not a professional. just crazy.

Everyone in My Friend Group Is Obsessed With This $8 Sheer Lipstick

The author with a single swipe of Blur Lux on in “Mesmerize” Photo: Rio Viera-Newton

I’ve been a fan of Los Angeles–based makeup company ColourPop since August, when I realized its twinkly $6 Super Shock eye shadow was a perfect dupe for Hourglass’s coveted $30 Scattered Light shadow. This realization quickly led to another: practically all of ColourPop’s products are really, really great. Its dewy Hyaluronic Acid Concealer gives a beautiful, natural coverage, and its Super Shock blush in “Prenup” is one of the most stunning mauvy rose shades I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

As it turns out, I’m not alone in this obsession — makeup artist and podcast host Harriet Hadfield constantly reaches for ColourPop’s products in tutorials, and a couple of years ago, Jessica Chastain wore a bright-red ColourPop lipstick to the Met Gala. It’s easy for me to understand why this brand has a cult following: ColourPop’s stuff is high quality, pigmented, easy to use, and also radically affordable (most of its products are under $10).

When it comes to lips, ColourPop’s most popular formula is its liquid lipstick (which is formulated in the same factory as Kylie Cosmetics’ notorious Lip Kits). As I’m not generally a liquid-lipstick fan (Fenty notwithstanding), I thought I would take a pass on the brand’s lip stuff — until a couple of weeks ago, at lunch with friends, when a pal asked if I had tried its other lipstick, called the Blur Lux. It was a must-buy, she said — and swore that it gave her the most perfect, subtle, slightly smudged, blurred lip she’d ever seen.

A buildable, matte, smudgy lipstick is my type, if you will — you can find a Glossier Gen G, Ohii Lip Smudge, or Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick floating around just about every purse of mine. And when I found out this lipstick had about a million rave reviews on Reddit and cost only $8, I knew I had to have it.

I bought my first ColourPop Blur Lux lipstick in the shade “Y2K,” a ’90s-inspired ruddy brown. It was instant love. With one swipe, you get a soft, blurry, casual, blotted lip (something I would easily wear to a meeting or to the office). And if you keep swiping, it gently intensifies — you get that same blurry, slightly messy Parisian look, just with more pigment. This is exactly the kind of product you’re going to want in your bag at all times: one swipe in the mornings for a soft, your-lips-but-better, sheer matte look, a couple of additional layers around 5 p.m. for happy hour or a dinner date.

I was so obsessed with my “Y2K” that a few days later I purchased “21 Questions,” a lovely burnt orange; “Mesmerize,” a dusty rose; and “Solo,” a bluish red. If you’re a sheer-lip obsessive, these cheapo lipsticks are an absolute must-buy.

Other Lipsticks I Love

Always a go-to — it shows up blotted but intensely matte, with a powdery, soft-focus finish.

These give the lips a gorgeous tint. As my friend Joelle once put it, “These lipsticks make your lips look like you’ve eaten a popsicle that happens to be the perfect color for your mouth.”

Another beautiful sheer wash of color — these have the added benefits of being extremely hydrating!

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All of My Friends Are Obsessed With This $8 Lipstick