I Bought A Million Lipsticks So You Don’t Have To


Remember when Mouse was getting married and she reviewed a million makeup products and it was hugely helpful to anyone DIY-ing their wedding makeup? Well, I’m getting in on that action, only I’ll be covering more cheap-ass drugstore crap because I’m, well, cheap.

For this first installment, I’ll be reviewing long-wear lipsticks.  My lips are the same color as my skin, so long-wear lipstick is essential to my efforts to avoid unpleasant “Jeez, you look tired/sick/ugly today” comments.  For years, I relied on Maybelline SuperStay in Spice to look like blood pumps through my lips like a regular human.  A few months ago, it was discontinued, and I had to find a new everyday lipstick. These are the products I tried on my journey:

Maybelline SuperStay 24 Hour

Suggested Retail Price: $9.99
Color(s) I tried: Eternal Sunset, Won’t Move Mauve, Forever Chestnut
Pluses: In relaunching this brand, Maybelline has in fact improved the formula so it wears longer and more evenly (the old version sometimes flaked off a bit over the course of the day, especially as you got to the bottom of the tube). And like the original, it really does not come off on glasses or clothes or faces so long as you don’t use anything oil-based over it. So yay for that. It also applies a bit more easily with a new slanty tip on the applicator.
Minuses: The problem is with the color. From what I can tell, there isn’t a neutral shade to even come close to replacing Spice, a problem which is exasperated by the complete absence of matte-finish colors. Additionally, Won’t Move Mauve and Forever Chestnut look very different when applied than they do on in the tube (both come out darker and duller). That being said, Eternal Sunset is a great red-family lipstick that feels glam without making Collin make fun of me about “clown makeup” the way my old favorite red does. But it’s certainly not an everyday OR wedding look for me.

L’Oreal Infallible Lip Color

Suggested Retail Price: $11.49, but currently on sale at Ulta for $6.00.
Color(s) I tried: Henna
Pluses: The packaging is cool, like a lipstick spaceship. The balm that comes with it tastes like delicious fruit snacks.
Minuses: Everything else? 1. It is about as infallible as the Large Hadron Collider. 2. It seems like every time I put it on I ended up with lipstick on my teeth. 3. It dries out my lips like crazy, and between that and its very reflective shimmer highlighting every line I felt like it gave me the lips of a 45-year-old woman.

Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Liquid Lipcolor

Suggested Retail Price: $10.99
Color(s) I tried: Best Bubbly
Pluses: I tried this on the recommendation of Bridal Hootenanny member Megan, who made it through an entire wild Halloween party and into the next day with Joan Holloway-red lips. And yes, this is the heartiest of the bunch. It will. not. come. off. Even if you use oil-based balm or gloss over it. Which is nice, because…
Minuses: It doesn’t come with a balm topcoat. And it really needs it, because alone it has the same dried-up wrinklifying effect of the L’Oreal one. Also, the color selection seems kind of limited. This color was a little lighter than what I wanted, and I couldn’t find anything that didn’t seem too pink or much darker (it does not help that every shade was heavily pearlized).

Cover Girl Outlast All Day Lipcolor

Suggested Retail Price: $8.79
Color(s) I tried: Forever Fawn
Pluses: Hallelujah! It’s the right color. Sadly, it took me five other lipsticks to realize the matte finish is key, because it still looks like it could conceivably be my actual lips even when the topcoat has dried up. There are many, many colors and next time Cover Girl goes on sale I’ll be trying more.
Minuses: The finish here isn’t quite as smooth and natural as the Maybelline lipcolor, which is a shame. Also, the color and the topcoat come in separate tubes, which means I can never find the topcoat when I need it.

My current wedding day lipcolor plan, which has had the day-in-the-life test drive but still needs to pass the photoshoot test to be confirmed, is a layer of the CG Forever Fawn with a delicate application of the Revlon Best Bubbly on top, which provides just enough shimmer to make it a little more glam without highlighting every line in my lips as much. Using the Revlon on top also allows a little more flexibility with what I can use as a topcoat: I’ll probably wear some gloss when we do photos but just do topcoat balm for the wedding itself. Which means the total price of my lip makeup is going to be around $22, or about as much as I’d spend on a higher-end brand’s lipstick. And no, I will not be doing the math to see how much money I had to spend to get to here, because that will bring tears to my eyes.

