A dreaded combination is about to be upon all of us, and while it’s concerning in plenty of ways, it’s also the worst nightmare of your lipstick game: winter plus mask-wearing. Yes, the complete loss of all moisture in your lips and skin is now combined with wearing a mask for some portion of most days, wiping away all your hard makeup work and often leaving it looking…bleak.
For this very reason, I decided to round up some of the best lipstick options out there that lipstick users swear by, whether for their hydrating, moisture-packed power or their long-lasting abilities, or both. These are the ones myself and the people I know fell in love with for a variety of reasons. They might just save your makeup game this COVID winter.
Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink
Far and away this one was recommended the most often. Between its great price point and impressive staying power, people who use it just keep on using it and using it–usually in every color available. This brand offers up forty unique shades, each promising up to sixteen hours of wear. That means even with your mask on throughout the day, this stuff won’t be gone before you can even finish your morning coffee.
You can find it online or in most stores that sell makeup, for around $9 per tube.
Best feature: Ultimate staying power
Axiology Sheer Balm Lipstick
For a more silky, smooth option (and for those less fond of matte lipstick), this lipstick does the trick perfectly. It’s less likely to last a full day of intense wear, but reapplying is easier and you’ll enjoy doing it. Plus, it’s vegan and earth-friendly.
You can find this one online in four shades, for $30 each.
Best feature: Super hydrating and moisturizing
NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment
Another that people rave about for its aggressive long-lasting abilities, this matte option is another that should be able to withstand anything the day throws at it, including hours of mask-wearing, or lots of eating and drinking. Like most matte lipsticks, it feels drier on, but this one has a lightweight finish that won’t feel like it’s sucking the moisture out of your lips. AKA is still a great option for the winter.
Find it online in thirty-five colors, $26 each.
Best feature: Super long-lasting without feeling dehydrating
Two recommendations from this brand, because both are super creamy and hydrating, last well, and have extremely reasonable prices. The first great option is NYX Butter Lipstick, a vegan line in thirteen shades. The other is NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick, one I use weekly and have gone through multiple tubes of because it’s long been my personal beloved lipstick. Though far from the fanciest or longest-lasting lipstick in the world, I adore how smooth and silky it is to apply and how good it makes my lips feel. Extra points for the Violet Ray shade, it’s my absolute fave.
Best feature: Super soft, silky, and moisturizing
Jerome Alexander 24 & More Liquid Lipstick
Another great mask-busting matte option, this Jerome Alexander liquid lipstick glides on silky smooth and then dries to a nice matte finish with amazing lasting power. It has limited transfer with other materials once dry, so that whole issue of your mask being covered with lipstick is a thing of the past with a matte option like this. This line comes in twelve great shades. Find them online for $20 each.
Annie Burdick is a writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon, but transplanted from the Midwest. She also works as a community inclusion specialist for adults with disabilities. Previously she's edited and written for magazines, websites, books, and small businesses, on an absurdly wide range of topics. She spends the rest of her time reading, eating good food, and finding new adventures in the Pacific Northwest.