Although I’ve been a regular makeup wearer since 2009, it took me 7 years to wear lipstick. Seven long years. Kind of insane, if you ask me. Lipstick was my biggest makeup fear for so long! The smudging, the fading, the maintenance, the difficult application. I created so many excuses not to wear it. However, my stance on lipstick completely changed during my trip to Europe in 2016. I decided that to get over my absurd fears I needed to force myself to wear a bold red lip every single day. My trick worked! I got used to my new bold lips, learned by trial and error how to maintain it throughout the day, and wound up falling head over heels in love with the look. Red lips remain a staple in my everyday look, but I’ve added a few rosy nudes and pinks to my collection.
Today, I wanted to share the best lipsticks in my collection. I wasn’t intending to do a matte lipstick focused blog post, but as it turns out that’s the only formula I love. I’ve tried satin finishes in the past, but they aren’t my cup of tea. All of the lipsticks featured are long-lasting, matte (but not drying), fool-proof, and as low maintenance as lipsticks get. I’ve even included swatches at the end so you can compare each shade!
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk
I’ll refrain from banging on about this too much since I included this in my Best Of 2017 roundup last week, but the Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick in Pillow Talk really is a wonderful velvety matte nude lip shade. The vintage-inspired rose gold packaging really sets this one apart from the others. I feel like a proper adult when I take this out of my handbag. Somehow this shade makes my lips look fuller, not that I worry too much about that. This matte formula lasts fairly well, though you can’t get away without a retouch every few hours or so. It won’t dry out your lips, either. Of the lipsticks in this post, this is one of the most hydrating. Lipstick taste is important to me and this one passes my test. It smells and tastes like vanilla! I’m keen on testing out the other shades in this range. I have my eye on Bond Girl.
L’Oreal Color Riche in Julianne’s Red
The wins the award for boldest lip color in my collection. I’m surprised I even picked it up considering just how bright it is. Normally, I would shy away from a shade like this, but I’m so glad I didn’t. The L’Oreal Color Riche Lipstick in Julianne’s Red was my favorite discovery of 2017 behind Pillow Talk! It’s a bold, bright red-orange that I found perfect with a slight tan during the summer months. You won’t feel nervous about having to constantly reapply this one. It fades beautifully throughout the day into a soft pinky red. I tested its staying power out last week. I applied it around 10 am and it was still on my lips by bedtime. I never reapplied! The taste isn’t as nice as the Charlotte Tilbury. It’s a bit chalky. On the plus side, the packaging looks expensive for a drugstore lipstick. I love this formula so much that I’m looking to purchase more from the range!
Rimmel Lasting Finish Matte by Kate Moss
If you’re on the hunt for a good bargain red lip, I highly recommend the Rimmel Lasting Finish Matte by Kate Moss range. If I remember correctly, these were the lipsticks that got me hooked on red lips. I used to own the shade 111, which is a nice bright red, but I lost it in Rome. The rich burgundy shade 107 still remains in my collection, though I am nearly out. Like the L’Oreal Color Riche lipstick, these fade seamlessly as you wear them. They go on velvety smooth but dry down to a soft matte. Easy to wear, easy to apply! They don’t taste bad, either. A bit of a chalky taste, but not too overwhelming.
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils
I blame Anna Gardner from The Anna Edit for getting me hooked on the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils. She always gushes over how great these are. Two summers ago, I picked up these two, Cruella and Dolce Vita, which were part of a travel-sized duo at Sephora. It’s a miracle that I haven’t used them up by now! I wear Cruella, in particular, as much as possible. It’s my favorite red lip shade in my collection. The perfect classic red lip! Dolce Vita is a nice rosy nude that pairs beautifully with a tan. The formula of these lipsticks is to die for! Matte, opaque, insanely long-lasting, yet not drying. It fades wonderfully throughout the day as well. I love the crayon packaging, which makes applying lipstick so much easier. You can really line and define your lips.
Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Liquid Lip
Unlike my last entries, the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Liquid Lip is a bit of a tricky lipstick. This was once a highly popular lipstick in the blogging community way back around 2014 when the liquid lipstick craze first started. This may have even been one of the first drugstore options. I remember The Anna Edit harping on about how these were her favorites. With time, this has since fallen out of fashion simply because there are much better liquid lipstick formulas out there. However, I still think this is good. If you’re like me and hate the typical crazy drying liquid lipstick formula, this is a great alternative. It doesn’t dry out your lips into a cakey mess. You can easily build it up and reapply, unlike other formulas that bunch up with the slightest reapplication (*cough, cough* Color Pop). I use it as more of a stain, though you can build it up if you’d like. You just need to be patient and add at least three or four layers to get it opaque. If you swipe too much of this on at once it tends to get streaky. I find it’s best to layer it on incrementally, letting each layer dry for a bit. The only shade I’ve tried is 19 Jolie-de-vin, a dark red wine color, so maybe other shades aren’t as patchy when layered on? It requires a little more patience than other liquid lipsticks, but rest assured this will stay put all day long!
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream
If you don’t live in the U.K. and, therefore, can’t easily get your hands on the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Liquid Lip, the uber-popular NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream is a perfect dupe. Though I used to own more shades, right now I only have Madrid, a beautiful burgundy, and Transylvania, a vampy purple that borders on black, in my collection. This won’t dry perfectly matte, but it will dry semi-matte, which in my book is better. It means this formula won’t dry out your lips and is easy to reapply. The only downside is that some shades can be patchy when applying. Transylvania, in particular, is a pain to get on without it looking uneven! Madrid, on the other hand, goes on perfectly opaque in one or two swipes. Just FYI, these taste and smell fantastic! Like fresh vanilla cupcakes.
Sephora Cream Lip Stain
My final lipstick pick is the fab Sephora Cream Lip Stain. Much like the last two, this won’t make your lips feel like the Sahara desert. Yet, this lasts for hours. It’s also highly pigmented. Of the liquid lipsticks featured in this post, this is the most opaque. Unlike the Bourjois or NYX, you don’t have to layer this up to get the full effect. One swipe and you’re done! Unlike the other two, this takes no time to dry down to a velvety matte. This is the most difficult lipstick to remove! A testament to how long-lasting the Sephora Cream Lip Stain is. The shade I have is 01, a gorgeous easy bright red color that I think will suit anyone. Actually, upon further inspection, I think this might be my favorite red shade in my collection. Move over, Cruella!
To see how each shade compares here’s every lipstick mentioned swatched on my arm. I’ve even included the Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick in 111, which I recently repurchased:
Do you own any of these lipsticks? Any other brands or formulas I should check out? Let me know in the comments!