Best Lipsticks (Under $15) | 2018

I’m pretty jazzed about this year’s list for budget-friendly favorites in the lipstick category, as last year’s list was only eight deep, but this year, lipsticks under $15 was almost a third of the lipstick content reviewed on the blog. That’s in large part thanks to ColourPop Lux / Matte Lux Lipsticks and Sephora’s LipStories making their debuts in 2018. I started narrowing my list of 40 shades down to the 24 shown here.  One of the aspects I really enjoyed about the LipStories range was how diverse the offerings were from a multitude of finishes to pops of bold color and more traditional hues.

Best of 2018

Best Lipsticks (Under $15)

I really hope we’ll see something like a ColourPop LumiLux Lipstick, where all of my luminous, pearlescent lipstick dreams come true for under $10.  In the meantime, L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Shine Lipsticks offer a more luminous finish (though less pearly) and were a nice addition to drugstore offerings released this year.

What affordable lipsticks did you reach for this year?

P.S. — You can view swatches of my favorites here.

P.P.S. — If you enjoy reading/viewing my favorites, make sure you check out my all-time favorites here, products I’m thankful for (2018 series), and all of my editor’s recommended products here.


Top Lipsticks (Under $15) of 2018

01.

01. Golden Gate (31) Sephora

Sephora

PPermanent. $8.00/0.14 oz.

A+

Sephora Golden Gate (31) Lipstories Lipstick ($8.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a deep, muted plum with subtle, cool undertones and a satin finish. The...

Sephora Golden Gate (31) Lipstories Lipstick ($8.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a deep, muted plum with subtle, cool undertones and a satin finish. The...

02.

02. Getty Colour Pop

Colour Pop

PPermanent. $7.00/0.12 oz.

A

Colour Pop Getty Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a muted, medium-dark blue-leaning teal with cool undertones and a cream finish. This was one of...

Colour Pop Getty Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a muted, medium-dark blue-leaning teal with cool undertones and a cream finish. This was one of...

03.

03. Liquid Courage Colour Pop

Colour Pop

PPermanent. $7.00/0.12 oz.

A

Colour Pop Liquid Courage Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a medium-dark, rusty red with warm undertones and a cream finish. The color payoff was...

Colour Pop Liquid Courage Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a medium-dark, rusty red with warm undertones and a cream finish. The color payoff was...

04.

04. Enamel Red L'Oreal

L'Oreal

PPermanent. $9.99/0.1 oz.

A

L'Oreal Enamel Red Colour Riche Shine Lipstick ($9.99 for 0.10 oz.) is a rich red with cool undertones and a natural sheen. It had nearly opaque...

L'Oreal Enamel Red Colour Riche Shine Lipstick ($9.99 for 0.10 oz.) is a rich red with cool undertones and a natural sheen. It had nearly opaque...

05.

05. Glassy Garnet L'Oreal

L'Oreal

PPermanent. $9.99/0.1 oz.

A

L'Oreal Glassy Garnet Colour Riche Shine Lipstick ($9.99 for 0.10 oz.) is a soft, medium-dark berry with subtle, cool undertones and barely-there...

L'Oreal Glassy Garnet Colour Riche Shine Lipstick ($9.99 for 0.10 oz.) is a soft, medium-dark berry with subtle, cool undertones and barely-there...

06.

06. Scorpio Moon Colour Pop

Colour Pop

LELimited Edition. $7.00/0.12 oz.

A

Colour Pop Scorpio Moon Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a medium mauve with subtle, cool undertones and a satin finish. It was richly pigmented...

Colour Pop Scorpio Moon Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a medium mauve with subtle, cool undertones and a satin finish. It was richly pigmented...

07.

07. JV Colour Pop

Colour Pop

LELimited Edition. $7.00/0.12 oz.

A

JV is a deep, muted navy blue with subtle, cool undertones and a satin finish. The lipstick was richly pigmented and had a smooth, lightly...

JV is a deep, muted navy blue with subtle, cool undertones and a satin finish. The lipstick was richly pigmented and had a smooth, lightly...

08.

08. On Display Colour Pop

Colour Pop

PPermanent. $7.00/0.12 oz.

A

Colour Pop On Display Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep red with cool, blue undertones and a satin finish. It had nearly opaque...

Colour Pop On Display Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep red with cool, blue undertones and a satin finish. It had nearly opaque...

