Saturday, March 26, 2016

New In: Drugstore Lip Loves & Loathes


In true Lauren fashion, I've added way more lip products to my collection recently than is probably necessary for anyone ever. In my defense, the drugstore basically exploded with new products in the past three months, and as your resident beauty expert I feel compelled to stay on the up-and-up for you guys. Fortunately I'm all about that coupon life and was able to snag all of these products at a crazy discount as a result. Seriously. If there is one thing I want you to take away from reading my blog, it's that you don't need to spend a small fortune on beauty products. Part of the reason I love writing reviews is because it affords me the opportunity to take some of the guess work out of the shopping process for others. I want you all to shop smart. To have your cake and eat it too (or in this case, have your lipstick, plus another lipstick, and still have money for your morning coffee run).

So let's chat a little bit about what's new and good in the world of drugstore lip products. L'Oreal, Maybelline, Revlon, and Burt's Bees all had some promising launches that I've put to the test for you. Spoiler alert, some are pretty great, some are all right, and at least one is kind of awful. Have some guesses as to what's what? Let's see if you've got some beauty mind reading powers.


Matte liquid lipsticks are a serious craze right now, with both high end and drugstore brands releasing new formulas left and right. The Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor ($7.99) is a new addition to Revlon's Ultra HD collection, which already includes a gel lipstick and a lip lacquer (if you're curious about the lipsticks, I've got a full review here). There are 8 shades available in a pretty standard range of reds, berries, pinks, and nudes. The two shades I've picked up are HD Flirtation (a bright coral pink) and HD Seduction (a muted pinky nude). I immediately noticed that these liquid lipcolors sport the same fragrance as the HD lipsticks, which is somewhat fruity, but also vaguely like a cherry cough drop. It isn't my absolute favorite, but it isn't entirely terrible either.

I'm also a bit undecided on whether or not I like the packaging. The design is pretty sleek, but the shape of the tube is a strangely wide and takes up quite a bit of space in my lip drawer. The applicator design, however, is smart and has a nice, wide, flat side that lets you apply product to your bottom lip really quickly, but a thinner edge for precise application along the lip line.

The formula of the actual lipstick itself is good, but not mind blowing. It has a very thin consistency, which means that one layer will not give your lips opaque coverage. You'll definitely have to work a little bit to build up the color, but its also more forgiving than your usual insanely pigmented formula. The finish is relatively matte, but doesn't ever completely dry down. This makes it lightweight and comfortable to wear, but also means its not incredibly long lasting and will transfer easily.

Long story short, this is a great matte liquid lipstick for people who don't usually like matte liquid lipsticks. It's comfortable, doesn't crack and crumble off in weird ways, and is easy to apply. If you're brand new to the scene, this might be a good option to get started with.


A matte gloss? Doesn't that sound like an oxymoron? And yet, the L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Gloss ($7.99) does seem to offer the best of both a lip gloss and a matte liquid lipstick in one. There are 10 shades available in this range, offering a few more nude and neutral options than Revlon. For now I've only picked up one shade, Nude Allure, which is somewhere between a nude pink and a muted brick red. I've gotten so many compliments whenever I've worn this gloss, and I think it would look great on just about anyone.

One of the biggest reliefs about this lip gloss is that it doesn't smell like L'Oreal's other lip products. If you've ever taken a whiff of their Colour Riche Lipsticks or Le Matte Lip Pencils they have the most offensively perfume-y smell that makes me wince every time I put them near my lips. It drives me crazy because formula-wise L'Oreal's lip products are amazing. Why they need to make them smell like I've just gotten a mouthful of Grandma's perfume I will never understand. The Pro Matte Glosses, however, have a bit more a fruity smell to them. It's not mouthwateringly amazing, but is pleasant nevertheless.

Formula-wise, these matte glosses are pretty solid. They're very pigmented and glide on easily to the lips. That being said, it takes a while for them to dry down completely matte. They are much more similar in texture to a traditional lip lacquer, being a little moussey and thick, but with a creamy, shiny finish. Eventually they have a matte appearance on the lips and start to feel a little more drying, but it takes quite a while. They do, however, wear well on the lips and last several hours before they start to fade.

