After coming across a bunch of long wearing lip products on sale, I decided to grab some and do a comparison. I tried four, and am sorry to say that I wasn't really fond of any of them. But for those that really want a long wearing product, I feel comfortable recommending a couple as long as the purchaser realizes that none of these products can provide an all day, comfortable, and moist color. For comfort and moisture, I recommend seeing my Cat Cosmetics lip liner review. Here is the problem: All of these products get their staying power by drying a bunch of pigment onto the lips. That pigment is often fairly thick and sticky. It also can be drying. That is why they all tend to come with a gloss or balm as a second step. So right off, don't think that a long wearing lip product means there is zero reapplication. That balm or gloss must be reapplied for the product to remain comfortable and looking decent. Next, I didn't find any of the products I tried to live up to their claims. Come on, 16 hours? Even the claim of 8 was high. I couldn't get more than 6-7 out of any of them and they tend to look pretty chalky and beat up after only a few hours.
The best of the group for me was the most comfortable: Revlon Colorstay Smooth Lipcolor. Mine, found at Target, also came with a colorstay lip liner, which I happened to like quite a bit as a regular liner. Revlon also does not make any outlandish claims with this product. They simply say that it will last for "hours." This pair was generally like using a regular lipstick and liner. It felt fine and looked OK, but it didn't last as long as the other items that I tried. I got only a couple of hours from it and it came off after I drank a couple cups of coffee. In the end, the downside of this product is that it is not much different from using a regular lipstick and liner. Perhaps it lasts slightly longer, but there are other lipsticks that I prefer. It would have to last longer to make me switch.
The longest wearing of the four was Maybelline Superstay 16 Hour Color + Conditioning Balm (pictured), consisting of a thick stain and a balm. Maybelline claims a seemingly ridiculous 16 hours with stuff, and I got nowhere near that. But on my first wearing, it made it through a lengthy dental procedure (drilling, filling and cleaning). It was quite beat up after that, and frankly looked terrible, but the fact that it generally stayed on through such a beating definitely left me impressed. Curious about more normal use, I tried it at work and got about 6-7 hours, although it only looked decent for about 4-5 of that. It made it through multiple cups of coffee and lunch, but eating at that point beat it up and it looked pretty bad. There was a big downside for me with this one too, and it is also true of most products of this sort: The stain is thick and it takes a few sticky minutes for it to dry. Once dry, unless the balm is reapplied often, the product feels dry and looks a bit chalky. I also found that it settled into the lines of my lips and generally looked icky once it began to wear off or get beat up. If the point is to avoid reapplication of makeup, this seems to defeat the purpose, although I suppose reapplying balm is simpler since it doesn't require a mirror. But for those looking for the real deal in staying power, I recommend this one. If you try it, be sure to reapply the balm rather often to keep it looking its best.
Cover Girl Outlast All Day Lipcolor, Smoothwear 2 Pieces is very similar to the Maybelline product. It claims 10 hours, while I got about 3-4. It made it through a cup of coffee, but not through a meal. It too is a bit sticky and chalky, but not quite as much so as the Maybelline product. An extra downside of this one is that the balm comes in separate tube. So that is one extra item to have to worry about. I prefer the way the Maybelline product is packaged, with the stain on one end and the balm on the other.
My least favorite was Milani Lotta Wear. This product comes as a stain and gloss, and Milani claims 12 hours for it. I got about 3-4 and a cup of coffee completely killed it. The color looked overly chalky and my lips never were comfortable. I like some other Milani products, such as their eyeshadows, but I really can't recommend this one.