Lipstick: how much are you willing to pay?

I was chatting with my mum and sister the other day about (what else?) lipstick, and we got onto the topic of the painfully expensive ones. So, rather than the usual new-this-week spread, I thought I’d do a small feature on lipstick for this Sunday’s post.

(Because, seriously. Who pays $75 for lipstick, and don’t you think that maybe, just maybe, that’s a little bit insane?)

For me, there are the drugstore lipsticks ($5-$15, and isn’t it lovely when you accidentally fall in love with one of those formulas?), then the midrange ones ($15-$25), and finally the ones in the higher end of the spectrum: anything above $30–or, good lord, above $40. I just… I just try really, really hard not to get hooked on any of those.

It’s going surprisingly okay so far. I just have to put on my blinders when people start talking Rouge Gs and Lip Mists and look the other way. :P

What’s your price limit for lipsticks? Is it “anything goes,” or do you try to put a cap on it?

P.S. (And then there are all of those skinny little surprise!expensive lipsticks. You know the ones: they look just a little bit costly, but then they turn out to have a third of the usual amount of lipstick in them. Yeah, NARS Pure Matte, I’m looking at you.)

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  • bloominbeauty

    I should pay more attention to the surprise! expensive lipsticks and do a cost per oz/gram calculation but usually when it comes to beauty and when I'm shopping I'm generally doing some retail therapy and my brain isn't on math mode. But I agree- $75 for a lipstick? It better lock my car doors too. =P

  • No price limit — it's more about the color, formula, and how often I'd use it. Wouldn't aim to "collect 'em all" with a $50 lipstick, though, nor buy a "fun shade" that I'd wear once in a blue moon that was really pricey. Your post comes at such a perfect time, because I just wrote a post for tomorrow on lessons learned — quality over quantity — a well-edited, well-loved stash is better than lots of products you like.
    My recent post Chanel Sable Beige Soleil Tan de Chanel Review, Photos, Swatches

  • I can't imagine paying over $20-$30 for a lipstick…but then again I'm more of an eye makeup gal :)
    My recent post Quick Review and Swatches on Naked2

  • Well, I won't be able to afford as many of the higher end ones, but if I love the formula and the available colours, I will indulge. I've become hooked on Guerlain and Armani, both of which are on the higher end of the scale. I depend a lot on online reviews to get an idea of whether or not the price justifies the cash outlay, since it's hard to find some of those brands in Canada. I haven't read enough about the Serge Lutens lipsticks to be really tempted by them. Probably a good thing.
    My recent post post-friday favourites 06.05.12

  • I'm like Chrsitine-if I really like the colour and formula and would wear it often enough then I think it doesn't matter what price it is. I'd rather have products I love and use rather than 25 drugstore lippies that I don't.
    My recent post Life & Beauty Weekly: Get Ready For Shorts!

  • I can't imagine myself paying more than $25 for a lipstick. And not very often.
    My recent post Korres Nail Colour in 92 Vert Amande and Yamapi

  • Rosemary

    Well the problem here is, I live in Australia where makeup is incredibly expensive. Eg a MAC lipstick here is $36 but in America is $14.50, even though our dollar is stronger than theirs. Same with drugstore makeup, Maybelline and Revlon, the ‘cheaper’ brands, are around the $20 mark. So it’s not really a choice of what wouldn’t you pay, because if we want anything high end, it’s automatically above the $60 mark.

    Rant over, I will go weep now.

  • I'd pay more attention to the price–I'm a believer that no matter how "rare" or "limited edition" a lipstick is, eventually a drugstore brand will copy the shade. As for the formula, I feel like anything with nivea lipbalm will always work =]

  • Liz

    I suppose part of the appeal is in the fact that such a lipstick is $75. The price alone makes one want to try it to see what the big deal is. I guess it helps that this particular one is refillable? Hahaha.

    Not being a huge lipstick person, I tried not to spend beyond $30 for one. Depends what you feel is worth it to you in the end. I've always spent a lot on foundations instead and felt many were justified in the high price range.
    My recent post It's Finally Spring

  • dani@callitbeauty

    For $75, that lipstick better cook me a gourmet meal, too…
    My recent post NEW Fragances From Givenchy and Fendi – Perfect For Summer!

