Have you been hearing all of the hype about the long-lasting Lipsense lip colors and wondered if it’s all a scam?
Lipsense is made by a company called Senegence and, yes, it’s an MLM. Along with their lip products, they also have a whole bunch of skincare products. I haven’t had any desire to try out their skincare products yet because I already love what I am currently using.
However, I did try the Lipsense colors and glosses. Note: I am NOT a Lipsense distributor and am not affiliated with Senegence in any way.
But before I get into the lip products, I do want to address something that bugs me.
The wax buildup claim
Many distributors claim that you must ONLY use Lipsense products because you have to get rid of years of wax buildup from using chapsticks. They say that your lips need a bit of time to detox and then you must keep using Lipsense and ONLY Lipsense for the all-day color to actually work.
Well I think that is a whole bunch of crud!!
Like come on, our lips exfoliate naturally, so you’re not going to have “years” worth of wax on them. And if you do think you have a bit of product buildup on your lips, then give them a good scrub at night.
Plus…and here’s the zinger that really gets me about the “wax buildup” claim…some of the Lipsense glosses HAVE beeswax in them!!
Edit: Most of the glosses actually use “synthetic” beeswax which the company says acts totally differently from natural beeswax. However, I do have certain glosses (like Pearl) that simply list “beeswax”. Looking it up at CosmeticsInfo and the EWB database shows that the properties of synthetic beeswax are “generally indistinguishable” from those of natural beeswax.
While that in no way makes the company or the products a scam, I think it is unethical advertising that some distributors choose to utilize. They want to push more sales and have you using their products all day, every day. They also might have heard other distributors touting that claim and simply be misinformed.
I personally have days where I just don’t feel like wearing any lip color. And I find glossy gloss too sticky to bother with on those days and the matte gloss not as satisfying as slathering on my Burt’s Bees.
And you know what? My Lipsense color goes on just fine the next day! AND lasts all day as expected.
I do exfoliate my lips regularly and use a good moisturizing night serum, so that may help, but I’m here to tell you that you DO NOT have to divorce yourself from every other lip product for your Lipsense to work.
My Lipsense Review
After my little rant, I can finally get into my experiences with the products.
Yes – it stays on all day. I can’t tell you exactly how long because I always end up scrubbing it off before I go to sleep. At least 15 hours.
Yes – it stays put and won’t budge! The lip color, that is. I did a smudge test when my gloss had dried and didn’t get any color on my face or my finger. And incredibly enough, when I apply the gloss immediately after applying my lip color, the color never rubs off onto the applicator. I always expect the applicator to start turning pink and it never does! However, the gloss itself will rub off if you try to smudge it.
And the color is super vibrant when you apply 3 coats as suggested.
I do experience a bit of peeling when I have not been diligent about keeping my lips exfoliated. And it feels uncomfortable when you first put the color on because it feels soooo dry. The very first ingredient is denatured alcohol, so that probably plays a big part in that. But once you apply the gloss, it feels great.
You definitely do need to reapply the gloss several times during the day because it will dry out. And putting chapstick ON TOP of the Lipsense color will actually hinder it’s staying power.
I loved my first color so much that I ended up being 10 more and a couple of the glosses. It seems expensive at first, but I have yet to run out of any of my colors and it’s been nearly a year. What goes quickly is the gloss, so that will probably need to be repurchased fairly regularly.
As for the Oops Remover, I have never really been able to use it well. I’m always pretty careful when applying the color, so usually don’t need it. However, there was one time that I got some color outside my lips and it was a bugger to fix it with the remover.
I also tried to use the Oops Remover at night and I didn’t feel like it really helped take the color off at all. So I always just end up scrubbing the crap out of my lips to get that layer of skin off. So I guess wearing Lipsense kind of forces me to exfoliate my lips extremely well haha.
How to buy
Colors and glosses can be purchased online through a distributor’s Senegence website.
Beware of blindly ordering it from Amazon or eBay, especially if the price seems to be too good to be true. What you end up getting could be a knockoff and might actually be unsafe to use.
You can also generally find Lipsense distributors at local wedding expos, craft fairs, barn boutiques, etc.
If you want to purchase Lipsense products from a Facebook group or the marketplace, I would suggest purchasing from someone you know and trust or from someone who is local where you can pick up the products in person and hand them cash or a check.
However, it is possible to be scammed by a distributor or someone who claims to be a distributor. If someone is claiming to sell steeply discounted Lipsense, ask for their distributor ID and look it up on the Senegence website. They may just be running a promotion to gain more customers, but it’s possible they might be running a scam and only pretending to be affiliated with the company.
Edit: Not all distributors can be looked up based on their distributor ID. Use your best judgement when reaching out to people that you don’t know.
So I happened to find out about Lipsense right about the same time that everyone else in the world was hearing about it and “the craze” was in full swing. Even though the company, Senegence, has been around for a long time, Lipsense suddenly blew up in popularity recently.
Because of that, the company has had a really rough time keeping their products in stock.
The colors people wanted always seemed to be out of stock. At one point, ALL of the glosses were out of stock!! (and you really, really need those)
As a distributor, that made it hard because you couldn’t collect bulk orders and then place them online without risk of pissing people off when their color suddenly wasn’t available.
So many distributors turned to the cash-and-carry model. They would stock up on large quantities and just sell what they had on hand.
And that compounded the problem even further. When a popular color came back in stock, those distributors would snap up all of the inventory within minutes, leaving nothing for the newbies or the people trying to order online.
Eventually, Senegence decided to significantly cut down on the number of colors offered to try to fix their inventory issue.
After I stocked up on colors initially, I really haven’t purchased much more since then (with the exception of glosses) because I just kind of got annoyed with everything being out of stock. I also felt bad because I wanted to support my friends, but sometimes the only person that had what I was looking for was a random lady at a craft fair
No, it’s not a scam.
Yes, it is an mlm.
No, it is not a pyramid scheme.
As a distributor, you are entitled to discounts off the retail price of Senegence products. So you earn the difference between the price you sell the products at and what you paid for them. And that sounds like an very typical retail model.
You can either collect a bunch of orders first and submit a bulk order, or you can purchase inventory to have on-hand.
You can earn even more from commissions when you sign up other Senegence distributor underneath you. Again, it’s a very standard MLM model. And you can actually be profitable whether or not you choose to recruit other distributors.
There is a monthly charge to have your own franchised Senegence website where customers can directly order. Because of this, it seems like a lot of distributors opt to create private Facebook groups and make sales through a series of direct messaging and paypal transactions.
I personally think the market is pretty over-saturated as a network marketing opportunity. At least in my area, I do a quick search on the Facebook marketplace and the list of people selling what handful of colors that they have is endless. There is always a Lipsense table at the craft fairs and pop-up boutiques.
However, you could still probably do well with it if you found a really clever way to differentiate yourself from everyone else out there.
But there are definitely newer companies out there to get started with, some with less than 500 active distributors in the entire U.S.
If you are uncomfortable with the mlm model but still want smearproof lip color, then there is actually another option.
Lip Ink is a company in California that makes lip color products that are very similar to Lipsense. They don’t budge!
All ingredients are hypoallergenic and the products don’t have any wax (not even synthetic beeswax), animal fat, cholesterol, glycols, parabens or preservatives.
The formulations are all herbal and botanical based, so the products are actually healthy and nourishing for your lips.
It works similar to Lipsense where you need 3 things to get started, a lip color, a moisturizer and an OFF remover. And the prices are identical, $25 for a color and $20 for a moisturizer (which works like the gloss)