Beauty Battle: Sheer Red Lipsticks

Which product will provide the longest-lasting, most vibrant pucker?

Welcome to the latest installment of Beauty Battle, where we pit two similar products — one high-end, one drugstore — against each other to see which one reigns supreme. This week, we’re testing two sheer, red lipsticks: Revlon’s Colorburst Lip Butter in “Candy Apple” and Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine in “Rebelle.”

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in “Rebelle”
Price: $32, available at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and other high-end department stores

The hype: Chanel boasts that this sheer lipstick provides eight hours of hydration due to the Hydratender complex, which gives the product a texture a light-weight texture like a balm, with color intensity that’s comparable to a high-impact gloss. likes that “it’s rather demure” and “leaves just a kiss of natural coral color.”

The application: To star, I touched up my lips with Burt’s Bees lip balm to make sure my lips wouldn’t look flaky after a long day battling harsh winter winds. When I wear intensely pigmented lipstick like a matte red or hot pink, I take precautions to make sure it says in place all day. The three-step process takes an extra five minutes (but is well worth it) and includes: exfoliating with a warm washcloth, dabbing my lips with foundation to keep the color from bleeding, and filling in my lips with long-wear liner. I was hoping for a more “put it on and go” routine with this product, so I applied two coats evenly in the morning and went about my day. It glides on smoothly like a gloss, but is not as sticky. The color looks very orange in the tube, but gives a subtle reddish shine to my lips that is more girlish than femme fatale. It hydrates instantly and the color fades a bit after lunch, but still looks wearable without a second application.

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in “Candy Apple”
Price: Around $7.50, available at CVS and other drug stores

The hype: Revlon says that the mango, shea, and coconut butters boost lip moisture by 156 percent, and claim that 94 percent of women reported that their lips felt softer, smoother and instantly hydrated after one application.

The application: This lipstick has higher shine than it’s Chanel counterpart, but that also makes it a bit stickier. It is a true, deep red. I made it through my morning coffee without much loss of color or shine, but after lunch, a re-application was needed because the lovely shade of red was mostly gone.

The verdict: Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine delivered on its eight-hour hydration promise and stayed on the longest (even through a couple of meals), but had a less intense color. I’m not sure it’s worth the steep $32 price tag for something that’s only slightly better than the drugstore brand. If you’re more interested in long-lasting hydration, spring for the Chanel, but if you want a more vibrant color, the Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter offers more bang for your buck.

— Kimya Kavehkar