The BEST Drugstore Lipsticks

How’s that for a close up!?

So, you know how I love lipstick, right? Well, true to form, I’ve recently turned that love into an obsession. I started asking around for my friend’s recommendations of their favorite drugstore lipsticks, and I was surprised at the lack of response!

That’s when I knew it was time for a little experiment for the good of womankind. And I’d like to report back that over the past few weeks I tested and tried over 20 different drugstore lipsticks. Here’s what I was looking for:

COLOR: I wanted colors that looked good on a variety of complexions and skin tones. I also wanted one good pink, one perfect red, and one solid 90’s maroon. (The 90’s are back baby!) I’m not saying the winners will look perfect on EVERYONE, but one of the three is bound to work for you! I had lots of friends try them on. The color had to fade well too.

TEXTURE: I was looking for lush and smooth. Rich and luxerious. A lipstick that felt and looked expensive but was totally cheap. I also wanted something that you could apply in a hurry, and wouldn’t glop or goop up.

WEAR: I hate when I put a bold color on in the morning, and by lunchtime my lips look like a marbled Easter egg. The only color that remains is in the crevices. I tested the color over the period of a day. Leaving it on to eat, drink my soady-pops, and kiss my baby. I wasn’t looking for stay-put color, just a lipstick that wore well and faded beautifully.

Are you ready for the winners?

I have LOVED having these three lipsticks to throw on as I run out the door with 5th day dirty hair and the same pants from yesterday. They instantly perk me up and make me feel sassy. Here’s what I love about my choices:

FIFTH AVE. FUCHSIA by MAYBELLINE: This pink was my biggest surprise. I’ve never, ever worn a pink lipstick like this. I tried much tamer pinks before deciding on this one. But this lil’ beauty is the one I put on most for day-to-day. Everyone I’ve put it on looks good in it! It makes the cheeks rosier and your comebacks sweeter…I swear!

ALARM by RIMMEL LONDON: This particular line of Rimmel lipsticks had a lot of good choices. But this red took my breath away with it’s Marilyn Monroe quality. I think it is the perfect starlet red. It smells good and layers well. If you just put on one layer it’s not as bold. It’s more of an orange red than a blue or berry red, and it will instantly make you feel glam. Even in sweatpants. (This should pay me for this CRAP!)

ENAMOR by COVERGIRL: Like I said, I wanted a Janeane Garofalo maroon. I wasn’t quite old enough to wear it in the 90’s so I totally wasn’t going to miss my shot this time. This maroon is elegant and lush. Or at least I think so. You’ll need some blush with it most likely, or you could go for that goth look. Either way try it on, you’ll look like a sexy devil in it.

Here’s the winners in the tube:
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I bought all of my lipsticks from Walgreens. They have a FABULOUS return policy. You can return opened cosmetics within 30 days with the reciept, and only one person rolled their eyes at me and was really rude. Everyone else was SUPER nice. I was very honest when asking about it, I felt kind of like a criminal trying so many lipsticks, but they assured me it was part of the policy! I returned all of the losers. And it was genius of them because now I’m a Walgreens lipstick customer for life! And perhaps you will be too.

Here are some of my ladies in 5th Ave. Fuchsia!
A huge thank you to Meta for taking all the pictures at her beautiful house. She’s working on her design blog currently, but while you’re waiting you can follow her on Instagram @metamouse. And the always lovely Elle from Elle Keeps Moving and my sister Andrea were the perfect partners in crime.

I also consulted with makeup stylist and glamazon Arleene Taylor of My Heartistry. She is SO talented and next week I will be sharing some tips from her on the best ways to wear and apply bold colors! So be sure to check back!

I hope you have a very Happy Valentine’s day! I’ll be sharing some of my fam photos tomorrow! And I hope you get yourself some sassy new lipstick! Be sure to keep me posted on how the colors work for you.


Wait, you want ONE more GIANT picture of me? Well if you’re gonna’ twist my arm…


  1. Whitney Jay

    I am SO grateful to you for doing this. Every time I ask for lipstick recommendations people give me really expensive options. And that just does not go with my covergirl/maybeline budget. So thank you!

  2. mandy dominici

    I think this is the cutest post ever posted in the world. You didn't even need to use a small child or a baby animal!

  3. SJ

    Love your style and your personality! So excited about the Walgreens return policy, I hate wasting even drug store dollar amounts on makeup that doesn't work. Thanks!

  4. bex

    Such a good researcher. I hope you do drugstore mascara next ; )

  5. meg

    First of all. It is totally so unfair that you can look that good in a close close close up. I hate you. And I love you. It is complicated. Secondly…I am on my way to buy some drugstore lipstick. Thanks-a-potomous.

