Lipsticks Are My Cigarettes

My 6 cheap drugstore lipstick staples to help kickstart YOUR addiction.
Publish date:
July 16, 2013

As a certified lipstick addict, I have in my time amassed quite a collection of tubes. Ask my dude roommate; they’re taking over the house. There are lipsticks in the kitchen by my keys, lipsticks all over my bedroom, resting on a cute soap dish in the bathroom, and at least 10 in my bag. I always tell my mom when she complains about my habits, “Lipsticks are my cigarettes, OK?”

And while I have a few fancy brands like Armani, YSL and Tom Ford, I find that in general I’m reaching for Wet ‘n’ Wild or Revlon shades more often. I always enjoy a long leisurely stroll through the beauty aisles at Target, CVS or Walmart.

A $5 lipstick is a great pick-me-up. I just took my girlfriend with me on a “We hate men and are stressed out about life” shopping trip, and I left with some booty shorts, a new beachy hairspray, some shaving gel and bright blue mascara. Ideal.

With drugstore brands like CoverGirl now helmed by makeup geniuses such as Pat McGrath and formulas improving by the day, there’s no reason you can’t build a great basic lipstick wardrobe on the cheap. For the most part, these shades are universally flattering too. Plus, you can buy all of these and still spend less than you would on a Tom Ford color!

The Really Great Matte Red

There are literally DOZENS (I made a Tobias joke!) of fab red lipsticks at the drugstore. I own most of them. I have no shame. My current favorite is e.l.f. Matte Lip Color in Rich Red. It’s similar to the NARS Velvet Matte crayons, but yeah, it’s $3. Don’t want to pay $15 for a MAC Ruby Woo? You could get five of these! Bonus: It tastes good.

The Bright Orange

To my delight, Target has started stocking NYX. I LOVE NYX and now I can buy it alongside my groceries. Wins all around. They offer a great bright, summery orange called Indie Flick, which is an intense, slightly red-based tangerine.

The Hot & Sexy Pink

According to my blue-red lipstick post, all of us adore Maybelline’s new Color Sensational Vivids line of insanely saturated satin lipsticks. I am admittedly not the hugest pink lipstick fan, but I found myself constantly grabbing Vivid Rose, a creamy bright pink. I love the soft sheen and long-lasting texture.

The “My Lips But Better” Shade

Everyone needs a lip color that simply enhances and beautifies their existing lip hue. For me, that’s Revlon’s Lip Butter in Pink Truffle. It’s lightweight, slightly glossy, but not sticky, and the perfect natural mauve. When I’m not feelin’ lipsticky, I reach for this and feel instantly prettier and more pulled together.

The Vampy Berry

Get Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in Black Cherry immediately. It’s a cult classic! I like it both blotted off as a wine-drinking stain or slathered on thick and ‘90s dark. So vampy, so femme fatale. While I wear this most often in the colder months, there’s something unexpected about a dark lip in the middle of summer that’s exciting.

The Bardot Nude

Here I am again, going on and on about how much I love the Wet ‘n’ Wild Megalast matte lippies. UGH, THEY ARE JUST SO GOOD FOR $2! When I’m wearing my slutty smoky eye makeup, I like to go full Bardot with this fantastic nude shade. It’s ‘60s matte, but not chalky or lifeless, and it won’t suck all the moisture out of your lips. (Nobody likes a corpse mouth.)

Do you guys prefer expensive lipsticks or do you grab them at Target? Which are your favorites? What do you think constitutes a good basic lipstick wardrobe?