09.

09. Spring Break (36) Sephora

Sephora

PPermanent. $8.00/0.14 oz.

A

Sephora Spring Break (36) Lipstories Lipstick ($8.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a medium, rosy plum with warm undertones and a cream finish. The lipstick had...

Sephora Spring Break (36) Lipstories Lipstick ($8.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a medium, rosy plum with warm undertones and a cream finish. The lipstick had...

10.

10. C'mon Sis Colour Pop

Colour Pop

LELimited Edition. $7.00/0.12 oz.

A

Colour Pop C'mon Sis Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a medium, rosy plum with warm undertones and a satin finish. It had rich, opaque...

Colour Pop C'mon Sis Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a medium, rosy plum with warm undertones and a satin finish. It had rich, opaque...

11.

11. Doin' Fine Colour Pop

Colour Pop

LELimited Edition. $7.00/0.12 oz.

A

Doin' Fine is a deep berry with cool undertones and a matte finish. The color payoff was opaque in a single layer, which adhered evenly to my...

Doin' Fine is a deep berry with cool undertones and a matte finish. The color payoff was opaque in a single layer, which adhered evenly to my...

12.

12. Belle Colour Pop

Colour Pop

LELimited Edition. $7.00/0.12 oz.

A

Colour Pop Belle Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a medium, rosy plum with warm undertones and a cream finish. The lipstick had opaque color...

Colour Pop Belle Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a medium, rosy plum with warm undertones and a cream finish. The lipstick had opaque color...

13.

13. Labyrinth City (09) Sephora

Sephora

PPermanent. $8.00/0.14 oz.

A

Sephora Labyrinth City (09) Lipstories Lipstick ($8.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a medium-dark, reddish plum with warm undertones and a satin finish. The...

Sephora Labyrinth City (09) Lipstories Lipstick ($8.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a medium-dark, reddish plum with warm undertones and a satin finish. The...

14.

14. Dream Easy Colour Pop

Colour Pop

LELimited Edition. $7.00/0.12 oz.

A

Colour Pop Dream Easy Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a vibrant, medium-dark pink-coral with warm undertones and a satin finish. It had opaque...

Colour Pop Dream Easy Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a vibrant, medium-dark pink-coral with warm undertones and a satin finish. It had opaque...

15.

15. 27 Colour Pop

Colour Pop

PPermanent. $7.00/0.12 oz.

A

Colour Pop 27 Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep, reddish-plum with subtle, warm undertones and a satin finish. It had rich color payoff...

Colour Pop 27 Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep, reddish-plum with subtle, warm undertones and a satin finish. It had rich color payoff...

16.

16. Ghosted Colour Pop

Colour Pop

PPermanent. $7.00/0.12 oz.

A

Colour Pop Ghosted Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a medium plum with warm undertones and a cream finish. It was richly pigmented and had a...

Colour Pop Ghosted Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a medium plum with warm undertones and a cream finish. It was richly pigmented and had a...

17.

17. Matinee (30) Sephora

Sephora

PPermanent. $8.00/0.14 oz.

A

Sephora Matinee (30) Lipstories Lipstick ($8.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a brighter, medium plum with strong, warm undertones and a cream finish. It had good...

Sephora Matinee (30) Lipstories Lipstick ($8.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a brighter, medium plum with strong, warm undertones and a cream finish. It had good...

18.

18. Angel City Colour Pop

Colour Pop

LELimited Edition. $7.00/0.12 oz.

A

Colour Pop Angel City Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a rich, bright red-plum with warm undertones and a satin finish. The lipstick was richly...

Colour Pop Angel City Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a rich, bright red-plum with warm undertones and a satin finish. The lipstick was richly...

19.

19. Unravelled Colour Pop

Colour Pop

LELimited Edition. $7.00/0.12 oz.

A

Colour Pop Unravelled Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep, plummy berry with subtle, cool undertones and a satin finish. It had very nearly...

Colour Pop Unravelled Lux Lipstick ($7.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep, plummy berry with subtle, cool undertones and a satin finish. It had very nearly...

20.

20. Varnished Rosewood L'Oreal

L'Oreal

PPermanent. $9.99/0.1 oz.

A

L'Oreal Varnished Rosewood Colour Riche Shine Lipstick ($9.99 for 0.10 oz.) is a muted, medium pink with warm, rosy undertones and a luminous finish. ...

