What is Lip Primer?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2019
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Lip primer is a cosmetic product designed to be worn underneath lipstick, lip liner, and/or lip gloss. It is a type of makeup that acts like foundation for the lips, similar to the foundation one might apply to the face. It is typically clear, matte, and meant to be unnoticeable on the lips, but it serves the purpose of smoothing the appearance of the lips, as well as making lipstick or other lip cosmetics last longer.

Lip primer is generally sold in a twist-up tube similar to a lipstick, though it may also be sold in a squeeze tube. It can usually be found with the lipsticks and other cosmetics in a store selling makeup. It is typically comparable in price to a tube of good-quality lipstick. Another, less common type of primer is sold in pencil form, and may be used to simply line the edges of the lips to prevent lipstick feathering.


Lip primer is not meant to be worn on its own. To wear it, simply apply a thin coating to lips that are clean and dry, prior to applying any other lip cosmetics. Give it a few seconds to dry on the lips, then apply lip liner, lipstick, or lip gloss right on top of it. The primer will help to fill in any lines, wrinkles, or uneven places on the lips, giving them a smoother appearance. Throughout the day, the primer will also help the lipstick or lip gloss to stay in place, preventing unattractive feathering at the edges of the lips, and helping to prevent smudging and creasing.

Many lip primers have other benefits as well. Some are designed to help plump the lips. Others may include sunscreen, typically around SPF 15, to protect the lips from sun damage, which could easily cause more wrinkles, or even skin cancer. Antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and E are popular inclusions, as well as ingredients with anti-aging properties that may help fill in wrinkles and give lips a more youthful appearance.

It may not be necessary to wear lip primer every day, but many people find it useful when wearing especially dark or brightly colored lipstick. In addition, because it may help to protect and soften the lips, it is likely to be a helpful addition to anyone's makeup bag. Keep in mind that it may be particularly important to wear lip primer at a special event where numerous photographs are being taken, such as a wedding or other celebration.


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Post 7

I think the price of most lip primers is a little ridiculous. Why should primer cost the same as a nice tube of lipstick? You aren't even going to see it! So I don't buy primer very often.

However, when I do buy something like Revlon lip primer, I make sure it does something else besides just prime my lips. I make sure it has sunscreen or pluming ingredients in it too! It has to at least have something else in it to justify the price!

Post 6

@JaneAir - Lip primer definitely does help lipstick and lip plumping gloss last longer. I don't normally use lip primer, but I have used it for special occasions, and it was very helpful.

I was in a wedding awhile ago, and I didn't have a lot of time during the proceedings to worry about my makeup. But the lip primer helped my lipstick last for many hours.

For normal days, I usually just use a lip pencil. I line my lips, and then fill them in with the pencil too. This guards against feathering, and helps my lipstick last a bit longer. Not as long as lip primer, but for a normal day it gets the job done.

Post 5

I used to apply makeup quite often. I worked as a waitress in a club, and it's a sad truth, but women who work off tips make more money the better they look. So I always wore makeup to work.

But in all the years I waitressed, I never thought to use lip primer. And I always felt like I was pretty well informed about makeup! However, I recently stumbled on a lip primer review, and I think something like this could have really helped me in those days. I was always having to reapply my lipstick, and I bet a primer would have helped my lipstick last much longer.

Post 4

I use a lip plumping product with a primer to get the best looking lips possible. The product comes with two ends, one being the primer and the other the plumper.

Both are clear, so I can wear colored lipstick with them. I apply the primer first, so that the plumper has a surface to which it can cling.

When I apply the plumper, I feel a tingling that lasts about ten minutes. This plumper has cinnamon in it, and it causes the blood to rush to my lips, making them seem bigger.

Post 3

@seag47 - I had major problems with lipstick feathering out before I started using lip primer. I am the world’s worst lip smacker, and I can’t seem to break the habit. Lip primer has helped my lip pencil and gloss stay in place, despite my tendency to smack.

I apply both a primer in a tube and a pencil primer. The pencil primer helps my colored pencil makeup stay in place longer, and the stuff in the tube secures my gloss.

I like the look of lips colored in with a burgundy pencil and topped with shiny gloss. I usually use a clear gloss, so the color of the pencil determines the shade of my lips.

Now that I’ve gotten used to lip primer, I don’t think I could go without it. It gives me peace of mind about my makeup, and I don’t have to reapply nearly as often.

Post 2
I didn’t know that lip primer even existed before I read this article. It sounds like a great product.

I have found a way to prevent lipstick from drying out and cracking. I use a tube of moisturizing lip balm with SPF 15. I apply it just like a primer, and it works, to a certain degree.

It keeps my lips moist underneath the lipstick for longer than they would remain moist without it. It also gives my lipstick a smooth surface to cling to, but I imagine that lip primer would work even more effectively.

Post 1

I think that the best lip primers are the clear ones. The nude shades don’t perfectly match my lips, and I don’t want any added color competing or clashing with my lipstick that will go on top of the primer.

I started using lip primer a few years ago, when my cosmetologist friend told me about it. For years, I had been struggling with lips that appeared dry not long after I applied lipstick, and I often had to contend with unattractive feathered edges. The primer cured all of that.

I am amazed at how well it fills in the cracks in my lips. The color of the lipstick seems to sit right on top of a smooth surface, and it looks so much more glamorous.

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