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- A lip primer is a lip makeup base that hydrates lips and makes the color stay put without creasing, feathering, or bleeding.
- There are different types of lip primers, like pencils, stick primers, crayons, mattifying, plumping, and multi-purpose products.
Lip primers are an elegant and efficient solution to your most common makeup issues with wearing lipstick. Dry, chapped, peeling, flaky lips are no more! The very best lip primer will help you be confident when wearing your favorite lipstick, as it locks in the color, hydrates, reduced fading and feathering and makes sure that your lips are looking soft and luscious for hours on end.
There are so many of them on the market, and it can get rather overwhelming when you have to pick a lip primer that suits your specific needs. This is why we have put together this list of 15 lip primers that are the best of the best, so you can find your holy grail.
Your Guide to Lip Primers: Contents
- 15 Best Lip Primers for Every Budget
- What Is a Lip Primer and What Does It Do?
- Lip Primer Benefits: Do You Really Need One?
- How to Use a Lip Primer
15 Best Lip Primers for Every Budget
From affordable options to multi-taskers, below, we have rounded up the best lip primers worth giving a try.
1. Best Overall: Guerlain KissKiss Liplift Lipstick Primer
As if this primer’s gorgeous gilded metal case isn’t enough to fall in love with it, Guerlain’s lip primer is the first one of its kind in a stick form. It plumps your lips, smooths them, and then holds the color of your lipstick so superbly that you don’t have to retouch it at all during the day.
The new formula of the primer contains microbeads that expand on the lips, making them appear more voluminous. Customers especially love the fact that it’s colorless and fragrance-free and keeps their lips plump and moisturized. It is on the pricier side, but it lasts a really long time, so it’s definitely a great investment. Grab it online at Nordstrom or Sephora!
2. Best Lightweight: Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Primer
Anastasia’s lip primer, encased in elegant black packaging, is a great stick lip primer, which is very convenient, considering that it’s much easier to coat the lips evenly this way. It’s sheer and goes on smoothly, so it can be used both as a lip primer and a conditioning treatment for dry and chapped lips.
Do take into consideration that if you have chronically dry or chapped lips, this primer isn’t the best solution for tackling these issues, but it works perfectly as a primer on moderately dry lips preventing color bleeds and feathering. Pick it up online at Sephora or Amazon!
3. Best Hydrating: MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Lip
There’s no need to introduce MAC as a brand, as most of us are used to the fact that they have superb products most professionals choose to use too. However, let us introduce you to MAC’s lip primer that aims to provide long-term hydrating benefits to your lips so that they feel and look good.
Prep + Prime Lip refines the look of your lips in one go, which makes any lipstick you put on afterward look smooth and attractive. This product is fragrance- and oil-free, along with being dermatologically tested to suit even sensitive lips. It’s available for purchase at MAC Cosmetics and Nordstrom.
4. Best Drugstore: NYX Professional Makeup Lip Primer
NYX calls this product a superhero for lips. We have to concur with their assessment, as it definitely does the job it’s intended for. This primer in a pencil form improves the appearance of lip color and makes sure that it does not bleed. We really love this lip primer because it prevents stains that can sometimes occur when wearing darker lipstick shades. Not only that, but it also helps with lipsticks that tend to leave streaks when applied. Pick it up online at Ulta or Amazon!
5. Best Plumping: e.l.f. Lip Primer & Plumper
There’s not many of us out there who don’t want plumper lips, and when a single product offers that in addition to perfect priming, it’s fair to call it one of the best lip primer products on the market. It’s a dual-sided product with one side being a plumper and the other one a lipstick primer.
This vegan lip primer ensures a perfect base for your favorite color. It won’t make your lipstick smudge or bleed. The Plumper stick is cinnamon-scented, so if you prefer a fragrance-free product, this might not be your perfect choice; however, the scent is far from being overwhelming. For such a low price, this is definitely a steal. Find it online on Amazon!
