The Best Lip Primer – 2018 Reviews & Top Picks
In line with our mission to be your top source for all things skin-related, we’ve dedicated a week of research to find you the best lip primer products. This round-up review is a product of carefully treading through the top primers on the market to make sure you get only the most effective items.
Nothing looks sexier than a bold red lipstick, and nothing can look prettier than a touch of pink mauve tint on the lips.
We love how lippies (stick, liquid, or any form) can transform any woman’s look.
A pink matte pout can make you look au naturel in the office, while dark red ones will make heads turn at the club.
Simply put, any shade of lip color can be a girl or woman’s instant pick-me-up. However, it’s almost impossible to make your lip color stay throughout the day.
Yes, matte lipsticks and tints can be quite long-lasting, but they do tend to cake or flake in the middle of the day.
Likewise, glossy lipsticks can feather and fade without you knowing.
The key to perfectly done lips is a great base that ensures smooth application and holds colors longer like a lip primer.
Lip primers work the same as face primers. They create a flawless base where the color sticks.
The best lip primers can revolutionize the way you put your lip makeup on. Soon enough, you’ll find that lip primers are an indispensable product in your lip kit.
At First Glance: Our Top Picks For The Best Lip Primers
OUR TOP #1 PICK - It’d be helpful to use a lip primer that is temperature-resistant and has a superior holding ability during the driest months like the Shany Eye and Lip Primer. With a natural smooth texture that feels light on the lips and its waterproofing ability, this base is ideal and thus our top pick.
OUR TOP #2 PICK - Keep your lipstick, gloss, and liner locked in place, away from smudging and feathering with the E.L.F Lip Lock Pencil. The colorless formula is made with powerful yet gentle ingredients that serve as a lip barrier to prevent feathering and smudging.
OUR TOP #3 PICK - Infused with glycerin and beeswax, the Irene Gari Anti-Feathering Lip Base eliminates the “prune lip” look while doubling as a lip balm because of its moisturizing property, which also protects the thin layer of skin from free radicals and soothes irritation.
OUR TOP #4 PICK - The Elizabeth Arden Lip Cream is a multi-purpose problem solver for the lips packaged in a tube like a moisturizer. The moisturizing properties of glycerin soften the lips while camelia sinensis leaf extract protects the lips from UV damage and free radicals.
OUR TOP #5 PICK - The MAC Prep & Prime Lip Base is a colour-free base that adds light moisture, smooths, and refines the lips. This mac primer also contains Cyclopentasiloxane, which helps smooth out the lips while other ingredients like liquid paraffin or mineral oil help retain skin moisture, making the lips naturally plump and supple.
What Is Lip Primer?
Lip primers, like lipsticks, come in various forms. There are primers in tube form, lipstick form, and pencil forms.
We can’t say which variant works best because basically, they all have the same purpose – to prep the lip and make the colors last longer (source).
Lip primers are easy to apply. Use it as you would a regular lipstick, making sure to reach the corners.
Some pencil lip liners are designed to be applied on the outline of the lips to prevent the color from feathering and smudging.
After priming the lips, wait for the silky film to dry completely before applying your lip makeup.
What Does Lip Primer Do?
1. Creates a flawless base
Lip primers are like a foundation for the lips. They create a flawless base over which you can glide your lip makeup smoothly and evenly (source).
Lip primers have a thin, silky finish that won’t make your lips appear too plump or too thick.
They fill in the creases and lines of the lips, resulting in an evenly applied lip color that looks drop dead gorgeous.
2. Increases the staying power of lip color
Any lip makeup coated over a primed lip will stay longer. That’s because the lip makeup has something to stick to instead of sinking directly to the lips (source).
Just imagine how perfect it would be to have crease-free and moisturized lips with lip makeup staying on for a whole day.
Furthermore, priming the lips before beautifying them prevents the shade from straying into various directions or what we call “feathering.”
If you’re using glossy lip makeup, chances are your makeup will feather on the edges early on.
A good lip primer can rescue the feathering situation by being the “glue” which the makeup sticks to.
It helps the gloss or color to stay in place, preventing unattractive feathering at the edges of the lips, smudging, or creasing.
3. Protects the lips
Some drugstore lip primers are infused with moisturizers, vitamin E, and SPF to nourish and protect the lips, especially under the sun.
