Post #14- Drug Store or Luxury- with Michelle

Hi! My name is Michelle and I’m a creative director currently based in Toronto. I’ve lived in 5 countries, I love fashion, film, and Jesus. Temeka and I met, in a very random situation. We were both invited to the wedding of a mutual friend. We ended up at the last table, but it was by the bar and filled with the most amazing ladies. If you ask me, we had the best table at the entire wedding. It’s still one of my fave memories of living in Toronto. 

Temeka asked me to guest blog here today and I feel so privileged. I tried to offer a variety of colours and products in today’s comparison, sticking with two of my fave colours and then hitting up the Beauty Boutique at City Place, where Priscella helped me pick out a shade I would have NEVER tried. I was scared, but I love it. I can’t wait to wear it to a video meeting and see the reaction. 

Pretty in Pink! Mac “Pink Pigeon” vs Karl Lagerfeld for L’Oreal “Karismatic”

I adore a bold lip and with these pinks, it’s clear why. I have big eyes and often I just do my eyebrows and mascara, so a bold lip is a must. I must say, masks are a must, but they do wreck my lip game, so I try to wear them during the week where I work from home. I might be in leggings, but my lips are dressed up. For this bold pink look, I chose Mac vs L’oreal by Karl both in matte finishes. I tend to stick to matte because when I do wear eyeshadow, I like to add a little sparkle and think the matte compliments the look. Here, the clear winner was the Mac. Though both are great, the L’Oreal was a deeper colour, but when I took it off, it felt like it stained my face. The Mac lip was creamy and offered a soft pout. 

Racy Red. Laura Mercier “Rouge Ultime” vs. L’Oreal Blake exclusive

Red lips are my fave. I feel sexy, bold, and powerful. I’ve often worked in male-dominated fields and a good red lip always made me feel like I could conquer any room I walked into. For this comparison, I tried a travel lipstick I received with my Sephora order back in December. I have never used a Laura Mercier lip and I am sold. The drugstore red has been a go-to for me recently, but when I put on the Laura Mercier I was in love. It’s soft, creamy, feels like a comfortable velvet on my lips. My usual red lip is from Stila, but since it’s a lip cream and not a lipstick, I didn’t want to include it. I think this Laura Mercier is worth the full-size purchase. As far as the Karl by L’Oreal lip, it’s beautiful, feels wonderful on the lips, but like the other L’Oreal, it stained really badly and I had to actually apply more foundation after. My worry is that if you eat or drink with it, you’ll look like a vampire. 

Talk about stepping outside my comfort zone: the browns. Dior “Chocolate Matte” vs. NYX Suede “Cold Brew”

I told Priscilla at the Shoppers that I wanted to try something new. I like neutrals like a good soft pink or mauve, but I didn’t really want to spend that on a DIOR lipstick, not this time. She took up the challenge and pulled out this warm and rich brown shade. I was scared, but I put it on, and aside from not going with my eye look of the day, I felt good in it. It warmed up my skin and made my green eyes pop. I am really excited to use this shade again. But now for the comparison. I’m not going to lie, trying to find a brown to match this shade in a drugstore was hard. Only one brand had a shade that wasn’t too red: NYX. Honestly, pigment, and shade, they’re almost a perfect match, but when it comes to putting it on my lips, DIOR won by a mile. The NYX shade felt like sand in comparison to the DIOR. I think that if you didn’t know how good DIOR was, then, sure it would be fine, but spending 30 dollars or so on a DIOR is worth every penny. I’m absolutely going back and buying more shades. My poor wallet. 

Final thoughts, L’Oreal, NYX, they’re good if you don’t know. Pigment overall was excellent, but when it comes to comfort on your lips, luxury won every time. And, when you wear matte lipsticks as I do, comfort is Queen 😉 

As Michelle mentioned, she and I met at the wedding of a mutual friend. I wasn’t sure who I’d know there besides the bride. I found one other friend and we both soon noticed that we were seated at the most amazing Single ladies table ever. The whole table was a vibe! Michelle and I happened to be placed right beside each other. She had on fabulous makeup colours and we were soon posing for each other’s selfies. What a memory!

When I first posted my intentions to blog on the gram, Michelle was one of the first to comment and DM me her encouragement. And since she has such great style and her own beautiful collection, I asked for her opinion on some of her faves. Well let’s get to it. Comparing luxury or high end brands to drug store is risky business but is also necessary for anyone with a bank account. One may be priced lower but if it lacks quality, then you may end up spending more in the long run. And if the luxury brand is all packaging and price tag and doesn’t deliver then your lips are doubly disappointed. 

Here are my picks. I told Michelle to choose 3 comparison pairs and then I could barely hold myself to the standard. 🤷🏽‍♀️That being said, I’ll show my three and include a bonus that Michelle and I feel similarly about. 

