If there’s one category of products where I have a lot of high-end favourites, I think it’s lip products. Tom Ford, Chanel, Charlotte Tilbury, the Nars Lip Pencils,… There’s just something about a lipstick in a luxurious packaging to put in your bag for some touching up.
Which is exactly why I don’t want to take them with me on a trip, I don’t want risk losing them! The top drawer of my MUJI is off-limits when packing.
Fortunately, there are quite a few awesome budget friendly lip products out there. I’m not calling them dupes, because drugstore products can be brilliant on their own without being considered a shameless copy of a high-end product. So let’s call them alternatives, more affordable alternatives that give you the same result, maybe not the same packaging, but also not the same frustration if you were to lose them.
Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lacquers are among my absolute favourite lip products, not just the budget friendly kind. These will definitely pop up, as will all types of Lip Pencils/Crayons because I find these so easy to use and there are some good ones in my stash. Yves Rocher also has some of these in their collection I have yet to try them but they look great, look at that pink!
I discovered I actually have a Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lacquer alternative for every one of my Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils and to be completely honest (as always), I kinda prefer them. I find the Nars Pencils to be a little dry and they don’t always apply as evenly as they should for their price.
Let’s get this lip party started with some matte brights and bolds.
It’s called Red Square, but this is a beautiful orange red, don’t worry, other reds are coming up. This pencil applies nicely. Hot Pepper is a great alternative, a little less orange and therefore maybe more suited for those who are not used to wearing bold colours.
If you’re looking for a deep red, these 2 are great options. Grand Cru has a bit of a berry tint (more berries later) to it that Cruella doesn’t have, but both of these are gorgeous. I will say that Grand Cru is my least favourite Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet, it takes quite a few layers to get that even finish (you can even tell from the swatch on my arm…). A problem I don’t have with the other shades.
If a warm pink is what you’re looking for, these 2 should do it. These shades are by no means the same, Olé Flamingo is a true pink without being too in your face (again, great for those who aren’t used to bold lips yet) and Dragon Girl is a red with pink undertones. I adore both!
Time for berries! Damned is by far my favourite shade of the Velvet Matte Lip Pencils I have, unfortunately it’s also the one that’s the most annoying to apply… Grand Cru could be a great alternative here, but I have some more, non matte, options.
The Kiko lipstick is quite similar, it’s just not completely matte.
The infamous Rimmel lipstick is more matte again, but with a more red tint.
Plum Russian the sheer alternative here, what I love about this is you can wear it on its own for a glossy, sheer berry lip or you can layer this one on top of the one of the mattes to give it some more life and shine without compromising the pigmentation.
I don’t think I’ve talked about Cooper on the blog yet, but I did get my hands on one of Mister Ford’s Boys in the end, and Cooper is a beautiful, bright, shiny pink. However…. Limited Edition and pricey, so this is staying in my MUJI!
Olé Flamingo is a beautiful pink for those who are just getting started with bold lips, but for those who are ready to take it a little further…
Pink Pong is Olé Flamingo with an extra kick. It is matte, but we can use the Plum Russian trick again and add Red Sunrise on top to keep the bright pigmentation but also add that shine that you sometimes want.
Unfortunately I don’t have any alternatives for some of my favourites, like Tom Ford Bruised Plum and Dolce & Gabbana Amethyst…
I think I’ve got the bold lips covered now, how about some neutrals?
I love Amazing Grace, it’s such a versatile colour. Sometimes it’s rosey and then the next time it’s got a hint of peach. Happy Nude Year is similar, but definitely more peachy. And while they are both matte, Amazing Grace has more life to it, it doesn’t ever require any gloss on top of it, which the Bourjois Velvets sometimes do. Nonetheless, a worthy alternative, adding the Color Boost in Peach on the Beach on top would be perfect!
On its own Pink Carnation looks nothing like Prodigious. Prodigious is warm and a tad shimmery, Pink Carnation is a soft, matte pink.
But when you add Drive Me Nude on top of Pink Carnation, it just adds that warm shine that Prodigious has, it’s like magic!
We have shades of pink, red, orange, nudes,… I think I’ll have plenty of options in my bag. And there’s always Sephora in case of a lipstick emergency!
This turned into a bit of a swatch fest, sorry about the blurry swatches, but you can get an idea of the shades and their resemblances.
I’m sure I will discover more in the bottom MUJI drawers, but these are the most obvious look-a-likes in there and they cover quite a bit of ground colourwise. I can also avoid lip liners and brushes with these products, so there’s more space for other stuff!
Okay, I’ll guess I’ll make a selection now… Shouldn’t be difficult at all. Right? (I’m pre-scheduling this one while packing, so by the time you read this I’ll be back already, boo!)