The skin layer protecting the lips is very thin, making it very prone to sun damage.
Lips rarely pigment or tan because melanin is almost absent on the lips, but it can quickly burn and dry.
The best lip primer should have SPF and other protective ingredients in its formulation to help protect the lips while allowing you to wear your favorite shade that lasts for long hours.
Now let's dive into our best lip primer reviews below.
The Best Drugstore Lip Primer That Works Like Magic For Any Skin Type
This little jar of wonder serves as a flawless base for the lips and eyes, making it great to use especially during dry months. That’s why it’s our top pick on our list for the best drugstore lip primers.
During dryer months, the lips dry up easily, causing them to flake and crease. If you’re wearing any lipstick without a primer underneath, your makeup will quickly melt and smudge.
It would be helpful to use a lip primer that is temperature-resistant and has a superior holding ability like the Shany Eye and Lip Primer.
This primer helps make lip products appear true-to-color, long-lasting and will prevent creasing and feathering.
You’d be amazed at the very little to no fallout in your lip makeup by the end of the day.
Isododecane, cyclopentasiloxane, and trimethylsiloxysilicate are the primary ingredients of this cheap primer.
Isododecane is an emollient, which keeps the liner soft, ensuring a smooth application when used.
Cyclopentasiloxane is a substitute for glycerine which gives the primer its unique creamy texture that feels light on the lips and doesn’t leave any residue behind.
Trimethylsiloxysilicate, on the other hand, is a silicon polymer that is water-insoluble. This ingredient gives the primer its unique waterproofing ability.
The waterproof formula enhances makeup color, prevents fading, and holds the lip makeup in place even when you’re drinking, sweating, or washing your face – perfect for students, performers, and professionals.
Furthermore, this primer is infused with added vitamins and essential ingredients designed to volumize and nourish the lips.
Most importantly, this primer is suitable for people with sensitive skin as it is talc and paraben-free, ensuring no irritation whatsoever.
We’re in love with this product because it will definitely last for months, well worth for your money.
At first, we were quite disappointed with the small pot but trust us, it’s deceptive packaging.
A little goes a long way with this primer. The little jar is also ideal for travel use.
The primer is creamy and smooth, making it easy to apply without tugging on the lips. We also like how it doesn’t get cakey at the end of the day.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
Keep your lipstick, gloss, and liner locked in place, away from smudging and feathering with the E.L.F Lip Lock Pencil.
The colorless formula is made with powerful yet gentle ingredients such as paraffinum liquidum (mineral oil), aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, and synthetic candelilla wax.
We love that this ELF primer is ideal for any skin tone.
Its creamy texture easily glides onto the lips like butter due to its paraffinum liquidum content which mimics petroleum jelly to fill in any lines, creases, and even wrinkles.
Containing mineral oils and beeswax, this primer not only prep the lips, it also offers day-long moisture.
This lip base also delivers a strong protective barrier on the lip perimeter, guaranteeing no color stray or bleeding throughout the day.
Furthermore, this lip base won’t cake after a day’s wear.
Thanks to its aluminum starch octenylsuccinate ingredient, which acts as an anti-caking agent, it keeps your lip makeup cake-free.
This primer’s long-lasting property is attributed to its synthetic candelilla wax ingredient.
This wax is a mixture of synthetic waxes and esters which results in a substance with a firm consistency and high melting point - holding your makeup in place for long hours even when you’re too exposed to the sun.
What’s great about this primer is its silky wax texture that glides on smoothly, drying down to an invisible layer.
After application, you can directly apply your lip color – no need to match your lip color to the primer’s pigment.
What we love about this elf primer is that it comes in a retractable twist-stick form rather than a pencil. It saves you the trouble of sharpening a pencil into the desired point.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
Do you know what’s annoying? It’s your lipstick migrating into the tiny lines around your lips after a few hours of applying it.
Worry not about bleeding and feathering by using a lip primer specifically designed to prevent this from happening such as the Irene Gari Anti-Feathering Lip Base.
We’ve chosen this as one of the best moisturizing lip primers because it not only works to prevent feathering and eliminating the “prune lip” look, you can also wear it as a lip balm because it’s very moisturizing.
