This $10 Drugstore Lipstick Will Make You Forget Pricy Kylie Jenner Kits
Recently, a friend let me borrow her lip stain by Kylie Jenner. The matte lip stain lasted an entire night of drinking and eating — and I even woke up the next morning with it still on. It was a long night, OK?
As much as I didn’t want to admit it, I loved the lip stain. It made sense why it was notorious for being difficult to take off, but that didn’t bother me much — there’s nothing as frustrating as having to reapply a lip product every 30 minutes.
My wallet, however, doesn’t love Jenner’s lip products. A single tube of her matte lipstick runs at $17. Since you can only order it online, you can add another $8.95 for shipping and handling in the U.S.
That equals $25.95. For a tube of lipstick.
I love looking smokin’ hot with a red lip that lasts all night, but I can’t justify spending that much on a single piece of makeup.
So, I got to thinking: Are there any cheaper products out there that are just as great?
Our Tube Test Revealed the Best Drugstore Lipstick Ever
At The Penny Hoarder, we love makeup. We’ve already found the best eyeliners for under $10, so it was time to move on to the next quest for bargain beauty.
So what drugstore matte lipsticks rivaled Kylie’s famous, impossible-to-get-off matte lipstick? And even better, were there any under $10 that stayed on just as long — but looked as good?
To find the best drugstore lipstick, we gave each of five Penny Hoarder volunteers a different lipstick first thing in the morning. They had the freedom to eat and drink throughout the day — as long as they reported how often they had to reapply the product. At the end of the day, we asked them to rate their product on a scale of 1 to 10 and give their thoughts about it.
Here’s what they had to say.
5. L’Oreal Paris La Lacque, $9.99
Kristy Gaunt, Illustrative Designer, wears a lip product every day. Her favorite is Maybelline Colorstay, but she was willing to switch it up for our test.
“Oh no,” she said as she put the product on her lips. “That’s so weird. I feel like I’m putting a wet crayon on my lips.”
Not only did it feel weird, but it smelled weird, too. Gaunt also expected the color to be more pink, but it just blended in with her lips.
Gaunt had to reapply the lip product 20 minutes after she put it on. From there, the ship just kept sinking.
Over the course of four hours, Gaunt reapplied her lip color three times. It wiped off on everything — her hands, her water bottle and even her boyfriend’s cheek when she kissed it.
On a scale of 1 to 10, Gaunt rated it a 3.
“For the price, it’s not worth it,” she said. “The stuff I use every day is $10, and it’s much better than this.”
Overall consensus? This one sucks. Don’t buy it.
4. Milani Amore Matte, $5.99
Christie Post, supervising producer of live programming, is no newbie when it comes to makeup. She buys a wide array of lip products because she likes trying out new ones. She has a hard time finding something that will stay on all day.
Post also has tried tons of high-end lip products — everything from Chanel to Stila. She has yet to find a favorite, though.
She tried on the Milani Amore Matte lip color but wasn’t too thrilled about how it looked.
“It’s very smooth and smells like cake batter,” said Post. “But it’s really shiny — I think there might be too much shine, actually.”
She was right — one look at her lips from across the room and you could’ve been blinded. They were ultra shiny, which was a little strange because the product was supposed to be matte.
She said it felt like she was wearing a gloss, which she liked. She prefers lightweight makeup, so the fact that it didn’t feel “cakey” was a plus. She only had to reapply it once, and it even stayed on while she ate a sandwich.
At the end of the day, though, her lips looked cracked. She said it made her look like an old person.
She said she definitely would not recommend this product to friends.
“There’s probably a better product out there,” said Post.
On a scale of 1 to 10, she said it only rang in at a 4.
Overall consensus? Too shiny, not matte. Only buy if you want to look like an old person.
3. Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid, $7.99
Lisa Rowan, writer, producer and pizza enthusiast, wears a lip product almost every day.
As she put on the Maybelline product, she commented on how smooth it felt on her lips. Her major concern was how it would feel when it dried.
She reapplied it once after lunch but didn’t like that it came off on her coffee mug.
“This lipstick felt really good on for the entire day,” said Rowan. “Even as it faded off, it didn’t feel like it was cracking or caking or coming off on my teeth.”
While the product itself was up to Rowan’s standards, she didn’t care for how light the color was. The color appeared significantly darker in the tube than how it looked when she put it on.
On a scale of 1 to 10, she gave it a 5.
“I think the formula is good,” said Rowan. “I just think another color would be better. It might need a primer or finisher on top, so you might need to spend a little bit more to make it worth it.”
Overall consensus? Decent, but it might work better with a primer — which means you’ll have to spend more money.
2. E.l.f. Matte Lip Color, $4
Teyonna Edwards, associate video producer, doesn’t usually wear lip products. When she does, though, she wears affordable ones from the drugstore.
As she put the E.l.f red matte lip color on, she liked how easy it was to apply.
“It goes on very smooth, so that’s an automatic plus,” she said. “It’s comfortable already. It feels matte, I don’t feel like it’ll be uncomfortable or sticky,”
“It’s a good color — I didn’t have to put a lot of it on, so that’s a plus,” she said.
She also loved how it was crayonlike, instead of liquid with a sponge applicator. She used it to line her lips first, like a lip liner, then filled in the rest.
The best part? Edwards didn’t reapply it throughout the day — and she felt like it still looked great at the end of the day.
On a scale of 1 to 10, she gave it an 8.
Plot twist: It actually ended up breaking in half toward the end of the day — which is why it didn’t ring in as our No. 1 pick.
Overall consensus? Awesome color, long-lasting — but you get what you pay for, considering it broke in half and was unusable by the end of the day.
…and the Best Drugstore Lipstick Is…
After a valiant effort (and some epic fails), we finally found the one drugstore lip product worth every penny.
Here’s the No. 1 drugstore lip product that lasted all day and looked flawless:
1. Revlon ULTRA HD Matte Lipcolor, $9.99
While applying Revlon’s matte lip product, senior media buyer Kelsey Buxton had nothing but good things to say about it.
“It’s super smooth; it doesn’t dry out my lips,” she said. “I think it looks good!”
After four hours, it still looked as if Buxton had just applied it.
“It felt great! It didn’t dry out my lips at all, which is what a lot of matte lipsticks do, especially the expensive ones — they stay on forever, but they dry the crap out of your lips!” she said. “This one kinda felt like I was wearing chapstick all day, so it was nice.”
The lip color even survived when she ate her lunch. Buxton said it didn’t crack at all while she ate, and it only came off on her soda can — but not while eating food.
Throughout the day, she only had to reapply it once, after lunch.
Buxton rated it a 9 out of 10 and even said she wants to buy it in different colors.
Overall consensus? This is a cheap lip product worth buying.
Kelly Smith is a junior writer and engagement specialist at The Penny Hoarder. Catch her on Twitter at @keywordkelly.