel on my lips all day. I prefer matte. But Maybelline doesn’t offer matte. With that said, you don’t have to keep adding gloss for the Maybelline, and after awhile, it looks more matte than glossy. And their gloss isn’t gooey. It’s a stick that goes on smooth.
LipSense glossy gloss is definitely on the upper-end of gooey. For people who like that feel, it’s supposedly amazing. Your lips will stay straight-off-a-soap-opera shiny. I don’t care for it, but I tried it out for the purposes of this test. And I did find that the glossy gloss makes color last longer than the brand’s matte gloss.
The matte gloss requires multiple applications in the first five minutes you’re wearing the lipstick – almost like it gets sucked right into your lips. You can tell you need more because your lips start sticking together in the most unpleasant way. I found it worked best when I applied it twice in the first couple of minutes, then got dressed to leave and applied it again, and then added more when I got into the car. I was in a hurry or I’d have tested it out at home LOL.
I tried different colors (and in the case of LipSense, different glosses) several times each over a period of two weeks, to really compare the results.
LipSense was the winner! Despite the pain-in-the-butt application process and having to reapply the gloss, for a long day of work or play, this stuff holds up better, longer, than the Maybelline. It’s easier to add more LipSense during a touchup than with the Maybelline, without taking it all off and starting over.
A bride could count on LipSense looking good through her wedding ceremony and pictures, but her Maid of Honor has to keep that gloss handy to reapply every so often so that it doesn’t start wearing funny when she starts eating and drinking. I’d plan on a touch-up after dinner before more pictures. It won’t be completely ruined by any stretch, but you want to look perfect in your wedding photos.
Both brands last longer with darker colors – the lighter colors had to be applied more often and lasted a shorter period of time.
You can buy Maybelline at any drugstore, or online. Which is convenient if you don’t think ahead about your lip color needs (apparently there are people who actually do that).
LipSense is only available through licensed distributors. I bought mine from my girlfriend Rebekah Anderson (Distributor #253458) and if my blog has inspired you to try it, she’d be happy to help you out, too. Her number is (919) 793-4156, and she’s also got a fun Facebook group called LipSmacked with Reba where she shares tips (that’s how I got sucked in).
Now, don’t misunderstand me, I’m not tossing all my Maybelline in the trash can by any means. The difference in how long they lasted wasn’t THAT significant. I was just being picky for the purposes of this test. Now that I’ve already got the “starter kit” for LipSense, each new color is only $25, provided I remember to order it in advance so I have it when I need it. I can always pick up another Maybelline at any drug store for less than $20 if I need it.
With that said, I’m going on a cruise next week, and I’m only packing one brand. I’m going to take the LipSense. And you know if I end up regretting that decision, I’ll tell you all about it when I get back.
Until next time, happy wedding planning!