Beauty scale

Barry M vs. Urban Decay: “I’ve compared budget lipsticks and some have stood up to brands four times as expensive”

There’s nothing quite like putting on a little lipstick – it feels good, it brightens up your face, and you’re never fully dressed without a red lip (at least if you’re going out on a night out). Over the years I’ve tried different brands of lipstick – some expensive and some cheaper – but is it really worth spending money on expensive makeup when the cost of living is rising and that we are all trying to reduce?

I went to find out, and tested a selection of lipsticks from different brands to see if they actually varied. Is the quality different? Some stay longer than others? Do some dry out your lips?

There are several things to think about when it comes to lipstick but – for me – the main thing I want to know is how long it will stay on. If you apply your lipstick before you go out, you want to be sure it will wear well no matter how much you eat and drink throughout the day.

So in an attempt to see if you can really achieve quality beauty looks on a budget, I compared a few popular brands to see if they differ, regardless of price.

Revlon Lipstick in Kiss Me Coral – €8.99

Revlon lipstick in coral

The first lipstick I tested was from Revlon and the color was Kiss Me Coral. It’s a much lighter color than I would normally wear, but it’s very pretty for the summer and came in at a price of £8.99.

I’d say it’s somewhere in the middle of the scale when it comes to lipstick prices, and I was quite impressed with it. It stayed on all morning and didn’t move.

I was going to take a picture of the stain left on my coffee cup at lunch, but the cup was so dark you couldn’t see anything. What I will say is that almost no product left, and it wasn’t until I had something to eat that I had to reapply the lipstick.

The photo above was taken after a day at the office, and I had even put on a mask for a little while, and it still hasn’t moved. For the price, I’d give it a solid 4/5.

Barry M in Love Lust – £4.99

Lipstick Barry M in Love Lust

I was really impressed with the Barry M Lippy – for under five pounds you really can’t go wrong. The color isn’t too bright, making it a great daytime shade when you want a bit of color but aren’t looking for anything too bright.

The texture was also very nice. Sometimes I find the lipsticks can be drying, but they were creamy enough and didn’t let my lips get dehydrated.

The Barry M product has been quite durable

I took a picture of my cup of coffee after my morning break and as you can see almost no lipstick came off. It is a long lasting product and does not stain easily.

The only time I had to reapply was after my lunch, which is normal with any lippy if we’re being honest. For a bargain price, it’s hard not to give it a 5/5.

Sleek Makeup in Hot In Here – £5.99

Sleek Makeup Satin Lipstick in Hot in Here

I’ll be honest, I had never heard of Sleek Makeup before buying this lipstick from Boots, but it came in at the reasonable price of £5.99, so I thought I’d give it a whirl .

I have to be honest, I was impressed. It’s really smooth to apply, and it’s a great color. In fact, the color reminds me of a Tom Ford lippy I once tried (which are pricey, but definitely worth the investment for a treat), but it’s a great cheaper alternative.

It stays on well, doesn’t leave my lips dry, and goes on easily.

Sleek Makeup left a mark on the mug, but my lipstick stayed intact

When I went out for coffee, there was a fairly prominent lipstick mark left on the cup, but it didn’t look like it had come off much when I looked at myself in the mirror. I didn’t feel the need to reapply it.

I’ve worn it several times since I first tried it on and I really like it. The only thing is that as I applied it, my lips seemed quite dry, so I would probably need to add a balm or gloss if I wore it often.

For this reason, I would give it a 4/5.

Natural Collection by Boots in elderberry – €2.49.

Natural Elderberry Collection

It was the deepest shade of the bunch I tried, and it’s quite a far cry from the colors I would usually wear. For £2.49 it wasn’t too bad – the texture was smooth, it was easy to apply and it didn’t fade easily.

The only big downside to this product was that it took a lot to make it look like you had lipstick on. It comes out pretty weak when you first apply it, so I was there for a while trying to get an even finish.

The natural collection didn’t leave much of a mark on the cup

It lasted pretty well, but when I needed to reapply I had to use a lot to make it look like I had lipstick on. For a great price, it wasn’t a bad product, but I wouldn’t rush to buy it.

When you can get other good stuff for £2 more I’d rather go back. I would give it a 3/5 rating.

Urban Decay Vice Matte Lipstick in 714 – €19.00

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in shade 714

It didn’t seem right to write this piece without throwing a more expensive product into the mix. I opted for the Urban Decay Vice Matte Lipstick in shade 714 which came in at £19.00.

If you are a fan of a red lip, this shade is for you. It’s the ultimate red, and you’ll feel ultra glam if you’re heading for a night on the tiles. There were a few things I liked about this product.

Considering this is a matte lipstick, my lips really don’t feel dry, and I often can’t go for matte lips for that exact reason, so this was a big bonus for me.

On top of that, it was really nice to apply and it lasted really well throughout the day.

You couldn’t deny the Urban Decay lippy didn’t budge

It left a slight mark on my cup, but nothing too drastic, and my lipstick was perfect even after drinking two cups of coffee. The only time I reapplied it was after I had lunch, and even then it didn’t take long to touch it up.

The only thing I would say is that it smudges quite easily – you have to be careful when applying it because the color is so shiny – and it’s definitely no go if you have to wear a mask.

Other than that, a good product worth splurging on if you fancy a treat. I would give it a 4.5/5.

What did I learn?

In all honesty, the most important thing I took away from the experience is that you shouldn’t hit a product until you’ve tried it. I’ve tried several lipsticks over the years (and have done quite a few), but would definitely go back to some of these brands for everyday use.

Everyone likes to splurge on expensive makeup once in a while, and if that’s what you want to do, then go for it! But it’s okay to look around and try some budget brands, because sometimes it’s surprising what you’ll find and how similar the products can be to luxury brands.

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