I’ve been searching for the Goldilocks of lipsticks for years, and I think I finally found it. My perfect lipstick is not too sheer, but not too bold; not easily wiped off, but not crusty and drying; affordable, but not plastic-tasting or irritating to my skin.
I have a slightly embarrassingly large arsenal of once-used lipsticks that didn’t pass my test. But finally, I think I finally found the unicorn lippy I was searching for. And because I know the dull pain of endless scrolling, review reading, and wasting money, I’m sharing it with you.
Oh, and did I mention you can buy it at your local drugstore? You’re welcome.
What I Thought Was The Perfect Lipstick
Prior to finding my new go-to lipstick, I was Team Maybelline Superstay Liquid Lipstickall the way. I loved (and sometimes hated) that the lipstick could last through almost anything—eating, drinking, even sleeping. Once you put this lipstick on, it was on for the rest of the night and the next morning, too.
However, its super-stay power made it difficult to fix mistakes when I was applying or touching up on the go. Removing the lipstick altogether required either a “lipstick eraser,” makeup wipe, or peeling off the top layer of your lips with a wet paper towel.
I also wasn’t crazy about how I couldn’t make a natural edge around my lips with this lipstick. The liquid formula made a crisp, bold line, which is great for some folks, but not my style. I prefer my lipsticks to look like a stain—slightly less harsh around the edges but just as pigmented.
If you’re looking for intense durability and function over comfort, then I can’t recommend Maybelline Superstay Liquid enough. I’ve told countless friends (and strangers) about it over the years. But if you want to be comfortable and have greater application control, this liquid lip just isn’t it.
The Actual Perfect Lipstick
A few weeks ago, I decided I was fed up with my lips somehow feeling sticky and dry simultaneously. So, I went back to the drugstore to start a new search. While there, I found Maybelline’s Super Stay Ink Crayon close to my old go-to lipstick. I knew the brand, its formulas, and its colors well, so I figured I’d start there.
And that’s where my search ended. While I was hesitant about the staying power of solid lipstick as opposed to liquid, this Super Stay product lived up to its name. I’ve worn it while eating, drinking, and sleeping, and it holds up about as well as its liquid counterpart.
Except with this formula, there’s no crusty, dry feeling halfway through the day. I can layer coverage for either a sheer or bold look without sacrificing its staying power. The lipstick glides on smooth and doesn’t have a noticeable taste or smell. And as a bonus that maybe only benefits packrats like myself, the smaller bottle takes up less space in my purse and pockets.
I did notice the Super Stay Ink Crayon will rub off on the inside of my lips—the part that’s revealed only when you make an exaggerated kissy face—if I’ve been drinking without a straw or licking my lips frequently. But frankly, the same thing happened with my liquid lip, except that one was far less comfortable to wear all day.
I’ve tried designer brands, Amazon impulse buys, and countless drugstore brands in search of the right lipstick. And so far, the Maybelline Super Stay Ink Crayon ticks all the boxes: buildable color, smooth feel, matte finish, and most importantly, the type of long-lasting formula that makes you feel like you can actually live in your lipstick.
Is there a better option out there that I haven’t tried yet? Maybe. But with 34 shades, a super affordable price point, and these results, I feel confident saying this is the holy grail of long-lasting drugstore lipsticks (for now).