Rocking a bold, bright lip may be intimidating, and so is spending over $20 on a product you may only break out once a month. Solution? CVS.
Places like CVS, Walgreens and Target have been upping their game big time recently and now carry products that can seriously hold their own against high-end brands like Nars or Make Up Forever. The best news is that you don’t have to break your bank to buy them, and in most cases you can return them after you’ve tried them if you’re not a fan. So basically buy seven at once, and decide which makes you feel fanciest at home with music on and potential outfit changes.
These lipsticks are some of my favorite on-budget finds that I tend to use even more than my higher-end stuff. In a lipstick, I’m looking for staying power, intense color payoff and comfort. I expect a lot out of my lipstick and these finds deliver.
1. DEEP PURPLE: Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in “Shameless” – $9
This is easily the most fun lipstick I own, and my most worn. It comes in a chubby crayon-like shape that makes you feel like you’re about to create a masterpiece, and you’d be right to feel that. It’s a deep, daring purple that dries completely matte. The first layer is a bright purple, but if you layer it up, you can get it crazy dark. It never feels like it’s drying out your lips or settling into creases, and it’s got a nice minty scent. Also, it has been tested and it is, in fact, truly kiss proof. Dare you to try it. I mean, it is called “Shameless.”
2. BRIGHT RED: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in “Monte Carlo” – $6
When I want to rock a bright, true red lip, I gravitate towards this shade. It’s a thin formula that slides easily onto the lips. It’s not as intimidating as a lot of other bright red lipsticks, because the first coat goes on relatively sheer. Before it sets, you can build it to your desired brightness. It’s got a blue, almost raspberry undertone that I find to be much easier to rock than reds with orange tones. It also makes your teeth look brilliantly white, so that’s nice.
3. BURGUNDY/DEEP RED: NYX Butter Lipstick in “Licorice” – $6
I have so much love for this lipstick that it’s hard to find the right words. This is the lipstick version of my favorite Pinot Noir and it’s just the best. Like the name suggests, it’s a buttery-smooth formula that goes on with a satin finish, and eventually dries matte. While it goes on as a deep red with purple undertones, the more you build it, the more wonderfully vampy it gets. It won’t bleed or settle into dry patches on your lips. Best bonus: on a night of lots of drinking and conversation, I usually only have to reapply once. Yes yes yes, please. This butter lipstick line is pretty baller. Do try the shade “Hunk” if you’re into lighter, more magenta colors. It’ll blow your mind.
4. TRUE RED: Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate Moss in “11” – $5
When I want to wear winged eyeliner and channel Old Hollywood Glam, I always pull out this lipstick. It has a blue undertone, so again we’re showing off our pearly whites and plump lips. It glides on like a dream, feels like a moisturizing chapstick, and has pretty fantastic staying power for how bold as the color is. It claims to be a matte lipstick, but I’d say it has more of a satin finish which catches the light beautifully. It’s also the perfect lipstick to pair with a burgundy lipliner for a contoured velvet lip. For the price of one of Mac’s lipsticks, you could literally buy this and two backups. Dreams come true, guys.
5. DEEP BERRY: L’Oreal Infallible Lipstick in “Everlasting Plum” – $8
Though I am (clearly) one for matte lipstick, this slightly shinier shade won my heart by accident. It’s a pretty badass magenta that delivers huge color payoff on the first swipe to the lips. It’s also just so comfy to wear. It manages to never fully dry down, so your lips are coated with a silky, non-sticky layer for hours. As the name suggests, the color lasts well over the 4 hour mark. It fades all together to a nice berry, magenta stain on the lips, so you don’t need to worry about the dreaded lipliner-only affect some bolder lipsticks leave you with. We’re not here for that. I find this to be an awesome transition shade from the vampy winter months, into the brighter springtime feels.