  • hhahaha Dani! I'm willing to send in the $30-40 range for a lipstick if it's REALLY good, although it's definitely not something I do often, especially since there are so many nice options at the drugstore nowadays. And I freely admit that lipstick is my biggest makeup weakness, and it's lovely to pull out a splurge lipstick and apply it. It hasn't happened yet, but there's the slightest possibility that I would spend over my usual $30s splurge range if I found something absolutely amazing that I would wear every day. That being said, $75 for a lipstick… no, just no.
    My recent post Tasty TGIF Tidbits: Chocolate Chip Lava Cookies

  • For me, I would have to cap at $40 unless it is an unusual color or formula that you can't get in other lines.
    My recent post Guerlain by Emilio Pucci 'Terra Azzurra' Summer 2012 Sneak Peek

  • Hummm.. I don't care a lot for lipstick but my cap is probably around $20 so far. I bet when I *really* get into it, I'll be like "$40? NO PROBLEM!". But $75? NO, THAT'S A PROBLEM!
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  • I was seriously tempted to pick up one of the Serge Lutens in the Paris salon! But then sanity took over :)
    After I returned from that trip, I finally received the lipstick sample pack from them…and tbh the quality/colours do not justify the price. Ever since then I haven't thought about them again (which is a good thing!)

    Even now I have to think long and hard before splurging on a Tom Ford lippie :/
    My recent post Nails of the day #13 – Dior Vernis in Saint-Tropez #401 Croisette 2012 Summer

  • Ciambella

    I'd pay $30-$40 or maybe higher if it's a lipstick that fulfills all of my criteria and fits the "investment" category–moisturizing, long-lasting, no bleeding, no nauseating scents/tastes, and such an awesome color that it either makes me feel insta-professional when I put it on or insta-rrrrrrrrimakillyoouuu (so either MLBB or drop-dead red, I guess is what I'm trying to say). But for now I'm pretty happy with my current work/RAWR lipsticks, which are drugstore/drugstore priced!

    As for $75 for a lipstick…probably not. It'd have to be reeeeeeeally special.

  • Well I DO love the Guerlain Rouge G lipsticks as well as their less expensive (nearly put cheaper, but no, less expensive is the only option when it comes to Guerlain) Rouge Automatique lipsticks. What I've done though is picked up testers (unused) from eBay, that was I don't have to pay for the pricey packaging of Rouge G. I do often pick up the limited edition ones though as they are really great. So that's my limit, £30, which is roughly $55 or so. I know, it does sound crazy lol.
    My recent post FOTD: Estee Lauder Summer

  • mostlysunnybunny

    Hmm 75 is really a bit too much for anything in my book to be honest. I think the most I've paid is Guerlain, and I am very unfortunately hooked on them (eeeee)! It's just… I don't think I've tried anything that can compare to Rouge/Shine Automatique, and I haven't even tried Rouge G yet (let's not go there)!
    My recent post Come Shopping with Me! Edition: Antwerp. Focus Store: Shu Uemura

  • $40 is my limit. I don't mind smaller bullets and less product because I'm usually bored rigid with a lipstick long before I even halfway finish it. And currently it would take me over 40 years to finish my lipstick stash.
    My recent post Breakfast scene

  • Lipsticks are one of those things that travel in my purse. So I won't be spending more than $20 on it. There's too much risk in it breaking or being lost. The formula and shade need to be HG before I spend more than that. But I've found plenty of products (theBalm glosses, Sonia Kashuk lipsticks and crayons) that are phenomenal and below the $20 mark.
    My recent post Clinique Chubby Stick in 04 Mega Melon

  • C.

    $75 for a lipstick is a bit much for me.. the most expensive lipstick I own cost $32 and that one took me a while to decide whether or not it was worth the money. I think the most I'd be willing to spend is in the $30-$40 range if it's amaze-balls and I just couldn't live without it
    My recent post Lists make me feel productive

  • For me the limit would be around 50-60 dollars, but it better be worth it! I'm a true lipstick girl, so if I see a special shade or a great formula I kinda lose my head and buy it anyway :p
    My recent post Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill in 14

  • Selina

    The most I've ever paid was $15 for my black honey almost lipstick. However, Burberry is beckoning me like a siren's call, so I guess that $30 for a lipstick is my limit- but I'd only splurge like that for special occasions. Beauty insiders can use the code LUXE at Sephora if your order is $25+ to get a free deluxe mini of some luxury items, including a Guerlain shine automatique in Extrait de Rose, which I couldn't resist… I just hope I don't like it too much because I'm not paying for a full size!

