Sunday, September 20, 2015

New In: Drugstore Lippies


Guys...I've gone a little crazy with the lip products lately. Switching up your lip color is one of the easiest way to pump new life into your beauty routine, and what better place to snag a new shade than the budget-friendly aisles of the drugstore? There were a few products in particular I've heard fellow bloggers rave about that I really wanted to try for myself, so I rounded up my Extrabucks and my coupons and ended up with this little collection of lippies. I've had a few weeks to swatch, play, and test these bad boys out, and am finally ready to give you all a verdict!


I've heard so much hype around this latest launch from L'Oreal. With a sleek, slim design these retractable lip pencils have a high end feel at a budget price. The L'Oreal Color Riche La Lacque Lip Pen ($9.99) promises intense pigmentation and a lustrous, glossy finish, while the L'Oreal Color Riche Le Matte Lip Pen ($9.99) promises a creamy, long wearing matte finish.

So far my feelings on these lip pens are mixed. I absolutely love the design and styling. The pen format is incredibly easy, and the finer point (compared to a chubby crayon) makes it way easier to apply the product more precisely. That being said, the actual product itself is good, but not fantastic. I much prefer the matte formula over the lacquer one. I was really expecting the La Lacque pen to have a brilliant, glossy shine (based on all the advertising pictures) but I found it to have more of a satin sheen. The shade I got (Lacque-y You) was also totally different from what is suggested by the packaging. It's much darker and more muted than the bright, bubbly shade of the plastic. The pigmentation is pretty good, and the formula feels nice on the lips, but I honestly didn't feel like it was anything special.

The Le Matte pen hits the mark a little closer than its counterpart, and leaves your lips with a soft, matte finish. I found the formula to be a little bit drying, but not so much as, say, a liquid lipstick can be. I got the shade She's So Matte, which is sort of a muted, mauvey nude that I think would look nice with a sultry eye.

There is one last thing that's truly a general complaint I have about all L'Oreal lipsticks. These babies have an INTENSELY perfumey fragrance. Like, straight up, old school like your Grandma wore perfume. It seriously bums me out because I think L'Oreal does a decent job formulating their lip products, but the smell can seriously deter people from falling in love with them. So, just as a warning for those with sensitive noses, you may want to pass on these.


On the total other end of the spectrum, I haven't seen or heard too much about these lip pencils, but really wanted to try them out. The Maybelline Color Blur by Lipstudio ($8.99) is a matte lip pencil that is designed either to be worn all over the lip with clean, precise edges, or smudged out for that faded, I-just-ate-a-popsicle ombre lip effect that's super popular in the Asian beauty scene (hence the "blur"). You'll see the product itself is a retractable pencil on one side, and a blurring silicone smudger on the other.

I picked up two shades to try - My-My Magenta, a bright magenta pink, and Orange Ya Glad, a vibrant red-orange. I'll be honest, so far I haven't experimented much with the whole blurring technique, but as for a traditional lip these pencils are kind of awesome! The texture on them is incredibly lightweight and almost silky and for a matte formula they're really comfortable and non-drying. That being said, the formula doesn't really dry down and is definitely NOT smudge proof. I suppose that is the trade off for it being a "blurring" formula, as it's supposed to be easy to move the product around on your lips. I didn't have any problems with this feathering or smearing around my face, but it'll definitely transfer or fade with eating or drinking.

As with the L'Oreal pens, I really appreciate the slim design of these lip pencils. I think it makes them incredibly easy to apply with precision, which is especially important with such a bold and pigmented formula. I also dig the sort of edgy, bold packaging, which I think compliments the whole concept of the product itself pretty well.


The last lip product that I decided to try out was the Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain ($8.49). This one I've heard quite mixed reviews about. It seems like people either loved or hated the formula, which naturally piqued my curiosity. It's meant to be a sort of lip gloss and stain hybrid that gives your lips a wet look with sheer color. The formula has also got Vitamin E and aloe to give your lips an extra boost of moisture. I grabbed two shades to try - Cannes Crush, a bright coral pink, and Barcelona Nights, a vibrant fuchsia. 

I personally really dig these lip stains, however I could totally see why they put some people off. The texture is a bit weird, especially if you're expecting the feel of a traditional gloss. It feels weirdly watery as you're applying it, and yet leaves your lips feeling like they have something sort of thick and hydrating on them. It's not sticky, and it's not oily or gloopy feeling either. Honestly its quite strange, but for some reason I kind of enjoy it. If you've ever tried the Sephora Rouge Infusion Lip Stains or the L'Oreal Colour Caresse Wet Shine Stains they're basically the exact same deal. Your lips will look shiny and wet, minus the sort of plumping effect of a gloss, and have a really pretty wash of color that will stay behind even as the shine begins to fade. As with many stains, the color will also build in intensity as you reapply. So, if you're looking for something a bit more natural, fresh, and dewy, this lip stain might be a good one for you to try.

From Left to Right: Lacque-y You, She's So Matte, Orange Ya Glad, My-My Magenta, Barcelona Nights, Cannes Crush
If I had to pick a favorite, I think right now I'm the most impressed with the Maybelline Color Blur Lip Pencils. I think the range of shades they came out with has a really nice mixture of neutrals and bold shades, and the formula is really spot on. I'm thinking that the only reason they haven't gotten more buzz in the beauty community is that they're being marketed for a sort of niché audience with the whole "blurring" technique thing. Selling them as a straight up matte lip pencil, while a little less interesting, would also probably appeal to a broader group of people. Long story short, don't look these over if you're thinking the whole ombre lip look isn't your thing!

If you guys have any other drugstore lip recommendations, I'd love to hear about them! Post a comment below and let me know what you've tried out, or what maybe what you're dying to get your hands on. Also, if you'd like to see any of these lippies in a makeup look, tell me below and I will definitely try to create one to share with you!

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