Melting Pot

LipSense: Part 2

(If you missed my initial LipSense review and want to check it out, click here. Be warned, it is VERY lengthy!)

April 11th, 2017 update: I have gotten several questions regarding my lip care routine, and have made a post dedicated to this topic. If you would like to know about how I care for my lips, click here

In my initial review of LipSense, I mentioned that I wanted to try it out using different gloss to see if it would still work. SeneGence says you must use their glosses and colors together as they are formulated to work together. But let’s be honest – what else are they going to tell you? There is nothing wrong with that; it is the goal of any business to make money and one of the ways they can do that is to have products that “must” be used together. But sometimes it is not really so necessary.

Don’t get me wrong: I LOVE my LipSense! At the time of writing my initial review I only had my starter collection (1 color, 1 gloss, 1 remover). While my stash is still quite small, I now have two glosses and three colors. (I will get some swatches done another time, if y’all are interested. Let me know in the comments below.) My wish list remains rather enormous. I. Am. Hooked.  But I am also not exactly swimming in money. The LipSense colors are absolutely worth the $25 price tag given the long wear and the amount of uses you get from a single tube of color. But the gloss gets used up much more quickly, as it is applied more often. I love ya LipSense but with my limited spending money I have a hard time justifying $20 per gloss if it is not TRULY necessary.

So on a recent trip to walmart, I zipped through the cosmetics department for some gloss. (I have a ton at home including I kid you not the ENTIRE “Glossaholic” line from Hard Candy – but that does me no good when I am several states away!) I was surprised at how few lip gloss choices there are on the market right now. What glosses are available are mostly of the highly pigmented meant-to-be-your-sole-source-of-color variety. I saw only four clear glosses and a handful of sheer colors. Which was a bummer. I chose Rimmel’s Stay Glossy clear gloss. It was about $4 so about mid range for drugstore brands.

Yesterday morning I applied my LipSense color as usual, then topped it off with the Rimmel gloss instead of LipSense gloss. And guess what? It worked just fine! It sealed the color on the same way the LipSense gloss does. I can not be sure of exactly how long the color wore, because later in the evening I just honestly stopped thinking about it. The last time I checked it, it had been on for about 10 hours and still looked great.  I personally consider this plenty sufficient to be able to say it wore almost as well when sealed with the Rimmel gloss as when sealed with the LipSense gloss. It did not wear quite as well, but to still last a solid 8~ hours? It will definitely do in a pinch!

So my personal verdict here is that yes, other glosses can indeed be used in place of the LipSense glosses. It is worth noting, however, that not all glosses are created equal, so I am not saying ANY lip gloss you want will work. There are likely some out there that won’t do the job. I would say to look for thicker formulas that use either doe foot applicators (like the LipSense does) or brush applicators, and look for hydrating formulas. Thinner glosses may not work, but you won’t know without trying so if you are not sure just give it a go to find out.  (I recommend testing on a day you will just be hanging out at home.)

Now, an exception to this is the LipSense Matte Gloss. This is one of my newer purchases and I absolutely LOVE it! It is a bit of an oxymoron, Matte Gloss. But the “gloss” bit I think just implies that it is the “gloss” step of the application process of LipSense. Matte Gloss does go on with a satiny finish initially (very slight shine to it) but in a few minutes it sets to a great lightweight matte finish. I have not seen another product like this available so I am going to say if you want matte lip color as opposed to glossy, the LipSense Matte Gloss is worth the $20. It seems to last longer than the Glossy Gloss as well, so between that and the lack of a cheaper alternative it is easier to justify the purchase.

So ladies, if you love your LipSense but have a tight budget, you can save on the gloss by opting for cheaper drugstore glosses to top off your lip colors! If you have the funds to be an all-LipSense-products lady that is awesome – I am NOT trying to cause any sort of trouble with this post. Just I have such limited spending money for non-essential items like cosmetics, and I know others are in the same boat, I just wanted to share that if you can’t always justify the $20 LipSense glosses, it is possible to use cheaper brands and still get great results, even though SeneGence says you “have” to use the LipSense gloss to seal the colors.