L'Oreal Varnished Rosewood Colour Riche Shine Lipstick ($9.99 for 0.10 oz.) is a muted, medium pink with warm, rosy undertones and a luminous finish. ...

21.

21. Hong Kong by Night (27) Sephora

Sephora

PPermanent. $8.00/0.14 oz.

A-

Sephora Hong Kong by Night (27) Lipstories Lipstick ($8.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a rich, medium-dark red with subtle, warm undertones and a gold and ruby...

Sephora Hong Kong by Night (27) Lipstories Lipstick ($8.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a rich, medium-dark red with subtle, warm undertones and a gold and ruby...

22.

22. Off-Limits (38) Sephora

Sephora

PPermanent. $8.00/0.14 oz.

A-

Sephora Off-Limits (38) Lipstories Lipstick ($8.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a muted, medium-dark lavender with warm undertones and a satin finish. The color...

Sephora Off-Limits (38) Lipstories Lipstick ($8.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a muted, medium-dark lavender with warm undertones and a satin finish. The color...

23.

23. Popsicle Lips (28) Sephora

Sephora

PPermanent. $8.00/0.14 oz.

A-

Sephora Popsicle Lips (28) Lipstories Lipstick ($8.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a bright, medium cherry red with cool undertones and a glossy finish. It had...

Sephora Popsicle Lips (28) Lipstories Lipstick ($8.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a bright, medium cherry red with cool undertones and a glossy finish. It had...

24.

24. Trippin (50) Sephora

Sephora

PPermanent. $8.00/0.14 oz.

A-

Sephora Trippin (50) Lipstories Lipstick ($8.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a medium lavender with strong, cool undertones and a cream finish. The pigmentation...

Sephora Trippin (50) Lipstories Lipstick ($8.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a medium lavender with strong, cool undertones and a cream finish. The pigmentation...

Glossover Breakdown

95%

Average Score
A
24
B
0
C
0
D
0
F
0
Glossover Averages
product
9.5
pigmentation
10
texture
9
longevity
9.5
application
5
Total
95%
product
9.5
pigmentation
10
texture
9
longevity
9.5
application
5
Total
95%
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7 Comments

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My favorite “cheapies” of 2018 are Sephora Lipstories in Oui and Pineapple Express, Colourpop Lux in Getty (though I rarely have an occasion to wear it), and L’Oreal Colour Riche Shine in Varnished Rosewood (which I use a lot).

Shocked myself that I only have 3 of the above: CP C’mon Sis, Getty, and Sephora Lip Stories in Hong Kong By Night. However, I did also get CP On Repeat, and I love that one a lot! Also bought one of the new L’Oréal lipsticks in Lacquered Strawberry. That one, plus C’mon Sis and On Repeat have seen some love from me this year!

I’m really surprised Milani didn’t make this list! They have some really great lipsticks in matte and creamy formulas! Also, Revlon and Covergirl, all under $15!

Love these lipsticks – I purchased Liquid Courage.
I was surprised that some of the Brown Sugar range didn’t feature here – Chocolatier, Brick and Cinnamon, as I think they scored pretty well.
Unfortunately at Sephora Aus, we only have about half of the lipstorie range on offer. Luckily Hong Kong by Night is one of them that I can purchase.
Colour Pop, Sephora and L’Oreal have done a really good job with their lipsticks this year.

Lipsticks are one of the few things most budget brands get right, so I can only imagine how hard it is to narrow down the list. I don’t know how you swatch so many and your lips don’t fall off. I appreciate all your hard work.

My favorites that were new this year: Notoriously Morbid Diablo Lip Rouge in Mother Night; CP Matte Lux Lipstick in JV, Trapeze, and Check, Please; CP Lux Lipstick in Getty, Cheetah, and Jasmine; Sephora Lipstories in Hong Kong by Night and Tinsel; Makeup Revolution Haunted Collection Lipstick in Corpse Bride.

The Colourpop Disney Designer Tiana lipstick & the Karruche Brown Sugar range (minus the super light one bc I didn’t purchase that one) have been my go tos. I absolutely love them.

Houston, I have a warm/rosy plum problem. I have (and love) Matinee, Labyrinth City, C’mon Sis, Belle, Ghosted, Angel City, and Spring Break. Wtf. But they’re so much more flattering on me than the mauves that are everywhere!

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