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We Tried The Same Lipsticks On Different Skin Tones

Lipsticks for all.

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If you've ever worn lipstick you will know that it's not universal. You've see the colour on the model, you've seen the colour in real life, you've even seen it on your mate, yet it looks slightly different on you.

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This is mainly due to your undertones. People with cool undertones have a fairer skin tone, while those with warm undertones have a darker skin tone.

So we decided to put six budget lipsticks to the test, to see what they look like on different skin tones.

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These colours and lipstick brands were picked because they are cheap and can be found on your local high street.

1. Rimmel The Only One Lipstick Naughty Nude, £6.99

2. Max Factor Colour Elixir Matte Bullet Lipstick Blush 25, £7.99

3. Revlon Superlustrous Lipstick Fire & Ice, £7.99

4. Sleek Lipstick True Colour Vamp, £4.99

5. L'Oreal Infallible Lip Paint 207 Wuthering Purple, £6.99

6. Sleek Makeup Matte Me Lip Cream Apricot Blooms, £4.99

These four ladies – Natalya, Ailbhe, Gena, and Remee – are the willing testers.

Natalya (top left): I’m not really a lipstick wearer at all. My lips are pretty small and I’ve just come to accept that, and instead of trying to compensate for what I don’t have, I just leave them be and apply a ton of eye makeup instead. That said, I do like a nice nude lip with a satin finish.

Ailbhe (top right): I wear lipstick quite a lot, and stick to "classic" colours like red, pink, or beige. Every time I branch out with a deeper colour I get a fright, but I'd love to be able to wear a wine or a plum. I'm also really jealous of how Gena wears bright colours, but I'm worried they'll look cartoonish on me. But generally, I'm expecting most of these lipsticks to look nice on me. I have a really common skin tone for the high street, so the only one I'm cautious about is the orange Sleek lipstick.

Remee (below left): I love a good lipstick. I usually have two to three in my bag at all times. One nude, one bright and bold, and one red – so I’m prepared for any occasion. Most of the time finding reds and bright colours isn't really a struggle, as most tend to go well with my skin tone. Nudes, however, have always been a massive struggle for me – they are usually too light, too chalky, wash me out, or are just too brown.

Gena (below right): I’m a self-confessed lipstick addict. In fact, I’m pretty sure there are some people who’ve never seen me without it. I usually wear bold, dark lipsticks like black, navy, or violet, but I’m always happy to try new ones to add to my collection.

First up: the Rimmel The Only One Lipstick Naughty Nude.

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Natalya: This was definitely my favourite – it was super moisturising and comfortable to wear. It’s a little too pink on me to be a perfect nude, and therefore looks quite girly and summery rather than natural and nonchalant, but I still liked it.

Ailbhe: This looks cute, and it's really comfortable to wear. It's a rosy pink and looks really natural on me. I think Rimmel lipsticks are a great high street buy – and I'd definitely shove this in my handbag for days when I forget to put lipstick on in the morning.

Remee: This was really nice to apply, very moisturising. It’s a bit of a nothing-y colour for me – it looks very very natural, so I guess if I’m on that vibe, it would definitely do the trick. I like a good nude, but usually a matte one looks good and it has to be sort of grey or more brown for it to look good against my skin tone. I think if I were trying to look like I wasn't having a bottle of wine and a Maccy D’s, this would be a good go-to.

Gena: Any lipstick that describes itself as “nude”, or even looks like a “nude”, is always a no-no for me. They’re rarely made to suit my skin tone, so I’ve become accustomed to avoiding them. Unfortunately, it’s the same story with this lipstick. Not only was this lipstick the complete wrong colour, it wasn’t very pigmented at all, which meant it needed a lot of coats for the colour to show through. I’ll pass.

Next, the girls tried the Max Factor Colour Elixir Matte Bullet Lipstick in Blush 25.

Laura Gallant/ BuzzFeed

Natalya: This colour is fun – I felt like I should backcomb my hair and join an ‘80s power-pop girl group. But again, as someone that wears a lot of eye makeup it just felt like too much and a bit clown-y on me.

Ailbhe: I would never go for a Max Factor lipstick – if I was buying on the high street I'd probably choose Rimmel or Sleek. And I don't think this lipstick is going to change my mind. The pigment is wonky – it's neither fuchsia nor Schiap pink, it's just very flat.

Remee: This has a smooth texture and glossy-ish finish. It looks quite nice against my skin tone and would be very nice for the summer, but I kinda wish it were more matte.

Gena: This lipstick doesn’t look toooo bad, but it’s a little too bright for me. It went on well, and was moisturising but not completely sheer (I prefer matte lipsticks, so that was great for me). I especially liked the pigmentation of this lipstick, but would prefer it if it were a bit darker.

Then the Revlon Superlustrous Lipstick Fire & Ice was put to the test.

