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I tested Taylor Swift's 'kiss-proof' red lipstick to find out if it's actually worth the hype

How does the Pat McGrath LiquiLust liquid lipstick hold up while eating, drinking, working and kissing?

As a Swiftie, I had to put Taylor's favorite lipstick to the test. (Sarah Weldon/Pat McGrath Labs)
As a Swiftie, I had to put Taylor's favorite lipstick to the test. (Sarah Weldon/Pat McGrath Labs)

As a non-famous dog lover who isn't musically talented, there isn't much I have in common with Taylor Swift, except that we both share a love of red lipstick. I have about 19 in my makeup drawer right now! But no lipstick has captured both my — and the world's — attention as Taylor's current red lipstick.

Not only does it last through entire rain shows during the Eras Tour, it's also seemingly unimpaired after passionately kissing her boyfriend Travis Kelce on the field after the Super Bowl. Taylor's kiss-proof lipstick in question? The Pat McGrath Labs LiquiLUST Legendary Wear Lipstick in Elson 4.

A cool-toned red, the Pat McGrath liquid lipstick has flown off shelves since the makeup artist herself revealed that Taylor first wore it in the 2022 for the "Bejeweled" music video. Inspired by the color and staying power, I had to try it out for myself.

After securing the liquid lipstick at my local Sephora, I wanted to test it out in four different situations: eating, drinking, a full work day and kissing.

Shop Taylor Swift's red lipstick in 15 different colors.

Pros
  • Stays vibrant all day
  • Doesn't dry out lips
  • Easy to apply
  • Little-to-no smudging
Cons
  • Some product transfer
  • Not kiss-proof
  • Expensive
$34 at Pat McGrath Labs
Explore More Buying Options
$34 at Sephora

First Impressions:

For consistency's sake, I applied the lipstick the same way every time. The first thing I did was line my lips with my favorite Nars Powermatte High-Intensity Long-Lasting Lip Pencil in Cruella (another blue red lipstick). Then, I dove in with the Pat McGrath liquid lipstick, painting my bottom lip and then my upper lip and quickly blot my lips together.

Upon first swipe, I was surprised at just how light the lipstick felt on my lips compared to other matte liquid lipsticks I’ve worn. It honestly felt like I was swiping on a standard lipstick, just with a lot more precision. I already knew that I look great in cool-toned red lipsticks, but I was shocked at just how good this color looked on me.

pat mcgrath lipstick
As you can tell from my awkward hand poses, I am clearly already in love with this lipstick. (Sarah Weldon)

So, is the Pat McGrath Liquilust liquid lipstick worth the hype?

After putting it through each test, Taylor's red lipstick became an instant favorite. While it isn't totally transfer-proof and smudged when faced with a cheeseburger and a good make-out session, it's still worth the $34 price tag. Not only did the gorgeous color stay vibrant throughout the tests, this is the only liquid lipstick that didn't dry my lips out. It was also super easy to take off at the end of the day with my normal makeup remover.

Scroll below for my complete review of the Pat McGrath Liquilust Legendary Wear Lipstick.

Test #1: Eating

I decided to do the food test at my birthday dinner. I mean, what better time is there to rock a red lip? Other than The Eras Tour and the Super Bowl, of course. And unlike when I normally wear lipstick, I was not going to be careful while eating. Still, I was a little nervous so I packed the lipstick, lip liner and micellar-soaked cotton pad in a baggie to the restaurant in case it needed a touch-up — or just completely wiped off. As soon as I walked into the restaurant, everybody at the table commented on just how good my lipstick looked. We were off to a great start.

The Menu:

  • Chips and guacamole

  • Fried calamari with marinara sauce

  • A cheeseburger and fries

  • Birthday cake

The Pat McGrath liquid lipstick passed the round of drinks and two appetizers with flying (red) colors. There was zero transfer, smudging and at one point I even forgot that I was wearing lipstick. My pout only started to falter with the cheeseburger. After a few greasy bites, I could feel the lipstick starting to smudge. There was also some noticeable transfer on the burger. By the end of the night, the lipstick had faded most noticeable in the center of my lips. But for an entire meal out, including eating a cheeseburger with purposeful abandon, with no touch-ups, it did better than I thought it would.

cheesburger with lipstick marks and close up of pat mcgrath lipstick on lips
I already knew that a cheeseburger was going to be a tough opponent. (Sarah Weldon)

Test #2: Whole Work Day

Except for the occasional swipe of my beloved Glossier Boy Brow, I never wear makeup when working from home. But if Taylor can wear this lipstick while performing for almost four hours in front of tens of thousands of fans for nights on end, I can absolutely wear it during an eight-hour work day.