6. Best Multi-Purpose: Urban Decay Ultimate Ozone Multipurpose Primer Pencil
This multi-purpose lip primer comes in pencil form and simply glides onto the lips without effort. This product’s consistency is creamy, and it goes on clear when you apply it so that your lipstick retains its exact shade.
Thanks to jojoba oil included in the formula, your lips will be nourished and moisturized all day long. The primer goes well with both lipstick and lip gloss. You can even fill in fine lines, conceal blemishes and clean up small makeup errors with this wonder in a stick! Pick it up online at Sephora!
7. Best Conditioning: Tom Ford Lip Lock Priming Balm
Tom Ford’s lip priming balm is infused with vitamin E to deliver the ultimate hydration to your lips. It will refine them and prepare to cling to your chosen color product. The price is on the heftier side, but we know from personal experience that it lasts a really long time.
Buyers seem to really appreciate the formula, as it can be used as a conditioning treatment that provides long-term hydration. When applied as a primer, it will leave your lips slightly tacky (in a good way) to lock down the lipstick color. It’s formulated without parabens, silicone, mineral oils, or alcohol. Get it from Nordstrom!
8. Best Matte: Grande Cosmetics GrandeLIPS Plumping Lip Primer
If you’re not into glossy finishes or lip glosses, this is the best lip primer you’ve been waiting for. It has a matte finish but also plumps lips without any tingling or stinging, as it may be the case with other plumping products.
It does this with the help of hyaluronic acid and Volulip, which also ensure there are no visible lines and wrinkles before you apply color to your lips. It will prolong your lipstick’s vibrancy and longevity for up to four hours while simultaneously nourishing them. You will find no sulfates, parabens, gluten in this primer, and it’s also cruelty-free. Pick it up on Sephora!
9. Best against Feathering: Trish McEvoy Flawless Lip Primer
Don’t you just hate it when your pencil-shaped products go dull, and you have to either buy a separate sharpener or toss it out? Well, no chance of that happening with this lip primer, as it has a built-in sharpener to help you with the most precise application.
It’s colorless and made to be applied thinly over the lips to provide the ultimate base for color products without the fear of feathering or fading. You can use this primer under lip glosses also or simply as a moisturizing balm. It’s available at Nordstrom.
10. Best Exfoliating: Fresh Sugar Wonder Drops Lip Primer
Now, this is a lip primer that definitely goes outside the box as a first of its kind, no-rinse AHA-exfoliant for your lips. The gel formula of this product is water-based and applied with a dropper. With a single drop at a time, simply massage onto your clean lips and wait for the liquid to absorb before going in with a lip color. If you’re looking for a primer but are afraid of over-drying your already dry lips with uneven texture, Wonder Drops will definitely be your best friend. Get it from Sephora!
11. Best Two-in-One: Giorgio Armani Prima Lip & Eye Contour Perfector
A lip primer and eye treatment in one product that targets dark circles and puffiness? Well, where has this been all our lives? This timer and perfector, as Armani calls it, is a perfect addition to your daily routine.
When applied as a lip primer, it ensures that your lip contour is smooth and lips ready for extended color wear. If you dab a bit of the formula under your eyes, buyers claim that it does wonders for diminishing the dark circles and reducing puffiness. The tube is tiny, so we can’t exactly say that the price is as awesome as the product, but hey, it actually works! Grab it online at Nordstrom!
12. Best for Color Intensity: Make Up For Ever Step 1: Skin Equalizer Eye & Lip Primer
Another multi-purpose lip primer, but this one primes your lips and your lids! It’s a unique product that ensures that the color of your lipstick or eyeshadow truly pops.
Although 24-hour wear claims are a bit exaggerated, we can confidently say that this primer does hold the color extremely well and for a prolonged period of time. The texture provides a crease-free canvas to work on and even fill out the fine lines that are the quickest to peek through during the day. It’s available at Sephora.
13. Best Long-Lasting: Lime Crime Ghost Veil Lip Primer
Ghost Veil acts like a shield to protect your lips from all those pesky issues like color fading, flaking, or feathering. With a sheer pink formula, the veil will glide on and stay there.
