I Tried It: LipSense

This lipstick isn’t going anywhere.

Photo by Eliza Berkon

That moment when you set your ceramic travel mug down and first notice the horror: a paper-thin blot of mauve that was just ripped from your lips has defaced your mug’s pristine surface like amateur graffiti.

The questions rush in: How soon will you need to reapply? Should you scrub your cup now, or will it merely continue to get soiled with repeated sips? How much petroleum did you just suck down with your caffeine?

About a year into really wearing lipstick—maybe not every day but on a regular enough basis to be considered someone who wears lipstick—I’ve had to get serious about all aspects: hue, consistency, glossiness quotient and, most importantly, staying power. It’s been an arduous journey, putting both my wallet and my mouth through months of trauma, but I’ve finally come to a point of Zen with the discovery of one particular product: LipSense.

I remember the exact moment I first witnessed its glory. Some friends and I were about to step out for a girls’ night and were enjoying a glass of wine in someone’s kitchen before leaving. One of my friends pulled a couple of navy and gold tubes from her purse and slathered on several layers of sticky stuff.

“Is that lip gloss warmed over from the ’80s?” I asked.

(I need to dedicate an entire paragraph here to detail just how horrendous the packaging is. With a serif font better suited to a Renaissance fair poster than a luxury beauty product and a plastic tube aesthetically bested by Bonne Belle, the presentation is abysmal.)

“No, it’s LipSense—it stays on all day,” she said, before flashing me a sparkling smile. (No, I mean it really sparkled.)

I cornered her, peppering her with questions about distribution, pricing info, application tips, shade variations—I had to know everything and know it fast. She referred me to her friend in Alabama, whom I promptly PMed on Facebook.

The first hurdle was choosing a shade, of which there are nearly 40. Angst and anxiety quickly set in. I messaged my new beauty consultant, who proceeded to tag me in all sorts of posts with varying colors. Precious Topaz! Fire-N-Ice! Dawn Rising! I had to put the phone down.

I ultimately settled on Beige Champagne ($25) and Glossy Gloss ($20) and waited for the cushioned envelope to land in my mailbox.

The application took a few tries to get the hang of, but it was generally pretty fool-proof. As instructed, I scrubbed my lips (using my fave Tarte lip scrub) the morning of and then gave myself some time to lick off the extra sugar and maracuja oil. A while later in the car, I popped open my visor mirror and embarked on step two: painting on three thin coats of color. I was struck by the tingliness of the product along with its pleasant floral scent. I then layered on one coat of gloss. The color was rich and the consistency not too sticky with a nice sheen. But the real test was about to come.

As I walked into the office and sat down at my desk, I had never felt such trepidation about taking a sip of coffee. I took a deep breath, sprayed a little lavender oil and reached for my Best Day Ever mug to take a swig of decaf. I slowly pulled the cup away from my lips and just barely peeked at the lid area.

No sign of color.

I gave it a full stare. Still no sign of color. Nothing. I grabbed my Starbucks napkin and blotted my lips. No color there either. I popped open my compact. The product still remained exactly where I’d left it.

I had done it—finally found the unfindable. And it was mine to keep and savor.

Now I’d just need to order some more colors.