  • I feel the exact same way. I won't go above 50 USD, and really going above 30 is a splurge. One of those happy infrequent moments. I rarely if ever see the bottom of a tube, so spending that much when I have so many already seems silly at this point.
    My recent post Something Cute…

  • Quite honestly, I almost never purchase lipstick–and if I do, I would NEVER pay more than $25 for it. Lipstick just doesn't do it for me. Blush, highlighter, eyeshadow on the other hand….:D
    My recent post The Sample: Milani Liquif’Eye Liquid-Like Eye Liner Automatic Propel Pencil in #07 Purple Review

  • I don't have much of price limit too. I kind of push the limits. I haven't gone into Rogue G and Cle de Peau yet, but I am not saying no to them. The latest one that broke the limit is Becca, and Shisedo Maquillage True Rouge.
    My recent post Maybelline Jelly Glow

  • messywands

    I saw that Serge lipstick irl. I should have tried it at the counter and reported back :P

    I confess that I purchased the Cle de Peau lipstick before, but since then I never touched it. I've also did Tom Ford but for that price it didn't sing me praises (they're both like $30 good, not $40+ good, if you know what i mean?). So Guerlain is the only brand I'm willing to shell out over $40 for, and even so only for the truly stunning shades not available in the Rouge Automatique form.

  • I can only afford mid range ones, but I'm dying to try some of those lipsticks you posted!!! Love your blog! :)
    My recent post Photodiary: Last Friday part I

  • blauriche

    I have lip colors from YSL ($32) and Hourglass ($28), but I generally use MAC as a benchmark. Whlie I don't really like to buy from MAC, I do feel like you shouldn't have to pay much more than what they charge to get quality cosmetics, unless they're from CHANEL.

  • peacoats

    Probably not more expensive than the Rouge Gs (my lipstick limit) . But I love lipsticks the most so someday when I can afford it and really love the color, then yeah, maybe I'll bite. Most expensive product happens to be the Guerlain Meteorites.

  • I my limit is in the 20s range..less then 30. I rarely if ever see the bottom of a tube.

  • Nina

    I wouldn't pay $75, but I paid $40+. In fact just yesterday I bought myself a YSL Rouge Volupté and paid $39 US. Now, there's a sad truth about beauty here; if you want something, anything at all, you have to pay the crazy price. Whether it's high end or not. Of course there are affordable ones too, but they are rare. So, instead buying 2 of relatively cheaper lipsticks, I opt for one high end lipstick that I know I'd be using all the time. Plus, due to my on-and-off lip allergies, I'd have to be really selective, so it's one lipstick at a time for me. But of course it's not always that easy since I love lip products, so I have to have a border, and that's $55 max. Anything beyond that is simply out of my range :D

  • i think the most i've paid for a lip product was 20 something….i wouldn't go much higher because I usually find the shades that i want in the $5-15 range :D an expensive one better last on my lips ALL day, have opaque rich color, and brighten my teeth while on lol
    My recent post What a PERFECT Birthday I Had

  • Laura

    The first expensive lipstick I bought was from Chanel, and I was a little underwhelmed. The color is flattering on me, but the formula wasn't that great…I have several shades of Maybelline Color Sensational that feel so much better, and they certainly deliver when it comes to color.

    Since then, I've bought 2 Rouge Gs. While they aren't necessarily twice as nice as a lipstick that costs half the price, it's nice to spoil yourself every once in a while.

  • I think I'm with Christine and Tracy on this one, though. $75 is extreme, but I'd rather have products that I know I love and will use. Also, one thing that really gets me? When people say they could buy x number of drugstore products for the price of one high-end lipstick. That may be true, and if you are going to wear all of those all the time and cherish them, then yes, you are correct, you win! (When did this become a competition, anyway?). However, in most cases, when you're just looking for a certain shade, then you pick up the one that suits your needs the most, and if you can afford the price tag, I don't see why anyone else should judge you for it.
    My recent post Butter London: The Black Knight