Rimmel London Provocalips review

Does Rimmel London Provocalips Lip Colour really last for 16 hours?

I tend to write really (really, really) long posts here, and I know that’s not for everyone, so I’m going to answer the question of whether Rimmel London Provocalips really does last for 16 hours it claims on the tube real quick for you:


But also… yes.

By which I mean, NO, it doesn’t last for 16 hours. But YES, it does last for a long time. But having said that… oh God, I’m not going to be able to make this quick, am I? Here’s the long version instead…

So, I bought this product in an attempt to finally resolve my “lips” problem – my “lips problem”, for those of you who don’t know, being the simple fact that I don’t actually HAVE any lips – instead, I have a skin-coloured area of my face, which I draw a pair of lips onto every morning, and then colour them in with lipstick. If that sounds like a total pain, it’s because it is: without any kind of defined lip line to guide me, I basically have to invent my own mouth every morning, and I don’t always do the best job of it. Rarely ever, in fact.

My lipstick preference is for bold colours and bold colours, as you know, require an extra-precise application. When you don’t have a lip line, however, that’s trickier than it really should be, and I frequently find myself applying my makeup, and then taking the same amount of time again JUST to do my lips – applying, then removing, then re-applying, then removing… and so on and so forth, until I have something approximating the shape of a human mouth. Then I go and drink half a cup of coffee, and almost instantly end up with a “ring of shame”, whereby my carefully-applied lipstick wears off in the middle, but clings to the edges. GOD.

Enter Rimmel London Provocalips…

Given the amount of time it takes me to apply lipstick in the first place, the last thing I want to do is start again from scratch – especially if I’m out somewhere with friends, say. I mean, I can’t just excuse myself for half an hour every time I eat or drink something, so I normally start each night out looking (relatively) normal, and end it looking like a corpse. And honestly, I’ve had enough of that, so when I found myself standing in front of the Rimmel counter when I popped to the supermarket for a pint of milk a few weeks ago (on the same trip which resulted in this purchase, actually), I impulsively grabbed a tube of Rimmel London Provocalips Lip Colour (BUY IT HERE), which claims to last for a full 16 hours. Then I grabbed another one, because if I’m going to make a mistake, I’m going to make it twice:

Rimmel Provocalips 16-hour lipstick

Rimmel London Provocalips Lip Colour in 2 different shades

The red shade is #500 – ‘Kiss Me You Fool’, and the pink one is #200 – ‘I’ll Call You’. I’m wearing the red in these photos, because a) OBVIOUSLY and b) the pink looks absolutely horrendous on me, seriously. I bought it thinking it would be a natural-looking pink that would make a nice change from the reds I usually wear, but as soon as I put it on I realised there’s a reason I always wear red, and it’s that most other colours make me look like I’ve been exhumed. I’m sure this one will be lovely on some people, but on my lips it was a dark mauve shade, which was really unflattering.

The good news, however, was that I loved the red, which is a gorgeous “true” red, which is neither too orange nor too pink, and was basically everything I’ve ever wanted from a red lipstick. “If this ACTUALLY lasts for 16 hours, it will change my life!” I thought excitedly. Then I noticed that the tube was double-ended. One side, it turns out, contains the colour itself: the other contains a clear liquid, which claimed to “lock and shine” that colour. Uh-oh.

Now, I wasn’t really down with the whole “shine” thing. I don’t really DO shiny lips, and I absolutely detest lipgloss, which is always sticky and horrible, and which forces me to never move my head, for fear that my hair will stick to it. And it ALWAYS does. So I wasn’t fussed about the “shine”, but I DID want the colour to be “locked”, and it seemed I couldn’t have one without the other, so I applied the – predictably sticky – gloss from the other side of the tube, then sat around with my mouth open for five minutes to let it dry. Then I went downstairs for dinner, and to put the lipstick to its first big test.