I ate breakfast, changed out of my pajamas into real clothes and then swiped on the Pat McGrath liquid lipstick, curious if it would stay intact all day long. It was just as vibrant and velvety as I remembered. After allowing the product to dry, I made my morning cup of tea and opened my computer. About 15 minutes into the work day, I had already forgotten that I was wearing the lipstick — only remembering when I would see my reflection in the bathroom mirror. It’s wild how lightweight it is.

Before starting work (left) and after signing off (right). Side note: Can someone please tell me what to do with my hands in pictures?
Before starting work (left) and after signing off (right). Side note: Can someone please tell me what to do with my hands in pictures? (Sarah Weldon)

The color barely faded throughout the day, lasting through lunch, mid-afternoon snacks and my limitless daily water intake. There was a little bit of color bleeding in the corners of my mouth and some clearer dry spots, but I was seriously impressed at just how vibrant it stayed. Even if it didn’t, though, the pop of bold red first thing in the morning was such a confidence boost that it wouldn’t matter.

Test #3: Drinking

There’s absolutely no way that Taylor isn’t drinking any water when she goes backstage between eras for her costume changes. Plus, we’ve seen her chug on the jumbotron at the Super Bowl. And still, her lipstick is intact and as bright as ever.

Like I mentioned above, I completely forgot that I was wearing the lipstick until I took a sip from my mug and noticed the ring of red it left on the lip. Considering it transferred to both the burger and the back of my hand, I wasn’t too surprised. I’m happy to report that the lipstick stayed intact while drinking from my mug and my Stanley Tumbler lookalike.

I will say, the lipstick color flawlessly matches my favorite pink mug!
I will say, the lipstick color flawlessly matches my favorite pink mug! (Sarah Weldon)

Test #4: Kissing

The final test, of course, had to be kissing. My fiancé and I have been together for almost ten years now. He’s been with me through every waxy drugstore lipstick, the Kylie Lip Kit era, tinted balms, lip stains, etc., etc. Basically, we’re pretty used to the whole kissing-with-lipstick song and dance, transfers and all. And while Taylor and Travis haven’t been totally immune to the red lipstick transfer, it’s still shocking how kiss-proof Taylor’s lipstick seems to be.

Football: Super Bowl LVIII: Kansas City Chiefs Travis Kelce (87) kisses girlfriend and singer Taylor Swift following victory vs San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium. 
Las Vegas, NV 2/11/2024
CREDIT: Erick W. Rasco (Photo by Erick W. Rasco/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images) 
(Set Number: X164496 TK1)
How, how does Taylor's lipstick stay on when they're kissing like this?! (Erick W. Rasco/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

I had been wearing my lipstick for more than eight hours by the time my fiancé got home. Even though it was still transferring, the lipstick had already survived the whole day. But could it survive a kiss? And could it survive a kiss? First, we tested it out with a classic peck. Like I expected, the lipstick looked as fresh as it did pre-kiss. There was just a little bit of transfer to my fiancé that I was able to easily wipe off with my thumb.

But that was just a quick kiss! Taylor, Travis and her perfect red lip are out here on the field passionately kissing. So this time I dove in for the full-on make-out session. And, um, no it absolutely did not stay on my lips. Yes, it did get all of my fiancé’s face.

As you can see, the lipstick did not last the final kissing test.
As you can see, the lipstick did not last the final kissing test. (Sarah Weldon)

Even though the lipstick didn’t survive the final kissing test, my fiancé did note that this lipstick felt a lot smoother than lesser reds I've worn. Obviously, he knew that he was kissing me while I was wearing lipstick, but it wasn’t an overwhelmingly chalky feeling like he felt with previous liquid lipsticks.

Final Verdict

I can see why Taylor is in love with the Pat McGrath Liquilust Legendary Wear Lipstick. Except for some smudging and transfer, it's everything you can want in a vibrant liquid lipstick. However, what sorcery is Taylor out here using when it comes to transfer?!?! Please let a girl know, thank you so much.

Even though it's not as kiss-proof as Taylor makes it seem, I'm still obsessed with how good this lipstick looks and feels. 

Pros
  • Stays vibrant all day
  • Doesn't dry out lips
  • Easy to apply
  • Little-to-no smudging
Cons
  • Some product transfer
  • Not kiss-proof
  • Expensive
$34 at Pat McGrath Labs
Explore More Buying Options
$34 at Sephora