Last year Louboutin launched a luxury lipstick for £60. Let’s just let that sink in. One lipstick, for £60. We’re sure it’s a lovely lipstick, but come on now Louboutin. We have bills to pay, Nando’s to eat and mojitos to sip. In a world where a lipstick can easily fall out of bags, get abandoned in toilets and stolen by housemates, ain’t nobody got time for a £60 lip product.
But fear not, fellow skint sisters. There IS a way to achieve the perfect red pout without blowing your entire weekly food budget on one lipstick. To save you the trouble, we road tested the very best red lipsticks around for under £5.
Pigmentation: 3/5 This lipstick is a bit sneaky. It looks like a fabulous true red in the tube, but alas, it’s got a strong pink undertone and comes out as a dark salmon-y shade on the skin. Make sure you layer on a few coats if you want more of a poppy red colour.
Longevity: 3/5 It rubbed off pretty quick, so you’ll need to top up frequently if you want to preserve a perfect red pout. That said, the faded pinky-red it leaves behind is actually a pretty nice colour too.
Finish: 5/5 It glides on like a dream and moisturises as if a thousand tiny angels are crying tears of joy onto your lips (not really, but it gives a gorgeous matte finish without drying out your pout at all).
Packaging/Smell/Other: 4/5 We can’t imagine that white tube will stay white long in makeup bags filled with broken bronzers and loose eyeliner pencils, but we like the simplicity.
Pigmentation:4.5/5 This is just what you want in a red lippy: bright, bold and only takes one swipe for beautiful red smackers.
Longevity: 3/5 Those red smackers didn’t last too long, and another application was due after munching down a lunchtime wrap, but they managed to withstand a cup of tea. In other words, they’ll withstand a few glasses of wine, but not the cheesy chips you end up eating on the way home.
Finish: 5/5 Moisturising, light and matte. Gave a great pop of colour without feeling like you’ve got loads of product slathered all over your lips.
Packaging/Smell/Other: 3/5 Simple and sleek. The lid pops off so easily. Also has a slightly artificial fruity smell, so prepare for your lips to smell like you’ve just gobbled a packet of Haribo.
Pigmentation: 2/5 This comes out more like a lip balm or tint should, giving a half-hearted hint of a red lip instead of the statement red pout we were hoping for.
Longevity: 1/5 Even when we’d put a fairly thick coat of lippy on, the colour somehow didn’t even make it ’till lunchtime. And after reapplying, things got messy. We ended up with a red nose, chin and hands. Beware.
Finish: 3/5 We are pleasantly surprised that Poundland had produced a product with such a lovely smooth finish, but it was almost too smooth. So smooth that it wouldn’t stay on the lips.
Packaging/Smell/Other: 1/5 The tube screams “I only cost a pound and I want everyone to know it!!!!!!” Not a fan, Poundland.
Pigmentation: 5/5 Oh my goodness, is this really under £5?! Sleek’s pigmentation game is really strong, it only took one application to achieve a bright red pout. Perfect.
Longevity: 4.5/5 One coat in the morning lasted all the way from dawn and until noon, at which point our Sleek lipstick met an apple and the resulting mess wasn’t pretty. Nonetheless, a little touch-up post-apple had this pout lasting all day long.
Finish: 4.5/5 No need for lip balm base, this lippy glides on like a dream.
Packaging/Smell/Other: 4/5 Looks great, smells great, but why is it so small?!
Pigmentation: 5/5 Sleek cosmetics are the gift that just keeps giving. This is another incredibly pigmented lipstick from Sleek, only this one has a slightly more orangey undertone than the above lippy.
Longevity: 4.5/5 This stayed on like a dream, requiring minimal touch ups throughout the day. It lasted slightly better than Sleek’s True Colour Vixen lipstick because this one has a matte finish that clings to lips a bit better.
Finish: 4/5 This is a very matte finish, so beware if you tend to get dry or chalky lips – you might want to stick a lip balm on beforehand or avoid completely.
Packaging/Smell/Other: 4/5 Again, we get it about great things coming in small doses but that doesn’t give this lippy the most bang for your buck.
Pigmentation: 4/5 We love the pretty red colour, which gives a pretty red pout with just one slick across the lips.
Longevity: 2/5 Wore off after a while but didn’t want to reapply because it was quite dry.
Finish: 2/5 Not fabulous – it was kind of chalky and a little too dry for our liking. If you like to apply a balm of moisturising lip balm underneath your lip colour, this lippy could be the one for you.
Packaging/Smell/Other: 1/5 Smells kinda chalky, which is a tell-tale of a cheap lipstick. Plus the packaging isn’t particularly cute.
Pigmentation: 3/5 Bit of a pinky undertone and took two applications to get a nice red colour.
Longevity: 3/5 This withstood some substantial tea drinking but sadly did fade throughout the day. Not the worst, but not a totally fail-safe option.
Finish: 4/5 Surprisingly luxurious, considering we hadn’t used Miss Sporty products much at all since our days pasting on the concealer in secondary school toilets.
Packaging/Smell/Other: 3/5 We were divided about this – Laura likes the fruity smell but Claire thinks it’s very teenage-girl-in-the-toilets. All depends on how you feel about fruity lips.
Pigmentation: 2/5 It took a few applications to get a proper red colour on the lips, which is probably why it looks a bit patchy.
Longevity: 3/5 Stayed put most of the day but faded to a less intense red. Not great for gals who like a pillarbox pout without topping up the colour.
Finish: 4/5 It’s not quite as matte as some matte lipsticks and looks like it has a tiny bit of shimmer going on in the formula, giving it a bit more of a “going out” feel. Despite the fairly matte finish, it glided on like a dream.
Packaging/Smell/Other: 4/5 The tube is pretty plain but don’t let that fool you, this lipstick’s most exciting feature is its clickable lid. Press the top down and the lipstick either clicks open or shut, a must for anyone who has ever lost a lipstick lid in the bottom of their
Pigmentation: 2/5 Hmm, not sold on this one. It’s got a very pretty orangey base, but it just wasn’t that easy to apply. The end picture is after a few applications, which makes your lips feel like they’re coated in a lot of product.
Longevity: 3/5 A few sips of coffee and a satsuma later and BAM, suddenly you’re looking at totally lipstickless lips.
Finish: 4/5 We’re not big on products that sit on your lips and make you feel very aware that they’re there, which was unfortunately the case with this lipstick.
Packaging/Smell/Other: 3/5 Anything that snaps shut with a satisfying click is a good idea in our books. Sadly we had to knock a point off this one because it inexplicably smelt exactly like talcum powder.
Pigmentation: 5/5 Does exactly what a red lipstick should do – provides fantastic colour straight out the tube without endless applications.
Longevity: 4/5 This didn’t last past lunch time, but the majority of the morning it stayed put, bar a few coffee cup smudges.
Finish: 4/5 Hallelujah, a lipstick you can put on and forget about! It’s a little bit on the dry side, but didn’t make our lips feel too cakey.
Packaging/Smell/Other: 3/5 The slightly chemically scent lets it down a bit, but we like the all-black-erreythang tube.