I can’t believe the response after sharing 7 Excellent, Affordable Alternatives to Lipsense: Smudge-free,Kiss-Proof Lipsticks That Won’t Break the Bank. Thanks for all the support, comments, and shares! I’m so glad others are trying these options and sending me emails and notes all across social media about which product they’ve tried already and how well they are working for them! I’m getting a lot of pictures of people looking amazing, and that’s made me so happy to see! Feel free to keep sending, it’s so fun to see people loving their lips!
So with this awesome response has come several questions, several follow-up comments, and dare I say, even several attacks. I knew it may rock the boat a little since a lot of people make a living off the Lipsense MLM model, hey sellers can even earn cars with this program, so clearly the idea of losing a potential sale to another product was bound to upset some people.
I also realize this is a brand new concept too, but instead of continuing to write the same thing several places, I thought I’d do a follow-up post to send to anyone with the same questions/comments I’m hearing. I hope this helps!
My first wear with any brand of smudge-proof lipstick (these or Lipsense) didn’t go as well as I hoped. Any ideas why?
Yes! This is a different concept than we’ve been used to. As a former Chapstick addict who had a heart attack anytime I lost one, I have to say it takes getting used to. There’s some lip conditioning involved, and some flaking/chunking of any of the eight brands I mentioned in my post that may happen to some degree. Stick with it, after about a week they should all work great! You’ll probably even see better results on day two after your lips exfoliate a little.
One more idea- make sure it’s completely dry before you do the gloss. For some that’s seconds, for some that’s minutes, check the packaging. It helps a lot in looking smooth and lasting. I get impatient and whenever I don’t put in the time required with any of these products it doesn’t look as great.
How do you condition your lips for these products?
Exfoliating is recommended and what worked best for me. I mostly use super gentle cleansers due to sensitive skin issues. I also have the scrubs with beads that exfoliate that I use on my face from time to time. I’ve tried both and either works. Wash your lips like your face, and if you go with a gentle cleanser just scrub with a towel pretty vigorously; it should clean it well enough. If you exfoliate with a scrub while washing, you can just wipe clean and should be good-to-go. Cleaning before you use any of the lip products makes a huge difference!
The (insert brand name) is great, but how to do I get it off? What do you use specifically?
It’s a blessing and a curse right? I actually just use makeup remover wipes. I like the Neutrogena kind because they work great and I can get a good deal on an economy pack at Costco. It sometimes takes a bit of wiping, but these work well for me!
I read on a few of the packages they recommend baby oil to remove. I haven’t purchased that yet, but I’ve used coconut oil and a towel, and all brands have come right off for me! I’d actually put this as another selling point for the cheaper options, I found they last and don’t smudge off, but they came off a lot easier for me with traditional remover wipes and no need to buy another remover product.
Which one is the easiest to apply and make it look great with no effort?
I felt like all were pretty great, and I love the idea of one coat instead of many. You put it on, rub your lips together like a traditional gloss, and you know it’s on evenly! It may take a little longer to dry, but it’s easy to apply and add a little here and there without the anxiety of if you got it right in one swipe. If you really want simple the thicker formulas may be best! Rimmel, L’Oreal, and Maybelline are on the thicker spectrum. Try those! Just make sure you wait a few minutes to let them dry before you do the gloss.
Okay, and now to address all Distributor remarks/questions/trying to explain I missed a point of the product, or posting marketing material pictures to rebuttal claims I made: Namely around the product claims, and the “true value” and why nothing else is worth considering or trying. Some are fair, some are purely marketing messaging for sales. Let me go through each.
I really try not to mention this often or be arrogant, but I feel the need to just state that I have a master’s degree in marketing, and I’ve done market research for jobs. I’m going to use industry standards and cut through marketing messaging to address each of these points so it’s fact and not emotion or marketing ideals addressed.
What about Lipsense’s better ingredients?
