Category Archives: Lipstick & Lipgloss

Drugstore Red Lipstick Swatches – Sheers, Stains, and Liquid Lipsticks

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Drugstore Sheer Liquid Stain Red Lipsticks

As regular readers know, I have WAY too many red lipsticks. Or maybe I don’t have enough – either way you look at it, I have a lot of them.  And, I’ve been working on swatching all of them for you.  You can see previous red lipstick swatch posts here:

And you can find all of my red lipstick swatches, reviews, and comparison posts here.

Today, I have six drugstore red lip products, though none are actually traditional lipsticks – I’ll get into the details later, but all are some kind of combination of sheer lipstick, tinted lip balm, lip stain, lip gloss, or liquid lipstick.

Drugstore Sheer Liquid Stain Red Lipstick Swatches

Adore // Romantic // Sweet Strawberry // Candy Apple // Endless Red // PF Red

The full names of the products are (left to right): Revlon Adore Kissable Balm Stain, Revlon Romantic Kissable Balm Stain, Jordana Sweet Strawberry Easyshine Glossy Lip Color, Revlon Candy Apple Lip Butter, L’oreal Endless Red Caresse Wet Shine Stain, Physician’s Formula Red Sexy Booster Glossy Stain.

Revlon Adore Swatch

Revlon Adore Kissable Balm Stain is a brick red with a very subtle shimmer; I can barely see the shimmer when applied, and in fact didn’t even realize it had any shimmer until recently.  It’s marked as a tinted balm / stain hybrid, and I think that’s accurate enough; it definitely leaves a persistent stain for me.

Revlon Romantic Swatch

Revlon Romantic Kissable Balm stain is my favorite of the balm stains, and I still wear it regularly, especially during summer.  I love the color – a warm strawberry red. It also leaves a persistent stain.

Jordana Easyshine Sweet Strawberry Swatch

Jordana Easyshine Glossy Lip Color in Sweet Strawberry is a really lovely product – it’s a hybrid between a tinted balm and a sheer lipstick, and somewhat similar to the Revlon Lip Butters in texture, though a bit softer. When I first tried it, I didn’t like how glossy it was, but my preferences have changed and I really like it now; I’m thinking of picking up more colors (there are lots of swatches around if you google for them to help select).  Note that the Easyshines are scented like the fruit in their name – I find the strawberry scent of this one inoffensive and not too artificial or strong.

Revlon Candy Apple Swatch

Revlon Candy Apple Lip Butter is a warm red; it is very similar to Revlon Romantic Balm stain in color, but it does not stain.  There’s not much to say about these that hasn’t been said already, they’ve been reviewed so many times at this point!

Loreal Endless Red Swatch

L’oreal Caresse Wet Shine Stain in Endless Red is a glossy neutral red.  Although it’s very glossy, it doesn’t transfer much at all, and it leaves a VERY persistent stain. I like that it stains, and  I love that it doesn’t transfer much – that’s why the L’oreal (and YSL Glossy Stains) are my very favorite options for glossy lips.

Physicians Formula Glossy Stain Red Swatch

Physician’s Formula Sexy Booster Glossy Stain may be marketed as a glossy stain, but it’s not particularly glossy and doesn’t really stain; it is, however, a fabulous red liquid lipstick. I would definitely recommend it, as long as you know what you’re buying!


*As indicated by the buttons at the top of this post, I purchased all the products in this post and this post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

Vampy Lipgloss Swatches & Comparison

vampy lipgloss swatches-2

Lately, I’ve really been loving berry lips and vampy lips, and I’ve bought a few lipglosses to layer with my lipsticks to amp up the vamp factor! Today, I have swatches of Rimmel Black Diva, MAC Feelin’ So Good (reviewed here), and Becca Berry Twist.

vampy lipgloss swatches - rimmel black diva, mac feelin' so good, becca berry twist

Rimmel Black Diva // MAC Feelin’ So Good // Becca Berry Twist

As you can see, the Rimmel gloss is a true black.  The MAC gloss is a very deep plum brown, and the Becca is a true berry.  None of the three have any shimmer.

rimmel black diva lipgloss swatch

Rimmel Black Diva

Rimmel Black Diva is quite sheer when applied. I don’t see myself, or most, wearing it alone – it’s definitely a layering gloss.

mac feelin so good swatch

MAC Feelin’ So Good

Feelin’ So Good is a color that is wearable alone, but it really gathers in lip lines. So, it’s also best for layering – but it is an incredibly layering shade, and I absolutely LOVE it.

becca berry twist swatch

Becca Berry Twist

Becca Berry Twist is definitely the best shade to wear on its own. My lips weren’t in very good condition when I swatched it – you can see a horizontal line on them, which means I need to exfoliate, but it’s not really the lipgloss’s fault.  Note that the Becca gloss does have a rather strong sweet scent – I don’t really like it, but it does fade quickly.

