How to Make Your Holiday Lips Last

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned about the holidays throughout the years, it’s that family and friends tend to be extra affectionate. I’m never one to shy away from this, but if you’re anything like me and wear a bit more makeup for holiday events than you usually do, then you know this can be a little bit of a struggle. I know that I always am constantly aware if my face or lips accidentally touch someone’s clothes and leave a dreaded smear of evidence behind. Particularly this time of year when I like to rock a bold lip, I never want my red or plum lip color to rub off on someone or something that they’re wearing! But, have no fear. I’m here to share how to make your holiday lips last so you can hug, kiss, eat and drink your way through the holiday smudge-free!

How to Make Your Holiday Lips Last

With any long wear lip color, especially dark or bold colors, it’s so important to start with a lip exfoliate. Not only will this get rid of any cracks or dry patches on your lips, it also will help the lip color apply smoother and absorb better into your lips. I’ve been using this sugar lip scrub for years, but this drugstore product is a great budget-friendly option.

Next up, line your lips with a clear/transparent lip liner. This will prevent your lip color from bleeding outside your lip line and keep everything in place. My favorite is the Rimmel Moisture Renew Universal Transparent Lipliner.

How to Make Your Holiday Lips Last - Rimmel Moisture Renew Universal Transparent Lipliner

Now it’s time for another lip liner! Line your lips (again) this time with a liner that closely matches your lipstick color of choice. Here I’m using Rimmel Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner in Ravish.

How to Make Your Holiday Lips Last - Rimmel Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner in Ravish

Once you have the liner smoothed out and your lip shape the way that you want it (gotta love that you can cheat a little with lip liner!), go ahead and entirely fill in your lips with the liner. This will act as a solid base for your lipstick and will help keep your lip color looking fresh throughout the day/night as you eat, drink, etc. I sometimes do this step and then just pop a gloss on top since I love the effect that a filled in lip liner can give!

Keep in mind that if you’re doing a nude lip, you may choose to skip this step. However, I find that even filling in my lips with a nude liner before applying my lipstick still helps the longevity of the product.

How to Make Your Holiday Lips Last - Rimmel Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner in Ravish

Now just simply go over your filled in lips with your lipstick! I’m using the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella. It was the Sephora birthday gift a year (or two?) ago, and it still remains one of my favorite red lip colors.

How to Make Your Holiday Lips Last - NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

We’re almost there! I know that this seems like a lot of steps, but I promise you that it’s worth it to make your holiday lips last. These next two and final steps are probably the most important of the whole process.

After applying your final lipstick color, give your lips a good blot with a tissue.

How to Make Your Holiday Lips Last - blot

And, last but not least, take the same tissue or a clean one and gently press it against your lips. With a fluffy brush, pick up a small amount of loose translucent powder (this one is my pick) and pat it over the tissue/your lips. I’m still not exactly sure why or how this trick works, but it does! The powder will set your lips into place and remove any additional excess.

Fun fact – I was dying laughing while Ryan tried to take this picture of me. No matter what I did, I just thought it looked funny. Gotta love what we do for beauty!

How to Make Your Holiday Lips Last - set with loose powder

That’s it! You’re finally done and ready for a night with smudge- and budge-proof lips.

How to Make Your Holiday Lips Last

How do you get your lips holiday ready? Any other tricks to keep your lip color in place?
Psst … also check out Day-to-Night Holiday Lips with Neutrogena.

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  • Biana Perez

    Ive never tried that last step with the translucent powder – such a great idea! I love a good bold red lip – so pretty! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  • Debra Stachelski

    What a pretty red lip and thanks for all the tips! I know I can’t wait to hug and kiss you myself!

  • Christina Sotherden

    I love holiday lips and need a lipliner for sure!

  • First, EYES. Girl- your eyes are GORGEOUS. Love these tips- I always just slap lipstick on, never taking the time to make it last. These don’t seem like they’d be too much extra to do at all! Need to invest in lip liner!

    • You are too sweet! I actually hated how my eye makeup turned out this day, but I didn’t have time/didn’t feel like redoing it. Ha! These steps really do help your lip color last. Rimmel, L’Oreal and NYX lip liners are my favorite, so you don’t have to break the bank!

  • So I’ve never thought of putting a translucent powder on my lips before, but that’s such an ingenious idea! I mean it sets makeup, why wouldn’t it set your lips too! And I’ve always heard that lining your lips is a best practice, but I never do it! I need to try it out!

    • Right?! Translucent powder is such a versatile makeup product/tool. It really does help set your lips for whatever reason!

  • This is the perfect red on you– such gorgeous photos! I love a red or dark lip during the winter but struggle with it not going out of my lines, so I need to practice more with lip liner!

    • So sweet, thanks, girl! I think a clear lip liner would really help keep your lip color from bleeding – I know that it has helped me a ton!

  • Gorgeous as always, such a beautiful red on you! I definitely should start applying a translucent powder to my lipstick, awesome idea <3

    Green Fashionista

  • You are so gorgeous! And I totally learned something from these photos. I didn’t even know transparent liner existed. Thanks for sharing!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • You are so sweet, thank you! And, yes – a transparent liner is a must if you like to wear bold or bright lip colors. It has helped me so much!

  • The same! I love red SO much for the holidays.

  • The powder trick is my go-to when I want my lipstick to last! You look gorgeous in Cruella, babe!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

  • So pretty I love it! I have that NARS pencil too, it lasts for hours!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • this is brilliant! you are so right though, holidays make everyone extra affectionate and that’s not good for makeup lol.

    • I know. I’m like I want to hug and kiss you, but I also just spent two hours on my makeup. Sooo … 😉