Needless to say, LipSense is everywhere. Like a lot of people, I was highly curious. Like a lot of people, I wanted to see if the claims were true. But I couldn't find an unsponsored (and unbiased) review anywhere.
So I tried the product myself! I have four different colors from a few different friends, and I also have the glossy gloss (I haven't tried any other glosses because people have said they're less moisturizing) and a remover.
Nobody is paying me anything or giving me anything in exchange for this post. In fact, none of my LipSense friends even know I'm writing this (and like a crazy person I stayed up late last night worried I might offend one of them with my opinion). These are just my personal thoughts and experiences.
WHAT IS LIPSENSE?
It's liquid lipstick, and the biggest new MLM phenomenon since LuLaRoe. The main selling points that distinguish it from other lipsticks is that it's highly durable - lasting up to 18 hours and staying on through eating, drinking, kissing, exercising, swimming, etc.
The standard prices are $25 for one color, plus you need a tube of $20 gloss, and consultants will also try and sell a tube of $10 lipstick remover. Consultants are always having sales and deals, so you probably can shop around and purchase for less than these prices, but the company advises its distributors that if it offers anything more than a 15% discount, the distributors cut will be very low.
There's also a line of facial makeup called ShadowSense from the same company, SeneGence, but I haven't tried any of that so I'll stick to LipSense in my review.
CAN YOU REALLY EAT, DRINK, KISS AND EXERCISE WITHOUT IT COMING OFF?
Yup. When I drink something, there's no lipstick residue on my cup. When I kiss my twins, there's no lipstick on their faces. When I spend an hour outside in the hot Arizona sun, my LipSense isn't smeared or runny.
All those videos of your LipSense friends running their fingers across their lips and showing the camera that nothing came off are real, my friends. Sometimes, if you've just barely put on the gloss, it comes off a little, but the gloss is mostly shea butter, so that's understandable.
Overall, I've been highly impressed with the staying power of LipSense.
DOES IT REALLY LAST 18 HOURS?
Uh.... no. My LipSense starts wearing off at about hour 9 - and most distributors will be very honest with you about this. Mine starts to wear off at my waterline first (your waterline is where the inside of your mouth meets your lips). By the time I go to bed (15 hours after application) it's almost completely gone.
But the thing is - I very rarely need more than 9 hours of coverage in a row. Count how many hours you'd like your makeup to stay on perfectly for. Chances are it's not more than 9 or 10. And I sincerely hope you don't require camera-ready lipstick for more than 18 hours in a 24-hour period. If you do need more than 9 hours, you can add one more quick layer at hour 9 and be good for another few hours.
Technically the LipSense claim is that it lasts up to 18 hours, so they're right. I'm sure if you never talked or ate or moved that day, it would stay on perfectly for 18 hours. Personally mine lasts 9 hours perfectly, but the bottom line is this: Yes, it really does last all day long. It's nice to put it on in the morning and not have to worry about it for the rest of the day.
DOES IT WRECK YOUR LIPS?
This was my biggest concern. A lot of lipstick leaves my lips feeling chapped and painful. I thought if there was a lipstick that's so powerful it holds color all day long it MUST wreak havoc on your lips.
I had the total opposite experience. Honestly, LipSense has made my lips feel better than they have in YEARS. I'm not exaggerating this. My lips feel better than they ever did with my trusty Cherry Chapstick that I've been using on and off since 6th grade. (I wear LipSense almost every day now.) The shea butter in the gloss has really done wonders for my lips. I honestly think this is just because shea butter is better for your lips than everything in Chapstick or the other moisturizers I've been using. And I really think straight shea butter, or coconut oil, or a number of similar things would hydrate your lips really well and for less money.
I have heard that some glosses, namely the sand and matte gloss, are less moisturizing, which is why I haven't tried them. The Glossy Gloss has been great for me though.
IS IT REALLY ONE OF A KIND?
No. This is where marketing from SeneGence comes in.
There are a lot of liquid lipsticks on the market. A lot of them last a really long time. A lot of them are smudge proof and kiss proof and everything proof. A lot of them are extremely moisturizing. Almost all of them cost less than LipSense. (In fact, my friend Camille did a great post about more affordable LipSense alternatives. See it here.)
I think it's important to know that LipSense is not the only product of its kind on the market.
Also, like so many companies these days, LipSense has trademarked certain phrases that don't mean anything. One example with LipSense is the claim that it "molecularly bonds to your lips." Well here's the thing. I checked with my uncle who is a professor of chemistry at UVU, and guess what? All bonding is molecular bonding. So the claim means nothing. If the company makes claims about the type of bond (covalent, ionic, van der Waals) then they might be saying something about how strong the bonds are.
Which brings me to another con (besides the steep price). MLM companies (not just LipSense) are notorious for not educating its distributors about their own product. In fact, even on my blog, which is obviously nowhere close to an MLM, I've been shocked at how little information some companies provide when I sign contracts with them. What is the value of not educating the people who are selling your product?? This grievance is not with any of my LipSense distributor friends, but just with MLM companies in general who consistently don't educate their distributors. I would like to see LipSense educate their distributors more about their marketing claims, competitor products, company history, ingredients in product, etc.
THE BIG QUESTION: IS LIPSENSE WORTH THE PRICE TAG?
It depends. The product is great. It's long-lasting, it's high quality, it's moisturizing. The colors are varied and fun. I like that there are a LOT of pictures available of different people wearing any given color, so you can see how it might look on your skin tone. You can also get samples from your distributor to see how certain colors look on you.
And best of all - I personally like LipSense because buying it means supporting people I care about. Lots of my friends selling LipSense are moms selling lipstick as a side hustle, and I am all about women supporting women in their personal and business endeavors. These women have been supporting my blog for years, so I'm happy to support them - and get awesome lipstick while I'm at it.
Although, because it is a multi-level marketing company, you have to know that only a small percentage of the money you give is actually going to your distributor. Most of it goes toward her upline, corporate, etc. Financially speaking, your distributor would profit way more if you just handed them $40 than if you spent $40 buying their products.
LipSense is not only product of its kind out there. There are other highly similar and way cheaper alternatives. Yes, it is overpriced, but I personally am okay spending more occasionally to support my friends. Honestly, if I didn't know a single person selling LipSense, I would definitely go with a cheaper alternative. (If you don't know a single person selling LipSense, WHO ARE YOU and HOW HAVE YOU AVOIDED THE CRAZE?)
Oh, and a side note: I personally do NOT think the lipstick remover is necessary. Luckily I've had some really awesome LipSense distributor friends be very honest about this fact, and even tell me about a Neutrogena bar that does the same thing. If you want to try out LipSense, maybe get a bold color, a more subtle color, and a gloss to start.
So there is my honest, unpaid review about LipSense!
What are your thoughts? Do you like LipSense?
LipSense distributors, I think I fact-checked everything pretty thoroughly, but if I said anything in error don't be afraid to call me out!
And readers, if you want to try it for yourself, I happen to know fifty-four distributors. :)
*all images from LipSense by SeneGence