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The Best Lipsticks for Drinking

The Best Lipsticks for Drinking

Women no doubt want to look fabulous while holding a flute of Champagne or a sexy Martini, and what better way than to don a killer lipstick shade? That’s all well and good, until mid-date, you find more lipstick on your glass than on your lips. Shimmying out of the corner booth or off a bar stool to high-tale it to the powder room, clutch in hand, may not be 1) possible in the snug environs of New York or 2) your top desire with the conversation is going just where you want it. Who wants to murder the vibe with a trip to the bathroom?

The other option that comes to mind is to re-apply right where you are, which to many, is a rather crass move. As Emily Post says, “Personal grooming should be done in private." That means you don’t pull out the mirror and lipstick at the bar. Though that may be outdated to some, I do think women like to maintain the mystery of their looks, even if it’s obvious to their date that the bold red lips are not her going au naturel. Even after being married for years, I still truck it to the nearest lavatory to touch up my makeup.

To save you from your own vanity (and keep you on course) here are three tested lipsticks for an evening of Champagne and Martinis.

The Best: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick


This lipstick, which comes in 21 shades, acts more like a stain, lasting through at least a few drinks before you need to reapply. It’s super comfortable to wear and keeps your lips feeling lush. I don these for pretty much every girls’ night, wine club, industry tasting, drinks-focused date night, work dinner, and even my at-home cocktail parties. They just STAY ON, hence the name. When I was an editor at The Knot, I voted these for the bridal beauty awards, because I can see the staying power potential for getting a bride through her wedding day. My go-to shades are “Fiery” for a classic vibrant red, “Bacca” for a sultry pink, and “Fiore” for a poppy, daytime pink.

The Runner Up: Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil


Like the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks, these lipsticks have major staying power. It actually looks like a crayon, so you can literally draw it on your lips—in any of the 28 colors. The main reasons they didn’t win are two-fold: 1) It doesn’t maintain its shape in the way the Stila does, as it’s applied as a pencil rather than a wand with liquid, and 2) It can be a bit drying to your lips. Over a long wear, you’ll find your lips quite parched by the end. If your lips are even remotely chapped to begin with, it with certainly show through the colors. While I do wear these for some drinking occasions, I make sure the event is only a few hours long rather than an entire evening or day. There is only so much a lip mask can do!

The Honorable Mention: MAC Matte Lipstick

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When have you ever used a MAC product and not liked its staying power? MAC’s range of lipsticks, including the Lustre, Retro Matte, and Viva Glam, also offer long-wearing support, as evidenced by my experience donning these for everything from my wedding weekend to dinner dates. There are 48 shades in the Matte collection alone, meaning you’ll have a choice selection to match whatever you’re wearing. In fact, my all-time favorite red lipstick is the MAC Matte Russian Red. Since they do tend to wear off more easily than the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, I reserve these for events where I know I’ll need to freshen up in the ladies lounge: ie. dinner parties. No matter how amazing the lipstick, nothing holds up to food like it can a crystal wine glass.

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