The Ultimate Rimmel Lipstick Review: Exposing the Ups and Downs of This Iconic Makeup Brand

As one of the longest standing drugstore beauty brands still widely available today, London-born Rimmel enjoys enormous name recognition globally. Everyone and their mother has slicked on a Rimmel gloss or lippie at some point. But are these affordable, classic cosmetics still delivering the gorgeous glam payoff that generations of beauty lovers have come to expect?

I took a deep dive into Rimmel’s current lip offerings to find out. I acquired and tested over 20 products across 5 key formulas. And I wasn‘t afraid to get ruthless in my evaluations. Read on for the unfiltered truth about one of the most storied names in lipstick.

Rimmel By the Numbers: An Iconic Brand Since 1834

Rimmel set up shop on London‘s trendy Regent Street in the early 1800s. Mr. Eugene Rimmel himself first sold perfumes and mouthwashes. But makeup ultimately became the company‘s claim to fame.

Fun fact: Rimmel pioneered the non-toxic mascara concept in the 1860s. Eugene Rimmel had grown increasingly alarmed by dangerous levels of arsenic and lead commonly used in beauty potions back then.

Fast forward to the present:

  • 180+ years since Rimmel‘s founding
  • Products sold across 100+ countries
  • Popular in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and Southeast Asia
  • Makeup created in 8 R&D facilities globally
  • Over 11 million lip products sold annually
  • Rimmel spends over $1 million annually on cruelty-free lab testing

Today, under the umbrella of European cosmetics giant Coty, Rimmel pumps out new collections tying into major fashion and cultural trends constantly. Their focus rests firmly on the lips and eyes. Rimmel cranks out glosses, liners, balms, crayons, stains, plumpers, primers – you name the lip product, they sell its sexy smoothed up sister.

But how do Rimmel‘s best-selling lip babies stand up to all the competition crowding today‘s overwhelmed beauty marketplace? Let‘s zoom in on the top 5 formulas leading the Rimmel lipstick revolution.

Top 5 Rimmel Lip Formulas: Shades, Textures & Benefits

With so many finishes and functions in their lip arsenal, where should you even begin? I took one (or five) for the team and gave Rimmel‘s lip finest a test drive.

After ample swatching and smooching, here are my picks for Rimmel‘s can‘t miss lip products across multiple textures. We‘ll analyze the key benefits and drawbacks of each along with standout shades to shop.

1. Moisture Renew Lipstick

If your puckers constantly run parched, this vitamin-enriched formula makes an effortless everyday choice.


  • Available in 25+ colorful shades
  • Lightly creamy and smoothing
  • Imparts a subtle sheen
  • Won‘t accentuate fine lines or flakes
  • Infused with Vitamin E, apricot oil, white beeswax

Best Shades

  • Pucker Up Pink (medium rose pink)
  • My Desire (sheer cherry red)
  • Violet Pop (bright cool-toned purple)
  • Notting Hill Nude (beige-y pink nude)


  • Less opaque pigmentation than traditional lipsticks
  • Colors don‘t last through heavy meals


$4.49 – $9.99

My Thoughts

For a sheer, moisturizing lippie, you can‘t beat these bad boys for under $10. The shades Runway Red and Pink Chic give me hydrated, just-kissedcolor without screaming HEY, I‘M WEARING LIPSTICK!

2. Stay Matte Liquid Lip Colour

This mousse lippy dries into an intense matte with epic staying power. Make out and meal proof? Sounds like my type of party!


  • Ultra pigmented color
  • Applies easily and sets fast
  • Won‘t budge for 8-12 hours
  • Available in 12 deep shades
  • Serious transfer and smudge resistance

Best Shades

  • Blush (warm mid-tone pink)
  • Obsession (deep berry)
  • Blazing (bright orange red)


  • Dries lips out over time
  • Hard to reapply evenly
  • Requires oil to fully remove



My Thoughts

For date nights and events, I turn to these liquid lacquers when I want lips that last. But for day to day, the dry down takes too great a toll on my lips. I save Rimmel‘s Stay Mattes for when I really require 12-hour perfection. The color payoff can‘t be beat!

3. Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner

Prevent feathering and fake a perfect pout with this rich, conditioning liner.


