I noticed recently that a great deal of my reviews are of mid-range to high-end products – probably because they’re more exciting to me. I’m far more likely to meticulously research pricey products before pulling the trigger, and the fact that they’ve taken up so much headspace means I’m already in the frame of mind to review them. With drugstore products, I’m prone to impulse purchasing – snapping something up, putting it in my makeup storage, and only thinking of it when it’s time to apply it. But, like most of us, I started at the drugstore and I still have a good range of drugstore products in my collection which I use regularly. Today I thought I’d shine a spotlight on one of my favourite drugstore products of all time, the Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipsticks.
When it comes to lipstick, my collection leans pretty expensive nowadays. When I first started wearing makeup regularly, I was all about the lipstick (and still am) and bought all my lip products from the drugstore. These days buying a fancy lipstick is one of my favourite ways to treat myself, and over the years I’ve accumulated so many dupes and near-dupes that I’ve weeded out a lot of my cheaper lipsticks in favour of the ones I paid a lot for. My favourite lipstick formulas are higher end; I’d say that my top two are Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution and NARS Audacious. But the Maybelline Creamy Mattes will remain in my collection, because they are amazing. In fact, I’d rank them right up there with CT and NARS formula-wise at a quarter of the price.
A lot of the time when we talk about drugstore products, we qualify them: they’re good for the price, because they’re so cheap we can’t complain, they’re a good budget option. But no joke, the Creamy Mattes are straight up one of my favourite lipstick formulas, no qualification necessary.
The name really says it all; Maybelline was not lying. These are a true matte (for a bullet lipstick, that is – they don’t look as, well, dry as liquid lipsticks) and incredibly comfortable. They don’t feel as smooth and creamy as the CT or NARS; they have a slightly dryer-feeling formula, but they don’t dry out the lips or tug on application. All in all, they’re everything you could ever look for in a lipstick formula, and you can regularly get them on sale for $5.99 CAD. The packaging is undeniably drugstore, but I think it’s pretty nice. It’s sturdy and I like that it’s matte, which always reads as less cheap to me than a shiny tube. These lipsticks feel more substantial than something like the Rimmel lipsticks. The tubes all look the same, however (with the colour of the outer packaging changing from line to line, but not shade to shade), so if you have a few of these I’d suggest storing them upside-down so you can see the shade names at a glance.
Really my only complaint is that I want them to expand the shade range! Canada gets a little short-changed here; we don’t have as many colours as our American friends. I have diligently avoided the allure of buying makeup since arriving in the UK, but it seems that Boots and Superdrug carry a whopping six shades of the line. Maybelline did just launch the Inta-Mattes a few months ago, which, as far as I can tell, share the Creamy Matte formula, but none of those colours call to me. (They also don’t seem to be available in the UK.) I would kill for more bolds in this line! The drugstore could use more high quality mattes in the plum/magenta/berry/purple family.
These smell similar to MAC lipsticks – that is, they have that vanilla-reminiscent scent that’s standard across a lot of lip formulas. I wouldn’t say I love the scent, but it doesn’t bother me in the least, and I don’t notice it throughout the day. I mention this only because I know some people dislike that specific scent in their lip products, and I myself am sensitive to certain scents as well.
Now, some pictures of the colours I have:
My first exposure to the Creamy Mattes was in the form of Lust For Blush, which is a cross between pink and lilac. This is the type of colour that should not be flattering on me but somehow is. It’s quite similar to Wet N Wild Mauve Outta Here, a colour that I destashed back in 2013 but sought to replace with something with a superior formula. (That was a lie the internet told me – I never got along with those Wet N Wild lipsticks.) It’s really the colour of Lust For Blush that compelled me to buy it, as I was convinced that it was the colour I was looking for. And it was, but it also got me hooked on the formula. This borders on a Barbie pink, which should look positively terrible on me. Every time I put it on I’m surprised not only that it doesn’t look awful but that it actually brightens up my face a lot. This is one of my favourite lipstick colours of all time!
You can see that it’s more purple than the medium pink (Please Me), though not as mauve or dusty as Anna. It looks positively pink compared to a true purple (Perrie). Lise Watier Cake Pop is darker and more saturated but the most similar tonally, though it still lacks that hint of lilac.
My next foray into this line was Touch of Spice. This was a colour which I had passed over many times until I saw my coworker wearing it. This is one of those complex neutrals that can be described with a variety of colour adjectives: brown-y pink-y mauve-y. On her it pulled quite purple, which interested me as the bullet appears more brown. On me it’s more of a pinky-brown. I never would have thought I’d like something with this much brown, but it’s very flattering and easy to wear and one of my favourite fall neutrals. When I worked in cosmetics, this was one of the lipsticks I sold most frequently. I’m pretty sure every customer I put it on bought it! It looks different on everybody and it flatters such a variety of skintones. Of course I shy away from describing something as “universally flattering”, partially because that’s nearly impossible and partially because it’s really just conjecture on my part. That said, I have seen this colour on a lot of people ranging from very fair to medium-to-dark, with basically every undertone, and it’s looked good on them all. I can’t promise you anything, but it’s worth a swatch, at least. You can see in the pictures above that different lighting conditions pull different undertones out, as well, though usually on me it’s more of a pinky-brown without too much mauve or plum.
Okay, let’s address the obvious: if you have Revlon Sultry you probably don’t need Touch of Spice, though both are colours which seem to transform on the lips and look very different on everyone. On me, the red tones in Sultry are evident, whereas Touch of Spice appears a little more brown. It’s definitely more brown than pink (as you can see when compared to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which pulls much more pink) but not entirely brown – the pinky plumminess is evident when viewed next to something more brown (Hush Hush).
Finally, I picked up a newer colour, Burgundy Blush. I believe this colour is permanent in the US but already long-gone in Canada (sorry). This is another one that seems to appear pretty different depending on who’s wearing it. On Christine of Temptalia, it looks much more like a brick or burgundy. On me, it’s a dark brown with strong red undertones. This is the type of colour that I would never have worn even when I was out there rocking dark purple lips on the regular. I was terrified of brown lipstick for a long time, but I’m finally on board. The camera seems to make this one look slightly uneven on my lips, but I don’t notice any patchiness in real life. In her review of Burgundy Blush, Christine notes that it feels a bit drier than the other Creamy Mattes, which I don’t personally notice.
In these swatches, Burgundy Blush appears to have a stronger red/berry hint than it does on my lips, especially when compared to Bite Whiskey, which is clearly more brown (though it does have a berry undertone, as well). It’s very similar to ColourPop Prim, especially applied to my lips rather than the underside of my arm.
Obviously, I’m a fan of the Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipsticks – they’re pretty much everything I look for in a lipstick formula, and at a great price point. I hope Maybelline continues to expand the colour selection, because this is one of the best products you can get at the drugstore.
The Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipsticks retail for between $7.97 (Walmart) and $10.99 (Shoppers Drug Mart) for 0.15oz.
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