back to top

Test Drive: Red Lipstick For The Extremely Broke

Want to look classic as hell for around five bucks or less?

Posted on

You'll find plenty of red lipsticks for five bones or less in drugstores. But which of them are actually good?

Macey J. Foronda

I tried out four, and guess what? After testing them, I realized that you don't have to hit up Sephora or MAC or the Barneys beauty counter in order to look elegant at your next event (or just whenever you have the urge to dress up your lips). I applied each with a lip brush and judged them based on pigmentation, value, and how long they lasted. Yes, some cheapo lipsticks look as inexpensive as they retail for. But in most cases, no one's going to know that you paid for your lip color in quarters.

Macey J. Foronda

Whether you're a fan of the Black Eyed Peas or not (not), you'll love this Fergie-inspired pinkish red for its smooth formulation and matte finish. It didn't bleed into the skin around my mouth despite its high color saturation. And, sure, it wasn't incredibly long-lasting, but that's also true of plenty of lip products that cost five times this much. I tend to prefer a truer red, but this would be lovely on someone with a complexion with less of a pale pink undertone.


Macey J. Foronda

For some reason, I always used to pass over the section of the drugstore beauty department that Milani occupies. Well, actually, I know what the reason was — it was because I thought Milani looked like cheap garbage in old-lady packaging. SORRY! After trying on this lipstick, I now know how wrong I was. Not only is this a good-quality, highly pigmented true red (look at that perfect tomato color!), it also lasts for a mad long time. It stood up over the course of of several hours and a few canned Diet Cokes with ease. This is definitely great on those days when you can't constantly disappear to a bathroom to reapply. In short: KINDA OBSESSED WITH YOU, MILANI, SORRY FOR HATING.


Macey J. Foronda

Although this sheerer, deeper red was my favorite of the group color-wise, the lipstick on the whole is probably not worth more than the dollar I paid for it. While drugstore products that cost a buck and completely rule DO exist, that's sadly not the case here. The thing is this: NYC lipstick is mostly wack as fuck. By that I mean it tastes like Yankee Candle wax and, though pretty, it only stays on for roughly half a second. The packaging is also terrible — the plastic casing on the top comes off really easily in a purse and then the lipstick (and your purse) is ruined. Not cool. Your 99 cents is better applied to the $5.49 Milani.


Macey J. Foronda

Let it be known: Wet n Wild totally rules. It's easy to write them off because every product in the line costs about 3 cents, but the value of their makeup, especially the MegaLast lip colors, is fantastic. After the Milani, this was my second favorite because of its matte finish and refusal to budge for a good long time. Overall, this was probably the best value of the bunch.


For beauty & style as you are.
a brand