Happiness on the Cheap with Drugstore Lipstick

Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I’m just annoying or overly self-conscious or annoyingly over self-conscious. It’s very silly to think about but essentially I have a pseudo-stalker, middle school crush-esque relationship with lipstick.

If you show my picture to the cashiers at any CVS or Target and ask if they recognize me, they’d reply “Oh, you mean the girl who lives in the makeup aisle?” without even batting an eye.

It is there where I stare longingly at the gorgeous lipsticks on display, picking up the tubes one by one and fantasizing about the day I’d be cool enough to actually wear themI’ve always been envious of girls who wear lipstick, admiring their confidence and fashion ferocity. But me? The colors are so beautiful but I’d just look stupid. It was comical to even think I could ever be allowed to graduate from my tinted lip balm training wheels. No matter how much I wished it, it was not in my cards to be a Girl Who Wears Lipstick.

TRIVIA TIME: Do you know what separates Girls Who Wear Lipstick from women who don’t?

Wearing lipstick.

This whole thing sounds positively ludicrous, I know. But when life is stressful, overwhelming and often confusing, it gets easier and easier to feel unenthusiastic about yourself. And that sucks. Top it all off with chronically chapped lips that don’t look supple and glamorous despite all the water consumed and super-strength chapstick purchased and I’ve been feeling like all sorts of nasty grossness.

A realization struck. It was time to kill two birds with one stone pet multiple dogs with one hand. I could infuse more fun into my life, make my lips pretty, and actualize my personal style/makeup aisle fantasies in one simple and cost-effective way:

Wearing lipstick.

The Great Drugstore Lipstick Heist

Drugstore lipsticks are a wonderful way to boost your look, mood, and confidence without spending a whole lot (compared to fancy makeup brands, at least). A little pop of color can certainly go a long way! Here are the ones I picked up:

Drugstore lipstick review color and shade swatches | The Cheerful Times

I researched the hell out of my options before unleashing my beast in the closest makeup aisle, ultimately deciding on the shades above. Sure, I could make my selections just based on what struck my fancy in the store, but then

a) my shopping basket would overfloweth, and

b) I’d be broke.

My lips are pretty pigmented to start with (I think that’s the terminology? Please excuse the newbie) and my Norwegian skin is not unlike a ball of fresh mozzarella. So, I thank the beauty bloggers with similar skin/lip tones whose pictures I stalked for three days straight to ensure I was making okay choices.

drugstore lipstick review bare lips

Here are some very important things to consider before you read on:

1. Closed mouth smiles are really hard. Like, really hard. Am I in pain? Disgusted? Uncomfortable? About to burst into tears? No, I’m just trying to smile with my mouth shut so you can actually see the lipstick. While apparently looking like a Grade A goober.

2. No lip liner was used in the making of this blog post. I’m the queen of simplicity and winging it. And I don’t have the attention span or patience yet.

3. Lipstick shades look different depending on the lighting, camera, and computer monitor. I tried to show you multiple pictures — from both my digital camera and smartphone — for the shades I felt weren’t accurately represented in my initial photos. Annoyingly, that may have been for naught because they all look different depending on what computer/phone screen you’re using. Hmph!

4. There are a lot of awkward selfie armpits. Avoiding them was a struggle. Also, please excuse my wild, frizzy hair — I took these photos #straightoutta the shower.

Let’s go!

“Nude and the City” – Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick

Nude and the City - Rimmel London Moisture Renew drugstore lipstick review | The Cheerful Times

Getting a “nude” lipstick shade was on my to-do list, and I feel surprisingly satisfied with my first pick! “Nude and the City” doesn’t appear too brown, wash me out too much, or look generally heinous — so, good things all around. I feel that the shade looks natural and subtle enough on me to the point where I’d be comfortable wearing it most places. It’s like my bare lips but photoshopped for smoothness and consistency!

Unfortunately the smell is not the best; it’s a little sunscreen-y. But Rimmel’s Moisture Renew formula applies very easily and is forgiving of lip imperfections, so the pros outweigh the stank.

The shade “Nude and the City” isn’t included on Rimmel’s website, but you can visit the page to check out some of the other Moisture Renew Lipstick colors.

“Pink in the Afternoon” – Revlon Super Lustrous Lipcolor

Pink in the Afternoon - Revlon Super Lustrous Lipcolor drugstore lipstick review | The Cheerful Times

I was a little wary of picking a true pink-y lipstick because of a bad, clown-like experience I had many moons ago. Baby Kelsey went to the store and spontaneously purchased a tube of lipstick, solely because it was in the deep discount bin. Needless to say, it turned out to be a horrific, overly-saturated and cheapy-looking BRIGHT PINK when applied. So then I thought, “Oh, that’s probably why it was in the deep discount bin.” But looking at my receipt, it became clear that someone had placed it there by accident. It was a terrible and terribly expensive mishap.