Which reminds me: STAY TUNED for our next installment of the HitchDied Guide to Makeup I Bought, on my hunt for cry-proof long-wearing eyeliner!

[All images are from Ulta, rehosted. No one paid me to try or to write about any of these products, and I hope that makes you happy, because it makes my bank account pretty glum.]


  1. I use the cover girl outlast lipcolor for general wear and I quite like it. Except I can never remember what color looked good on so now I have a whole collection of crazy ones that do in fact resemble clown makeup. Someday perhaps I will try some proper grown up makeup and maybe then I will understand why people pay so much, but Walgreens is doing ok for me right now!

    • As future installments will demonstrate, sometimes the expensive stuff is worth it and sometimes it is not AT ALL. I recommend having a makeup-junkie friend like my Bridal-Hootenanny member Lexi (or, let’s face it, me?) to clue you in on which is which, or reading beauty blogs, even though I have found they sometimes make you buy more just because your curiosity is piqued. The reviews on Ulta.com and Amazon are also really helpful to me.

  2. Yay! I don’t ever wear make up but kinda want a little for the sake of pictures, so this kind of thing is super helpful to me.

    By the way, a lot of people don’t seem to know this but you can return make up that you’ve tried and don’t like at A LOT of stores. You don’t have to have any other reason than you don’t like it so there’s no risk, just having a receipt is important. (I used to work at Rite Aid and people were always shocked at that policy but it’s not unique. I assume it’s because make up companies have no problem crediting stores for damaged product and they just want to people to buy it and try it in the first place.)

    • I buy almost all of my makeup at Ulta because they always have a good stock, often have good sales, and have a loyalty program that kind of rocks my socks. Unfortunately, I’ve run into a little trouble trying to return things there. They have accepted some of my attempted returns and denied others. I know one thing couldn’t be returned because I didn’t bring back the packaging, which seemed weak.

      Anyway, with lipsticks, I usually hang on to the “nib” shades to use as mixers for particular looks. I’m more likely to return foundation that doesn’t blend with my skin or eyeliner that runs too easily.

  3. Ooh, thank you! This is great. I always think lipstick is so hard b/c you can’t try it on first so they are $10 gambles. I can’t wait for the next one. Thanks for being the guinea pig. My bank account thanks you and is sorry that yours is glum.

  4. Probably not what you want for your wedding day, but I’ve recently fallen in love with lip stains. Revlon Just Bitten lip stain has been amazing so far. Stays on really well but isn’t as drying. The colors tend to be a little bright or dark though. I think I might layer it under a regular lipstick.

  5. Thank you! Although, I probably SHOULDN’T be thanking you, because your post — and your link to Mouse’s rundown — inspired me to make a very, very expensive trip to Sephora today. I could have had my makeup professionally done for what I’ve now spent on makeup for my wedding. But at least I get to keep an awesome new set of makeup, right? Right?!

  6. That’s a weird version of Infallible I haven’t seen before. My pick is L’Oreal Infallible Le Rouge – different from what you have up there, it’s just a regular-looking lipstick. It’s moisturizing and Does. Not. Budge. I love.

  7. Wonderful, thank you, thank you! I would add my recommendations to this list, but considering I still wear Wet n Wild lip gloss (which lasts about a second) I wouldn’t be much help.

  8. Some friends are taking me to MAC this weekend to get my makeup done. I’ve never been, I’m usually a Sephora girl. Anyone have any “greatest hits” from MAC that I should get there? Are they particularly good at certain things?

    • I love their eyeshadow. It’s long staying and doesn’t make you look like Mistress Sparkles (unless that’s your thing.)

  9. One of my favorite makeup blogs has basically everything ever from MAC listed by color/item in a “best of” format: http://www.temptalia.com/mac-cosmetics-your-guide-to-everything-mac-makeup

    Also, she did a nice series on bridal and wedding makeup! http://www.temptalia.com/category/features/series-features/bridal-wedding-makeup

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