Laura Gallant/ BuzzFeed

Natalya: I love red lipstick, but only on other people. The finish of this lipstick is nice, I know this is an iconic one, but I feel like a clown in any red lipstick at all.

Ailbhe: This is such an '80s shade of red – Fire & Ice is an iconic shade, but the pigment is a bit more orange than I had expected. I feel like I should be wearing shoulder pads and bringing down the glass ceiling.

Remee: I really like this colour – it really pops and would look fab with some of my fancy-pants bronzer. The only thing is, I’m not a massive fan of glossy lipsticks, and this is quite shiny. It was nice to apply though, non-drying, and the colour does look nice against my skin tone.

Gena: Of all the lipstick colours (after nude), red is the colour I am most afraid of. It’s not so much burgundy colours, but bright reds are just something I can’t seem to get right. They always seem way too ~out there~. This red wasn’t too bad. I thought it suited me okay, but I didn’t like that it took many coats to show the pigment. Meh, I’d probably wear this again if I’m feeling bold.

Up next, the Sleek Lipstick True Colour in Vamp.

Laura Gallant/BuzzFeed

Natalya: This is the sort of colour that I generally go for if I want to wear lipstick and actually look like I’m wearing it – dark reds and browns. This felt like a proper old-school kind of lipstick, the kind I’d steal from my mum as a kid, that kind of tacky and dry texture. So, not only did it make me feel old but I think it made me look old. I don’t know what it is, but the terracotta undertones looked harsh and made me look like a stern schoolteacher. I didn’t like this at all.

Ailbhe: This looks brown in the tube, but is more wine-y on. I'm surprised by how nice it looks – I've mentioned I'm wary of dark colours before. It's a bit drying in texture, and it's not as densely pigmented as the others. I've put on one coat here, and you can see the colour is a bit uneven.

Remee: Now this is my kind of lipstick. Matte but not drying, and with a nice sultry dark colour. I love blood-coloured reds and this one is pretty damn nice. It also complements my skin tone well. SEXXXXYYYYY.

Gena: This was my second-favourite lipstick, I’d without a doubt wear it. I think the deepness of the red suits my skin tone really well, and the texture was fine (if a little drying). I have very few complaints!

Next the L'Oreal Infallible Lip Paint 207 in Wuthering Purple.

Laura Gallant/ BuzzFeed

Natalya: I liked the colour, but the actual consistency and the pigmentation was a big let-down. Looking at the pictures, I think this colour is my favourite, but I had to apply a good glob of it to actually get this colour payoff. It also didn’t feel like it set, so I don’t think it would last well. When it comes to bright colours, you really want your lipstick to be highly pigmented and long-lasting – otherwise your whole lower face is going to end up looking slightly purple as the product migrates away from your lips.

Ailbhe: The packaging for this is really cool, but it's super inefficient. I had to put on three coats to get any kind of intensity, and it's incredibly drying. The colour is not great on me – it's a bit like a lipstick you'd get for free in Bliss magazine.

Remee: I was excited about trying this one since I’m a fan of bright-but-also-kinda-dark colours and I do love a liquid lipstick, especially ones in a tube! However, this was NOT easy to apply. The formula is kinda weird, where you have to do many layers and it doesn’t really dry properly so it can look uneven as you do so. The colour is pretty nice, although I feel like it washes me out slightly.

Gena: Despite the look of discomfort on my face (look, I really don’t know how to pose for pictures unless I’m smiling, okay?), I actually really liked this! It’s very typical of the kind of bold lipsticks I like, and I actually own a lipstick just like it. My only issue with this was that it was a liquid matte and the consistency of the liquid was DREADFUL – it was like putting on curdled paint. If that were changed, I’d buy it, for sure.

Finally the girls tried a wild card shade: the Sleek Makeup Matte Me Lip Cream in Apricot Blooms.

Laura Gallant/BuzzFeed

Natalya: Oh my god, where do I start? Why was this invented? Who allowed this? Surely it’s merely a massive loss of income for Sleek? The only appropriate use for this would be for the ‘90s Japanese Ganguro movement, aka a look designed around the idea of doing the exact opposite of what is considered conventionally beautiful. Unfortunately, actively looking like the opposite of beautiful is not what I want from my lipstick.

Ailbhe: Looking at how the other girls got on, I came out of this OK. It makes my lips disappear into my face but you know, it's long-lasting, if that's what you're looking for.

Remee: WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS? I don’t even know where to start with this one. It belongs in the circus. I’m all for bold, bright colours, but I don’t understand who this is made for??? I can’t imagine anyone, even RIHANNA, who literally makes ANYTHING look good, looking decent with this on.

Gena: Do I even need to tell you my thoughts on this one? I think my face pretty much says it all! This lipstick SUCKS.