  6. communikate.

    i'm wearing the fushia now! it's one of my favorites and old standbys.

    however, i must say that up until six months ago, i only used drugstore lipsticks, but i finally splurged on mac lipsticks, and i'll never go back. the textures, longevity, and colors are the best.

  7. Jessica Dahlquist

    You look fab in the pink lipstick. Love it! And thanks for the heads-up about walgreens. What a store!

  8. Elle Keeps Moving

    you're a genius! and a babe in any lipstick.

    why is my chin so high up? i got wayyy too into the kissy face…embarrassing, but worth it for this awesome post.

  9. Jane

    Random stranger here, but so glad I came across your blog and this post! I'm bookmarking this and planning a trip to the drugstore…thanks! 🙂

  10. Megan

    Your skin is perfect!

  11. Kelli Ward

    this is perfect. i have just been wanting to venture out into the world of bold lipstick, but needed some recommendations. thankyou! will be going to walgreens today.

  12. marshall p

    did I mention that I elove you? will you remember me when you blow-up? cause you're about to. (in a good way, not a Ted Kaczynski way.)

  13. Heather J

    awesome! thank you. thank you.

  14. We Three Zweigs

    Man oh man do I miss you.

  15. Jenny Jackson Kersting

    I bought Maybelline's 5th Ave Fuscia after reading your post and I am loving it!

  16. labeck

    so happy to find your blog AND this post! I was just wondering what good drugstore lipsticks would be out there for my coloring and *boom* someone mentions your blog and then I see this post.

    That said, I bought Cover Girl's Enamor last night and may have to get used to it..but as Walgreens was having a buy one get one 50% off, I got a second CG lipstick and adore it! It's Cover Girl #355 "Tempt" – and is a darker fuschia perhaps? It makes me smile to wear it – doesn't have a fragrance that turns up my nose (no fragrance at all) and I feel like I could dash this on with no other makeup and run out the door. yippee!

    so thank you a million times over!!!

  17. Thanks so much for this! I had no idea Walgreens had that policy. It is always such a risk, buying something like this without testing it out. Cheers for the info, and they all look great on you!

  18. THANK YOU!!!!!!!! i am totally goin to walgreens tomorrow. no joke. LOVE these! you just saved me a WHOLE lotta time 🙂

  19. I didn’t know Walgreens had such a great return policy! Thanks for sharing! This is such a cute post!

    xo Kayla

  20. Alex

    just beware, the lead content in some lipsticks is gross! this list has about 400 that contain lead.

  21. Spazzdak

    5 day dirty hair??? and HOW do you look so cute???
    You look TOTALLY natural in the fuschia lipstick! Like you should’ve been wearing it all along!!!!
    I stumbled across this and I’m on my way to see what else genius you’ve shared! Great post!!

    1. Alison Faulkner

      Haha thank you! It’s the dry shampoo! While you’re at the drug store I recommend the Suave brand, the gold bottle smells better than the silver one. But I like both. I’m so glad you’ve stopped by! Hope to see you around these parts soon xo

  22. Chelsea

    I am SO GLAD I stumbled onto your blog! I have been wanting to try a fuchsia lipstick for awhile but haven’t taken the plunge in case it didn’t look right on me. Now I have three great new lipsticks AND an awesome blog to read 😀

    1. horray! so glad you did as well! let me know how they work out for you! xo

  23. Lisa

    I have been a makeup rut for a while, but you inspired to get new lipstick. I decided to try out pink & let me tell you, I am LOVING it; fun, fresh, & surprisingly flattering. Plus it makes me whole face look “made up,” and has such a nice smooth texture. I will be trying out the red shortly 🙂

    May 1, 2012   |   Reply
    1. AH! I’m so SO glad to hear it! I also really love Coral crush, it’s the same brand as the pink, but I think you’ll LOVE that red. it’s so flattering!

      May 1, 2012   |   Reply
  24. such a great line-up! i want to try that shade of red from rimmel! found you via sometimes sweet. so glad i did!

  25. Diana

    I was also in the lipstick zone lately but *sigh*I’m disappointed in the amount of lead the usual lipstick that is available at typical stores we could go to. I give up on buying anymore lipsticks at stores, since I tried them and saw that it does indeed have lead.

  26. 356231 309087Thanks for the write up! Also, just a heads up, your RSS feeds aren

  27. Emilie Susara

    Hi!Im Ems tnx for the info reg. with the lipstick. Like it & i will buy it.

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