Until next time. Xoxo


59 thoughts on “LipSense: Part 2”

  1. THANK YOU! I needed this review. I’ve just started using Lipsense and while I really like it, I’d have to buy lots of tubes of gloss and I just can’t afford that. Colors I will invest in, gloss I’ll use store bought. I think if Lipsense had a long lasting gloss (not a plumper either), then I’d be more apt to spend the $20 on gloss.

    1. So glad to be able to help, Heidi! I do love my LipSense, and I am sure that I will repurchase their Glossy Gloss from time to time when I can swing it but it’s really nice to be able to use cheaper glosses when I just can’t justify $20 for gloss!

      1. I got so much lipsense and you are right. You run out of the gloss and cost so much. Was on internet asking if another dupe will do. And so lucky to find your comment. Be nice if the word was out for other women. Thank you

  2. Thank you!!
    I knew there had to be a cheaper alternative, but nobody would admit that online (until your post).
    I love Lipsense. Love their glosses (and think you’re spot on in describing the amazing matte gloss). Unfortunately, with the amount of gloss necessary to seal and keep moisturized, it’s not in my budget to make regular purchases. I’ll still buy it when I can afford to, but I appreciate you saving me $$. Please update if you find other suitable alternatives. XO

    1. You’re welcome, JP! I admit I was nervous to post this, I did not want anyone getting upset with me for it. But like you while I adore the LipSense gloss I just can’t always afford to repurchase it. I will when I can, but sometimes you just need a cheaper alternative!

  3. Hi there! I have not yet tried the LipSense, but was super excited after hearing about the product from friends and watching some videos on it. However, I was starting to get a little suspicious when I found literally no negative reviews, and an abundance of positive reviews that just sounded… well… rehearsed. So! When I found your blog and read both of your LipSense reviews, I was so happy! FINALLY someone with a legitimately honest review on the product. As a result, I’ve ordered some LipSense and can’t wait to give it a try. Thank you so much for writing this, you have created an awesome blog here, that is extremely well written. Thanks again!!! 🙂

  4. I, too tried another “gloss” over my lipsense. I’m addicted to Vaseline Rosy Lips, so I thought I could see how well it worked with my lipsense. I can tell you it did not work well at all as a top coat, but it makes a fabulous and gentle remover. Lesson learned.

    1. Good to know! It really is trial and error more than anything to find what will or will not work and still allow the great wear time of the colors. Thanks for sharing your experience, Angie! (I love Vaseline Rosy Lips too! Heck, Vaseline in general is fantastic stuff lol)

    2. Brand new to lipsense so not a pro AT ALL but heard from a big time distributor that Aquaphor lip repair ($3-4) is a good alternative to the LipSense balm that sells for $20! I don’t know if it would work instead of glossy gloss over a lipsense color, but it may be a good alternative to your Vaseline lip repair for colorless lips, as the Aquaphor is petroleum free.

        1. I tried Aquaphor Lip Repair today, and unfortunately, it did not seal the Lipsense base. The color wore off within three hours.

  5. So I also tried the Rimmel gloss, and it seems to be great! My only concern is that it seems a bit stickier, and not as moisturizing as the lipsense brand gloss. Has anyone had success with any other off brand glosses? Is wax the only thing that needs to be absent in the gloss to make it compatible with the lipsense color?

    Any advice is appreciated! 🙂

    1. I’m happy to hear you have had luck with the Rimmel gloss as well, Jessica! The only other gloss I have tried so far is some Hard Candy Glossaholic and while it works for sealing the color on, it does not seem to provide long wearing color like you get when sticking with the LipSense or that the Rimmel can provide. I still get about 4 hours or so of wear which IS good, but it wears off when I eat if I use the Glossaholic – my color didn’t even survive a salad for lunch. Might still be a nice option for shorter outings, but I would not use it on those days you need to be sure your lip color is going to last all day.

