I Tried 10 Budget-Friendly Drugstore Lipsticks And Here's My Review

Here's a review of 10 popular drugstore lipsticks.

I Tried It

Throughout my adolescent life, my mother would constantly tell me as she looked at my incomplete made up face, to “go put some lipstick on." I was a ChapStick girl for years! I've always loved wearing makeup and would do up my eyes, face, and cheeks, and finish it with lip balm.

Fast forward years later as a young professional, lipstick has become a staple in my makeup bag, as well as, my signature look along with bronzy clean skin and manicured brows. If I went into my bathroom and counted how many lipsticks I currently have, I wouldn't be surprised if the count exceeded 30. I know, lol.

As a beauty blogger, it's been a part of my job description to test and collect. But like most women, I like to have room to spend my money elsewhere and not break the bank due my slight obsession over makeup. So, I've rounded up 10 budget friendly, drugstore lipsticks from different brands, tested them out, and included an honest review on how they stand up next to some of our pricier favorites. Enjoy!

Wet & Wild Megalast Lip Color

Shade: 902C Bare It All

Price Tag: $1.99

Application: Initially goes on like a matte texture, but reapplied throughout the day it goes on creamier.

Pigment: Great pigment!

Tips: This is one of my favorite cheapie brands. I literally have every single color. I would recommend wearing a light lip balm underneath before you apply the lipstick.

Gripe: Some colors can be “stickier" than others after application, which could be due to the ingredients of the lipstick. You get what you pay for, right?

Worth It?: Definitely! Overall, the payoff is major and it's worth every bit of your $2. Thank me later.

Shop here

Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick

Shade: In Love With Ginger

Price Tag: $5.49

Application: Glides on very smooth and creamy. I did not need to wear a lip balm underneath.

Pigment: The color is buildable which I love. More swipes equals more pigment. You don't even need a liner underneath.

Worth It?: Yes! I would compare this lipstick consistency with Dolce & Gabbana lipstick. Dolce smells better, but Rimmel London gives off max color for your dollar.

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Rimmel London Lasting Finish Matte Collection by Kate Moss

Shade: 103

Price Tag: $5.49

Application: Creamy application and dries with a matte finish.

Pigment: Incredibly pigmented.

Gripe: As it wears throughout the day, it fades away and leaves a ring of color around the outer edges of the lips.

Tip: For longer wear, apply a light balm, fill in your lips with with a lipliner, then apply the lipstick.

Worth It?: This shade is hot right now. I would definitely say it compares to some of your favorite MAC lipsticks.

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Milani Color Statement Moisture Lipstick

Shade: Matte Flirty

Price Tag: $5.99

Applications: Goes on smooth but matte

Pigment: Pretty good color.

Gripe: The color was a little uneven when applying. A lipliner underneath would help with even application. It also stained my lips a little after removing with a makeup wipe.

Tip: You have to be sure your lips are exfoliated before applying this lipstick. It will show every imperfection if you don't.

Worth It?: It's a hit or miss with this line depending on the color. I have colors from Milani with great pigment and others that just don't give me enough punch, but I still give it a thumbs up.

Shop here

Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lip Color

Shade: Rich Ruby

Price Tag: $8.29

Application: Goes on smooth and creamy. Felt very soft with a satin finish feel, dries matte.

Pigment: Amazing color pay off! The kind that makes you say wow the moment it hits your lips.

Tip: You can apply a light balm first, but it wasn't drying at all.

Worth It?: LOVE LOVE LOVE this collection! This shade may be the runner up to my favorite NARS matte lip pencil this Fall. Total dupe to MAC Ruby Woo.

Shop here

Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lip Color

Shade: Burgundy Blush

Price Tag: $8.29

Application: Applies satin and smooth, dries matte

Pigment: Another enviable shade with great pigment. Buildable color and you don't even need a liner underneath.

Worth It?: Another bomb shade from the same collection. There are so many colors to choose from, so you are bound to find something you love for Fall.

L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche Le Matte Lip Pen

Shade: 100 Matte For Me

Price Tag: $8.99

Application: This lipstick applies more like a lip liner and was very easy to use. It goes on creamy with a satin feel and dries matte.

Pigment: The color is vibrant which I loved!

Tip: I would recommend for women with two-toned colored lips to use a liner the same shade for even color. My lips are a little darker around the edges and pink in the middle and I could still notice the darker edges of my lips.

Worth It?: Totally! If anything, this could double solely as a liner under your favorite shade of lipstick for maximum staying power

Shop here.

L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Last Lip Color

Shade: 111 Passionate Petal

Price Tag: $12.99

Application: You apply this product using the gloss first, then top it off with the balm. As a gloss alone, it was very tacky and does not feel good on your lips. When I applied the balm over it, it moved the gloss around and made it uneven. It was just weird.

Pigment: The color wasn't bad.

Gripes: For it to be $13, it smelled cheap. It was also the hardest lipstick to get off and dried with an awkward ring around my lips. When they say long lasting they mean it. I had to scrub vigorously to remove this product with a makeup wipe.

Worth It?: No, I did not like this product at all. Not only is it the most expensive, but there are so many negatives behind it, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

Shop here

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss

Shade: Sky Pink

Price Tag: $7.99

Application: For my girls who prefer gloss as opposed to a lipstick, you will love this line. It's light and applies more balm like than a sticky thick gloss (cough…MAC).

Pigment: Pretty soft color.

Tips: Great to wear alone or over your favorite baby pink or nude shade.

Worth It?: Yes, it's not quite as pigmented as the enviable MAC “Snob" yet, but a great runner up that won't leave that weird white ring on the inside of your lips.

Shop here

Black Radiance Perfect Tone Lip Color

Shade: Plum Orchid

Price Tag: $1.99

Application: Glides on smoothly and feels moisturizing.

Pigment: This specific color has ok pigment. It's a mild take on a purple lip.

Tips: For more pigment and punch, layer this lipstick over a purple liner.

Gripe: The consistency of this lipstick is soft, which makes me worry that it may break in half or melt down easily.

Worth It?: Yes. While there are competitive purple shades out there, I do have a red from Black Radiance that looks awesome. Just like Wet & Wild, it's definitely worth the two dollars.

Shop here

Now that I've sampled all these lippies for you ladies, which ones are you feeling? There are so many amazing brands in drugstores and I'm sure I left a couple of your favorites out, but hey, hopefully I was able to introduce you to some new faves as well!

What are some of your favorite drugstore lipstick brands and shades?

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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