Matte Lipsticks That Won’t Break the Bank

By Tatiana Lopez

One of the most difficult problems I have encountered as a student is managing my budget and satisfying my beauty addiction. When I started college, I became a beauty junkie because the artistic freedom of Austin inspired me to express myself through makeup, and matte lipsticks were one of my first obsessions. Sadly, most matte lipsticks I found at Sephora were at least 30 dollars, but I refused to let go of the satisfaction I felt every time I purchased a new shade. Even though I was unable to afford the high-end matte lipsticks, I was determined to find similar products at the drugstore in terms of quality. I wore a different lipstick everyday for a week and this is what I found.


CoverGirl Katy Kat Matte

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetThe lipstick has a soft finish and moisturizes your lips, but its consistency is too creamy for my taste. When I tried the product for the first time, it faded away pretty quickly, so I had to reapply throughout the day. If you’re not concerned about the longevity of the color and prefer softness, then this lipstick would work for you.


Available in 11 shades

Pictured: Antique Pink

$6.49 (Target)


Wet n’ Wild MegaLast Lip Color  

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This one is the holy grail in terms of longevity and pigmentation. I heard people rave about Wet n’ Wild’s affordable products, but I just thought it was too good to be true. This lipstick proved me wrong.The formula is the most drying, compared to the other lipsticks I tested, but the color lasted the longest. I could honestly see no difference between the MegaLast Lip Color and one of Kylie Jenner’s pricier lip kits.  

Available in 13 shades

Pictured: Mauve Outta Here

$2.19 (CVS)


NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream


NYX’s product has been praised for some time now on the internet. I gave it a try and was very pleased with the texture. I though the lip cream’s softness would make my mouth look dull, but my lips were astonishingly bright. In terms of color variety, this product scores high with 32 shades available. The only quality this product failed to achieve was opaqueness because after applying three coats, I still had some clear spots and the color faded away after one hour.

Available in 32 shades

Pictured: Milan

$5.99 (CVS)



Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor

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This is by far one of my favorites because it didn’t dry my lips and provided the right amount of pigment. I wore the lipstick for an hour and a half before I had to reapply, and I awarded bonus points for its subtle, vanilla scent. I believe its only flaw would be the variety of colors, since most of the shades Revlon offers fall in the pink/brown color range.


Available in 16 shades

Pictured: Seduction

$9.99 (CVS)


Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm


This product’s opaqueness balances its creamy consistency. However, I had to apply multiple coats at the beginning because it left my lips looking cakey. After two hours, the balm slowly faded away and looked more like a stain. I thought this balm would surprise me, in a good way, like Revlon’s lipcolor did. However, it turned out to be just an average looking matte lipstick.



Available in 10 shades

Pictured: Elusive

$9.99 (CVS)


Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid

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Maybelline really stepped it up with this product. I liked the transparent tube because it allows you to see the colors clearly, so you won’t end up choosing an unfavorable shade. I wore this lipstick to a party and I only had to reapply the product once in the four hours I was there. I fell in love with its blueberry smell, and it’s a great option if you’re looking for a wide variety of vibrant shades.


Available in 20 shades

Pictured: Grey Envy

$8.29 (CVS)


Burt’s Bees Matte Lip Crayon

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I’ve always been a fan of Burt’s Bees lip balms, and I knew I had to get my hands on this lip crayon when I found out they released a matte version. This one is definitely the savior of dry lips, but I wouldn’t classify it as matte. It failed big time in the opaqueness department, which is why I would label it as regular lipstick.



Available in 6 shades

Pictured: Niagara Overlook

$9.19 (CVS)




Choosing the appropriate matte lipstick depends on what qualities you seek in a product. Maybelline’s Vivid Matte Lipstick scored high in terms of color variety, pigmentation, and longevity. Revlon’s Matte Lipcolor could have lasted longer on my lips, but it definitely delivered one of the best finishes and texture. Even though Wet n’ Wild doesn’t offer as many shades as Maybelline or Revlon, it provided the best quality for the lowest price.

Buying a quality and affordable matte lipstick is like eating one of those low-calorie ice cream pints: you satisfy the craving, but the feeling of guilt disappears.


Tatiana Lopez, who was born in Colombia and raised in Costa rica, is a second-year Public Relations student at the University of Texas. She loves learning about new cultures as much as she loves popcorn and donuts.




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