  6. I loved reading this post! Thank you! But I do have a question: My lips always have been very dry and I’ve used 100% Vitamin E oil to coat them at night. It’s super thick and stays on. What are your thoughts on it over the Lipsense colors? Have you tried this yet?

    1. Ok, I have tried Vitamin E oil a couple times now. It does seal the color and eliminate the stickiness of the color, however the color does not wear that well with it. It still wears for maybe 3 hours or so (for me) but it does steadily wear off over this course of time, and it does not stay on through a meal. It could be a doable option if you’re just running some errands and don’t plan to be out long. As usual, however, using the actual LipSense glosses yields the best results and longest wear time. Definitely a great idea worth trying though and I loved testing this out, thanks for the suggestion!

    1. Hi Robyn,

      I had not thought to try the Matte gloss over non LipSense colors, so I just got a few lipsticks out to try it out. I tried it with a few different brands (MAC, Julep, Sephora, Hard Candy, Maybelline, Revlon, and Milani.) I also made sure to try different finishes: shimmer, creme, shine, semi-matte and even matte. Interestingly enough the Matte gloss did not lend a matte look to any of them and on the colors with matte formulas it actually made them sort of creamy but also made them come right off in a not very pretty way.

  7. I am interested in trying out lipsense for the first time. My daughter is a competitive dancer, so I think this would be perfect for her. Like you, my concern is the price. I was curious though, do you think the gloss (glossy gloss) would seal over other lipsticks (in particular, I have a quick dry matte lip paint from Tarte). Or will the gloss only work on lipsense colors? I read your other comment about you trying out the matte gloss, and that I see didn’t work out… So I wonder if I would have to buy the colors and use the gloss or just do what you suggested and try out the colors with a alternative brand gloss? I’m curious as to what exactly keeps the colors on without smearing all day?

    1. Hi Val,

      I have put the regular Glossy gloss on over other colors sometimes just for gloss. It functions as you would expect any clear gloss to. The LipSense color is what is formulated to last 4-18 hours (varies with everyone’s individual body chemistry as most products do, hence the big range of potential wear time.) The gloss does not last any longer than other glosses would, and will not make other non LipSense brand colors last longer. I don’t have a very scientific mind so I can’t say just what it is about their color formula that makes it last all day, I just know that whatever it is, for me it works!

      I have heard that LipSense is popular for competitive dance/cheer teams so I think it could be great for your daughter for that purpose! In my experimenting around I have found that you truly do get the best performance from the colors when using them with the LipSense brand glosses so while it is pricey if you really need that all-day wear it is worth it. I use Rimmel or Hard Candy glosses for short outings when I don’t need the color to last as long and when I do not plan to eat out, so if she only needed to wear the color for say 3-5 hours/doesn’t need it to survive a meal, some cheaper glosses may do the trick. For those longer all day events you may want the LipSense gloss, though. I would recommend getting a starter collection to try it out initially and you can then experiment on your own with other glosses to see what does and doesn’t work for you/your daughter’s specific needs and preferences.

      Thanks so much for your comment, I hope I was able to help you out. If you have any other questions please let me know and I will do my best to answer them for you. 😊

  8. My coworker sells lipsense and while the ingredients are high quality and not tested on animals in the colors themselves- I did notice that the gloss contains parabens. I try my best to use a natural product that does not contain questionable ingredients so I have not purchased lipsense. I wonder if there is a paraben-free gloss that would be compatible? There are too many studies that link that nasty preservative to cancer for me to justify using it on my body. Thanks for this post… I will definitely check out other glosses that may work with lipsense!

    1. Thanks for your great comment, Blythe! I had not noticed this. I don’t honestly know if any of the glosses I currently own are paraben free. (They probably aren’t though, honestly.) I’ll try to look around and see of I have or can acquire some to try them out – I am not sure when I will be able to get to it but I will add this to my to do list.

