It's done. Thank the Lord Jebus. Yeah, I know this post is long. But it's the last one, so shut it. If you want to give me a piece of your mind and tell me which lipstick you like the best, scroll to the bottom.
Although I've actually only been wearing one of the included lipsticks on a regular basis, I chose the top 10 to reveal to you. I selected finalists from the hordes of lipstick that swarmed my lips based on color and feel alone, then wore all of those for at least a day, and have brought you the cream of the red lipstick crop.
For those of you who are wondering what the heck this is: Basically the worst thing evarrrr* happened: Maybelline discontinued my favorite lipstick**. Start here, then see rounds 2, 3, 4, and 5 to catch up. (Yes, I went through A LOT of lipstick).
Here are the winners in no particular order:
1 Besame Red Velvet ($22) - I love Besame and I love the color. It can get a bit greasy and feather quickly though, and when eating or talking, the staying power is on the low side.
2 Illamasqua Maneater ($22) - I loved this and 'Box'; the full coverage and matte finishes are divine! But each time I tried a color, the lipstick broke. I don't want to buy something I can only wear twice.
3 Bobbi Brown Red #10 ($22) - A nice, traditional red that goes on smoothly. Plus, we like saying, "Bobbeh! Bobbeh!" in our crackhead Whitney voices around the office.
4 Dolce & Gabbana Scarlett ($30) - Goes on like a dream, y'all. A little pinky, but it made me feel like an O'Hara.
5 Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani #400 ($30) - I loved this lipstick. The color, the packaging, and the way it somehow knew where my lipstick should go. It was so easy to use.
6 Maybelline Red Revival ($5) - The least expensive, by far. It's a little greasy, to be sure, but still gives that glam movie star red.
7 Smashbox Double Take Crayon in Cranberry ($22) - a bit on the brown side close up, but looks redder from afar. Love the pencil and crayon combo, but I haven't sharpened it yet!
8 Sephora Rouge R05 ($12) - This color is so....red. It goes on smooth, but has a bit of a matte finish to it. I'd definitely buy it again.
9 Tarte Matte Lipsurgence Lip Stain in Fiery ($24) - this is the kind of thing I would wear when I'm feeling a little vulnerable. It's a bit pinker and fades over time. I can't see Rizzo wearing it.
10 Sephora Creamy Lip Stain #01-206220 ($12) - My favorite, by a mile. And all my girlfriends ooohed and aaahed over it. It's full coverage, matte, not a bear to take off, smells like vanilla, and it's only $12. Aaaaand, I'm wearing it now. ;)
Finally, if you're interested in one that I tested earlier, leave a comment and let me know. I'll tell you why it did or didn't make it to the finals, my opinion of it, and whether it's in my makeup bag right now. ;)
*Ok, Haiti and Egypt and our nation's budget are all more important than my lipstick. I can hear my Catholic schoolteachers in the back of my head.
**On another note, if you're wondering about the Mystery Contenders, #1 was my original lipstick that got "discontinued". It was actually taken off the shelf so that Maybelline could rework the formula, the packaging, and the applicator. I liked it at first, but ended up hating the new color, the new formula (it's clumpy on my lips!), and the applicator (my hand does NOT work that way!). #2 was a CoverGirl lipstain that one of our readers suggested...it was nice, but stickier than I expected, and not the look I was searching for.
----Oh, and the original pic (the one where I look relatively well-rested, albeit a bit tough)? Taken by Meggan Haller at Keyhole Photo during a photoshoot with my dog. Although Janetor did a bang-up job photographing me in the office, Meggan's skillz are just out of this world.
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