12 of the Best Drugstore Lipsticks.

Best Drugstore Lipsticks

The great drugstore lipstick try on! I started working on this post at the end of May, ordering so many drugstore lipsticks to test and try and report back on. It has been a lot of fun.

I’ve always loved a good drugstore beauty find. Four dollars doesn’t get you much these days (maybe a small latte, if you are lucky) but it CAN get you a great lipstick. I have tried out SO many drugstore lipsticks and these are the best of the best. While they might not be as expensive (or in as pretty packaging) as higher end lipsticks, they work just as well. There are so many choices: hydrating, matte, liquid, shine… today I am breaking down the creme de la creme, the ones I loved most. I hope you enjoy (and maybe find a new favorite!).

Everything on this list has been tested and vetted but if I had to choose a favorite of the bunch (or favorites), I think it would be this liquid lipstick (it feels just like a stain), this hydrating lipstick, this tinted balm, and the drugstore classic: Super Lustrous — it really is just as good as everyone says it is!

PS – you might also like this post I wrote I wrote a while back: 12 of the best drugstore beauty products.

12 of the Best Drugstore Lipsticks

best drugstore lipstick for dry lips

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick

In doing my homework, it seems that Revlon Super Lustrous is theeeee gold standard in drugstore lipsticks. I was excited to try it (I’m wearing shade 225 Rosewine) and I GET IT. This is really hydrating, it glides on like a dream, it feels great on your lips… I love it! Also: FIVE DOLLARS, what a price point! My only complaint is that the shade range is so extensive that it was really hard to choose (there are 130+ shades!) I really love the color I chose but if you have a favorite, drop it in the comments.

Covergirl Simply Ageless Moisture Renew Core Lipstick

I REALLY love this one. I ordered “Special Espresso” which wouldn’t be my first choice but I saw this on a friend and really love it. It’s more of a berry red than an espresso/brown. I like how light it feels on my lips and how hydrating it is. The formula is infused with all my favorite moisturizing ingredients: hyaluronic acid, coconut oil, vitamin E. It has a nice, natural shine and just enough color. I’d totally buy more of these (and friends: it is only FOUR DOLLARS! You can’t beat that price point).

best natural drugstore lipstick

best drugstore matte lipstick

W3ll People Optimist Lipstick

I wasn’t sure if W3ll people counts as a drugstore brand (I think it does?). $16.00 is much higher in price than the other lipsticks featured here, but I wanted to include a clean brand. Besides, the brand is carried in Target, Amazon, etc. I love their optimist lipstick. It’s hydrating, it feels great on the skin, the wear is nice. I went with “Let it Go,” a pretty rosy nude (my favorite, haha). I like that it has a satin finish with just a little shine. A nice happy medium in a world of ultra matte and ultra glossy finishes.

Maybelline New York Color Sensational Ultimatte Matte Lipstick

This is a highly pigmented, non-drying matte lipstick… I was really impressed. If I had blind tested this with one of Bite Beauty’s matte lipsticks, I don’t know that I’d be able to tell the difference; except this one clocks in at just $7.11 (where do they make up these prices!). I went with 499 More Blush and loved it. It stayed on for several hours without retouching, didn’t smudge, and felt really good on my lips. Two thumbs up from me!

Revlon Matte Balm

You know I love a lip pencil and I was impressed with this one! Color wise it was darker than I expected (the shade names weren’t very descriptive; I went with “Sultry“) but I really liked this – it’s a very pretty berry. It left my lips feeling really nice and the color wore very well throughout the day. I love that it has a matte finish but feels more like a lip balm (the formula is infused with Shea Butter, Mango & Coconut Butter).

Best Drugstore Tinted Balm

Julep It’s Balm

This became an immediate new everyday favorite. It’s Balm is a moisturizing lip pencil with a really natural wash of color. I went with Vintage Mauve which is the perfect rosy nude. I like that it’s packed with good for you ingredients like sunflower butter and Vitamin E, which also make it really hydrating. It just feels good on your lips. I also love that you don’t have to sharpen it… just twist the bottom of the crayon!

best drugstore liquid lipstick

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor

I really love this one. Of all the liquid lipsticks I tried, this was my favorite. Probably because it felt less like a lipstick and more like a stain? It has a super soft finish and feels plush and velvety (not drying at all). I chose Kisses for my shade, which ended up being darker than I had wanted but I spoke on a Zoom panel (I always look so washed out on Zoom) so this wound up being perfect!

NYX Professional Lip Lingerie XXL Matte Liquid Lipstick

I liked but did not love this one. But I really love the color and it stayed on for ages, so I wanted to include it, especially as a long wearing lipstick option. It just felt a little bit sticky and drying to me. I got Xxpose Me which is a pretty rosy nude. If you are looking for a long wear, full coverage lipstick to last throughout the day, this is a winner (despite a slightly sticky finish). I’d categorize this as a special occasion lipstick as opposed to an everyday lipstick as my lips would get dried out wearing it more than once a week.

Maybelline Super Stay 24 Hour Color

This is a liquid lipstick with a top coat gloss/balm. Alone, the finish is tacky… you really need to layer the balm over it. So if you are looking for a matte liquid lip, skip this one. But if you like a little shine, this is great! This is probably the most long wearing of everything. It really does stay on all day, through meals and drinks. (The balm will need to be reapplied but the color stays!). I chose mauve pink and liked the formula but did not love the color. I wish it were a little warmer.

