- There are a million lipsticks out there, many of which look completely identical from one another inside the tube. So, how can you possibly choose?
- We’ve done the research to cull a list of the five best lipstick formulas available at drugstore prices.
- Whether you like a traditional bullet lipstick, smudge-proof liquid lipstick, or that enigmatic hybrid, the lip mousse, we’ve got options for under $10.
- Our top pick at the drugstore is Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick, a comfortable classic lipstick available in 20 varied shades.
I’m a full-blown lipstick hoarder. I don’t actually wear much lipstick, or I wear very specific lipsticks that are more like lip stains, but I have dozens of nearly identical colors and find it very difficult to pare down my collection.
Even I, a makeup lover who compares products for a living, have trouble telling the difference between one purple or red cream bullet and another. Lipsticks of similar shades look pretty much the same before (and sometimes after) you apply.
Drugstore lipsticks are a dime a dozen (not literally, but close), and when you can’t swatch them for yourself, it’s nearly impossible to decide what colors will suit you best. Texture-wise, I usually find I need to try a lipstick formula for a couple days to formulate a true opinion on how it wears.
Lucky for you, I’ve done the research to cull a list of the five best lipstick formulas available at drugstore prices. Whether you like a traditional bullet lipstick, smudge-proof liquid lipstick, or that enigmatic hybrid, the lip mousse, you’ve got options for under $10.
Here are the best drugstore lipsticks you can buy:
- The best drugstore lipstick overall: Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick
- The best liquid drugstore lipstick: Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Lip Color
- The best clean formula drugstore lipstick: Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lipstick
- The best hydrating drugstore lipstick: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick
- The best drugstore lip mousse: NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream
The best drugstore lipstick overall
Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick is the ideal iteration of the classic bullet lipstick — matte, comfortable, and available in a bunch of wearable shades.
Everyone needs a classic bullet lipstick in their makeup wardrobe, and Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick is the best of the best. The coolest part? It’s less than $5, so you probably don’t have to choose between a nude lippie and your life-giving morning latte.
These lipsticks claim to be creamy and matte at the same time, giving you a rare comfortable and non-glossy finish. The colors are pigmented and vibrant yet still wearable. Reviewers praise their longevity, but keep in mind that you’ll likely have to reapply to keep the intensity. Unlike liquid lipsticks that dry down, these will transfer and fade as you talk, eat, and drink throughout the day.
Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick has an average 4-star customer rating on Amazon, based on more than 1,300 reviews.
According to Byrdie, "The creamy, velvety Maybelline lip color comes in a classic bullet shape, and smooths over lips without emphasizing lines or dryness." InStyle also considers this the "best inexpensive lipstick," and The Cut recommends it as well.
Pros: matte but not drying, 20 shades including nudes for different skin tones, long-lasting
Cons: not transfer-proof or smudge-proof
The best liquid drugstore lipstick
Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Lip Color has the staying power of cement, with intense color payoff and a precision applicator.
Liquid lipstick is a blessing and a curse. Transfer-proof and pigmented, these lipsticks dry down and don’t budge. But they’re often super drying and become flakey the longer you wear them.
Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink Lip Color is one of the longest-lasting lip formulas on the market, not just at the drugstore. Seriously, I once swatched it on the back of my hand and it did not budge for two days, even after I washed my hands several times. Another cool detail is the precision tip on the applicator, which basically eliminates the need for lip liner altogether.
If you find most liquid lipsticks drying, you will probably want to slather on a balm before you apply because this secures to your lips like cement. I personally find all liquid lipsticks a bit uncomfortable; however, some reviewers find this formula less problematic than the average liquid lippie.
Byrdie describes the texture as "a thick, moisturizing balm" that sets "to a comfortable, lightweight matte finish that doesn’t crack or flake." SuperStay Matte Ink Lip Color has a 4.4 Ulta rating based on 4,700 reviews.
The reviewer at Allure writes, "Out of all the formulas I tried, drugstore or otherwise, this has everyone else’s staying power beat without any question."
Pros: ultra-long-lasting, precision applicator, 20 shades
Cons: might be drying on some
The best clean formula drugstore lipstick
Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lipstick combines natural ingredients with a creamy, comfortable formula.
Natural makeup fans can find love at the drugstore — Burt’s Bees, purveyors of your favorite lip balm, also has some incredible cosmetics. The 100% Natural Moisturizing Lipstick is a great clean beauty pick that combines a comfortable formula with beautiful color payoff.
Available in 18 shades ranging from deep reds to subtle nudes, this Allure Best of Beauty winner is full of hydrating ingredients such as vitamin E, raspberry seed oil, moringa oil, and of course, beeswax. Like all of the brand’s products, these are formulated with attention toward sustainability and housed in recyclable packaging.
"Best lipstick I’ve tried in ages. The color is as I expected (and exactly what I wanted) and it goes on nicely, smooth and even with good (though not heavy) coloring," writes one Amazon shopper. At Amazon, this product has over 1,300 reviews, resulting in an average 3.8-star rating.
Makeup artist Kristine Cruz tells Health that the lipstick "fades completely evenly…no weird ring left around your mouth after eating lunch!" A major plus, as far as I’m concerned!
Pros: natural ingredients, moisturizing formula, 18 shades
Cons: not intensely pigmented
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