I'm a Former Celebrity Makeup Artist, and This Primer Is My Trick for a Smooth, Even Lipstick Application

Lip color that lasts — no feathering or smearing included.

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Lipstick Primer Review
Photo: Getty Images

Back when I was a celebrity makeup artist, one of the biggest challenges I faced was getting makeup to last on the famous faces I worked with. It was an ongoing challenge to make sure their intricately-applied makeup didn't melt under hot lights and stayed on throughout photoshoots, awards ceremonies, and yes, even on-screen makeout sessions. While I could touch up or reapply as often needed, I tried to find as many beauty hacks as possible. One of my go-to products I discovered that I still use now is Guerlain's lipstick primer, which smooths the texture of your lips and gives you an even canvas to work on.

Think of the KissKiss Liplift Smoothing Primer as a BB cream for your lips. The product provides a beige base for your lips that helps any lipstick color you apply go on completely evenly. Since it creates a neutral palette, your lipstick ends up being true to the color it is in the tube, too. The primer also works as a lip treatment product and keeps lips smooth, even if you don't exfoliate or obsessively use lip balm.

KissKiss Liplift Smoothing Lipstick Primer

Shop now: $38; nordstrom.com

For maximum staying power, I use the primer in layers. I apply Liplift, follow with a lip liner in a shade that best matches my lipstick, then apply lipstick and top with a bit of gloss. It really does add staying power to lipstick — even sheer formulations. If you feel like skipping the extra steps, you can apply Liplift and then a berry shade of lipstick for a more subtle effect.

Online reviewers seem to agree that Liplift is a must-have in your makeup bag. One 70-year-old shopper who called it a "miracle in a tube" raved that it helped create a full appearance for their lips, while another customer with "pigmented" lips said that it makes all their lipsticks look beautiful and true to color.

My only qualm is that the product is only offered in one shade; while I've worked with Liplift on nearly all skin tones, it does work best with lighter complexions. It's also pretty pricey at $38 due to the fancy gold case designed by jeweler Herve Van Der Straeten. I figured it was worth the splurge when I discovered it in Paris some years ago — it was then, and it still is now. Grab your own lipstick-perfecting tube at Nordstrom.

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