In my experience, lipsticks usually last a couple of hours before they eventually transfer onto something else, like my water bottle, my sandwich, or my boyfriend. Personally, I think it’s wild to spend tons of money on a product that never stays put, but these best lipsticks from Sephora under $20 are affordable, feel great, and should do a decent job at withstanding any storm that may hit your lips.
Speaking of a storm, let me tell you about the one that basically defined my youth and my relationship with beauty. I was born with a cleft palate, and because of this birth defect, I spent many, many of my adolescent years in either a dentist’s, orthodontist's, or surgeon's chair, with constant poking and prodding into my mouth. I got braces when I was in 2nd grade, and had them removed when I was in 11th grade. I had an underbite and had two “lateral incisors” missing for a lot of my schooling. I fell in love with makeup, because it was a way for me to play and feel confident with my appearance. Lipstick and I were not friends, however, and for so long, I refused to wear any form of color on my lips in fear that someone would notice my smile.
I was 17-years-old the first time my lipstick became the main event of my makeup look. I wore Revlon’s Super Lustrous Lipstick ($9, Revlon) in Berry Haute, a purpley-pink shade that complements my skin tone wonderfully. Now, thankfully, I've grown in my confidence and in my feelings about lipstick. I still wear this pick regularly today, and every time I rock it, I’m reminded of ending overcoming my cleft-palate battle. Just like Berry Haute did for me, I hope that one of these affordable lipsticks from Sephora will make you feel some sort of freedom and confidence, too.
Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick ($18, sephora.com)
Rihanna is absolutely killin’ it in the makeup department, and while I do miss her new song releases, I love all her latest passion project. The Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipsticks come in 24 shades, all with a matte finish. Just like Rihanna, these colors are WILD — I’m talking bright orange, kelly green, and navy blue. Plus, the packaging is as appealing as the price tag.
Kiehl’s Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 30 ($22, sephora.com)
I think the name of this product says it all — it really does feel like butter’ on your lips. The treatment comes in six shades (one of those being untinted), and each offers SPF 30 protection. Much of the shade range is pinky or peachy tones, and the finish is mostly sheer, with a slight hint of tint.
BareMinerals GEN NUDE Radiant Lipstick ($20, sephora.com)
This lipstick range is meant for those trying to find their perfect nude. With 10 shades, all with a satin finish, the GEN NUDE collection features medium-coverage, creamy lip colors that I know you’ll love.
Clinique Dramatically Different Lipstick Shaping Lip Colour ($20, sephora.com)
The concept of this lipstick is so cool. It’s shaped like a lipstick, but the bullet of color is infused with what seems to be a balm. It’s super hydrating and has a triangular tip for precise application. Although the lipstick comes in 50 shades, Sephora only offers it in five shades (though, those five shades are super dreamy).
KAJA 2’s Company Nude Lipstick & Liner Duo ($16, sephora.com)
A lipstick and liner in one is never a bad idea. This collection from Kaja comes in six shades, each lipstick with a complementary lip liner in the same tube. Each shade comes in a matte finish and most are pinky mauve colors — perfect if you're a lighter skin tone in search of a decent nude.
Sephora Collection #LipStories Lipstick ($8, sephora.com)
I may or may not have chosen this lipstick collection because the packaging is to die for. Every single lipstick has its own picture on the case, whether it be the Golden Gate Bridge, sky lanterns, or fluffy clouds. The collection comes in over 40 shades, between metallic, matte and satin finishes, with an impressive and robust shade range.
Tarte Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint ($20, sephora.com)
This baby has a cult following, and fans seem to love the creamy matte formula. The collection is available in 11 shades on Sephora, and has a healthy mix of reds, purples, pinks, and browns. It’s full coverage, too so tell your boo to watch out — they might end up with a colorful pout, too!