Luckily, there are nicer true pink-y shades out there. Revlon’s “Pink in the Afternoon” is rumored to be the closest color you can get to the famous lipstick Audrey Hepburn wears in Breakfast at Tiffany’s — if it’s not the color itself. Word on the street is that this shade was discontinued and therefore very difficult to locate. Interestingly, I found a healthy stock of them in the CVS down the street. Who knows!

This is a cute color. “Pink in the Afternoon” has a slight peach pop to it that gives off a classy summer vibe. Now that fall is officially here I’ll probably have to put this one away, but I do enjoy it! You can visit Revlon’s website to look through more shades from the Super Lustrous lipstick line (yup, there are 82 of them).

“Touch of Spice” – Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick

Touch of Spice - Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte drugstore lipstick review | The Cheerful Times
Okay, I’m just going to jump right into this one. Maybelline’s “Touch of Spice” is probably the loveliest lipstick shade I have ever seen.

Touch of Spice - Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte lipstick drugstore makeup review | The Cheerful TimesIt may not translate well in the photos, but the mauve-y tones in “Touch of Spice” play off my green eyes nicely — each making the other pop just a bit more.

Contrasting with my pale baby skin, the shade is probably a bit too deep for everyday/work wear (which you can see more in the smartphone photo included on the left). However, you can bet that I’m wearing “Touch of Spice” to any special event I attend this fall! It’s just way too pretty, especially for this time of year.

You can visit Maybelline’s website to check out more Color Sensational Creamy Matte lipstick shades.

“Pops Explosif” – Nyx Butter Lipstick

 - NYX Butter Lipstick drugstore makeup review | The Cheerful Times

Nyx’s Butter Lipstick formula is something special (unlike those dork-o photos above). It’s so light and creamy that after a few minutes I completely forgot that I was wearing lipstick.

The shade “Pops Explosif” is sort of a mix between “Touch of Spice” and “Pink in the Afternoon.” It’s a more everyday mauve that also has a distinct pink hue. Definitely another good one.

I’m for sure going to go back to the store for more Butter Lipsticks because the formula is so nice and the colors so fun! Like Rimmel’s Moisture Renew line, it’s also pretty forgiving of lip imperfections when applied. You can see more of Nyx’s Butter Lipstick shades on their website.

“Divine Wine” – Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick

Divine Wine - Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte drugstore lipstick review | The Cheerful Times

I picked up “Divine Wine” as a wild card, thinking it would be WAY too dark for my skin. But… I can dig it.

Divine Wine - Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lipstick drugstore makeup review | The Cheerful TimesIn real life, “Divine Wine” looks less like the red berry color captured by my digital camera above and more like a deep brick red, closer to the smartphone photo on the left. Reminder: Closed mouth smiles are really hard.

While it’s definitely not for everyday wear (on me at least), I can’t wait to feel like a super classy fancy lady rocking this red at a suave affair.

“Divine Wine” is also one of Maybelline’s Color Sensational Creamy Mattes, which you can see here.

“Creme Brulee” – Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter

Creme Brulee - Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter drugstore lipstick review | The Cheerful Times

Last but not least, I decided to buy a lipstick/lipgloss hybrid for some casual, sheerer color. Revlon’s Colorburst Lip Butter collection is great! (Again, unlike those utterly attractive pictures above). “Creme Brulee” adds a caramel tint to my lips, slightly muting their natural bright pinkness. This is the only product I bought with shimmer — I definitely prefer mattes, but since this is more of a gloss I don’t mind too much.

This was my first experience with the Colorburst Lip Butter line, and I really like it! I’m definitely going back to the store to get more shades. Perhaps… all the shades… This gloss line may replace my Maybelline Baby Lips obsession of yesteryear. Too bad it’s twice the price (#womp). It might be worth it!

Take a look at Revlon’s website to explore more Colorburst Lip Butter shades.

Final Thoughts

Lipstick obviously can’t solve all your problems. But venturing outside your comfort zone and dropping a few bucks at your local drugstore can certainly provide a priceless, unexpected pick-me-up.

It’s honestly really stupid that I denied myself something just because I decided somewhere along the way, without proper evidence, that it’s for everyone else but me. That the most I can do is watch everyone else from afar because I can’t pull it off. It doesn’t make any sense.

If you feel that way about anything, just give it a try — okay? I’m pretty happy with my lipstick selections, and am definitely glad I took the plunge.

Anyway, let me know which shade you like best in the poll below! Also feel free to comment with your favorite drugstore lipstick brand, line, and/or shade that I didn’t explore yet!

I’m excited to see your thoughts!

Happy lipstick exploring!
Kelsey

Pin the shades in this blog post!

2 thoughts on “Happiness on the Cheap with Drugstore Lipstick

    1. Thank you, that’s so nice of you to say! And of course, your blog post was super informative and helpful! Thanks so much for clarifying the info about Pink in the Afternoon’s availability. Now everyone can keep channeling their inner Audrey!

      Like

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