Product: L’Oreal Infallible Lip Color
Use: Long-lasting lip color in a variety of shades
SRP: $11.99
Best Price: Target, $9.99 (in stores only – click the picture to go to Ulta for online shopping)

What’s the point in getting all dolled up for a hot date if kissing said date results in lipstick ruin? Thankfully, there are products out there that will keep us free from reapplication for hours of luscious lip locking.

I’m a big fan of MAC makeup, I’m not going to lie. I’m also a big fan of being able to pay the bills, so my supply of MAC is much shorter than that of drugstore brand cosmetics. When it came time for long-lasting, no-worries, this-stuff-isn’t-going-anywhere lip color, I hit the MAC counter, knowing I’d find what I needed, and I did – the pro longwear line has some great colors, they last through most anything, and they don’t dry my lips. All of what I need in a lip color, to the tune of $20 plus tax. A small price to pay, if it’s the only product out there. None of the others I’d tried had provided the same results, so I was content with the price tag. Until now, of course.

Let’s start off by saying that L’Oreal sure does know how to push our packaging buttons. The mirrored case with the lip color locked into one side and the moisturizing sealant on the other is pure genius, and let’s not forget how much I love the shiny stuff! At about the size and shape of a compact flip phone, the case is pocket-ready or easily thrown in any size bag. The mirror isn’t compact-quality, but it does the trick, whether you’re applying the color or touching up the sealant. The color applicator is a molded sponge-tip, which may need to be used somewhat carefully by our thinner-lipped friends, but which fits the curves and corners of the mouth perfectly so that one swipe is all it takes to apply evenly and thoroughly.

The colors seemed somewhat limited to pinks and browns, but it appeared to be because several of the reds (Pomegranate and Crimson among them) had already sold out in both Target and Walgreens, despite the fact that the product had hit the shelves mere days before I shopped for it. The 24 shades do range widely enough that anyone should be able to find at least a couple that work well for them, and there are close color options for frost or matte based on your preference.

I picked up Azalea, a really pretty pink with purple undertones, and I wore it all weekend, through lunches and cocktails with straws and bubble gum and smooches. The color didn’t move until I wanted it off. I reapplied the sealant two or three times over the course of seven or eight hours’ wear, more because I was checking out color’s staying power and happened to think of it than because I felt the need. The stick sealant moisturizes without feeling greasy, and it soaks into the color and the lips rather than sitting on top. When the days were done, a quick once-over with makeup remover took the color away without any scrubbing necessary.

Grabbing me with the packaging, hooking me with the price, and winning me with the proof, L’Oreal’s got a new convert when it comes to keeping my lips dressed all day.

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Product: Sally Hansen Diamond Lip Treatment
Use: Shimmer, tint, and plumping for lips
SRP: $4.99 at most drugstores
Best Price: Ulta, in-store, $2.39 ea. PLUS buy one get one free

While most of my makeup collection grows slowly, with painstaking consideration for each color, brand, and end result, I have no shame when it comes to lipstick and gloss. I gravitate towards anything that purports to be long-lasting, is a shade I know works well for me, or is under five bucks. Make it shiny, and I’m a goner. This is how I happened upon Sally Hansen’s Diamond Lip Treatment.

I’d been trying to find something that would perfectly match my OPI Bogota Blackberry mani/pedi for an upcoming event, and I was striking out. Everything was either too red or too purple. I figured I’d try and find two products that would combine to create the perfect match, and Always Ascher, a deep purple with incredible sparkle, was the Sally Hansen lip color that hit the mark.

I didn’t think that, for five dollars, I’d find a gloss that had enough tint to be worn on its own with a full face of makeup, enough glitter to satisfy my deep need for dazzling light-refraction, AND enough plumper to be effective without making my lips feel like they had been doused in cayenne pepper. Thankfully, I was wrong – this lip treatment is all of the above.

The product comes in a limited number of colors, but they run the gamut from warm to cool and, with only a few shades, I don’t find myself wishing they made X, Y, or Z for use with certain looks. There’s also an opaque colorless gloss that can be applied over your favorite lipstick to create the desired effect. The tube is perfectly sized for a pocket or purse, and the brush applicator means that you’re only putting the gloss ON, and not taking the lip color beneath OFF.

Yesterday, I received a gift of Chanel’s Limited Edition Galactic Glossimer. It’s been advertised everywhere, and I’d seen it at the department store counter, but I wasn’t about to plunk down $25 for a lip gloss. The Sally Hansen treatment is a comparable product, and never you mind what the price tags say. The Glossimer does add an intense frost finish to any color over which it is applied, but the blue and pink overtones in Galactic limit it to use over cool shades. You also need to use a fingertip to apply it, as the Chanel tube comes with a sponge-tipped applicator that will pick up your base color and tint the gloss when it’s replaced if you use it over a highly pigmented product.

Finally, as if the price and the results weren’t enough, the Diamond Lip Treatment shades coordinate with ten of the Sally Hansen Diamond Strength No Chip Nail Colors, so if you’re like me and you’ve got to have the perfect match, this is a foolproof and affordable way to go. Just don’t tell Coco I sent you…

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Product: Origins lip sticks in Shimmer and Matte
Use: Lip liners and colors in complementary shades
SRP: $12 ea.
Best Price: in-store at Origins, clearance gift trio for $10

While gallivanting in a new mall yesterday, which is always a treat, I wanted to pop into Origins so I could test out their version of the eye bright stick by benefit that I reviewed the other day. I scanned the makeup displays for a minute, found what I was looking for, and gave it a shot. The consistency was very similar, but their stick is baby blue, which proved to be too much of a contrast for my rosy-undertoned skin. Were the product available in more shades, however, I’d recommend it as a less expensive ($13) alternative to the benefit stick.Of course, once I was in the store, I had to take a good look around; I’d only ever shopped Origins online, so I wanted to give things a good once-over. Most of the items were your bog standard apothecary offerings, and while I’m all for finding the right skin care items, that wasn’t on my list for yesterday. What I wanted to see were some red lines, and I did – a good-sized rack of clearance priced products, from soaps to candle holders to lip sticks. In a stroke of marketing genius, they had not only selected my best shades to put in a box of three lip colors, but they had a tester set out of the box for me to check out up close. Sold!

The matte shades (Malt and Berry) are multidimensional without being light-refracting, and the shimmer stick (Pearly Jam) is a beautiful, deep shade that shines without being sticky or sticky-looking. All three are infinitely creamy thanks to a touch of shea butter, and of course, the three blend and work over one another flawlessly for several additional looks. The staying power is surprising, and the size perfect for your smallest handbag. The trio is not available online, but if you don’t live near an Origins store, consider these a reasonable purchase at their retail price; I know they’re going to top my list of lip colors until the next time I hit a pot of gold like this one!

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