Meet the Drugstore Lipstick of Your Dreams

Picking the right lipstick shade, across the nude, pink, berry, or red color families, to match your skin tone can be a frustrating pursuit. Am I cool? Am I warm? Do I look better with blue tones? What the hell are blue tones? Most of the time, I simply throw my hands up and just go with what looks good to my eye, swipe it on my lips, decide if I like it, and put it back or buy it. I am happy to report that Almay's Smart Shade Butter Kiss lipsticks are the best drugstore lipsticks I've found lately, because they are skintone-coordinated, eliminating all that "Ugh!"-inducing guess work. An added benefit? They are mega-softening, like luxe balm, and the shine mimics lip gloss.

The Butter Kiss lipsticks hit a new high in low-priced lip product. While the thought of "butter" in relation to lips usually makes me think of messy, glistening bagels or movie theater popcorn, this formula is buttery smooth and it glides across lips, doesn't have an appreciable scent, and the shine is high impact. The color, which is not super saturated, lasts, too!

Anytime a lip product is as softening as it is shiny, I'm instantly game.

As you can see, I am fair-skinned, with dark hair and dark eyes, so I tend to skip darker lip shades. They just aren't flattering on me and I accept this, no matter how many times makeup types and fellow product-loving pals try to convince me to keep searching for "my" perfect red. No thanks! I stick with pinks and nudes. But nudes often look pink-ish on my lips, since they are rather pigmented.

I must agree that the Nude, Pink, Berry, and Red shades that Almay's team categorized as "light" looked best on me, even if I was very anti the Red overall.

Here's the nude. Check out that shine!

The Pink is super similar to the Nude for me. There was not much visible difference; actually, they look almost exactly the same on my lips. But the glossiness made me so happy I didn't care. Things got tricky when I moved to the richer, darker shades.

Berry is a bit deeper and you can turn it up or down depending on how many coats you want to use. This was a good three coats of Berry. I think it makes me look even more pale, which some people might be totally down with, but it's not my favorite look.

Here's red. I hate it on me. It just doesn't look good with my apparition complexion and all I see is lips. I'm clearly uncomfortable. But because the shades have a bit of sheerness to them, it wasn't a screaming siren red. I didn't even want to share this photo since I don't like this look, but I am sucking it up all for you, dear reader!

Despite preferring the pink and the nude shades, I love the thick bullet, the balm-like texture, and that major shine. It's why I am carrying the Pink and Nude shades in my bag, and I highly suggest you do the same.

Images: Amy Sciarretto (5)