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How to remove Lipsense, the lipstick everyone's talking about

Is it worth the effort it takes to put it on and take it off?
Photo: ISTOCK

Anyone who bothers to wear lipstick wants it to be long-lasting. Apply it once in the morning, maybe touch it up a couple more times throughout the day — at the most. But we've all had lipsticks that require too much maintenance and not enough pay-off. 

Now there’s a product called Lipsense that’s created the opposite problem: How to get the dang stuff off? The lipstick is waterproof and supposed to stay on for up to 12 hours. According to the company, it won’t “kiss off, smear off, rub off, or budge off,” but for many women, both applying it and removing it might be more trouble than it's worth. 

What is Lipsense?

The lipstick from beauty company SeneGence International is sold as a lip kit containing lip color, gloss and a glycerin-based product called Oops! Remover. It’s available for purchase online or from direct sellers, a la the Mary Kay model. (And these hustlers are all over Facebook). 

Its application process is somehow so arduous that it necessitates a how-to page and instructional video on the website. First, you apply three layers “in a fluid, sweeping motion without lifting the applicator,” waiting for your lips to fully dry in between each application. Then you follow that with a layer of lip gloss, which is supposed to keep your lips from drying out.  

How to remove Lipsense 

If applying it is a pain, removing it as a whole separate (lip) ache. The LipSense lip kit comes with an Oops! Remover, which supposedly removes the lipstick in one swipe, but apparently it’s not always that simple. 

Youtuber Elissa Bruce says the remover is better suited to fix any mistakes you make while applying it, rather than taking it off. She recommends Fooops! remover, also made by SeneGence. Shake it, spread it on your lips and let it sit for 20 seconds before rubbing off with a wash cloth. She also suggests coconut oil and even a Neutrogena face soap, which she dips a Q-tip to and then rubs on her lips before applying a wet wash cloth. 

Refinery29 writer Cat Quinn likened trying to get it off to “removing gel nail polish, but on your lips.” She applied Shu Uemura oil, two rounds of Sara Happ lip scrub and took a toothbrush and a washcloth to her lips before fully eviscerating it. Cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson explained to Refinery29 that the stubbornness of the product is due to its water-and-oil-resistant ingredient called Acrylates/Octylacrylamide copolymer, which is also used in waterproof mascara. 

Is it worth this hassle to have red lips all day?  

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