The key to flawless makeup is in skin prep—which applies to the lips, too. That’s why it’s necessary to prep your lips using the best lip primer, to extend the life of your lipstick, lip gloss, lip stain—you name it—while also leaving your lips feeling nourished.
“Lip primers prepare the skin and act as a base for products to apply well and last longer,” says Jamie Dorman, a celebrity makeup artist based in New York City. Similar to face primers for foundation, “they help create a smooth surface across the lips and reduce imperfections like creasing, feathering, and bleeding,” Dorman explains.
Plus, there are many primers formulated with ingredients that work to hydrate the lips, in addition to priming them. “Due to how thin the stratum corneum is (the outer layer of the lips), your lips can actually dry out and get easily irritated,” says Melissa K. Levin M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and associate professor at NYU Langone Health.“Hyaluronic acid, petrolatum, and coconut oil are great ingredients that help lock in moisture,” she adds. Dr. Levin recommends looking for primers that include those ingredients to help protect your lips while wearing various products.
Whether you’re looking to add a lip primer to your beauty routine or you want to find a new one to replace your favorite, now’s the perfect time to add one to your makeup bag. Below, find the 15 best lip primers for long-lasting lip color, including expert picks for a moisturized and gorgeous-looking pout.