This terrific base contains glycerin and beeswax. Beeswax retains moisture, protects the skin from free radicals, and soothes any irritation that may occur.
Just apply this base on the entire lip, focusing more on the edges to boost the anti-feathering formula of this primer.
This moisturizing primer may feel a little waxy when applied, like what we’ve experienced, but it dries up quickly, and it has a lot of product inside the lipstick-like tube.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
The Elizabeth Arden Lip Cream is a multi-purpose problem solver for the lips packaged in a tube like a moisturizer.
Infused with herbal antioxidants such as glycerine, camelia sinensis leaf extract, and fennel fruit extract, this lip base conditions the lips and softens the appearance of vertical dry lines.
This base is specially formulated for older women who have a lot of persisting vertical creases on the lips.
It targets even the deeper lines to fill the lips in completely, preventing any feathering when worn under any lip makeup.
The moisturizing properties of glycerin soften the lips while camelia sinensis leaf extract protects the thin lip skin from UV damage and free radicals.
Not only will this lip base keep your lip makeup in place, but it also nourishes the lips as the fennel extract is loaded with vitamins E, A, and C, resulting to a flawless, chap-free lips.
Packaged in a tube, this primer applies like a moisturizer and must dry before putting on any lip makeup.
To use, apply a small dot on bare, cleansed lips starting from the lip line, spreading into the inner corners of the mouth. Pat and blend all over for an even and smooth finish.
Dry thoroughly before applying lip color or gloss.
This primer works beautifully in preventing bleeding and feathering, but we discovered that it’s not that convenient for touch-ups during the day as it doesn’t have a great holding ability.
When you try to retouch your lipstick, it won’t be as long-lasting as the first coat because it cannot readily stick to the primer as there’s a previous coat on your lips.
You must wipe away the first coat together with the primer and re-apply everything again.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
We’ve included this Prep & Prime Lip Base in our list of the best lip primers simply because it’s from MAC. You’ll never find a makeup professional’s kit that doesn’t have at least a single MAC product in it.
The Prep & Prime Lip Base is a color-free base that adds light moisture, smoothes, and refines the lips.
It comes in a slim lipstick tube that emits a faint sugary scent, which we love.
This mac primer prevents creases, feathering, and holds any lip makeup longer than without a base.
Among its ingredients are cyclopentasiloxane, paraffin, and tocopherol.
Cyclopentasiloxane is a silicone derivative that is one of the most common ingredients in skin care products.
It’s an alternative to organic compounds like vegetable glycerine which work to smoothen out the lips before sliding lip makeup over.
The next ingredient of this fantastic primer is paraffin. Don’t mistake the paraffin in this primer with your paraffin candles because they’re completely different.
Liquid paraffin or mineral oil helps retain skin moisture, making the lips naturally plump and supple.
Likewise, tocopherol or vitamin E is a beneficial skincare ingredient.
Tocopherol helps tighten and firm the thin layer of skin covering the lips, making the lips appear fuller.
We tried this primer, and we’re delighted that it feels lightweight like a lip balm, no waxiness at all. It’s not sticky, and it absorbs pretty quickly.
We love how it glides smoothly, filling out every line it slides past. However, this primer doesn’t last for long – 4-5 hours is its maximum, as we’ve tried.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
The Bottom Line
Using the a good lip primer is the first step in a smudge and feather-free lip makeup that lasts long.
However, not all lip primers can effectively do their jobs. Therefore, choosing the right lip primer should be your first step.
The best lip primer should create a flawless base, fill in every line and crease, protect the skin, and have a superior holding ability to make any lip makeup applied on top last.
One excellent cheap lip primer is the Shany Eye and Lip Primer.
It’s specially formulated for dry weather, supplying enough moisture to the lips thus preventing them from creasing and flaking.
It also makes the makeup adhere firmly to the base to avoid unwanted feathering and fallout.
It also has a waterproofing ability. Moreover, this primer is suitable for people with sensitive skin as it is talc and paraben-free, ensuring fewer chances of irritation.
We’re in love with this product because it will surely last for months. Indeed, a little goes a long way with this primer. The little jar is also ideal for travel use.
There are different types of primers on the market that can help you support your beauty. If you like this article, don't forget to check out our other buying guides here.