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The holidays are a busy time, and when you have people to see (and Brie-topped crostini to eat), the last thing you want is to worry about whether or not your lipstick has worn off into that dreaded ring around your lips. So, in the spirit of giving, we tested a variety of formulas to see which ones fared best through multiple sips and bites. Here, our six standbys.

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Rimmel Provocalips 16 Hour Kiss Proof Lip Color

With a name like that, one hopes it will actually deliver. Good news: It does. We’re going to attribute its supernaturally long wear time to the clear gloss on the other end of the tube that, in addition to adding a nice sheen to our lips, acts like a topcoat for color. We had zero flaking or feathering after one latte, three cups of water, an apple and a rather oily vinaigrette-dressed salad (and that was just during the day). 

Rimmel ($6)


Tatcha Kyoto Red Lipstick

With a creamy application that can only be described as hugging your lips, this luxe lipstick feels comfortable from the moment you put it on until the moment you take it off. We once wore it to a party that started around six and didn’t reapply until at least ten. (To be fair, we sipped our way through a good number of drinks by that point.)

Tatcha ($55)


Wet n’ Wild MegaLast Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipstick

Not too watery or too thick, this drugstore classic was a pleasant surprise for us. The color payoff is great (one swipe gives complete coverage), and it clocked an impressive five hours before it started to wear. Even then, the only real issue we had was a bit of dryness, but it’s nothing a swipe of lip balm couldn’t fix.

Wet n’ Wild ($5)


Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution

If it’s good enough for Kate Moss and Penelope Cruz, it’s good enough for us. In all seriousness though, this lipstick is one of our favorites—full stop. It goes on super smooth, makes our lips look plush, and fades evenly (into a soft stain, rather than a patchy ring that’s common with many matte formulas).

Charlotte Tilbury ($34)


Armani Lip Maestro Lip Stain

Number of pigs-in-a-blanket it took before we needed to reapply this lipstick: We’d rather not say, but it’s in the six to seven range. (Hey, they’re not that big.) Durability aside, what we loved most about the formula was the shiny (but not too shiny) finish it leaves behind. We’d recommend this for ladies who are prone to dryness.

Giorgio Armani ($38)


NARS PowerMatte Lip Pigment

The first thing we noticed about this lipstick was how thin the consistency was (like a gel bordering on liquid, rather than a cream). This, as it turns out, is a very good thing if you’re looking for longevity. The key is to apply it quickly (with confidence!) before it has a chance to set because once it does, it will not budge without actual makeup remover. Luckily, the pointy applicator makes this easy to accomplish.

NARS ($26)

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