I can’t remember what I ate that night, but I do remember I could actually see the lip colour coming off on my cutlery, which REALLY wasn’t a good sign. It also ended up all over my teeth, which was another not-so-good sign: as clumsy as I am, I don’t think I’ve ever had an issue with lipstick on my teeth before: in fact, I’ve always been a bit puzzled when I hear people talking about that, because how do you get lipstick on your TEETH, I wondered? Well, now I know, and it wasn’t pretty. Neither were my lips, for that matter, because the colour hadn’t just come off – it had come off in patches, leaving me looking like I was slowly decomposing. I know, lovely image, huh? It was WAY worse than the wear you get from a regular lipstick, an d I was just about to throw the thing in the bin, when I decided to give it another go, only without the gloss.

I had to wait until the next day, however. Because the colour may have come off in patches, but the bits that were left didn’t want to come off AT ALL, and had to be removed with makeup remover that night. It was very puzzling. Undaunted, however, (Well, actually, I WAS slightly daunted, to be honest. I didn’t have anywhere to be that day, though, so I figured it was safe enough to spend the day with zombie lips, if that was what happened…), I applied the lipstick, but this time I left the gloss alone, and just applied the colour, which I allowed to dry for a good long while before attempting to eat or drink anything.

The application of this isn’t the greatest, it has to be said. As with most of these very long-stay lip colours, you put it on with a sponge applicator, which I find makes it really hard to get a precise application – even more so if, like me, you don’t have a lip line. It’s also quite gloopy and sticky – both with and without the accompanying gloss – and I found that it looked quite messy close-up. I think a more subtle colour would be much easier to use, but with a bright red, you really need a steady hand and perfectly outlined lips (or I think so, anyway), and I found it hard to do that with the sponge applicator – in fact, I ended up having to use a lip brush to get it looking a bit neater.

Once it was on and dry, I again decided to put it through a Trial By Food, so I went downstairs and ate a chicken salad, followed by a particularly juicy slice of melon, a glass of orange juice, and, OK, a couple of squares of chocolate. Then I headed back upstairs to inspect the damage, and also to take this super-awkward photo:

testing out Rimmel 16-Hour Lipstick

Rimmel London Provocalips Lip Colour after eating

As you can (hopefully) see, the lipstick is still mostly intact, although there’s definitely some wear in the centre of the lips. There was only one way to really demonstrate this, though, so please accept my apologies for the cringe-worthy photo…

The things I do for you, blog. Anyway, embarrassing photos aside, it’s not looking nearly so good now, although, to be fair, I don’t normally walk around with my lips pursed, and it WAS a really juicy slice of melon: my usual lipstick wouldn’t have lasted anything like as well as this, and because it’s just the very inside of the lips, it would be easy enough to patch it up without having to spend 30 minutes trying to line my non-existent lips again. I didn’t re-apply it, though. Instead, I drank a giant mug of hot coffee, and…

… there was really no difference: the lipstick looked exactly the same after the coffee as it had before it. I stopped taking photos after that, partly out of pity for those of you having to read this, but also because I realised that nothing much was going to change: it seems that after that first chunk of colour had gone from the centre of the lips, the rest wasn’t going to budge, no matter what I ate or drank after that. It stayed pretty much the same until bedtime, when, again, I had to take it off with cleanser, so while it didn’t last for a full 16 hours (or not looking exactly as it did when it was fresh on, anyway), I still think it was a pretty good result.

The downside, as with most longwear formulas, is that it’s a bit drying on the lips – I find this much more comfortable to wear than some I’ve tried, and it actually doesn’t dry my lips too badly (and I have quite dry lips to start with), but it’s definitely more drying than a regular lipstick, so that’s something to be aware of. I also find that it continues to feel slightly sticky long after it dries, which is a little annoying, although not a deal-breaker. I probably won’t re-purchase this exact colour, purely because I find it too messy to apply accurately, but I do recommend it if you’re looking for something that will stay in place all day, with minimal top-ups – and as I said, I think a less bold colour would show even less wear than this one did!

Anyone else tried Rimmel London Provocalips? What did you think of it?