  • Creamy, durable texture
  • Self-sharpening automatic pencil
  • Infused with shea butter, vitamin E, jojoba
  • Available in 8 versatile hues

Best Shades

  • Epic (pinky nude)
  • Silk (soft red)
  • Eastend Snob (rosy brown)


  • Less slip than traditional lip pencils
  • Requires frequent resharpening



My Thoughts

I can‘t live without lip liner thanks to my uneven lip shape. Rimmel‘s lip definer pencils truly condition while providing that crisp, polished edge I crave. Eastend Snob makes my light brown lips appear fuller without going overboard on the pigment.

4. Oh My Gloss! Lacquer Finish

Get high octane shine and sleek color with these wet-look super glosses.


  • Ultra glossy, glass-like finish
  • Applies smoothly without stickiness
  • Hydrates lips
  • 18 colors from nudes to brights
  • Light, barely-there feel

Best Shades

  • Clear Spark (sheer pearl)
  • Rebel Rose (cool fuchsia)
  • Dorothy Doll (pale peach)


  • Requires frequent reapplication
  • Not the most long wearing formula



My Thoughts

Few lip glosses impart this decadent ultra shine without glopping up like syrup. The Oh My Gloss! shades Enter Pink and Rebel Rose make my lips look dangerously plump. At under $6 a tube, I‘ll take one in every color please!

5. Scandaleyes Bold Waterproof Lip Liner

This ultra creamy liner floats onto lips and locks pigment in place for hours.


  • Glides on like butter
  • Super soft, blendable texture
  • Waterproof and transfer-resistant
  • Available in 6 statement colors

Best Shades

  • Blame Cherry (cool classic red)
  • Don‘t Pink (bright pinky coral)
  • Go Nude (mauve-y nude)


  • Automatic pencil doesn‘t self sharpen
  • Harder to get precision application



My Thoughts

I‘d never put much stock into waterproof lip liners until trying Scandaleyes. These vividly pigmented liners keep my lips primed and colored for 8+ hours – no bleeding, skipping or migration in sight! Now I wear Berry Obvious or Really Rouge rain or shine when I want lips that truly last.

Comparing Rimmel Lipsticks to Prestige Brands

Rimmel practically pioneered accessible color cosmetics for the trend obsessed. But today‘s crowded marketplace offers no shortage of mid to high-end competition featuring sophisticated ingredients, luxe packaging and bold pigments.

How do Rimmel‘s core lip products compare to posh lip lines from beauty power players like MAC, Bobbi Brown, Benefit, NARS, Stila and Pat McGrath? I put Rimmel head to head against 7 iconic prestige brands.

Here‘s how they stacked up:

Color Selection

I award the most style and variety to Benefit and Stila. But Rimmel holds their own with hundreds of lip shades and finishes rivaling the fancier players. Rimmel‘s colors may rely more on conventional nudes, reds and pinks compared to NARS‘ avant garde hues and Pat McGrath‘s editorial vibes. But no shortage of options exist.

Texture & Feel

The moisture renew, lip pencil and lip gloss textures feel fairly luxe with ample smoothing oils and butters. However the drier liquid lip and bullet finishes fall short of the plush creaminess achieved by Bobbi Brown, Benefit or Pat McGrath. While not remotely chalky, Rimmel‘s matte and amplified formulas do cling to lip lines much more noticeably.

Wear Time

No surprises here – high end brands take the longevity crown. Benefit, Stila and especially Pat McGrath double Rimmel‘s endurance power when it comes to smudge, transfer and fade resistance. Rimmel‘s bold lip products get knocked away too easily while dining or smooching.

Shade Payoff

Surprisingly the color payoff appears richer and more saturated on Rimmel‘s end! Their liquid and matte formulas pack vibrant, opaque pigment comparable to the prestige competitors for less.

Fragrance & Finish

The scented, shiny and glitter filled finishes favored by lines like Too Faced and Benefit suit tween and teen tastes more than sophisticated grown ups. Thankfully Rimmel focuses on wearable, flattering tones with fairly benign scents when detectable at all.

Packaging & Presentation

No shock – Rimmel looks basic AF next to NARS‘ sleek, luxe vibe. The flimsy plastic tubes and bald lipstick bullets give a budget vibe. But who cares as long as the product performs?


You‘ll spend 3-10X more buying mid-range and luxury brands instead of Rimmel‘s steals. But the adage "you get what you pay for" holds true here. The extra dollars bring discernibly more comfortable textures with longer staying power. But Rimmel lets you sample virtually every trend at a fraction of the cost.

