Something about winter always makes me want to change up my look. Sometimes it's dramatic: dying my hair dark, chopping a blunt bob, or getting harsh bangs (never again, not for me!) but sometimes it's as simple as just adding a new product to my makeup routine. This route is sooo much easier and doesn't require quite the unwavering commitment. That said, this year I decided to add a red lip into my beauty rotation. 

I typically go for nudes and pinks when it comes to my lip color, so darker hues are a little more out of my comfort range. Personally I've never been a huge fan of a red lip on myself, but I absolutely love the instant glamour it can add to any look when executed well. This set me on a mission to find the perfect red lip color for the upcoming holiday season. Oh, and there's one more condition: The lip color must be under $10! That's right, I'm stepping away from Sephora and heading to the drugstore to find it.


The first lipstick that caught my eye was Loreal Paris' Colour Riche Lipstick in Zoe's Red. I wear a lot of burgundy in the winter, so I love this deep wine shade. I was especially delighted by this lipstick's silky smooth matte finish which helped to mellow out the dramatic color. Surprisingly enough, it also kept its rich color and crisp lines much longer than my favorite MAC lipstick. Way to go, L'Oreal! I'm sold. 


Next, I decided to try out Revlon's Colorstay Moisture Stain in Stockholm Chic. I usually steer clear of lip glosses of any sort because I hate when they feel goopy and sticky, but I've heard great things about lip stains and their lasting qualities so I decided to give this product a go. This lip color goes on with a glossy finish but doesn't feel sticky. In fact, this gloss is made with Vitamin E and Aloe so it's quite moisturizing. The color is a very orange-y red, but it plays nicely with the subtle gold sparkles in this lip gloss. 


The reddest of all reds is Boots' No.7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Glam. We're talking BRIGHT. A little too bright for me, but it would look super chic with an all black ensemble. Despite the color, the lipstick went on smoothly and has SPF 15 which is an added plus! 


Standing in the aisle of Walgreens, I couldn't say no to the beautiful cranberry color that is Maybelline's Color Sensational Matte Lipstick in Rich Ruby. This lipstick goes on creamy but dries matte leaving you with sophisticated and clean color. I think I'll end up wearing this color for the holidays and painting my nails a matching shade of red to complete the look. 


Lastly, I put Maybelline's 24 Color in All Day Cherry to the test. This lip color intrigued me since it was dual sided and included not just a gloss but a moisturizing lip balm, too. My lips always get dry during the chilly winter months so lip balm is my best friend. How convenient to have it built into the gloss! I love the dual-sided idea but was quite unimpressed with the lipgloss itself. It went on quite messy and I had trouble distributing the color evenly. This gloss might be nice in a lighter shade of pink, but I wasn't feeling it in red. 

This fun little experiment reminded me that I don't have to drop tons of money on prestige beauty products. The drugstore really does have some great options! If I had to choose, my favorites would be both of the matte lipsticks. With such a bold color I really do prefer the matte finish, just to tone down the color and give it an edge. I will definitely be wearing these all winter long.

What are some of your favorite drugstore beauty buys?? We want to know!