I’ve also swatched all the glosses over a berry lipstick, Wet n Wild Ferguson Crest Cabernet. Here’s the lipstick alone:

wet n wild ferguson crest cabernet swatch

Wet n Wild Ferguson Crest Cabernet

It’s a really lovely bright berry, and one that I’ve been wearing frequently! I have a review of it and all the other Wet n Wild Perfect Pout lipsticks here.

wet n wild ferguson crest cabernet - rimmel black diva swatch

WnW + Rimmel Black Diva

Here is the same lipstick with the Rimmel lipgloss. It tones down the brightness, and somehow brings out the purple. I like this, but I don’t think I love it.

wet n wild ferguson crest cabernet - mac feelin so good swatch

WnW + MAC Feelin’ So Good

Here is the lipstick with the MAC lipgloss (or lipglass). I love this, I love it SO much.  It’s deeper, a bit more plum, but not too dark, and just a gorgeous shade overall!

If you’d like to see this lipgloss over several other shades (reds & a vamp), please see this post.

wet n wild ferguson crest cabernet - becca berry twist

WnW + Becca Berry Twist

Adding the Becca gloss also deepens the Wet n Wild lipstick, but doesn’t change the color as much as the other two.  It does tone down the brightness, and is a really lovely color – a great combination.  I’ll be wearing this combination in the future for sure!

As a final note, due to reader feedback, I’m experimenting with zoomed-out lip swatches that show more of my face.  Do you like them, hate them, are you indifferent to them? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Mid/High End Red Lipstick Swatches & Comparisons

high end red lipstick

I’ve swatched many of my drugstore red lipsticks – this post has swatches of $2 and under drugstore red lipsticks – but I haven’t swatched all of my many, many red lipsticks. I’ve decided to change that! I’m starting with my mid/high end red lipsticks in this post.

The hardest part was actually deciding what qualified as red.  I picked out the lipsticks that look red to my eye, and included a couple sheer reds, and lipsticks that others says are sheer red on them (even though they aren’t very red on me). I excluded anything I would categorize as a vampy shade or as predominantly berry, pink, or coral, even if it has red tones.  I included liquid lipsticks, but excluded glosses – I’ll swatch my red glosses in a separate post. This left me with eleven shades.

First, skin swatches:

Nars Cruella Shisedo Nocturne Chanel Dragon Rouge d'Armani 400 swatches, comparison

Nars Cruella // Shisedo Nocturne // Chanel Dragon // Rouge d’Armani 400

Illamasqua Encounter MAC Deeply Adored NARS Vesuvio MAC Unknown Pleasures swatches, comparison

Illamasqua Encounter // MAC Deeply Adored // NARS Vesuvio // MAC Unknown Pleasures

Poppy King Medieval MAC Viva Glam Cyndi NARS Gipsy comparison swatches

Poppy King Medieval // MAC Viva Glam Cyndi // NARS Gipsy


And lip swatches:

nars cruella velvet matte lip swatch

Nars Cruella // review

Someday I will re-review this; I link to it frequently, and it’s such an old review! I still love it just as much I did when I first bought it. This is my pick for a matte red.

Shisedo Nocturne lip swatch

Shisedo Nocturne // review

chanel dragon

Chanel Dragon (discontinued) // review

rouge d'armani 400 lip swatch

Rouge d’Armani 400 // review

I still adore this one too – it’s my pick for a non-matte bright red.

Illamasqua Encounter lip swatch

Illamasqua Encounter (discontinued) // review

mac deeply adored MAC Deeply Adored (limited edition & no longer available) // review

It’s a pity that this was limited edition – it’s really a great color. If MAC brings it back and you’re looking for a deep red, I would recommend it without hesitation.

nars vesuvio

NARS Vesuvio // review

MAC Unknown Pleasures Mattene lip swatch

MAC Unknown Pleasures (LE & no longer available)

I picked this up a CCO (a makeup outlet store that sells Estee Lauder brands), and I love both the color and the texture. Again, wish this were permanent! This shade bridges the divide between red and vampy.

lipstick queen medieval lip swatch Lipstick Queen Medieval // review

This is a very sheer red; the swatch is several layers.  Very easy to wear!

