LipSense: A Brutally Honest Review

Beauty, Reviews
Variety of LipSense tubes

If you open my make up drawer, you’ll see a lot of lipsticks. Red, mauves, berries and pinks in tubes, liquids, creams … you name it. My mom always told us to make sure we always had on lipstick. Admittedly, I’m more of a apply once and hope for the best kind of girl but I hear my mom’s voice everytime I look in the mirror to see my naked, no lipstick lips at 3pm.

What I really need is a lipstick I can apply in the morning and not think about again throughout the day. Oh, and if it could not come off on my coffee cup or on my teeth, that would be good too!

When I first heard about LipSense on social media, it was an immediate eye roll. A friend was selling it. However, the constant demos of people wearing fabulous colors (the reds! the pinks!) and not having it come off finally convinced me, so I decided to give it a try.

What Is LipSense?

LipSense is a lip color system that claims to stay on for 6-10 hours straight. Not a typo. That’s 6-10 hours after your initial LipSense application and it promises to last through coffee, meals, kisses goodbye to your husband, drooly baby kisses and life in general , office gossip and general life.

Other LipSense claims:

  • Unique, patented product is waterproof and does not kiss off, smear off, rub off, or budge off.
  • Does not dry out your lips – it works to restore the moisture content of your pout.
  • Color lasts anywhere between 4 and 18 hours.
  • LipSense is versatile in that you can mix shades to create a number of effects and custom colors.

How to Apply LipSense

You are instructed to apply LipSense in three layers, and then seal it with the gloss (more on that later). Why three layers? Same reason why you apply your nail polish and multiple coats and then seal with a clear top coat. With Lipsense, the first layer bonds the product to your lip and touches the skin’s PH so it will begin to break down first and the fastest. The second layer is the one that will really show off the color, while the third layer protects the second one from things that can break down the color like friction, saliva and just general life.  Your last step is to “seal” all three layers with the glossy gloss.

I’ll admit that applying LipSense is a bit of an art, and I had to do some research and practice before I could perfect my pout. Learn from my mistakes with these tips:

  • Exfoliate your lips with a scrub or gently rub with a clean toothbrush.
  • Shake the product liberally before applying.
  • Use the tip of your LipSense as a liner, and then fill in your three coats with the broad side of the applicator.
  • Try stretching your lips as wide as possible for a smooth application.
  • Apply THIN coats. This is still a work in progress for me.
  • Use your gloss liberally and multiple times throughout the day to keep the color going strong. You can apply it before and after meals to protect the color.
Variety of LipSense tubes

LipSense is sold in 36 different shades, from nudes to bright reds.

Testing Out the 8-Hour LipSense Claim

I applied an initial application of the Roseberry color at 8am, and it made it through:

  • Two cups of coffee
  • Kissing my family goodbye
  • A cross country flight from Atlanta to Los Angeles

The Cost

LipSense is sold in a “kit”, which includes one color, one gloss and the Oops remover. The kit retails for $55, and honestly, there’s no price break for buying all three at once. Once you have your three-piece kit, you can then add additional colors for $25/pop.

The Pros of LipSense

  • A little goes a long way. One tube of the product is supposed to last 4 months. And for $25 it should.
  • The Glossy Gloss is super-moisturizing. I failed to mention that I’m a bit of a chapstick addict. There was a point in my life where I had multiple tubes and pots on my person at all times. The Glossy Gloss has proven to be my new BFF – it has a super hydrating formula, isn’t sticky and has no taste or odor.
  • I’ve surprised myself with how much I love wearing lipstick now that I’ve found one that only needs to be applied once.
  • You can re-live your childhood by collecting, sharing and trading LipSense colors like they are Lip Smackers.

The Cons of LipSense

  • The formula is drying. It’s a good thing the Glossy Gloss is so dang moisturizing, because the actual color can feel really drying once you put it on.
  • Initial applications can sting. But beauty is pain, right?!
  • It takes some practice to apply. I’ve found slowly applying the color is best, and I focus on lining my lips with the base coat; filling the lips with the second coat; and then either feathering to fill in where needed or adding dimension by layering another shade with the third coat. (Note: this is probably breaking the rules, but it works for me.)
  • The waterline wears off the quickest and can leave you with a bit of a freaky look. I was strutting my stuff while wearing Fly Girl, a beautiful bright red shade. When I finally remembered to go to the bathroom in the afternoon, I was shocked to see that the color on the inner ring of my mouth had totally worn off, making me look like a sad clown.
  • It’s addicting. Before you realize it, you have a collection of varying shades of lip colors and fun glosses (my latest favorite is the pink glitter gloss!).
  • It’s temperature-sensitive. You’re warned not to leave it in a hot car (#asif!) because it could explode.

Our Brutally Honest Verdict on LipSense


I’ve been wearing LipSense in various shades for a few weeks now. Does it work? For the most part. My friend Sunshine sells it and I’ve bought everything from a weekend friendly Apple Cider color to an in between Berry color and wine and red shades for date night.


Pros:  I’ve found that the color really does last a long time and it’s kiss proof in the morning for my hubby and doesn’t rub off on my coffee mug. Those two things are big pluses. When it comes to lighter to neutral medium shades, one and done seems to be true to their claim. I can easily not apply during the workday and still have enough color on at 5:00.

Cons: For brighter reds and wines like the blogger favorite Fly Girl, however, the inside does wear off after a few hours leaving an unglamorous outline on your lips. Also, the lipsense colors tend to be drying on your lips so definitely use a little of the gloss on your lips at bedtime.

Overall Verdict: All in all lip sense is a good find, but I find myself wearing more neutral berry and clay colored shades more than my Fly Girl Red or Wine shades. I would definitely invest in the Glossy Gloss which really helps with staying power and combat the drying effect of the lipsense. I’d skip the Ooops eraser.


Where to Buy

If you don’t already know a LipSense dealer, check out ours!

Sunshine Foster, Sassy Sense by Sunshine

Christen Chandler, The Perfectly Painted Pout


Brutally Honest Lipsense Review


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  • Reply
    Krystal Deger
    September 23, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Great post! Thank you for the pros and cons 🙂

  • Reply
    December 20, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    I get what you mean about the ‘addicting’ part to buying more colors. I’ve bought 5, but I find myself favoring only Bella and Sassy Z.

    Four years later, are you still using Lipsense, or have you moved on?

    I kinda stopped using mine for nearly 2 years (eep), but decided to revisit them again for the holidays (hello Mulled Wine).

    • Reply
      Sarah | The Modern Mamanista
      December 20, 2020 at 8:54 pm

      Bella, Mulled Wine and Apple Cider are faves of mine! I work in a school and have to wear a mask every day to work so I haven’t worn much lipsense this year but I do break it out on occassion! I’ve been tempted to refresh my stash of lipsense though!

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