The Smashbox Be Legendary Lip Lacquers: Some Legends Last, and Some Don’t

Published in: Lips, Makeup, Product Reviews, Smashbox

Smashbox Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer

Smashbox Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer, $24 each (available in 20 shades)

“Gather round, young’ns,” said granny Karen, “and let me tell you the story of a long-wearing lip lacquer so shiny, so smooth, so long-lasting and revered that it was legendary!”

I can see it now…the spunky granny version of myself telling the story of Smashbox’s Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquers ($24 each and available in 20 shades) to a group of gum-smacking, eye-rolling tweens, although, really, there’s no way I’m going to make it past 75 with my sanity intact.


I can see myself handing down vintage tubes of my go-to colors to my favorite granddaughter — let’s call her Jem because she has pink hair and sings lead in a punk rock band — while telling her tales of my legendary adventures with my legendary cat.

Smashbox Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer from the top to bottom: Beet It, Pink Social, Rosewater and Legendary

From top to bottom, Smashbox Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquers in Beet It, Pink Social, Rosewater and Legendary

But, alas, it wasn’t meant to be. My dearest Jem will not be acquiring her feisty granny’s beloved and precious tubes of Be Legendary Lip Lacquer. She will, instead, get amusing anecdotes meant to teach her life lessons, as well as a few pieces of stale butterscotch hard candy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Smashbox Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer in Pink Social

Pink Social, a warm pink

Smashbox Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer in Beet It

Beet It, a deep purple

Smashbox Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer in Legendary

Legendary, a blueish red

Smashbox Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer in Rosewater, a warm light pink

Rosewater, a cool light pink

Don’t get me wrong. I think these lip lacquers look great.

They just don’t last very long…

New to the Smashbox permanent line, they’re available in 20 shades billed as long-wearing. They start as a shiny gloss, which is supposed to fade to a lip stain that lasts eight hours.

Hmm… More like two or three.

The four shades I’ve tried — Rosewater, Pink Social, Beet It and Legendary — do come with pounds of pigment, and they start out absolutely gorgeous on the lips. Shoot, the glossy finish could make a pair of patent-leather Louboutins jealous!


The non-sticky formula also feels fabulous, like a silky Agent Provocateur nightgown against my skin, and is that a faint hint of buttercream I taste and smell?

In less time than it takes to liquify your brain while watching The Real Housewives (approximately 60 minutes, give or take), Be Legendary Lip Lacquers’ glossy finish fades to a light stain, and within a few hours after that — POOF! — even the stain is gone.

Smashbox Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer with a MAC Lipglass for scale

With a MAC Lipglass for scale

I feel like these are trying to channel the (admittedly more expensive) YSL Glossy Stains and Dior Addict Fluid Sticks, but they don’t quite get there.

PRICE: $24 for a 0.20-oz. tube
AVAILABILITY: Permanent, and available now in 20 shades at Smashbox counters and online

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 17 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Phyrra says:

    I was curious as to how well these worked. That’s disappointing. They look nice on you though! I was looking at After Dark and Flushed.
    Phyrra recently posted … Fall Haul

  2. I wish they had been a but more staying and seems pretty average. I loved the Pink Social on you.. such a gorgeous pink.. <3 <3

    The packaging looks quite similar to newly launched Revlon lip laquers.. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Poo@beautyandmakeupmatters recently posted … Blog Sale: September 2014

  3. Agata says:

    Too bad these are not as long lasting as they claim to be. I really like Pink Social on you though.
    Agata recently posted … A Bow to Bows

  4. Divya says:

    Legendary is gorgeous on you! I wish it stayed longer!
    Divya recently posted … Favorites From Bobbi Brown

  5. It’s a shame that these are not long-lasting. But all the shades look amazing on you anyways,especially the dark ones.
    Marina(Makeup4all) recently posted … Post-Sun Beauty Products: My Picks

  6. Fancie says:

    Darn! If these lasted a little longer I’d be all over them. The colors are so pretty!
    Fancie recently posted … Nanacoco Gloss Haul & Swatches

  7. Aw, too bad they don’t wear very well ๐Ÿ™ Didn’t expect that.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | Rodial Glamtox Neck Mask & Rodial Dragon’s Blood Eye Masks

  8. Legendary is beautiful!!
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … Makeup Look : Black Smoky Eyes with Orange Lips

  9. Erica M says:

    I love the way Beet It looks on me, but it’s not lasting at all. Bummer, but I still love it.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Erica,

      You have great taste (Beet It is my fave from this bunch)! Do you use a lip liner with it? Or do you just do freehand on the edges with the doe foot?

  10. Adrienne says:

    Ummmm so maybe this makes me a creep but does that daydream part mean that you have babies?!?! I’ve always ridden this fine line between wanting to know more about you, personally and trying to respect your privacy, and the biggest question for me has always been whether or not you have kids. I think you’d be a pretty awesome mom to have, you’re so upbeat and easy to “talk” to ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Adrienne,

      You’re so sweet to say that! It doesn’t make you a creep at all. I am currently a cat mom to Tabs, but in the future I would like to be a mom. I hope that it’s in the cards for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Do you have kids?

      • Adrienne says:

        I don’t, but I think if I do raise kids I’ll end up adopting. If you do end up as Mama Karen, please please please treat us to a baby picture or two! I won’t pry about El Hub (even though I’m sure he’s a total hunk and we would all bask in his charm) but I think you could share the occasional photo up to a certain age without posing any threat to your child’s privacy. UNLESS you reach Kim K status and I see Keeping Up With Karen before that happens ๐Ÿ˜›

  11. Kwmechelle says:

    Hmmm, shame they’re so poor performing. But, I dunno, I feel like I’ve seen these before. Grant it, all brands are entitled to come out with their own version of a lip stain, but I’m waiting for someone to come out with something way more innovative. Like what? I’m not sure. But, I’ll know it when I see it. #crazyMakeupGirlProblems

    • Karen says:

      You know what I want to see? A glossy lip product that doesn’t pick up on cat hair. I spend half my day looking for phantom kitty hairs on my face. I could be using that time to plot world domination, for reals!

  12. Lulle says:

    That’s too bad, because they look fabulous on you!

    I’m with you in your war against phantom cat hair… I have contacts and the worst is when I feel it’s here in my eye but can’t find – ALL DAY.
    I think we should start a cat assistant union. I mean, would bank employees be ok finding their boss’ hair up their nostrils and still have to scratch them between the ears??
    Lulle recently posted … New Diorskin Star Foundation by Dior – is it worth it?

  13. Cathy says:

    The reds look fabulous on you, really, really gorgeous. Shame they don’t live up to the hype!

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