I don’t know about you guys but the thought of forking over PKR 2000 or more for a lipstick makes me a bit dizzy. It also makes me question my life choices but that’s a story for another time. Not that I haven’t been tempted to, of course. I’ve spent hours drooling over lipsticks at MAC counters and Sephoras in almost every city I’ve visited (don’t judge, k?). And then fought the urge to sell my left kidney and spend all the money on makeup. Come on, don’t pretend like you haven’t been there.
Anyhow, now that I’m done with the embarrassing confessions, let me get to the point. I’ve recently been on a mission to discover cheaper alternatives to expensive brands, especially ones that are easily available in Pakistan. (#missionimpossible, right?). Apparently not. While I love my NYX and Wet n Wild dupes, procuring them here in Paki-land is no small feat (sob story of our lives). So, I’m focusing on local brands that you’ll find at supermarkets or local makeup stores or can order online. Are you ready? Lezz do this!
Price: PKR 135 versus MAC’s $17 (PKR 1790)
I didn’t even know this brand existed when I set out on my search mission but their colour 542 is so close to MAC’s Ruby Woo, no-one can even tell the difference!
Pros: It has a pigmented, creamy formula that slides on easily without smudging.
Cons: Comes off easily. If you’re planning to eat with this on, you best make sure it accompanies you to your lunch date.
Christine’s 542 Lip Swatch:
Price: PKR 165 versus NARS $28 (PKR 2940)
The number 15 Sensuous Rouge by Glamour Face is a lovely fuchsia pink which looks REALLY similar to Carthage from NARS’ Ultra Matte Lipstick line.
Pros: I love the colour and it looks great on our olive-toned desi skin which can’t be said for many bright pinks.
Cons: It’s not very pigmented and has a slightly clumpy texture so can be a bit difficult to apply.
Glamorous Face’s 15 Lip Swatch:
Price: PKR 105 versus MAC’s $17 (PKR 1790)
Okay first things first – I thought this brand was Pakistani but a little more research has shown that it’s not. Either way, it’s easily available here. Bécute’s Velvet Sensation lipstick colour 218 is a stunning, vampy shade which is an excellent dupe for MAC’s lipstick in the shade Rebel.
Pros: Formula is smooth and easy to wear. It’s matte but doesn’t dry up your lips.
Cons: Has this really strong smell like scented powder which I personally didn’t find very appealing.
Bécute’s 218 Lip Swatch:
Price: PKR 105 versus NARS’ $28 (PKR 2950)
Medora’s Matte Lipstick in True Maroon (284) is a dark red with warm undertones, much like NARS’ VIP Red Semi Matte Lipstick.
Pros: It’s richly pigmented and quite long-lasting with a consistency that’s best applied in shorter strokes.
Cons: Had a slight, sweet scent. In case you hadn’t gathered, I’m not a big fan of lipsticks with scents.
Additional Note: While this was my first time using Medora, most users seem to have a love-hate relationship with the brand. Some women are insistent that it makes your lips darker while others swear by its formula. I’d suggest giving it a shot and making up your own mind. At just PKR 105, it’s not too much of an investment even if you don’t end up liking it.
Medora’s True Maroon Lip Swatch:
Price: PKR 550 versus MAC’s $19 (PKR 1990)
The colour Babe (AB6) by Odho Cosmetics is a dark-chocolatey brown that is almost exactly the same shade as True Brown K from the Kylie Liquid Lipstick collection or MAC’s Antique Velvet.
Pros: In terms of formula, this one was my favourite out of the five, hands-down. It didn’t have a strong scent and had a smooth, creamy application.
Cons: It’s pricey compared to the other brands I’ve listed. I’m pretty sure I got it for PKR 295 at Imtiaz Store but their website says PKR 550, so I might be wrong.
Odho Cosmetic’s Babe Lip Swatch:
P.S: Tiny shout-out to my best friend who volunteered to be my lip model for this post ^_^
P.P.S: If you’re into liquid lipsticks, you might want to check out this post I did a couple of weeks ago.
Disclaimer: Guys, before some of you start chasing me down with pitchforks and torches, I just think it’s important to mention here that you can’t expect to pay a fraction of the price and get the same quality as MAC or NARS. The colours might be about the same but each brand will have its own pros & cons based on your personal experience. So please keep that in mind when making comparisons or purchase. Okthanksbye.