PINK ME!- Wild Orchid-457 from Revlon‘s Super Lustrous Lipstick line vs. 52 from YSL‘s Rouge Pur Couture collection

Pinks are soooo beautiful and as you can tell they range from deep sultry tones to light and sun-kissed peachy ones. This Revlon pick was a gift from my birthday haul and it has this amazing iridescent purple finish to it while being a satin easy-to-go on colour. I feel fabulous in this Pink and think that Revlon has outdone themselves with this particular colour. It makes my students’ eyes pop when I wear it for class on zoom first thing in the morning, haha! 52 by YSL Rouge Pur Couture is the very definition of luxurious in so many ways. Thank God I found this on sale because it doesn’t retail anywhere near the price of the Revlon one. And neither should it! LOL!. I love wearing this lipstick, and this is my second time doing so outside of a zoom call. I feel annoyed when it’s time to take it off because even though it’s a satin finish, it is full coverage, which currently blows my mind, and it is very smooth. When eating through this one, like I did on my birthday, it seems to lightly stain the mouth making a great foundation for the rest of the colour to sit on and never quite leaves with your meal. Wonder of wonders! Both are fabulous, but in this category it’s YSL all the way.

Burnt Brown Goodness!- 02-Gold Waves by Kiko Cosmetics from their Matte Lip Style line vs. Venus in Furs by Pat McGrath Labs

I obtained this lipstick from Kiko Cosmetics the last time I was in London, England…seems so long ago now (thanks covid🙄) and I was nicely surprised by the overall aesthetic and feel of the store. Drugstore prices with the Luxury shopping feel. This colour doesn’t glide on and has a matte finish, but once that colour is on there it is full coverage of deep brownish-burgundy goodness. However, eating anything with this will steal it from your lips, so selfie first and eat after!

As for this amazing Pat McGrath beauty, it glides on with ease and barely any permission. This beautiful brown acts as my nude when I want a nude that likes to party. It is a matte full coverage colour that lasts a little longer than my Kiko go-to. Lips clothed by The Mothership (as the Pat McGrath enterprise is referred to) always leaves lips feeling loved and velvety. who wouldn’t want that?!

Dazzle me, Babe!-And of course we need some sort of gloss, so here is She’s All That by Milani from their Ludicrous lipgloss collection vs. FU$$Y by Fenty Beauty

Lipgloss! Non-oily, non-greasy lipgloss! That’s what I am presenting here. Milani‘s She’s All That will give you that 90’s feel when we were all lip dipped in a bucket of chicken without adding the feel of grease to your lips. It is so shiny and has a bit of sparkle for that daytime fun. If you want to look moisturized, this is your pick. I’ve also enjoyed this one over matte shades of all kind. I find it steals pigment when added to satin finishes but it’s so much fun and acts as a great base for those times you might want to add something like loose sparkle. Fenty on the other hand has wowed me with these lipglosses that leave your lips feeling moisturized and looking lush without the lip plumper. And let’s face it, I don’t ever need a lip plumper. FU$$Y has a hint of pink to it that my bottom lip loves and enough colour that compliments my top browner lip instead of being all the way transparent. However, this gloss is a compliment to any colour you want to spice up. This one was so nice I bought the lip bomb by Fenty twice.

Bonus Round- Liquid matte lips! NYX Lingerie in LIPLI vs. NARS in Somebody To Love

Boy, do I love me a great brown! Not only is it a nude but it makes my skin pop and creates a new solid palette for any eye look I’m considering. It also goes well with Blue hair. 😉 This is full coverage provided by NYX in this wonderful shade of LIPLI. It goes on with minimal effort and stays on without being difficult to remove. What I like is that you can put this on, even if your lips are stained from a previous lip colour and it will still give you full coverage, even if it is drying the lips. I wouldn’t know that this would feel like sand though, had I not tried this beautiful NARS shade in Somebody To Love. I look at the bottle and I think Brown but this colour has beautiful pink undertones that cover my lips without using much of the product. This one is also mask proof, so yay to being gorgeous before, during and after you go out. It glides on easily and even though it has a silly little applicator on the end of the wand, it wins in texture and longevity. Now, if I could only get it in the NYX shade.

Well, there you have it my loves, but you don’t have to take our word for it. (But you totally can if you want to.)Luxury should be all the way luxurious if it is priced that way. Texture, vibrancy of colour, even fragrance are things that should be included if I’m not at the drugstore. However, more and more drugstore brands are focusing on quality and packaging that rivals many of the luxe brands on the market. Revlon, Kiko, and NYX all had packaging that was comparable to that of the luxury brands shown here. But Lip Beauty is for every wanting lip, so why not the stuff we dress it up with?! Hopefully this fun comparative collaboration was helpful to you and yours and encouraging. Rock whatever shade you get from wherever you’re getting your lippies. Lord knows the drug store has blessed me many times over. And I’m so grateful for the sales and gifts received that have added luxury to my own collection.

I’d like to thank Michelle for her love of lip wear and her bold choices too. I have yet to add DIOR to my list, but when I do I will #wearitlikeImeanit

Check us out on the gram. I’m @thelipstickblogger and Michelle is @michelletiffanycandice. Tell us what your fave luxe and drugstore brands are. I’m always looking for an opportunity to learn more about lip wear. Stay tuned, and I’ll see you next week. 💋

Published by Temeka W.

Temeka Williams is a Toronto based 30-something-year-old Musician, Singer-Songwriter. She loves Jesus, Cheese, her friends and family, Aunty time with her niece and nephews, and colour in any form. If she’s not teaching ESL, she’s probably playing her guitar , writing a new song, or testing out some new lip-wear.

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