Bellas, you LOVED my last collaboration with my favorite Los Angeles makeup artist Nicole Evans. – you guys shared, pinned and tweeted our 25 Best MAC Lipsticks For Women of Color post to the gods! Thank you so much. Via Twitter and in the comments, we kept getting requests for MORE posts like that. More lists of essential, tried and true cosmetics items that beauty insiders swear by. Afrobella is here to deliver!


Most specifically, you guys asked for a DRUGSTORE edition, featuring essential lipsticks for women of color. This proved to be a little more challenging. Nicole can explain why.

“In my experience, the difference between what you’ll find in a drugstore (or even department store) consumer cosmetic line and a professional cosmetic line is that consumer cosmetic lines usually offer less pigment in their product because it’s assumed by these companies that their average consumer doesn’t really want much color. Professional lines usually offer more color in their products.Of course, there are always exceptions to the rules. Matte lipsticks generally pack more color and contain fewer moisturizers and waxes. This list doesn’t necessarily contain all exceptions to the rule, but some really pretty and fun colors.”

So yes, this post includes colors we’ve tried and loved from our neighborhood drugstores. And this drugstore list keeps it purely drugstore, purely lipstick, and purely based on what we’ve actually tried and would recommend – we didn’t include other great, affordable picks like the NYX line that’s available at Ulta, for example. We didn’t include any lipglosses or pencils – that’s a whole ‘nother post. We tried to curate a list including the items we’ve found easily and tried personally, so there’s definitely room for suggestions here. If you’re seeing glaring omissions and brands the people have been sleeping on, please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments! For now, read, enjoy, shop and SHARE!

30 Essential Lipsticks For Women of Color – Drugstore Edition!



Neon Red ( Maybelline ColorSensational Vivids)

Hot (CoverGirl LipPerfection)

Cherry Bomb (Wetn’Wild Megalast Lipcolor)

Red Velvet (Milani)

Stoplight Red ((Wetn’Wild Megalast Lipcolor)




Vibrant Mandarin ( Maybelline ColorSensational Vivids)

Electric Orange ( Maybelline ColorSensational Vivids)

Fiery Veil (L’oreal Colour Riche Caress)




Vivid Rose ( Maybelline ColorSensational Vivids)

Cherry Picking (Wetn’Wild Megalast Lipcolor)

Stormy Pink (Revlon Superlustrous Matte)

Pinkerbell (Wetn’Wild Megalast Lipcolor)

Powderpuff Pink (Cover Girl Queen Collection)




Shocking Coral ( Maybelline ColorSensational Vivids)

Purty Persimmon (Wetn’Wild Megalast Lipcolor)

Coral-ine (Wetn’Wild Megalast Lipcolor)

Siren (Revlon Superlustrous)




Brazen Berry ( Maybelline ColorSensational Vivids)

Vamp It Up (Wetn’Wild Megalast Lipcolor)

Sugar Plum Fairy (Wetn’Wild Megalast Lipcolor)

Ebony Wine (Black Opal True Color Lipstick)

Brandywine (Black Radiance Perfect Tone lipstick). Could NOT find a link where you can buy online, this is the closest match.

Fine Wine (CoverGirl Queen Collection)




Just Peachy (Wetn’Wild Megalast Lipcolor)

Bare It All (Wetn’Wild Megalast Lipcolor)

Sandstorm (Wetn’Wild Megalast Lipcolor)

Smoked Peach (Revlon Superlustrous)

Fig Jam (Revlon Colorburst)

Nude Attitude (CoverGirl Queen Collection)

 L’Oreal Infallible in Molten Caramel.

What did I learn when working on this post? I need to give more drugstore brands a try! Also, I really wish some makeup brands (Black Opal, Black Radiance) would have more of an online presence. Here’s hoping the tide turns in that direction soon, they’ve got great products that deserve to be more available to the shopping public!

Did we miss any of your faves? Got any killer recommendations? Tell us in the comments!

Click here to hire Nicole for your makeup needs, and click here to follow her on Twitter and Facebook. Thanks again, Nicole!


Felicia Yvette says:
March 25, 2013, 11:34 am
I feel like I've been missing out. I never buy drug store brands because I can't try them first. I'll check some of these out, though. Thanks for sharing!
Roslyn Holcomb says:
March 25, 2013, 11:43 am
My fave red will always be Revlon's Cherries in the Snow. Lancome discontued my fave nude, Matte Cognac, but I'll give these a try. I too find that drugstore brands skip on the pigment, and finding a good matte nude is almost impossible. A nude lip shouldn't be shiny, but it shouldn't look like cold Chapstick, either. Tough.
Trudy Louis says:
March 25, 2013, 11:47 am
You missed the new Milani lipsticks , their colors are really pretty.
bella says:
March 25, 2013, 1:15 pm
I haven't had a chance to try them yet! I did feel that milani was missing from this list, despite not having tried their newest lipsticks. They'll be in the drugstore lipgloss post for sure (spoiler alert)!
Erica says:
March 25, 2013, 6:56 pm
Some other great drugstore lippies include Revlon's Mink (neutral) and Revlon's Berry Haute (purplish/pink). I love Wet n Wild lippies. Maybelline's Color Sensational in Orange Edge - fire!
MJ says:
March 26, 2013, 11:05 am
I love this round up! I'm always at the drugstore and have to leave with at least one type of makeup product. CoverGirl LipPerfection by far is my favorite drug store find in terms of great color and lasting color. I have five of them (and counting!)
kwmechelle says:
March 26, 2013, 5:51 pm
Two thumbs up for Powder Puff Pink from the Covergirl Queen Collection. I consider myself to be a brown-brown sister (I'm talking NW45 & up) and whenever I wear this color, I start singing the song, This Girl is on Fire, by Alicia Keys.....! It's highly pigmented, moisturizing, and has nice staying power. :-)
pets says:
March 26, 2013, 6:02 pm
Can you get our Sacha cosmetics over there? I use Copper Rosa and they have some lovely shades.
Ri says:
March 30, 2013, 12:10 am
Thanks for this
Marissa says:
May 28, 2013, 8:17 pm
Looks like some pretty cool brands to try out.
Jay says:
October 28, 2013, 10:51 am
I was gonna say, I absolutely love the colour MINK from Revlon... it's a really nice nude on my skin tone I was so pleasantly surprised... especially considering my MOTHER introduced me to the colour haha, old lady's got it.
ShantaFabulous says:
March 28, 2014, 10:55 am
I'm starting to become a believer when it comes to drugstore products. I also wanted to give a big cosign to wanting more of these brands to have an online presence. I wanted to follow Black Radiance on twitter and found out they haven't tweeted in months. I also tried to email them and the form didn't work. :-(
TJ says:
July 7, 2014, 1:42 pm
I buy and recommend this brand with some reluctance because they don't offer colors that work for dark skinned women in their face products. Still, Rimmel London makes a darn good drugstore lipstick. Any of the Lasting Finish Matte lipsticks are particularly beautiful and well pigmented. Shade #111 in the Kate Moss collection is to die for!
P.Emily says:
October 28, 2014, 10:34 am
can i add the brand "Lip stain gold", i buy it from a pharmacy store in UK, with 5 pounds, it s cheap and very long lasting :P
Chita says:
December 20, 2014, 4:20 pm
In the purple range what is the first one? It's amazing!