If you know anything about me, you know I love makeup- specifically, lipstick. I have far too much of it and I’m not the type of person who is shy of a lipstick color. Matte, shimmer, glitter, satin, gloss, velvet, metallic, you name the finish, I have it. I love to try all different brands from Essence to Kat Von D to Giorgio Armani. Every formula is different and they all have pros and cons.
Recently, a lipstick called LipSense has been circulating around the internet. When I first saw LipSense, I saw the video of the girl who showed all different colors and types of conditions that LipSense claims to stay on in. She was drinking wine, rubbing her lips together, getting in the pool- you get the drift. I couldn’t really believe it and decided to pass. I had just purchased a long lasting Rimmel lipstick and figured it was the same type of thing.
Fast forward a few weeks and my friend Ashley mentioned that she had a friend, Tami, who sold it and she was going to try it. She bought the starter kit (more on that below) and tested it out. She fell in LOVE with it. I went ahead and purchased a couple of colors since she recommended it so highly and I was definitely impressed. Tami sent me a few more colors recently, so I wanted to go ahead and give you guys a detailed run down on all things LipSense. This will not be your average review. I’m going to cover as much as I can- cost, colors, finishes, pros, cons, tips, and comparisons. And, of course, I will show you guys swatches of the colors I have. If you want to find out if LipSense is the right lipstick for you, grab a snack and keep reading- this may be a long one.
First things first- what the heck is LipSense?
LipSense is one of the many makeup products in the SeneGence brand. It is sold through Independent distributors, mainly through social media and websites. As for the product itself, Basically, it’s a lipstick that bonds to your lips at a molecular level for long wear. It is applied in three or more thin layers. The first layer is to bond to your lips, the second layer protects the first layer and adds color, and the third layer protects the second layer to ensure adequate wear time. From there, you can continue to add layers until you reach a the color intensity you desire (more on this later). Once you apply the layers, seal in your color with any of their glosses. LipSense is cruelty free and vegan. Lipsense can last up to 18 hours with no reapplication, smudging- nothing. You can literally drink from a white coffee cup and there will be zero residue on the lid.
Colors and Finishes
Before going into finishes, which we’re going to talk about first, I want to point out that a color finish and a gloss finish are two different things. Remember how I said all applications have to be finished with a gloss? The gloss type will determine the real finish of your application BUT, just like a lipstick or lip gloss can have a different finish, so can LipSense colors. LipSense comes in a TON of colors and both matte (solid color) and shimmer (just what it sounds like) finish. There is also a limited edition finish call the Diamond finish that has very fine diamond dust which gives it a very subtle shimmer. There are also 11 types of glosses that are offered. The most popular is the glossy gloss. A Glossy gloss top coat will leave your lips looking glossy. So a matte color with a Glossy top coat will be a solid, glossy lip with no shimmer. A shimmer or diamond color with a Glossy top coat will be a glossy, shimmery lip. It’s like a finish beneath a finish- FINISH-CEPTION. Another popular gloss is the Matte gloss which dries matte and will make your final finish a matte finish. They also have glitter glosses, shimmer glosses, and tinted glosses.
Now, onto the colors. There are 36 colors to choose from ranging from cool toned nudes to bright pinks to corals to blue reds to warm browns. The colors I have are as follows:
Bombshell (mine is the Diamond finish- but this is available in a non-limited edition finish as well)
Apple Cider (Matte)
Burnt Orange (Matte)
One thing that makes LipSense really cool is that, because you have to use three layers and a gloss for application, you can mix colors to create different colors. You don’t have to have three layers of one color, you just need three layers. Some of my favorite combinations are:
- Two Apple Cider, One Bella
- One Bella, One Bombshell, One Bella.
- Two Burnt Orange, One Cranberry
- Two Raisin, One Bombshell
And you could honestly go on and on- and I only have seven colors. If you have even just 3 colors, you can make 27 different color combinations!
The last thing to mention as far as actual product goes is the Oops Remover. This is how you get the color off at the end of the day. Just use it like a lip gloss, let the remover sit for a few seconds, wipe it off and repeat until the color is no longer on your lips. I’ve also used a makeup wipe and some elbow grease. That’s not the most ideal method but it works in a pinch. A slightly painful, exfoliating pinch. Others have used the Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Bar (transparent and orange) to get it off as well. I haven’t used that yet so I can’t speak to it, but I’ve heard and seen good results.
Now, for the pros, cons, and tips.
I feel like these all intertwine so I wanted to put them together. The first pro is that, yes, LipSense does last a lot time. The con is that it takes a little bit of practice to figure out the best way to apply it. Here are my main tips.
- Before applying, exfoliate your lips and apply the color onto lips that are dry to the touch. I recommend using a toothbrush to exfoliate.
- Some people have lips that peel more than others and that’s ok. If you find that is the case for you, try using your gloss before bed to keep your lips hydrated with NON-waxy products.
- For all colors- except dark ones- use thin layers. The thicker the layer, the more likely it’s going to flake.
