Beauty testing: 16 best lipsticks

By: Kat Tancock

Author: Canadian Living


Beauty testing: 16 best lipsticks

By: Kat Tancock
1. M.A.C Amplified Crème Lipstick (Dubonnet), $16.50

Tester says: "I liked the colour, Dubonnet, a very rich-looking matte red. The lipstick applied very easily, gliding on smoothly but not sloppily. The moisture level was nice and balanced – it wasn't 'wet' or overly slick, but didn't dry out my lips either. It lasted a few hours before I needed to refresh it. I would buy this lipstick again."

Available at, M.A.C stores and M.A.C Counters at The Bay nationwide

2. Alba TerraTints SPF 18 tinted lip balm (Blaze), $3.99

Tester says: "I am not a lipstick person at all – I liked this product because it was packaged more like a lip balm and was less intimidating and girly than a regular lipstick. I liked the fact that it wasn't pointy, like most lipsticks, but was flat. It was very easy to apply and went on smoothly, and I was happy with the fact that it contains sunscreen. I am a lip-licker, so lipstick never lasts on me, but this was probably the best lipstick I have every worn in terms of its lasting effect – it lasted for at least two hours. And it smells like peppermint!"

Available at Whole Foods, drugstores and

3. Cover Girl TruShine Lipcolor (Nude Shine), $8.99

Tester says: "Nude Shine is a pretty sheer nude that I can wear with anything, a natural-looking colour that complements my warm skin tone. The lipstick is moisturizing and feels nice on your lips. It glides on smoothly and easily, leaving a subtle, pretty shine behind. There is no noticeable fragrance or taste."

Available at drugstores

4. Cargo PlantLove lipstick (Lindsay), $20

Tester says: "This lipstick has strong eco cred: the box it comes in is made out of 100 per cent post-consumer recycled paper and embedded with flower seeds – you can plant the whole package! – and the plastic tube is made of corn. The colour 'Lindsay' (I think designed by Ms. Lohan herself) is a stronge matte bubblegum pink that's great for summer. The lipstick goes on smoothly and easily, even when my lips are dry, and lasts well – I was able to put it on in the morning and reapply at lunch. And I love that the lipstick itself doesn't contain mineral oil or petroleum products."

Available at select stores and

5. Origins Creamy Lip Color (Jam Session), $16.50

Tester says: "This lipstick applies precisely, with a creamy feel. It's very nice. The tube is perfect: a light yellow metallic (instead of the typical black plastic) with a lid that's strong, but easy to take off. It's a good-quality lipstick and I would definitely buy it again."

Available at select The Bay locations and at

6. Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Satin Lipcolour (Emotion), $35

Tester says: "The packaging is very chic and quite fancy: to remove the lid, you push down one end of the tube. (They even include an instructions sheet.) This lipstick has great moisture content and lasts well. It goes on very well and evenly and feels good too!"

Available at Chanel beauty counters

7. Bobbi Brown Lip Color (Rosy), $27

Tester says: "This lipstick goes on very smoothly – great application. It has a nice moisturizing feel to it and lasts well. Rosy is a nice neutral, sheer brown. The packaging is a classy combination of black and gold, and the lid stays on, even in your purse!"

Available at Holt Renfrew across Canada

8. Marcelle Rouge Vitality Lipcolour (Silky Rose), $9.95

"This lipstick comes in a sleek silver case that stands out from the other cases in my makeup bag – I will be reluctant to throw it out when the lipstick is used up. Silky Rose is a muted colour, good for when I want to look casual and also to tone down brighter shades. I rarely have trouble with dry lips, but some lipsticks feel dry. This one kept my lips moist but didn't feel greasy, and lasted all morning – I needed to refresh only after eating."

Available at drugstores

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9. Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick (Airy Fairy), $5.99

Tester says: "Airy Fairy is a pale muted pink, quite neutral, and I liked it very much. Even after the lipstick had worn off, my lips were stained a light pink colour for an hour or so. I really like the rich, creamy texture of this lipstick – it made my lips feel soft and moisturized. I reapply it often because I like the way it feels. I would absolutely buy this lipstick – it has become one of my favourites."

Available at drugstores

10. Benefit Silky-Finish Lipstick (Skinny Dip), $19

Tester says: "Benefit is the queen of packaging – it's always so kitschy and retro. I love it! Skinny Dip is a great neutral, a light rose shade that could be worn for everyday. It's very natural, sheer coverage. It doesn't have very long staying power, but I prefer it that way – sometimes, longer-lasting lipsticks can look dry and aged when they're worn for too long. This lipstick is very moisturizing and wears light – it feels great on my lips."

Available at Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutiques, Sephora and select The Bay stores

11. Maybelline New York Moisture Extreme Lip Color (Nude Blush), $8.99

Tester says: "Nude Blush is a neutral blush pink shade that could work on a variety of skin tones. This lipstick has a nice sheer consistency that glides on easily; it's similar to a gloss. It's easy to apply and I like that it has no taste or smell."

Available at drugstores

12. The Body Shop Sheer Lip Shine (Sheer Blush), $15.50

Tester says: "I really liked the dark rosy colour of this lipstick, and I loved the taste. It went on smoothly and easily, and felt more like a lip gloss. I liked the packaging; it was easy to hold and use. I would definitely buy it again."

Available at The Body Shop stores and online at

13. N.Y.C. Ultra Last Lip Wear (Sherry Sparkle), $1.95

Tester says: "I'm usually a bit of a brand snob, but this lipstick surprised me with its smooth texture and super-easy, even application. Sherry Sparkle is a nice neutral rose with a hint of sparkle, perfect for daytime wear. And it really does last well, even through sticky peanut butter bars (I ate them in the name of science)."

Available at drugstores

14. Origins Rain and Shine Liptint with SPF 15 Sunscreen (Go Blonde), US$13.50

Tester says: "I usually put lip balm on before applying lipstick, but I didn't have to with this – it's like its own lip balm. It lasts through light meals (depending on what you're eating) and has a nice pepperminty smell. Application is smooth and it makes your lips a bit tingly. I've been converted – this is now my lipstick of choice."

Available at

15. Chanel Aqualumière Sheer Colour Lipshine (Bali), $31

Tester says: "I've always loved Chanel packaging, and the construction of the tube is great, as is typical with a luxury brand. The lipstick was very moisturizing and velvety on the lips – it glided on effortlessly. It has staying power – I applied once in the morning and it stayed on well into lunch – and a very light consistency, so I didn't feel like I was wearing a lot of lipstick."

Available at Chanel beauty counters

16. Prescriptives Colorscope Lipcolor (San Diego Sunset), $26

Tester says: "This lipstick came in a compact silver tube that I liked a lot. It was super easy to carry around and fit into a crowded purse – or even your pocket. The lipstick was very moisturizing. It glided on really smoothly and felt like I was applying lip balm. It was extremely easy to apply – I didn't feel like I had to moisturize my lips first. I usually buy drugstore lipsticks, but the consistency and 'unlipstick'-like nature of this lipstick made me love it!"

Available at Holt Renfrew across Canada

Did we leave out your favourite lipstick? Share your lipstick tips in the comments.

Read more:
Beauty reviews: 19 best eye creams
The 5 makeup brushes you really need
Slideshow: 5 face-protecting moisturizers

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Beauty testing: 16 best lipsticks