My Favorite Affordable Neutral Lipsticks

Have you ever felt like finding the perfect neutral lipstick is about as likely as finding a unicorn? I’ve always been more of a one lipstick kinda gal. The problem with that is, you fall in love with a shade, wear it for years and then BAM, they quit making it.

My first favorite was this Clinique Honey Gloss. The perfect shade of peach with just the right amount of shimmer. I can’t even begin to guess how many years I wore this shade. Even when it was no longer available in the department stores, I could find it at the Clinique Outlet. I’d go in and buy as many tubes as I could get my hands on.

After I could no longer get this lipstick I was forced to branch out, but even then I stayed pretty safe and would follow the same MO. Find one I like and stick with it. This is where Kent would say, “this bodes well for me”. LOL Yes, it does. Stick with what you know and love.?

I’m not one to go out and buy a $30+ tube of lipstick on the off chance I might like it. That’s too risky for this girl. I have found one good way to try new colors is with “minis” that come packaged together from places like Sephora .

Ordering a set of Smashbox lip colors from Sephora is how I found some of my new go-to’s. I like a more neutral lip for the most part, but with a shine. I’m not into the matte look that is popular right now. Something about it just doesn’t work on me.

I think lipstick can also look completely different on than it does in the tube. Below are the ones I’ve got in my drawer that I’ve been using most recently.

The top two colors, Ballerina and St. Tropez are my toppers or finishers. Since all of these are matte shades, I wear something to add a slight shimmer or shine to them. I’ll also throw one of these on if I just want a little shine and color but I don’t feel like going full on made up.

The next five are all similar in feel and color. My current favorite is the Stila Angelo, and honestly I feel like it looks much peachier on my lips than my arm. I love it combined with the St. Tropez and wear it A LOT. If I want to be a little bolder I layer both of those over Tarte Bling.

Are you an equal opportunity user for lipsticks, or do you find what you love and stick with it? Feel free to leave me recommendations if you have something you think I’d like.

Happy Monday and here’s to a good week!



  1. Living on Cloud Nine
    January 21, 2019 / 4:22 am

    Such perfect pretty neutral shades. I too use to be a one lipstick girl. Nothing is more frustrating when they stop making a make up product you love, especially if you’re used to one particular shade. I Have know branched out to about five or six. My favorite neutral is MAC’s Brave but I could totally get into the Smashbox shades, so pretty, And prettiest of all…your sweet face!!!! Happy Monday love! xoxo

    • January 21, 2019 / 9:42 am

      Oooo, I should try that MAC color. A girl in Sephora told me the name of one she used by MAC and of course I didn’t write it down. When will I ever learn???? XOXO

  2. Holly Breton
    January 21, 2019 / 4:31 am

    oh I love this post- these are my favorite shades to wear so I thank you for the recommendations! Once in awhile I will put on a bold color but 98% of the time it is all about bare, beige and natural 🙂

    • January 21, 2019 / 9:35 am

      That’s exactly me, Holly. Happy Monday sweet girl! XO

  3. January 21, 2019 / 5:07 am

    These are gorgeous shades. I love neutral’s and tend to wear a lot of lip glosses too. Thanks for the suggestions.

    • January 21, 2019 / 9:35 am

      Happy to share. Lipsticks are hard. Happy Monday! XO

  4. January 21, 2019 / 7:37 am

    That Loreal Ballerina is SO pretty but gosh all of these colors are gorgeous!

    Black Coffee Beautiful

    • January 21, 2019 / 9:35 am

      That’s one I’ve been wearing a long time and whenever I go to buy it, I hold my breath. I picked up 3 not too long ago…just in case. Thanks Laura!

  5. Biana Perez
    January 21, 2019 / 8:12 am

    NYX and Maybelline are some of my favorite drugstore lipsticks to buy!

    • January 21, 2019 / 9:35 am

      I should try some other NYX. That one actually came in a subscription box. Thanks Biana!

  6. January 21, 2019 / 1:31 pm

    You know how much I love lipstick! And I just can’t let go of my red lipstick, but I know the older I get, I need to begin using some neutral colors and I love the shades you’ve chosen!