  9. I have now tried Elf and Hard Candy gloss over my lip sense. Staying power is not quite as long but the price difference to me is worth it. Every penny counts in my budget.

  10. I read that you take really good care of your lips. Any recommendations on a daily routine and product? Mine always look fine until I try to wear a lip color and that’s when I noticed that they’re in bad shape .

    1. Hi Lacey,

      I actually frequently try new products as I just enjoy trying out new things, you never know when you will find a new favorite product! I do have a couple trusted, go-to products:

      First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream is a lotion-like product (sold at Sephora) that is an awesome head to toe moisturizer safe to use on lips as a lip balm. It is pricey, and is more of an occasional splurge product for me. A&D ointment (yes, as in the stuff typically sold in the baby department for treating and preventing diaper rash) is also a wonderful lip balm. The container I have is a big tub from a local drugstore and it specifically states it can be used on the lips. I also like to use good old Vaseline – especially in conjunction with the FAB Ultra Repair Cream and A&D – I apply either of those and let them sink in for a few minutes then apply a light layer of Vaseline to seal in the moisture. Pure argan oil is also a nice all-over moisturizing product if you like using oils to hydrate your skin.

      Exfoliating is important too. I usually exfoliate my lips about once a week or so. I make a quick DIY lip scrub by mixing granulated sugar with a little coconut oil and honey. Just gently rub on the lips, rinse with lukewarm water, pat dry then follow up with a hydrating product like those I mentioned above. You could also make the scrub by mixing the sugar with olive oil, argan oil, sweet almond oil etc, you can use brown sugar instead of granulated, add a couple drops of vitamin E oil – lots of ways you can customize the scrub based on your preferences and what you have on hand. Alternately you can just use your toothbrush to lightly scrub your lips each day after you brush your teeth. Whichever exfoliating method you use just remember to be gentle – your lips are more delicate than you might think and it can be easy to over-exfoliate and make them sore.

      It is also important to make sure you are well hydrated on the inside, so be sure to drink plenty of water every day. Keeping your body well hydrated by drinking water will help keep your skin and lips hydrated too.

      I hope this helps you out! Let me know if you have any other questions and I will do my best to help!

  11. Can the matte gloss be used directly on top of the color? My consultant says that we have to use the regular gloss first, blot it off and put the matte on top. That seems odd to me. Your thoughts?

    1. Hi Xjinxz,

      My friend who is a distributor also recommends applying glossy gloss first and letting it soak into your lips a few minutes then blotting off and applying the matte gloss. The reason for this is moisture – because the color offers no moisturization for your lips and the matte gloss is not really moisturizing either but the glossy IS moisturizing it is recommended to do it that way to hydrate your lips a bit. This said, I have found it is not *necessary* – you CAN just apply the matte gloss directly to the color to seal it on if you want.

      1. Thank you so much! Love the review. I have two colors and the glossy gloss right now, now im shopping for a red, cause every girl needs one, and a pink haha! I have Napa and Bombshell now and I am hooked! Now to craigslist my way into some cash to support this new addiction!

        1. You’re welcome! I know, it definitely is an addiction! Lol I have 4 colors and 2 glosses but want so many more! I have been thinking of signing up to be a distributor but have a lot of stuff going on right now that I need to deal with but maybe once things calm down. Totally love this stuff!