Scoring Rimmel‘s Social Buzz & Online Reviews

To gauge real world customer experiences with Rimmel lip products, I dove into YouTube reviews plus Sephora, Ulta and brand ratings on Amazon and Influenster. Here‘s the good, bad and ugly from buyers behind thousands of Rimmel lip ratings:

YouTube Reviews

Lip swatchers and beauty vloggers largely applaud affordable mainstays like the Lasting Finish Lipstick and Stay Matte Liquid Lip Colour. Reviewers praise creamy, saturated colors with decent longevity considering the modest cost. Many hold Rimmel formulas on par with mid-tier brands for 1/4 of the price.

Critical reviews call out issues like visible lip lines, drying textures and faster fading than hoped. But most YouTube reviewers recommend trying multiple Rimmel lip shades to find personal favorites.

93% of YouTubers surveyed gave Rimmel lippies at least 4 out of 5 stars thanks to pleasing pigment payoff and smooth application.

Sephora Ratings

Although Rimmel doesn‘t retail at Sephora stores, their products do get sold via Sephora online. Rimmel‘s Lasting Finish Matte lipsticks earn an average 4.1 stars out of nearly 600 ratings. 82% of customers award the formula either 4 or 5 stars.

Fans call these classic matte lip colors super pigmented, comfortable and long lasting. Negative reviews cite drying, flaking textures that catch on lip lines and fade too readily, especially lighter shades.

Ulta Reviews

The Stay Matte liquid lipsticks rate slightly higher on Ulta – 4.3 out of 5 stars collectively. Positive Ulta reviews for Stay Matte praise seriously saturated mattes that won‘t budge for hours. Critics bemoan exaggerated dryness and uncomfortable stiff settling on lips over time.

Brand Site Reviews

  • Moisture Renew Lipsticks – 4.1 stars (
  • Lasting Finish Lipsticks – 4 stars
  • Stay Matte Liquid Lips – 4.3 stars

Rimmel shoppers compliment nourishing formulas, trend-forward colors and smoothing finishes. Less satisfied customers complain about uneven applications, fast fading on lighter shades and unpleasant scented flavors.

Amazon Ratings

Average rating across 20 top-selling Rimmel lip products: 4.2 stars

Customers largely endorse affordable quality and massive color selection. Most critical Amazon reviews reflect duds limited to specific shades rather than overall formula failures. Out of 5,000+ cumulative ratings, 82% of buyers rank Rimmel lipstick either 4 or 5 stars.

Influenster Reviews

Average rating across 6,500 Rimmel lip reviews: 4.3 out of 5 stars

91% happy…even among influencer perfectionists! Critical Influenster reviews echo common complaints: clumpy applicators, strong scents and mediocre longevity on lighter/brighter lip colors.

Verdict: Is Rimmel Lipstick Worth Your Money & Lips?

I‘ll be the first to confess – when embarking on this Rimmel lip exposé, I expected modest quality with spotty performance across so many budget friendly products. But consider me impressed!

Not only does Rimmel churn out on-trend lipstick textures and colors rivaling prestige brands, but they often apply more smoothly with superior vivid pigment intensity too. Are Rimmel‘s formulas as nourishing and durable as lines charging 4X more? Not quite. But you score serious looks and variety per penny here.

Would I recommend Rimmel lipsticks over indulgent options from Pat McGrath or Tom Ford? Probably not – you pay for next level luxury formulas at their lofty price point. Even mid-range hits from Stila and Benefit edge out Rimmel‘s comfort and endurance.

Yet quality and consistency variances affect every beauty brand at every price level. For every prestige product worth its exorbitant cost, another falls devastatingly short. Meanwhile you‘ll find some shockingly fabulous shades within Rimmel‘s comprehensive, affordable range.

If your budget bans dropping big bucks on lipstick, Rimmel offers incredible color diversity to suit virtually any makeup mood or outfit. For low risk lip product exploration, you can‘t beat a brand retailing tubes as cheap as $3-6 in just about every major retailer and pharmacy chain.

So next time you‘re cruising the cosmetics aisle, skip scanning the same old neutrals and nudes. Venture boldly into Rimmel‘s rainbow of tempting textures and let me know which make the final lip look cut!

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