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Matte Liquid Lipstick

This is an old favorite of mine — this one never disappoints. It stays on for a long time; it’s nice and matte but not drying at all. I went with Pink Soirée; an incredibly pretty pink! Would definitely recommend this.

Best High Shine Drugstore Lipstick

Revlon Super Lustrous Glass Shine Lipstick

I tried the tik-tok favorite! I like this a lot, but if I am being honest I think I prefer the regular old super lustrous. It almost feels like lip gloss in a stick. It didn’t wear quite as well as the others (it slid around a little on my lips, and despite being in an air conditioned house the finish almost felt like a lipstick that had melted in the sun — it hadn’t melted, it was just the consistency). Still, I really like this one. I love the shine, and I love that it is packed with skincare ingredients like hyaluronic acid and aloe. And as someone who does have dry skin and lips, I like how hydrating it is.

Best Drugstore Lip Gloss

NYX Butter Gloss

This may be cheating as this is a gloss and not a lipstick but I like it so much that I had to include it. Butter Gloss lives up to its name: it feels like butter on your lips. It’s also under $5. It’s completely non-sticky and just feels so good on your lips. I went with Tiramisu on a friend’s recommendation. It’s the perfect pink! (A weird name if you ask me, Tiramisu does not sound like a name for a pink gloss. Oh well. It’s very pretty, just trust me.)

Disclosure: If you buy something through my links, I may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. I only feature things I truly love here. Thanks for your support.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. Meg:

    Thanks for doing this post Grace! I’m in a saving season and this could not have come at a more perfect time. My question is-all of these colors look so phenomenal on you-do you have a method for figuring out what types of colors to try? Are there certain undertones you look for? My coloring is similar to yours so I’m asking selfishly! Thank you!

    7.10.23 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      I don’t really have a trick just practice and trying lots of products over the years. Anything with rose in the title tends to work well with me. Rosy nudes! Mauves are hit or miss (sometimes they’re too cool!) and not in this post but I love a warm red!

      7.10.23 Reply
  2. Molly:

    Loooove this! I’m such a sucker for a drugstore makeup pick me up. My favorite revlon super lustrous color is Rich Girl Red. It’s a classic, neutral tones red but super sheer, kind of between popsicle lips and a perfectly blotted lip.

    Can you please share the shade you’re wearing in the Revlon Glass Shine? It’s gorgeous!

    7.10.23 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Ooh I love that name! I am going to check that out.
      Shade is Gloss Up Rose 🙂

      7.10.23 Reply
      • Molly:

        Thank you! Deff going to try that one. And rich girl red would look great on you!

        7.10.23 Reply
  3. Jessica:

    I have been waiting for this post ever since you started teasing it! Two of my favorite topics are lipstick and drugstore beauty. Thank you for sharing! I have added a bunch to my “to try list”!

    7.10.23 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Oh good I am so happy to hear that!

      7.10.23 Reply
  4. A.B,:

    This is a great post that feels different from other fashion blogs. It’s great to know when to splurge, and when there are saving dupes. Maybe posts on shampoo/conditioner; nail polish, hair spray?

    7.10.23 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I have lots of drugstore beauty posts already in the archives, just search!

      7.10.23 Reply
  5. m:

    Thanks for doing this post. I’m kicking myself for having lost a brand new Chanel lipstick and it just feels like money down the drain. I needed some bargain options to make up for my stupidity.

    7.10.23 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Ugh that is the worst feeeling!

      7.10.23 Reply
  6. Robin:

    Thanks for the thorough reviews, Grace! I love a few Revlon Super Lustrous lipsticks. In particular, Coralberry & Mauvy Nights. I just got Secret Club. The tiny store swatch made it look brighter than it is on lips. It’s a lively pink. I usually go for nudes & browns but I like the Revlon formula for bullet lippies & shade selection.

    7.11.23 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Thank you for the recs!

      7.13.23 Reply
  7. Erika:

    Can’t agree more with you! I just can’t get enough of Revlon’s Super Lustrous lipstick -“Toast of NY” shade.

    7.12.23 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      Ooh I will check that out!

      7.13.23 Reply
  8. Ashley La Fleur:

    Love this post – saving for later! I’ve never used the UBeauty Plasma treatments, the price is ‍, but I SWEAR the naturium phyto lip balms must be a sips. $16 at target or on their site! Would love for you to compare

    7.15.23 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      oooh that is so interesting, thanks for sharing. because i looove the ubeauty lip plasma but you are right. very spendy!

      7.15.23 Reply
  9. Rachel:

    umm why do ALL of these look amazing on you!?!? it takes me buying 7000 lipsticks just to find one that comes close to the shade I want.
    thanks for this post. I am going to try some of the shades you picked and hope they look almost as good on me as they did on you.
    and I love that they are all drugstore brands, because when it comes to lipstick, why not??

    7.18.23 Reply
    • grace at the stripe:

      I think I’m just good at knowing what shades to choose. Rosy nudes with blue undertones are generally my winners. And you have to remember that this is my job and that I bought over twenty five lipsticks to try for this post but only featured the good ones! 🙂 happy you enjoyed the post!

      7.18.23 Reply
      • Rachel:

        Ah, that makes sense. Well, seeing them on you gave me a good idea of what they would look like on me so I bought 5 of them and I absolutely love them!!!

        7.21.23 Reply