Gorgeous lip color doesn't have to drain your wallet. Makeup pros share their cheap lipstick picks.
A good lipstick is hard to come by—some feather, others smudge, and some just make you feel like you've spread sticky putty all over your pout (ew). Add affordability into the mix, and you're really in a bind; the top-rated lipsticks on Sephora.com will all set you back over $20 apiece.
That doesn't mean you can't find a high-quality lipstick for less. Makeup artists would know: it's their job to scout out the best beauty buys, no matter the brand, and many of the pros we spoke to have drugstore lipsticks they love. Read on for their picks.
Revlon Matte Balm
"This is amazing for the price and comes in 10 killer shades—you can definitely find one (or a few) that work for you. The color payoff is insane for a balm, and it’s super easy to use on the go. It's even comfortable for a matte shade; often they can feel dry, but this one feels great and moisturizing!" —Katie Jane Hughes, celebrity makeup artist and beauty expert in New York City
"They have great staying power and don't dry out, so that they’re equally as hydrating with each use. You can reapply without it turning cakey or dry— a lipstick win for those of us who tend to need touch-ups throughout the day without having to take off the first layer." —Kayleen McAdams, celebrity makeup artist in Los Angeles
Burt's Bees Lipstick
"This is my absolute fave for everyday lipstick! If you love a light splash of color, smoothness, and natural ingredients, this is the one for you. The formula contains vitamin E, bees wax, moringa oil, and raspberry seed oil, which make for the ultimate moisturizing and conditioning combo, leaving your pout feeling hydrated all day. There are 14 shades for you to choose from, and trust me it fades completely evenly…no weird ring left around your mouth after eating lunch!" —Kristine Cruz, makeup artist and hairstylist at Antonio Prieto Salon in New York City
Wet'n'Wild MegaSlicks Balm Stain
"These sheer stains are long-lasting and because the formula resembles a balm, anyone can apply them in a snap." —Azra Red, makeup artist in New York City
Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss
"First of all, who doesn’t love Kate Moss? This collaboration is as sophisticated and chic as she is, without the designer price tag. The highly pigmented lipstick is long lasting (up to 8 hours!), its texture goes on smoothly, and the formula reflects light as if it was patent leather. I like to blot each application onto a tissue paper or with my fingertip for a professional finish." —Min Min Ma, a makeup artist in New York City
Maybelline Color Sensational
"The texture is like butter and the impact of color is like POW! 'All Fired Up' is my go to shade—it's one of those loud colors that looks good on everyone! There are 39 super-saturated shades, ranging from demure pink to vibrant fuchsia, satisfying the need for a collection that anyone can find their match in." —Joey Maalouf, celebrity makeup artist in Los Angeles and co-founder of ISH
Physician's Formula Argan Wear Ultra-Nourishing Argan Lip Oil Duo
“I love that you get two unique lip oil shades for less than the price of one lipstick. The sheer berry and warm amber hues give a hint of color and shine that adds dimension. Plus, they taste like coconut water—yum!—and feel hydrating, not sticky.” —Joanna Schlip, celebrity makeup artist in Los Angeles
NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick
“It’s my go-to line for experimenting with new lip looks because of the range of colors—looking at you, Denim Dress, a sky blue. Each shade delivers in the opacity and pigmentation departments without cracking on the lips.” —Jenny Patinkin, celebrity makeup artist in Chicago
L'Oréal Paris Infallible Le Rouge Lipstick
“This formula is perfection. It delivers rich, creamy pigment that will last all day, while the vitamin E ensures that lips stay moisturized. Not to mention, the texture is absolutely gorgeous and feels almost weightless on the lips.” —Justin Tyme, celebrity makeup artist in Los Angeles
CoverGirl Katy Kat Matte
“The collection is just so fun. If you’re looking for a matte pick that’s a little bit outside your comfort zone, this is the line to try. From light lavender to a rich onyx, there’s at least one shade in the 11-piece range that will wow you.” —Katie Jane Hughes, makeup artist in New York City