This is one of those products where less is definitely more. Don’t overdo the amount you put on, as you will end up with a sticky pout. You can use whichever lip color finish you want, as this little wonder-in-a-bottle works amazing with matte, gloss, cream, or sheer finishes. Find it for sale at Ulta!
14. Best Vegan: Bite Beauty Line & Define Vegan Lip Primer
This multifaceted lip primer is jam-packed with amazing ingredients such as jackfruit extract and kiwi seed oil that will nourish and soothe your lips while keeping your lip color in check. Not only does it prime your lips beautifully, but it also acts as a lip liner to prevent any potential color bleeding outside of the contours of your lips.
Peppermint oil gives it a scrumptious scent that might be overpowering to some, but most buyers have said that the scent didn’t bother them, as it tends to dissipate rather quickly. Get it from Sephora!
15. Best Budget: Maybelline Prime It Up Multi-Benefit Lip Primer
The last lip primer on our list has a slightly drier texture, so it’s perfectly suited for lip glosses or more creamy lipstick finishes. It’s in pencil form, however, it doesn’t come with a sharpener, so you’ll have to buy it separately if you want that precise line bordering your lips.
Prime It Up works wonders to extend the longevity of your lip color without drying you out. Buyers have reported that it sometimes leaves tiny clumps upon application, but they smooth out without issues with a lipstick brush or just a finger. Buy it now on Amazon!
What Is a Lip Primer and What Does It Do?
A lip primer is a base for lipsticks that acts as an invisible layer to protect lips from over-drying from lip color products while at the same time making sure that the color doesn’t smudge or bleed. Another function of lip primers is to enhance the intensity of color and prolong the longevity of wear.
Lip primers come in a variety of formulas and textures and with different added benefits, as you’re able to see on our list above.
A lip primer is similar to your face or eyeshadow primer in its effect, and, as we’re sure you know, it can make or break your overall look. By introducing a lip primer into your regular makeup routine, you’ll be surprised at how much you can refine and elevate the look of your lips.
Lip Primer Benefits: Do You Really Need One?
Is a lip primer something you absolutely need in your makeup routine? We would argue – yes!
However, if you still need convincing, let us give you a quick rundown of the key lip primer benefits so you can decide if it’s worth adding as another step in your routine.
- Smooth lip base without dry patches or fine lines
- No bleeding or feathering of lip color
- The lipstick doesn’t crease even with long wear
- Lip color lasts for a long time without fading
- Lips are moisturized and nourished
How to Use a Lip Primer
Here are the essential steps you need to take to use your lip primer efficiently so that you’ll end up with a perfect result each and every time.
Step 1: Exfoliate Your Lips
The single best thing you can do for your lips to keep them smooth and healthy-looking is to exfoliate regularly, just as you would your face or body. It leaves the surface of the lips clear of dead cells, which is essential for a long-lasting lipstick or lip gloss color.
Some lip primers double as an exfoliant, so you won’t have to buy one separately, although it’s easy enough to even make your own with a bit of sugar and honey.
Step 2: Apply Lip Balm
If the primer you have chosen is slightly drier in texture or dries to a matte finish, you’ll want to apply a very thin coat of lip balm to calm down your lips after exfoliation and prevent further dehydration.
Step 3: Apply Lip Primer
Take your lip primer and apply a thin layer onto your lips. Make sure that you don’t overdo the amount of product you apply, as you can easily end up with a sticky mess that doesn’t do the job.
Depending on your lipstick primer, you’ll have to wait a couple of seconds for it to dry before going in with a lip color so that you get all the benefits you’re looking forward to.
Step 4: Apply Lip Color
This is the step where you use a lip liner in the shade of your lipstick, or if you have a lip primer in pencil form, you can skip the liner.
Now simply smooth your lip color over your lips in whichever texture and finish you have chosen. Make sure you don’t go over the lip line for the best result.
Step 5: Blot with a Tissue
Don’t skip this step if you want your lips to be correctly set. Just take a paper tissue and gently pat your lips to soak up any extra lip color product.
And there you have it – your lips are now ready for a close-up selfie.
Photos via Instagram