I have to add this because I’ve had so many distributors ask. I addressed this in a movie. I think maybe people are just skipping over that part and not seeing it. That’s like the major perk for me and number one reason I did buy Lipsense! I love that it’s better ingredients, that’s something Lipsense can claim that the others can’t. Some people need gluten-free certified lip color- so yay there is one for all my celiac friends and family who have it so severely they can’t do standard makeup! Vegan, non GMO, these are good things in my book. Alcohol to help sanitize is a wonderful thing in my book, not everyone’s, but I’m a fan! Lipsense gets an A+ for ingredients that I won’t give the other options. But here’s my thoughts on why I still believe in other products.
I’d shop at Whole Foods for every meal if I had the budget. I love their food, I love their claims, I love that they use best practices. But the reality is there’s a time and place for shopping there for me, and there’s also a budget I have to stick to when feeding myself and my family. Coupon clipping and discount chain stores certainly happen because that’s the reality of my budget. There’s a time for premium and a time for budget. Everyone makes judgement calls about what ingredients they put in/on their body, their house, their lawn, etc. A blanket statement that every other brand is terrible for you and will hurt you or your baby or significant other isn’t fair and isn’t clinically proven. It’s a scare tactic, it’s marketing messaging, and until clinical research is done that’s all it holds up as. I believe in the awesome ingredients and proven claims, but I think holding back the scare tactics is best, and knowing one benefit isn’t the only factor used when deciding on a product is common sense.
Speaking of value, have you actually compared volume to volume?
I did! My post is astronomically long so I cut this part out. I had one distributor get particularly heated about this and try to explain I don’t know how to do math. Oh boy, I just thought of the millions of dollars of marketing budgets I managed earlier this year for major companies and I had to half smile at that claim. I know there’s a meme distributors have sent around showing Revlon as the poster child but only counting the color and not the gloss and claiming they actually cost the same when you look at ounces. But alas, they don’t, and I that’s what made me think- okay, I’m going to need to share figures in a follow up post instead of try to go Beautiful Mind on a Facebook wall or Twitter reply.
Also, read my last paragraph for another point aside from the figures, it’s valid. But I did actually calculate out fluid ounces and just chose not to share there- hence an entirely new post needed to be written. So I’ll include a breakdown of value for each.
But before I do, I need to point out a few issues related to Lipsense marketing materials trying to prove their value.
1. You do have to use the gloss with the product. That means it isn’t $25, it’s $45. Many have informed me I’m wrong on the price and it’s only $25. It’s $45 for the necessary combination of color and gloss.
2. The claim it is worth about 4 tubes of lipstick is a marketing claim and not a clinical research claim. I found it’s gone much faster than my tubes of lipstick for me personally, but that’s not clinical either. So we’re just going to dismiss this marketing message and use straight up facts and numbers.
3. I’m going to use the recommended application as the base. Stating volume per volume isn’t a perfect equation either. Lipsense recommends 3 coats per wear, so any volume amount needs to be divided by 3 to be equivalent to the one coat the other 7 alternatives I listed require. I’ve had some argue they really only need two coats. Great for you! Some people may need two or need to reapply the ones I listed. That’s why it’s a fair claim to only compare the recommended use as a base for all products.
And then one more note, it’s all of a bit comparing apples to oranges. Every single brands is different with a different formula. Any could be argued that they use more or less, are thinner or thicker, etc. Each is different and calculating ounces isn’t a perfect calculation. But since so many of these products are so new to the market and some may go faster than others, we’ll have to use fluid ounces (fl/oz) and application directions as the general rule of thumb.
Rimmel: Color Plus Gloss
Cost: $7 (but even cheaper on Amazon!)
Package Volume: .14 fl/oz
Rimmel: $50 per fl/oz
Revlon: Color Plus Gloss
Cost: $10 (less on Amazon, more in drugstores)
Package Volume: .14 fl/oz
Revlon: $71.43 per fl/oz
CoverGirl: Color Plus Gloss
Cost: $8 standard (but even cheaper on Amazon!)