    • January 22, 2019 / 6:48 am

      Thanks girl! I still like a little more pink in the summer, but winter I’m much more neutral. Your red lipstick is PERFECT on you!!! XOXO

  7. January 21, 2019 / 2:46 pm

    I love bright and bold lipstick colors! I feel like my lips are so pale on their own that I want to make them pop more with some color so I like anything from pink, to burgundy, to coral, to bright red! I used to have a neutral lipstick, but I ran out and never repurchased. They are nice to have around when you don’t have time to apply those bolder colors correctly!

    • January 22, 2019 / 6:54 am

      I love corals and some reds too (and burgundy), I think I’m just not use to wearing them. I definitely go with a brighter pink in the summer. XO

  8. January 21, 2019 / 4:22 pm

    Great post, Lisa. I have several colors I like and wear, BUT I like having *the one* I don’t have to think about. Honestly, right now I’m struggling (oh, the problems, I know) to find a new one. The one I’m wearing now came with a Clinique bonus and it’s a bit too bright for winter.

    • January 22, 2019 / 6:54 am

      Thanks Kim! Try layering a softer shade over it…that’s how I happened to find some of my favorite combos. XOXO

    • January 22, 2019 / 6:54 am

      YES Jodie! The minis are perfect for throwing in a small bag! XO

  9. January 21, 2019 / 11:15 pm

    I now use Mac for years and one red lipstick of a brand I never heard of, but it is the most perfect red lipstick I have ever had!

  10. Kellyann
    January 22, 2019 / 3:49 am

    What a fun post! I am a lipstick junkie, I buy all kinds and can never pick just one I like. I’m all over the place. When I look at how many tubes I have I start adding up all the $$$ I have spent and it’s CRAZY! You have definitely found your perfect neutral lip and it looks great on you – you are a natural beauty my friend!

    • January 22, 2019 / 6:54 am

      You are so sweet! I love your bright lip colors that you wear. I should probably try more, but I just feel like I look like, “hello, these are my lips” HAHAHAHA XOXO

  11. Gina Daily
    January 22, 2019 / 8:48 am

    Lipstick is honestly the trickiest beauty product for me to get right. Like you said, it looks different when it goes on the skin than in the tube, and even MORE different on the lips than on the arm! I guess because the base/natural color of the lips mixes differently with it than arm color. But it’s a frustrating process and a very happy moment when you find one that works! Love the way your color combo looks on you! Very pretty. I also prefer a little bit of shimmer or shine. 🙂
    Gina || On the Daily Express

    • January 22, 2019 / 9:02 am

      I have to use a primer on my lips before applying my lipstick (I should have mentioned that!). My lips must be a weird color. LOL Thanks Gina!!!

  12. Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom
    January 22, 2019 / 12:36 pm

    I usually will try a lipstick at Sephora if a blogger has it on and mentions what color it is (if it gets my attention). I have a favorite pink, red, coral and nude and I usually stick to those and thankfully they haven’t sold out yet. But, I feel like a tube lasts FOREVER for me. I am going to pin that lip image and come back to it if I ever need a shade. They all look like great colors.


    • January 31, 2019 / 9:51 pm

      You’re right. A tube does last forever and I hate to have too many lying around. I think that’s what I love about the mini’s. ?

    • January 31, 2019 / 9:51 pm

      Thanks Shelly. I totally feel the same. It’s such a crap shoot!!!

  13. January 22, 2019 / 6:50 pm

    Oh, my goodness, I have a love affair with lipstick! Presently I’m on to the long lasting lipsticks and am enjoying them. But, I may be back to regular lipstick at some point. I have my favorite color but I do not wear it everyday. I probably 6-7 different colors. Love your neutrals!

    • January 31, 2019 / 9:51 pm

      I’m loving the long lasting ones as well. Sure makes life easier. Thanks Lea!

  14. jess
    January 23, 2019 / 8:53 am

    I love Tarte! Big fan! I use these larger lipstick crayons and they are great! I pinned your swatches as these are all colors I would wear too1 love the pinks and peaches!
    thanks for linking!
    jess xx

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