MAC viva glam cyndi lip swatch Mac Viva Glam Cyndi (LE & no longer available)

I’ve heard this described many times as a sheer red, but it looks more pink on me; still, I thought I’d include it for completeness’s sake.

red lipstick lip swatches-2 NARS Gipsy

This is another (supposed) sheer red that doesn’t look red at all on me, though I do see sheer red in the skin swatch.  I do love it though; it’s very flattering and goes with almost anything.

Still to come: red lipgloss swatches, and more (many more!) drugstore red lipstick swatches.

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Drugstore Vampy Lipstick Swatch & Review

Wet n Wild Black Orchid, Revlon Black Cherry, Black Radiance Brandywine

Wet n Wild Black Orchid, Revlon Black Cherry, Black Radiance Brandywine

Today, I have three inexpensive drugstore vampy lipsticks – each slightly different, and all perfect for fall and winter. Or all year round, even! First, a comparison – they’re similar enough that the only way to really see the differences is to look at them side by side:

swatches: Wet n Wild Black Orchid (508A) Revlon Black Cherry Black Radiance Brandywine (5010)

Left to right: Wet n Wild Black Orchid Silk Finish (508A) //
Revlon Black Cherry Super Lustrous // Black Radiance Brandywine (5010)

Wet n Wild Black Orchid Silk Finish lipstick, which I have reviewed previously, is the darkest of the lot.  It’s also the least expensive, at only 99 cents (and frequently on sale).  It is moisturizing, has medium wear time, and is comfortable to wear.

WnW Black Orchid swatch

WnW Black Orchid

Revlon Black Cherry lipstick is a classic vampy lipstick shade.  It’s not as dark as the Wet n Wild, or as bright as the Black Radiance.  It’s a drier formula than the other two, and I found that it emphasized any dry spots on my lips. I actually applied, was horrified, wiped it off, did a lip exfoliation scrub, and reapplied. It still emphasized some flakes – as you can see below –  but it looks a lot better than before.  Revlon Super Lustrous lipsticks are $7.99 (though price may vary by region).

Revlon Black Cherry swatch

Revlon Black Cherry

I bought Black Radiance Brandywine on a whim – it’s my first Black Radiance product – and I was pleasantly surprised when I applied it. It’s very creamy and moisturizing, but not slippery at all. Since the same company, Markwins, owns both Wet n Wild and Black Radiance, I guess it’s not surprising that Black Radiance products are high quality! This lipstick is similar to the Revlon, but brighter in color and creamier in texture. It’s so beautiful – I definitely recommend it.  It was $1.99 at Rite Aide.

Black Radiance Brandywine swatch

Black Radiance Brandywine

Out of these three, I would recommend Wet n Wild Black Orchid and Black Radiance Brandywine.  I found the flake-emphasizing qualities of Revlon Black Cherry to be a dealbreaker, and I’ll be getting rid of mine at some point.

And, as a final note, here’s a full-face photo with Brandywine:

Drugstore Nude and Neutral Lipstick Swatches & Comparison

Drugstore Nude & Neutral lipstick comparison

I recently posted a drugstore red lipstick comparison, and a commenter asked about a nude lipstick comparison. I thought that was a fantastic idea, so that’s what I have for you today!  Today’s lipsticks range from a pale nude to a my lips but better (MLBB) rosy neutral, and I’ve also included a lip crayon and two glosses.

The contenders:

Revlon Rosy Nude, Wet n Wild 902C Bare It All, Essence Creamy Nude, Rimmel Kate 14, L'oreal Sheer Linen, Boots / Poppy King Confidence, Ulta American Girl, Revlon Nude Lustre, NYC Nude York City swatches

Revlon Rosy Nude, Wet n Wild 902C Bare It All, Essence Creamy Nude, Rimmel Kate 14,
L’oreal Sheer Linen,Boots / Poppy King Confidence, Ulta American Girl,
Revlon Nude Lustre, NYC Nude York City

Revlon Colorburst Rosy Nude lip swatch

Revlon Colorburst Rosy Nude

Revlon Colorburst lipstick in Rosy Nude is more of a MLBB / neutral than a nude.  I really like this lipstick, both for color and formula.

Wet n Wild MegaLast Lip Color - 902C Bare It All lip swatch

Wet n Wild MegaLast Lip Color – 902C Bare It All

Wet n Wild MegaLast is too matte for me to wear alone. I absolute LOVE matte lipstick, but I need my nude lipstick to have some gloss or sheen. It’s a great lipstick to mix / layer with other products, though.

Essence Creamy Nude lip swatch

Essence Creamy Nude

Essence Creamy Nude is fantastic – both color and formula.  The hint of pink makes it wearable alone.  Read my full review on Essence lipsticks here.