Package Volume: .13 fl/oz
CoverGirl: $61.53 per fl/oz
L’Oreal: Color Plus Gloss
Cost: $9 (cheaper on Amazon, more at some beauty stores- this is the general price)
Package Volume: .17
L’Oreal: $52.94 per fl/oz
MAC: Color Plus Gloss
Package Volume: .28 fl/oz
MAC: $89.28 per fl/oz
Lipsense: Color Plus Gloss
Volume: .5 fl/oz (.25 each for color and gloss)
$90 per fl/oz ….BUT that’s as a standard calculation assuming application is the same as other brands, which it is not. Color is recommended to be applied 3x’s instead of just once like the others. So to make an even calculation that must be accounted for.
You need to get even more technical here and look at the gloss and color separately, since they are sold separately but need to be used together. It’s $25 for color only, $20 per gloss.
Color- $100 per fl/oz with 3x’s the burn of the others, so $300 per unit to standardize with the other benchmark calculations and formula used.
Gloss- $80 per fl/oz
Add them up:
Very Technical Lipsense Calculation: $380 per fl/oz
*assuming recommended 3 coats color application and 1 coat gloss application.
Some may argue you can use three colors for every one gloss. But you could argue the same with other options below- several colors will run out before their gloss. This breaks my rule of only using specific recommended application, but for the amount of comments and emails given, I’m going to humor the situation and give this exception. Either way, even with that argued value of 3 color and 1 gloss, you’re looking at approximately $327 fl/oz.
Without any technicalities Lipsense is still sitting at significantly more than all brands but the last.
So there you have it! For anyone sharing the message about fluid ounces, be sure the color and gloss are both accounted for, and the three time application per wear on Lipsense is being accounted for as well. I’m not trying to attack anything, I’m just showing numbers based on manufacture’s recommended wear, standard price, and volume cost.
Can I give a less factual math-based answer too? For a lot of people they don’t plan to use any product from start to finish. Makeup has a shelf life even with added alcohol! For many it’s just about what up-front cost is and what they’ll use this season. If that’s the case, up-front pricing is all they care about and the calculations and specifics are just white noise they aren’t interested in.
I saw the movies and pics, but on a perfect timeline, which lasts the longest?
I’m giving Lipsense this one- held up the best and longest for me- but I will say Maybelline and CoverGirl were super close with only about an hour or two less of perfect wear on an 18 hour day. MAC was the same time too, it really did the job for an almost 20 hour day of wear.
But one more thing I have to add to this. For some people they want that 18-20 hour look. For many they want something that will last 10 hours for work/their day, and then all night long for their night plans should they have them. Most people love more neutral by day and changing to a night look, it’s a thing for a reason! If you are like me and love doing that, everything else is fantastic and will totally last you for your work day and beyond. You can easily reapply or change colors for your evening plans like a date or spur-of-the moment trip to elope to Vegas (I’m not judging- congrats on your exciting plans!). And I think most people are happy to spend a lot less knowing it will last for at least the chunk of their day they need it to.
I’m not saying others don’t last- they do, and the movies prove that! But side-by-side perfect comparison, Lipsense looked a little better than most after 18 hours, and it wins that test, at least for me.
Conclusion I’ve shared online a lot!
I do love Lipsense, and I’m not hating on it! I think most people do, but can we all agree $55 up front is a bit crazy for your standard person? How many people have signed up to be a distributor just to get the discount to be able to afford the product themselves? I’ll admit, I really am not a big fan of MLM, and I even toyed with it just to make it affordable. That’s a sad thought to me that people who love it most have to seriously sacrifice to own more than one- if they can even afford one! Everyone has a different standard of what they will pay, what they want, what they are looking for, and Lipsense isn’t it for a lot of people. Hence finding alternatives that fit their price range.
The goal was to find products that don’t kiss off or smudge and last at least close to as long as they claim, and all 7 I shared most definitely do that! Thus “alternatives” and thus the excitement to share options with other people so everyone can find the right long-lasting lip color that works for them.
One last thing, I’ve had several people let me know they are still totally interested in Lipsense and are wondering if I know someone they can buy it from. I have lots of awesome friends who are super honest, non-pushy distributors who still love me even after this post :). I’m happy to hook you up with one- fill out this form and I’ll send your contact info their way!
*This post contains affiliates links
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