We all love lipstick. Whether it’s your desert island beauty choice or the product that you have 10 of swimming around at the bottom of your bag, a good lip has the ability to turn your whole day around. But contrary to what you might have heard, you don’t need to part with a wodge of cash to find the one: high street lipsticks are making their mark.
Love at first swipe (no I’m not talking about Hinge) depends on a few things for me: a moisturising formula (whether matte or satin finish), an immediately good pigment pay off and a shade range where you can find a complementing hue for every skin tone, whether it’s a barely-there nude or a stop-you-in-the-street red.
Yes, the amount of choice out there is a *lot*. So that’s why I’ve asked the Eliza team to share the high street lipsticks that they hold dearest, from the best balmy finishes to the most miraculously maintainable mattes.
Find our favourite affordable lipsticks below…
- Is the secret to finding your perfect nude lip colour in your veins?
- I used to hate lip gloss, but these formulas changed my mind
- This liquid lipstick is weightless and does not budge (and it’s under £12)
Revlon ColorStay Matte Lite Crayon, £9.99
Chosen by: Hannah Thompson, Beauty Content Creator
Longevity: 3-4 hours without touch ups
Shade range: 10
Review: As someone who loves a dewy makeup look and suffers from perpetually dry lips, I’m not normally a huge fan of matte lipsticks. But I’m never one to judge a book by its cover, so when these came across my desk, I gave them the benefit of the doubt, and I’m eternally glad I did.
Firstly, I love the thinner bullet: it’s so much easier for precise application and allows me to touch up on the go without fuss. Secondly, it really does live up to its ‘lite’ description: it glides across the lips with no tugging and moisturises them throughout the day, with no drying up or flaking in sight.
For a lightweight matte, this has some surprising staying power and only needs me to top up with a quick swipe after eating or drinking. The colour range is gorgeous too, featuring some of the best high street red and nude shades I’ve come across. For under £10, I’ll take the lot.
Lottie London Slay All Day in Werk It, £5.95
Chosen by: Izzie Deibe, Beauty and Fashion Contributor
Longevity: Around 2 hours without touch-ups
Shade range: 6
Review: I have very small lips and I like an over-lined look that won’t instantly smudge and look messy. Although I prefer the look of regular satin lipstick and the simplicity of applying them from the bullet, for practicality reasons I need something a little more precise and long-wearing.
Lottie London’s Slay All Day in Werk, a pinky brown, is my go-to nude lippy for everything from the office to a night out. The skinny applicator allows you to neatly line your lips before you fill in the centre. So, unlike some other liquid lipsticks, you won’t need to go around your lipline with a concealer brush to tidy up any mess. It’s one of the only lipsticks I can trust to stay in place, so gone are the days of constant trips to the loo to check I don’t look like a clown.
I personally love to apply it with a more vivid pink liner or a deep brown liner to create a cool ’90s vibe, and you can even layer multiple shades for an ombre effect.
For £5.95, this lipstick is surprisingly durable too. It will fade after a couple of hours (or even sooner if you’re eating and drinking), but I find that this happens with even the most expensive lipsticks. And, because it’s so easy to reapply and achieve a flawless finish, I don’t mind at all.
Maybelline Super Stay Vinyl Longwear Liquid Lipstick in Cheeky, £11.99
Chosen by: Rebecca Fearn, Beauty Editor
Longevity: 3 hours without touch-ups
Shade range: 10
Review: I am a total sucker for a nude lipstick; honestly, I’d say around 90% of my lip product collection features neutral hues. I’m also always carrying at least 3 nudes at the bottom of any given bag, making it a full-on obsession.
Traditionally, I’ve been loyal to mattes and velvets, but recently I’ve been dabbling with glossy, shiny finishes that add a little extra pizzazz to any look. Enter: this liquid lipstick, which unlike most of its kind, has a hi-shine texture rather than a stain finish.
The shade to reach for if you love your nudes like me is ‘Cheeky,’ which complements a smoky eye like a dream, or peps up a no-makeup makeup look, complete with brushed-up brows, glossy skin and perky cheeks.
There are some other great colour options too, including reds and berries if you fancy something a little more bold.
L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte, £9.99
Chosen by: Laren Tayyip, Editorial Assistant
Longevity: Around 4 hours without touch-ups
Shade range: 12
Review: This is my absolute favourite high street lipstick of all time! I have been using L’Oreal’s Colour Riche range for two years now and love its Volume Intense Matte Lipstick.
My go-to shades are ‘Coral Irreverent’ and ‘Nude Admirable’. If you prefer a bolder look however, there are some lovely deep reds, plums and pinky fuchsias shades to try.
They are super hydrating and lightweight, which is what I always look for when buying new lipstick. I have particularly dry lips that worsen over winter so a creamy and moisturising formula is essential.
It also lasts a good four hours, after which I recommend topping it up a bit, especially if you are out drinking. It’s perfect for a natural makeup look all year round.
Max Factor Colour Elixir Cushion Lip Colour Lip Gloss, £9.99
Chosen by: Hannah Blake, Managing Director
Longevity: Around 2 hours
Shade range: 7
Review: This is IMO, the ride or die of lip products. It has great pigment whilst providing a balmy gloss-like finish that’s the perfect saviour for my very dry lips.
It comes in seven shades but my go-to colour is ‘010 Starlight Coral,’ which is perfect for any daytime makeup look. It’s a bargain as well at just under £10, and is a great dupe for the more expensive Clarins Lip Perfector.
Glosses don’t tend to last as long as lipsticks but I find this one can definitely see me through a good couple of meetings in the office. The slanted applicator also means it’s super easy to apply. I tend to buy a couple of these at any one time and distribute them amongst various handbags and coat pockets so I’m never without!
Barry M Velvet Lip Paint, £4.99
Chosen by: Sarah Whalley, Videographer
Longevity: 2-3 hours
Shade range: 6
Review: When shopping for beauty products I always look for brands that are cruelty-free and vegan. I’ve used Barry M for many years now because it’s affordable and easily purchased in my local Boots or Superdrug stores, which can’t always be said for vegan makeup brands.
I suffer with really dry lips in the winter and need lip products that are hydrating as well as making my lips look lovely. This comes in a variation of six wonderful nude shades and ‘Bittersweet’ is my go-to.
It has a lightweight formula that is easily applied and glides on with an even pigment, so I don’t find I need to keep going back over it to build up a nice colour. For under £5, I couldn’t ask for much more.
NYX Professional Makeup Lip Lingerie XXL, £9
Chosen by: Krissy Turner, Fashion Editor
Longevity: 2-3 hours
Shade range: 26
Review: On a budget throughout university, I discovered NYX, and ever since it’s become my go-to for bargain makeup products. The brand famously has huge shade ranges in its lip collections, and the Professional Matte Liquid Lipstick range is no different – so much so that I had to swatch nine and dither for ages before committing to the shade ‘Unhooked’.
It’s the perfect ‘my-lips-but-better’ colour on my medium skin tone, and magically doesn’t transfer, making it an absolute dream over party season and lots of cocktail drinking. It’s not the most hydrating *but* the great news is it looks just as divine with a clear gloss on top.