Rimmel Kate - 14 lip swatch

Rimmel Kate – 14

I’m not a huge fan of Rimmel Kate 14.  I bought it because it looks amazingly fabulous here on Lilit of Makeup & Macaroons, but we have very different skintones, and it doesn’t work as well one me.  It has a fruity scent that I dislike.

L'oreal Rouge Caresse - Sheer Linen lip swatch

L’oreal Rouge Caresse – Sheer Linen

L’oreal Rouge Caresse in Sheer Linen feels nice when applied, but a) it barely shows up on me, and b) it doesn’t last longer than an hour. There’s nothing wrong with it, exactly, but wearing it reminds me of wearing clear lipbalm. I have a review of the Rouge Caresse formula here.

Boots / Poppy King - Number Six Confidence - lip swatch

Boots / Poppy King – Number Six Confidence

Boots / Poppy King Confidence is very close to my natural lip color, but adds a hint of brown.  I like to layer it with too-light nudes to create a wearable shade.

Ulta Lip Crayon- American Girl - lip swatch

Ulta Lip Crayon- American Girl

I really like the formula of Ulta’s Lip Crayons.  American Girl is lovely color – definitely wearable alone on me, and long lasting.

Revlon Super Lustrous lipgloss - Nude Lustre - lip swatch

Revlon Super Lustrous lipgloss – Nude Lustre

Revlon Super Lustrous lipgloss in Nude Lustre is very sheer. It has a slight sparkle, but that isn’t very noticeable on me. It has a really nice texture – not sticky or too slippery; it’s just right.  I don’t wear it often, but when I do want a barely colored gloss, it’s what I reach for.

NYC Liquid Lipshine - Nude York City - lip swatch

NYC Liquid Lipshine – Nude York City

NYC Liquid Lipshine is also a barely tinted gloss – it pretty much shows up as clear with some sparkle on me. The sparkle is very subtle and pretty though, and I love the texture – again, it’s not too sticky or slippery.  However, I HATE the scent – it’s very sweet / cloying, and it prevents me from wearing this gloss.

That’s it for today’s round-up! Any interest in pinks, oranges, corals?

Inexpensive Drugstore Red Lipstick Swatches & Comparison

Today, I have something slightly different for you – a comparison of eight different drugstore red lipsticks.  And, not only are these drugstore brands, these are cheap drugstore brands – NYC and Wet n Wild. Each lipstick is either 99 cents (the NYC lipsticks and Wet n Wild Silk Finish lipsticks) or $1.99 (the WnW Mega Last lip colors).

Swatches: WnW Stoplight Red, WnW Red Velvet, WnW Hot Red, WnW Cherry Frost, WnW Cinnamon,  NYC Retro Red, NYC Sheer Red, NYC Ruby

WnW Stoplight Red, WnW Red Velvet, WnW Hot Red, WnW Cherry Frost, WnW Cinnamon,
NYC Retro Red, NYC Sheer Red, NYC Ruby

I am fairly picky about texture, but I really like all three of these lipstick formulas.  The WnW Mega Lasts are probably my favorite – just because I love matte lipstick – but the Silk Finish and NYC lipsticks are also very nice; creamy, moisturizing, and not greasy.  (I can’t stand a greasy – slippery feeling lipstick – I avoid Wet n Wild’s Mega Shield lipsticks and NYX lipsticks because of their textures.)

Here are the lip swatches; please note that bright red lipsticks often pull pink on me (which is why I tend to prefer deeper reds).  All photos are in natural light.

WnW Mega Last Stoplight Red

WnW Mega Last Stoplight Red – matte, slightly cool

WnW Mega Last Red Velvet

WnW Mega Last Red Velvet – matte, slightly warm

WnW Silk Finish Hot Red 519A

WnW Silk Finish Hot Red 519A- creme, a slight sheerness, bright

WnW Silk Finish Cherry Frost 514A

WnW Silk Finish Cherry Frost 514A – sparkle/shimmer – not really frosty

WnW Silk Finish Cinnamon 509A

WnW Silk Finish Cinnamon 509A- deep red creme with some sheerness, very lovely

NYC Retro Red

NYC Retro Red – very pigmented, classic pin-up true red

NYC Sheer Red

NYC Sheer Red – buildable deep sheer red

NYC Ruby

NYC Ruby – sort of pink and frosty, do not like

My favorites are Stoplight Red, Cinnamon, Retro Red, and Sheer Red – if you bought those four, you’d spend $5 and have your matte, dark, bright, and sheer red lip options covered!

You can also check out my drugstore nude and neutral lipstick post here; my drugstore vampy lipstick post here; and my mid/high end red lipstick swatch post here.