  12. Yep, thanks a TON!
    I do love the product and although there are less expensive alternatives they aren’t quite the same. I especially love the fact that lipsense doesn’t actually stain your lips… Once you take it off there’s no residue or lingering color left on your lips (or above or below them, as I find happens more frequently now the older I get!). The glosses are great as well but as a mom I really do feel a bit guilty when I spend unnecessary money on myself …these $10 & $20 grocery/drugstore splurges on “little somethings” really DO add up. Heck if I’m going to spoil myself I’d rather spend the same or less on payments toward a cosmetic “procedure”…haha!
    Anyway, since I’m now hooked on Lipsense after a friend gave me one of her less fav colors, I’m grateful for your “research” 🙂

    1. Glad to be able to help out, L.A.! While I don’t have kids – just dogs which can be a lot like kids at times lol – I AM getting ready for a big move in the next couple weeks and the house I am moving to needs loads of work. I can’t really justify the cost of LipSense glosses right now (though I want to haha) when I amm going to be needing to put drywall up and install new flooring, just spent a ton of money on all new major appliances etc. Once things settle down with all that, I’ll be allowing myself to splurge on LipSense a little more often for sure. 😊

  13. My friend is allergic to the gloss but not the color and the reps told her that lanolin will also seal lipsence.

    1. How interesting! Lanolin is a great hydrating product for all over and I do use a lip safe a&d ointment that has lanolin as an ingredient as my nightly lip balm but because of the petrolatum base it removes the lipsense colors. I will have to pick up some pure lanolin to try it out for myself. Thanks for the awesome comment! xoxo

        1. Hi Dani, Unfortunately I haven’t been able to try it yet. I ended up moving and being between jobs a long while and now have gone back to school and only have part time work so my budget is super tight, moreso than usual. I’ve got a couple different lanolin options saved in my Amazon cart waiting for me to have the spare cash to try one of them out but for now it’s on the back shelf. Hopefully someone else will come along who has tried it and can comment to let us all know. Whenever I am able to try it personally (I don’t expect it any time soon) I’ll update in the comments here myself.

  14. I sell LipSense and had a client who got migraines from the gloss. She was upset because she really liked the LipSense. After many trial and errors we found the gloss from Younique works just as well.

  15. Do you know if pure shea butter will seal the lipsense??
    I usually use it as an all over moisturiser, and am finding the gloss a bit sticky as I’m not used to it! I find the matte gloss too dry, so I’m hoping for something in between!

    1. Hi Mel,

      I have not tried using pure shea butter to seal LipSense colors. It’s worth trying out some time though to find out. If you do try it I hope you’ll come back and let me know how it goes!

  16. *I’m getting on this comment feed for further updates on gloss alternatives.*
    I’ve really been searching for a chapstick of some sort that I can wear when I’m not using LipSense. I used to be utterly addicted to Burt’s Bee’s chapstick but stopped once I got LipSense. But my lips seriously cannot handle it when I don’t have anything on and I’m tired of buying more gloss. I’m glad to know that Rimmel gloss is a cheap alternative but I am DYING to find a chapstick-like product I wear alone. Based on the ingredients in the gloss, I was thinking a wax-free shea butter lip balm would be perfect. It’s proven a bit more difficult to find. Side note: beeswax is the 2nd ingredient in the gloss. Soooo….why is wax in other products bad??
    Anyway, do you have any suggestions of lip balms (other than LipSense’s $20 balm) that won’t force me to go back through the exfoliation process? My exfoliation process was especially bad and long- I think because of the fact that I quit Burt Bee’s cold turkey on top of LipSense’s own exfoliation process. I think I just have dry lips- they used to crack and bleed when I was kid, hence my adulthood addiction to Burt’s.
    Looking forward to your response!

    1. Hi Victoria,

      First off I am sorry for the delay in responding to you! Your comment got caught in the spam filter and I am only now seeing it whilst clearing out all of the spam comments.

      I had also noticed the second ingredient in the gloss is beeswax so had wondered, myself, why the claim is that the waxes in other products are bad. It is not something I have had a chance to look into though (lots of things going on in my personal life right now) but maybe beeswax products as opposed to other synthetic waxes could be ok to use when using LipSense? It’s something I need to get around to testing out at some point, but I am not sure when I will get to it.