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  • Lucy O'Neill


    I have a lip problem too, a little different to yours, mine are quite deeply coloured and thinnish. I struggle to find colours that have good enough pigment to cover up my natural colour and because I’m really pale too, it can prove quite difficult! I too have 3000 shades/types of red lipstick (approx) and I found that maybelline super stay 24 was really good for staying put, the same as you described with the rimmel one except the particular shade I got (red passion) didn’t dry sticky, other shades did – no idea why?! Also the applicator is quite thin and pointy so is a little more precise. It comes with a clear lip balm to apply over the top but that does the same as the gloss on the rimmel one and wears so much better without it! Thank you for your love of red lipstick and your lengthy blog – I love it! X

    July 24, 2015
  • Great review and pictures. I enjoyed reading this.

    July 24, 2015
  • I always use LipCote and even though it’s one of those products you think “WHY?” it really does keep my lipstick on! I use it on nights out and my lipstick stays perfect. It tickles when you apply it and sometimes makes my lips tingle but other than that it’s great!

    July 24, 2015
  • I love your reviews. They’re so fun and honest!

    I usually avoid this kind of product cos it’s just a pain to use, but I’m digging that red. It looks great on you.

    July 24, 2015
  • “…there’s a reason I always wear red, and it’s that most other colours make me look like I’ve been exhumed.”

    *falls over laughing*
    This post was hysterical. Thanks for that. I needed a pick-me-up this morning. For whatever reason, today is feeling more like a Monday than a Friday.
    Anywho, I can’t pull off the more “natural” lip colors either. I’ve been searching for a nude color that doesn’t make me look washed out or Of the Undead for ages, and I just can’t seem to find one that does the trick.
    I’m glad you were able to make this one work for you in the end! Also, I definitely appreciate the lengths you go to for the blog. It always makes your posts that much more enjoyable ^_^

    July 24, 2015
  • Jen


    I use this exact shade and I love it. Couple of tips that I’ve found really work: don’t put lip balm on just before applying it as it will make the colour come off in chunks. Moisturise your lips well before and make sure you blot off any remainder.

    Also, gently blot lips after you’ve used the colour end, do apply the gloss to lock it in but then blot again to get rid of the shine (I, too hate lip gloss).

    I apply this at 8am, eat and drink throughout the day, talk on the phone at work for around 5 solid hours which is notorious for making lipstick dry and cakey, get home at 6 and it still looks immaculate. I do then have to use make up remover followed by some serious lip balm but it’s so worth it.

    Do persevere if you can x

    July 24, 2015
  • JoAnn Moran


    I bought this to wear to a wedding because apparently, I’m a lip smacker and nothing stays on. Imhad a similar experiencemwith dinner – embarrassing- but thr color was gorgeous. It wore off in the middle first and got patchy, and I was wondering if it was my application technique. Thanks for the thorough explanation and photos. It really did help.

    July 24, 2015
  • Jayne


    I have this exact red lipstick too and agree with everything you said.

    July 24, 2015
  • Anaïs L


    You know what’s funny? I have quite full lips and I have the same lip line problem! I have this small limbo area between my lips and my face and if I put my lipstick on too generously, I look like I have a clown’s mouth 😀

    If you’re still on the lookout for a long lasting colour: I can really recommend the lip stains by Lush. They’re about the same price as a Mac lipstickt (at least they are here in Belgium), you only need the tiniest drop of it and it gives amazing colour – ànd super long staying power. I only need to apply it once in the morning and I’m good for the rest of the day, it doesn’t dry your lips out, it lasts through meals and when it fades, it fades evenly and not in patches.
    The only downside is that it takes about 30 minutes for it to dry, so it easily smudges in that period, but after it’s dried it’s all set.

    July 24, 2015
  • Ha…my eyebrows are the same way. I have to try to figure out where they are every morning. it is a pain. Your lipstick looks fab!

    August 3, 2015
  • Moni


    I happen to have a different kind of lip problem:
    There is a clearly defined area around my mouth that says “lips”, but the colour that should be in it has shifted downward slightly, leaving the top of my upper lip nude and a stripe below my lower lip naturally red. While it’s not so much a problem with the upper lip, it looks totally ridiculous at the bottom, because I either have to colour over the additional red, too, which creates an enormous lower lip. Or I have to cover the additional red with concealer, which makes my mouth look swollen.
    Even my sister, who is a make-up artist, has not come up with a good solution yet, so I basically go without lipstick if possible, as it’s the lesser of three evils… At least my lips are naturally kind of red.

    August 18, 2015