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How To Keep Lipstick On, No Matter What

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Elizabeth Arden & Fresh

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Too Faced

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Estée Lauder

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MAC

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Make Up For Ever

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Chanel

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Elizabeth Arden & Fresh

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Too Faced

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Estée Lauder

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MAC

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Make Up For Ever

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Chanel

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Do you ever find yourself out at dinner, on a date, or chatting someone up, trying your best to maintain thoughtful conversation when your mind is really just focused on a pesky voice inside your head telling you to check your lipstick? All those sips of your drink, the bites of your entrée, and maybe some light smooching (you go!), and you have to wonder if your lips look anything like they did during those precious moments right after application. Chances are no; instead of perfectly luscious lips, you have an awkward heavy line around the outside and the center is nearly devoid of pigment, or at best, clinging to a light, patchy tint. So what can you do instead of sneakily using your phone as an impromptu mirror; asking friends, “How’s my lipstick?!”; or running off to the little girls' room any chance you get? How can you make it stay put? We have your five-step program right here:

Step One : Prep your surface. Exfoliate! Hydrate! Clean! If you know you’re going to be wearing some color in the near future and want to ensure the perfect canvas, avoid peeling and flaky lips by drinking lots of water and being heavy handed with your tube of Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream throughout the day. And even if your lips are looking their smoothest, a good exfoliating sesh with Fresh’s Sugar Lip Polish or a soft toothbrush à la Harry Brant are the best ways to clean away dead skin (gross) and buff off microscopic bumps.

Step Two : Now the actual application begins. To ensure long-lasting wear, a primer is key. (Primers, they're not just a marketing ploy!) With a few swipes of the Too Faced Lip Insurance Lip Primer wand, you’ll have the optimal adhesive surface, making for easy application and all-day/night wear.

Step Three : Lip liner is back—not necessarily in the brownish outline trend of the ‘90s, but rather as a base layer for the upcoming ‘stick. Choose a color similar to your lipstick, then line and fill in your lips as if that was all you were going to do. BUT IT'S NOT! The liner acts as another primer, so both are not necessary, but extra protection never hurt anyone.

Step Four : Lipstick! Instead of slapping on one thick layer, a few thin swipes, blotting in between, will give you a more permanent lock on your color of choice. Matte sticks like MAC’s formula and NARS' Pure Matte Lipsticks tend to stay better.

Step Five : Much like setting the rest of your makeup, adding a thin layer of Make Up For Ever’s HD High Definition Powder , or any translucent powder, will help set the hue and avoid dreaded lipstick marks on your coffee mug.

And while this is all well and good, perhaps you don’t have the patience for five steps. In that case, Chanel’s amazing freak of a product— Rouge Double Intensité Ultra Wear Lip Colour—looks just like lipstick but acts as a stain. It lasts for hours without any rub-off, and can be removed pretty easily with a bit of Créaline. So, there's that option.

Now you're ready to do whatever you want with your painted lips without fear of crazy mouth. Happy Hump Day.

Photos by Mathea Millman.