One other thing of note that I really enjoyed about this product is the applicator. It's got a really unique almost heart-shaped tip that makes precision application a breeze. Also, it picks up a ton of product so you don't need to constantly dip it back into the tube to get more.

Final verdict? If you're looking for an opaque, long wearing liquid lip color, this one is pretty awesome. If an ultra matte finish is what you're after, though, prepared to be disappointed. This leans a lot more toward the gloss side, especially upon initial application.


When I first saw Burts Bees Lipstick ($8.99) pop up in the drugstore, I knew that I had to try it. I'm not a die-hard green beauty enthusiast, but I always appreciate products that have more natural ingredients in them. It also doesn't hurt that the honeycomb accents on the packaging are wicked cute. These lipsticks are formulated with 100% natural ingredients, including Moringa Oil and Red Raspberry Oil to provide your lips with an extra boost of moisture. I have to say, I am also impressed with the shade range, which includes 14 gorgeous and on-trend colors. So far I've picked up two for myself, Sunset Cruise (a warm peachy pink) and Brimming Berry (a vibrant raspberry).

Compared to Burt's Bees tinted balms and lip crayons, these lipsticks actually pack some serious pigmentation. They aren't as completely saturated as a $30 lipstick, but they are by no means sheer. The formula is also really buttery and smooth and feels incredibly moisturizing on the lips. That being said, I did notice with Brimming Berry (which is a darker shade) that the product had a tendency to start to bleed and feather a little bit around the edges of my lip line. This is a problem I have with creamy lip products in general, so I don't really find it a fault of the lipstick itself. I would just recommend using a primer or lipliner underneath the deeper shades in this range if you're someone who frequently has the same problem.

This lipstick also doesn't sport any kind of heavy fragrance or flavoring. It's ever so slightly fruity, which I think is the result of the Red Raspberry oil. While I'm happy as a clam to have my lips smelling like a vanilla cupcake, I appreciate it when brands decide to skip out on added fragrances. To those who are sensitive to such things, they can be a real deal breaker.

All in all I am really happy with these lipsticks. For the price I think the quality is great and the color selection is seriously on-point. While I was writing up this post I had a bit of a lightbulb moment and realized that the texture of the lipsticks reminds me a lot of the new Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipsticks. I can't give this dupe status yet, but I will definitely be investigating for a future post!


You may have been wondering when the other shoe was going to drop. I did title this post Loves & Loathes, after all. I bring you this epic fail courtesy of my lovely co-worker Georgeann, who hunted like a madwoman to find the new Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid ($6.99) in the shade Possessed Plum. Truth, there is nothing more disappointing than running out to 4 different CVS's to get your hands on a product, only to find out it completely sucks.

So what the heck is so terrible about these lippies? A few things. First of all, Maybelline claims to have created a line of vivid matte liquid lipsticks, matte being the key word. There are 10 extremely bold and vibrant shades to choose from, so labelling this line as "vivid" was entirely appropriate. However, there is absolutely nothing matte about these lipsticks. They go on glossy, and they stay glossy, even half an hour later.

If mislabelling the product was the only issue this had, I could probably get over it. However, the finish on this particular shade of Matte Liquid was INSANELY streaky. No matter how hard you try, this dark plum shade just always ends up looking patchy and uneven, to the point where its really just not worth it. Gigi isn't the only one who's feeling the pain, either. I've heard a lot of grumbling around the blogosphere about this launch and it seems that most people who have tried it have the same complaints.

Long story short, save your money and skip out on this one. If you want a vivid, matte looking lip, opt for the Maybelline Color Blur Pencils instead. I reviewed and swatched them back in the fall, and they're totally gorgeous.

From left to right: Brimming Berry, Sunset Cruise, Nude Allure, HD Flirtation, HD Seduction, Possessed Plum
So there you have it! All in all the drugstore has brought us some promising new products for the spring, although I can't say that I'm completely blown away by any of them. If I had to pick one to recommend you try first, I'd say go for the Burt's Bees Lipstick. The formula is lovely, and I think there are a lot of great shades in the line for spring and summer. If you've tried any of these lippies I'd love to hear your thoughts! Or, if there's something new from the drugstore you've tried lately that I didn't mention here, let me know so I can check it out.

What lip products have you been loving lately?

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