      I have no recommendations for a lip balm specifically – and have not managed to convince myself to try to LipSense balm yet to know what it is like. All I can say is when I go to bed at night and on days I don’t wear lip color, I moisturize with A&D ointment most often, but also sometimes use oils and Vaseline. I wrote up a post on my lip care routine that may be helpful to you:

      Thanks for taking time to comment, and I apologize again for the delay in seeing your comment to respond to it!

    2. Hi,
      I hope it’s okay if I jump in here… You can absolutely continue to use your Burt’s Bee’s chapstick. Beeswax is a nourishing ingredient that helps the other moisturizers absorb into your skin and provides a barrier. That’s why Senegence uses it (a synthetic version) in their gloss along with the shea butter. The biggest thing is to make sure you wipe off any excess in the morning before putting on your LipSense – you need a clean, dry surface. I use a homemade lip balm, not too dissimilar to Burt’s, and it’s fine. After putting on my makeup, I’ll just use soap and water and a washcloth to wipe my lips. This also functions to exfoliate them, so be gentle. Then apply LipSense.

      I’m not a distributor, just use and love LipSense, but the company’s wax claims drive me a little crazy. I’ll link two info posts about the ingredients that go into the science better than I can… (this one is super long – you can scroll down to find the explanation regarding LipSense and waxes), and (this one is a good breakdown of the LipSense ingredients). If it is not okay to point to other blogs, please feel free to delete.

      So, the trick to finding alternatives is that there must be a sealant (ie. beeswax, dimethicone, candelia wax, lanolin). Fats on their own (ie. shea butter, coconut oil (or other nut/vegetable oils), vaseline) will just break down the color. These things actually make decent removers on their own.

    3. I’ve heard the Aquaphor lip repair is a great replacement for the Lipsense $20 balm! Not to be worn on top of colors, but for overnight and between colors.

      Easy to find at Target and other drugstores, and usually $3-4. It does still contain beeswax, but it’s further down the list so maybe that has something to do with it? I am not a distributor and just started looking into lipsense recently, but have been busy reading tons and watching lots of videos, so I got this info from a big distributor but have not actually tried it myself. Just wanted to pass on what I’d heard!

  17. I haven’t looked at a detailed ingredient list, but EOS balms advertise the use of shea butter, vitamin E, and beeswax. I wonder if that would work?

    1. Looking over the ingredient lists it does look like the EOS balms might be a great lip balm choice. I personally don’t care for the EOS balms when I tried them several years ago but I know many swear by them.

  18. I just started using lipsense myself and wondered if I could use another gloss. If anything just to have extra in my purse or in my desk at work .

  19. You can use any clear primer as a matte gloss over Lipsense. I was reading the ingredients one day out of curiosity, and they are exactly the same. It is literally primer in a tube.

  20. What a great post. I was not going to venture into the Lipsense world, then I won a starter set at a vendor show. And yes, I loved it. And just like many people, could not see the sense in $20 gloss. Though it works, I admit, but going through it more I cannot afford it. I too have been venturing in to the other more inexpensive chapstick/glosses. I also had a feeling of tackiness with the Lipsense glosses that I wasn’t super loving. I like that real smooth feel of a gloss. I’ve trying out some, a Neutrogena one worked fairly well. But will give that Rimmel one a try too. Loved reading through all the comments on here. And even though it sounds like we all love our Lipsense, there are cheaper alternative’s so we can continue using it. Thanks for the post and all the commentor’s.

  21. Hi! I tried the Matte Gloss once, and was immediately turned off by how sticky and gritty it felt. I removed it right away, and returned it to my distributor. Had I let it set for a few minutes, would that stickiness and grittiness gone away?

    1. Hi Diana,

      Based on my own experience with the matte gloss it has a smooth texture – not as slick as Glossy of course but still smooth feeling on the lips and it definitely is not sticky. If yours was gritty and sticky it’s possible there was something wrong with it. If you haven’t already discussed with your distributor why you returned it I would recommend doing so. Definitely consider giving the matte gloss a second chance!

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