Drugstore (thus budget friendly), matte (thus full on color and super longlasting) lipstick is hard to come by. In Europe at least it is. Catrice has the odd number here and there, Rimmel discontinued their ‘red’ Kate Moss line and Hema has a few decent ones, be it in uninspiring colors. A truly affordable matte lipstick is something that’s missing in the Dutch drugstores. That is why, I decided to try out a few from across the border: the US to be exact. During my trip last summer, I hit up CVS and bought some Milani Matte lipsticks to try out.
Milani Color Statement Moisture Matte lipstick 74 Matte Darling, 64 Matte Orchid, 70 Matte Fearless
I came away with three different colors from the Milani Color Statement Moisture Matte line. A mouthful, but a lipstick which promises the following:
Meet your matte. Your fantasy matte. The matte that not only feels great (yes, you read that right – it’s actually comfy) but also lasts for hours and has “a-mazing Instagram selfie” written all over it. Infused with grape seed extract imported from Italy, this smear-proof lip soother delivers mega color that won’t budge, even after a close encounter with a cappuccino cup. In sixteen luxe, go-the-distance shades, from the oh-so-sweet, pale pink Matte Innocence to the va va voom, fiery-red Matte Passion. This matte? So major.
All that and at only $5.99 (€9,50 at online make up stores, such as Makeupspot)! This lipstick promises to be matte, long-lasting and comes in some stunning, unique colors. It is hard to believe these are in fact that cheap.
The packaging of these isn’t necessarily my cup of tea. Milani packaging is a tad gaudy in my perspective, but it fits the brand well. The gold plastic casings have a colored bottom which is handy for finding the color you need in your stash. The name of the brand is stenciled on the tube and the closure is smooth yet nothing too fancy. It simply clicks shut. It’s a good click though and I find these do not open up easily in your bag and cause mishaps.
I said these come in interesting colors and when you see the overall view of the range you will see that these indeed come in some unusual colors for a drugstore lipstick. I picked up three: a pinky/ peachy nude shade, a bright in your face fuchsia, and a deep, vampy burgundy red. I decided on these by chance. US drugstores do not have testers for their make up ranges and so I simply grabbed a few colors I thought I’d try. I left out a classic red, as I already own so many of those and I already picked up two pretty much red shades from the Maybelline matte lipstick range.
Where the Maybelline lipsticks all partly melted in my suitcase during my trip, I was able to bring these babies home unscathed. That tells you something about the sturdiness of these lipsticks. The colors of the lipstick in the tube is very close to the actual color on the outside, which is another great plus because sometimes brands are just way off when it comes to representation of their product on outer packaging.
Milani Color Statement Moisture Matte lipstick 74 Matte Darling
On to shade number one: Matte Darling. Matte Darling was one of the first shades I picked up. It is a darker nude shade that leaves the middle between pink, peach and coral all at the same time. All the lipsticks appear to have a light sheen to them, but that is merely the reflection of the light: these are truly matte looking in the tube.
Milani Color Statement Moisture Matte lipstick 64 Matte Orchid
Matte orchid is a vibrant fuchsia color. It is a strongly blue toned pink, but not so blue toned that causes it to become unwearable. It is quite: bam, in your face bright though, so this has to be your cup of tea. I personally love shades like this. Paired with a neutral eye look, this is a winner shade for me.
Milani Color Statement Moisture Matte lipstick 70 Matte Fearless
During my trip, and in the past year, my main aim has been finding, deep dark red, lipsticks. Most dark lipsticks I found were berries or plums, but a true dark red is hard to find, especially in the drugstore. Then I spotted Matte Fearless and thought: could it be? This is one of those lipsticks that looks scarier in the tube than on the lips, but it still is very very dark. Again, this is not for everyone, but I love wearing shades like this in fall/ winter.
Matte Darling, Matte Orchid, Matte Fearless
Looking at these swatches the colors seem a little tame, don’t they? Matte Darling possibly looks best here as it gives the most opaque color pay off. Followed by Matte Orchid, which only has a hint of sheerness. Matte Fearless looks a bit powdery and choppy: not the type of texture you’d want in a lipstick. However, these are all most certainly matte and the colors are definitely unexpected. Let’s have a look at the lip swatches.
On the lips I find these lipsticks look 1000x better than on the regular swatch. On the lips, these lipsticks go on opaque, feel creamy, last a very long time, leave a tad of a stain when they do wear off after 5 – 6 hours (depending on what you eat and drink) and they go on smoothly. I find applying these a dream and the colors go on nicely and far more intensely than what you’d expect from the swatches. Matte Darling pulls a bit more peachy on my lips. Matte Orchid on the other hand, is very true to its swatch and the total game changer here is Matte Fearless. What an awesome color not? It is a perfect dark, burgundy red shade.
As you can see on these full face pictures, all shades look stunning on. The Matte Orchid picture may look a little bit off as I took it in morning light, rather than afternoon light, but the color of the lipstick hasn’t been altered because of that.
To be fair, these lipsticks do latch on to any and every little dry patch you may have, so scrubbing and moisturizing your lips is a must have when wearing these. But when your lips are smooth, these lipsticks are simply amazing. They feel comfortable on the lips: they take the cake when it comes to matte lipsticks and level of comfort. The texture is silky smooth once applied and these do not dry out your lips at all.
I think it is safe to conclude that I absolutely adore the Milani Matte lipsticks. Why aren’t more people talking about these? Perhaps, it’s the availability, or the price, but even at €9,50 a pop, I don’t find these lipsticks expensive for what you get. The smooth texture, the stunning, unique shade selection and overall performance of these lipsticks is simply aces. Go get them while you can!
What are your drugstore matte lipstick recommendations?