Dark colors can look patchy when applied in thin layers, so apply with thicker layers and use your hair dryer to dry these.
- Allow enough drying time between layers. If you apply a second layer while the first is wet, the color will move. This means you can’t swipe back and forth. This was a tough habit for me to break but it makes a HUGE difference. Let the layers dry! Some people use a hair dryer on the cool setting, I just do other parts of my makeup between layer applications.
- If you want more color, add more layers, but be aware that there is a fine line between just enough and too many. In my experience, three to four layers yields the best color and time result. Most of these colors are pretty bold after three layers, as they’re supposed to be. Some colors, though, could use an extra layer and I find that I start to lose wear time as I creep towards the five and six layer mark. I hypothesize it’s because the color is adhering to itself and not my lips at this point which make it easier to flake off.
- Keep in mind that every color will react differently with everyone as far as true color and wear time goes. This is because the first layer is literally reacting with the pH level of your skin. My friend Ashley can wear Bravo all day long. Bravo tends to crack 5-6 hours after application for me (still not a horrible wear time), but I applied Burnt Orange 9 hours ago and it’s still flawless.
- To maximize wear time for all colors, apply your gloss often. The glosses are moisturizing for your lips so they won’t peel (which they do daily and you may just not realize it) and they also protect the color. Prime times to gloss are before meals and every couple of hours if you remember.
- The first layer may tingle, a bit like alcohol, and that is TOTALLY normal. This is due to the cosmetic alcohol that is in the product which gives it it’s long shelf life. It is short lived and it happens if your lips are not sufficiently moisturized. Once your gloss is on, that feeling will go away.
Now, let’s talk cost and comparisons.
When you first purchase LipSense, you have to purchase a color, a gloss, and the remover. Makes sense, since you need the color and gloss for it to work the way it needs to. This starter kit is $55. On their own, most colors are $25 (limited edition ones- like my Bombshell Diamond- are $30), most glosses are $20, and the Oops Remover is $10. There is .25 fluid ounces (7.4 ml) of product in each tube. Here are some comparisons of products that are similar in their performance and performance claims:
- Yves Saint Laurent’s Vinyl Cream Lip Stain retails for $36 with .18 fluid ounces of product in each container.
- Giorgio Armani Beauty’s Lip Maestro retails for $38 with .22 fluid ounces of product in each container.
- Twoo Faced’s Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick retails for $21 with .4 fluid ounces of product in each container.
- Smashbox O-GLOSS retails for $25 with .34 fluid ounces of product in each container.
One thing I am going to mention since I know it will be asked is, yes, the system over all is $45 for a color and a gloss. If you purchase ONLY one color and one gloss, the price is a bit steep. HOWEVER, it is important to note that these lip colors to not require as many re-applications throughout the course of the day, so the cost isn’t any different than any other high end, long lasting lip color. It may actually be a better deal since LipSense expires three years after it’s opened and your average lipstick will expire in 1-2 years. LipSense tubes also contain the equivalent amount of uses as 3-4 tubes of lipstick.The more colors you buy, the better of a deal it is since you can use the same gloss for each color.
Alright, now onto the burning question- what has been my experience with LipSense?
Overall, my experience has been a good one. I wish I had a comprehensive guide in one place (kind of like this one) when I started because I did a lot of searching and a lot of trial and error before I figured it out. I really like the colors I have and Tami has been incredible as far as customer service goes. After I first purchased, she asked how I liked my colors and I mentioned that one of them was giving me trouble. She offered to let me send it back and exchange it for a new color even though I’d already used it- AWESOME! I didn’t end up exchanging it because I found a way to make it work (again, trial and error), but it was so awesome of her to offer that.
My favorite gloss is the Glossy gloss. I wear it all the time. Because I wear it all the time, it does get used up much more quickly than the color. I got my first order in January and have about ¼ of the glossy tube left with every day use- usually multiple times per day. My most used color so far is Bravo and I’ve used it probably 5-6 times and honestly I can’t tell it’s been used. The colors last a long time. As far as comfort goes, it is comfortable to wear as long as you don’t over do it on the layers. You start to feel it once you get into the 5-6 layer range, as I mentioned before.
Overall, I would recommend LipSense to pretty much anyone and here’s why:
- To the lipstick junkie, this offers long time wear in lots of colors. Basically a dream. Go crazy with the color selection and make those custom colors!
- To the lipstick dabbler, it’s great for events and long days. You don’t have to continue to forget to reapply that red lipstick at your event because it won’t come off in the first place.
- To the lipstick newbie/not so bold- the nudes are a GREAT way to get into lipstick since you have something that is low maintenance.
If you’re curious as to what colors to even start with, try a nude and a bold color. Apple Cider is an all around favorite and apparently the Blu Red is to die for. My personal favorites are Bella, Burnt Orange, and Bombshell! If you want to order LipSense or have any questions that I haven’t answered, head over to Tami’s facebook page!