Lipglosses I Suddenly Own (or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Gloss)

I have never liked lipgloss.

Even as a child in the height of lipgloss madness in the late 90s, I hated how sticky my strawberry kiwi Bonne Bell lip gloss was and how my hair would get stuck to it and would take a lip smacker over the gloss any day.

As a makeup enthusiast, I have heard the whispers for a while now. I knew that gloss was coming back, but I was pretending I couldn’t hear those whispers. I clutched my matte liquid lipsticks ever closer to my chest. Until a couple of months ago, I didn’t have a single lipgloss in my admittedly vast lip product collection.

Of course, you’ve seen the header photo for this post. I blame Rihanna. Gloss has been coming back for a long time, but something about the lipgloss that launched with Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line lodged in my brain. At the same time, The Body Shop launched some glosses. Naturally, I started wearing glosses daily – Apple Taffy became my go-to, thanks to my retail job – and then glosses were my wholly my thing.

And so the quest for the perfect gloss began. Let’s follow it, in chronological order.

The Body Shop Shine Lip Liquid in Apple Taffy and Cherry Gum – These are cheap, and they look lovely – Apple Taffy in particular – but they don’t wear long enough to be the perfect gloss (though they’re better than some). Still, they leave colour deposited well and they give a great level of shine, and they’re very comfortable. I don’t worry so much about stickiness, because my hair is almost always up when I’m working.  The applicator is the best thing about these? More glosses with this applicator. Apple Taffy is a very nude neutral, but not ultra opaque, and Cherry Gum is a bright pinky red.

Winky Lux Glossy Boss in Truffle – Truffle is a deep nude colour, and colour wise it is perfect. It is also one of the highest shine glosses I’ve tried, which was what I was looking for initially – that editorial, high shine nude, and this won out of all the ones at Mecca Maxima. The problem with this gloss is that it is wicked sticky. I don’t mind a little sticky, but aside from the Too Faced Melted Latex, I have never put a stickier product to my lips.

NYX Lip Lustre Glossy Lip Tint in Ruby Couture – This isn’t super glossy, but I like the marriage of a little gloss with a lot of colour and a decent tint on the lips. I was satisfied by how nicely this sat on my lips. This will probably be my low effort lip colour this summer, because it’s a basic red with an easy finish.

Smith & Cult The Shining Lip Lacquer in Flesh Riot – I went to swatch and probably buy the Fenty gloss, having finally decided that I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and of course it was sold out at all of the Sydney Sephora stores. The closest thing, it seemed, was this gloss by Smith & Cult, though it has a bit more pigment to it – it’s a nude gloss with a beautiful gold shimmer right through it. This one is beautiful on the lips, and perfect in consistency – not sticky, very shiny – but doesn’t wear very long.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in Kristen, Orchid and Vamp – I actually acquired one of these before any of the other glosses – Orchid was free at a Sephora opening a while back, but I was so grossed out by glosses that I hadn’t even opened it. These are the platonic ideal of a gloss, but I find myself shying away from them because they smell very strongly of fake vanilla. Like – very strongly. Kristen is a perfect pink-toned nude, Orchid is a bright violet, and Vamp is a very browned deep red.  I appreciate the range of colours and the shine of them, and the wear time is decent.

Fenty Beauty Cosmic Gloss Lip Glitter in Gal on The Moon – I adore this gloss. This is, not shockingly, my favourite gloss. It is so glittery and weird and I adore it. It’s basically a sheer violet base with a bunch of blue glitter in it and my god, you know I love weird glittery stuff. This was an absolute impulse purchase and I messed up. Layered over lipstick, though, or a nude liner – my god. Force of nature.

Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow – And finally, I caved and ordered this online, based on the recommendation and swatches of a wonderful friend of mine. My god, it is stunning. It’s thick and ultra glossy and strangely plumping in aesthetics, but not in feeling, without having any dominant colour other than a sheer rosiness.

I regret…nothing? I regret some things. I regret the Winky Lux gloss; I probably didn’t need those colours of the Anastasia glosses. But apparently I’m into gloss now.

I’m still a matte girl. I like my lips as dry and unwelcoming as the rest of my persona. Searching for myself through glosses has been a journey, and I’ve learnt about what I like and what I don’t. I think I’m at current max gloss.

Recent Lipstick Wrap Up – Swatches, Reviews and a Whole Lotta Lip Stuff

I was waiting to post this until some gorgeous friends returned from the US with a lipstick delivery for me – Mac’s Colour Rocker collection was going to fall into my hands, and we all knew it was inevitable. While I talk about those new arrivals, I figured it was also a great time to discuss some other brand new (and less brand new stuff): new additions to the excellent Sephora Cream Lip Stain collection, the Smashbox Always On liquid lipsticks and Winky Lux lipsticks that just launched at Mecca, Rimmel’s matte iterations of their Only One lipsticks and the Sugarpill liquid lipsticks that I’ve had since returning from the US and have so much to say about but have yet to form thoughts into some semblance of coherency.

Here are the swatches! There’s a certain colour palette evident in them that gives you a nice idea of what I’ve been gravitating towards recently.

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L-R: MAC Yash, MAC Show and Teal, MAC Deep with Envy, Rimmel 750 Look Who’s Talking, Rimmel 500 Take the Stage, Winky Lux Mermaid — Sugarpill Trinket, Sugarpill Pumpkin Spice, Sephora 17 Dark Red, Sephora 29 Dark Forest, Smashbox Out Loud

Bullets, then liquids. With my hair newly dyed, a lot more green in it, I’ve been gravitating towards dark teal and emerald shades. I’ve also been going for no makeup more often on my days off, when I’ll tend to just do a red lip or a neutral tone. I was also on a quest for the perfect burnt orange, which I think I’ve found.

Bullet Lipsticks

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Mac Yash (Permanent, top left) – Despite owning a frankly preposterous amount of lipsticks, it might shock you to know that I do not think that there are really…any real nudes in the bunch. There are a lot of brown-neutrals, which tend to be what I reach for in place of nudes, but they tend to be too strong and have too prominent tones on the odd occasion I want to play with a dark eye. I love the Mac matte formula, and looking at lots of swatches on lots of skintones, I decided that Yash was what I was looking for. It’s glorious, and just a notch past corpsey. I definitely won’t wear this on my palest and sickliest of days – the days where Crohn’s has ripped all of my life force out of me – but it’s something I feel like was actually missing from my extensive and ridiculous collection.

Mac Show and Teal (Limited edition, top right) – As far as teals go, I probably own more than one person should. There’s something lovely about this one – it teeters between a true teal and a sky blue. I didn’t have problems with opacity or adherence to my lips, but I did find it quite slippery for a Mac matte. This will be fairly high maintenance, because of that slip combined with the unforgiving colour. It’s the things we do for weirdness.

Mac Deep with Envy (Limited edition, middle left) – This colour makes me froth with glee. Just thinking about it excites me. It is definitely drier than Show and Teal or Yash, shows through a little more of the lip, takes a bit more layering…the payoff is that it lasts really nicely for such a wacky colour. With good lip prep, ensuring that my lips aren’t stained, it’s perfect. Just that colour, straddling the line between teal and forest green, almost with some blackness to it.

Rimmel The Only One Matte lipstick in 750 Look Who’s Talking (Permanent, middle right) – Speaking of the brown toned neutrals I tend to reach for instead of nudes, here’s one! I used my priceline voucher this quarter to try out this new branch of Rimmel lipsticks, but I wasn’t worried: the Kate Moss matte lipsticks are some of the best matte lipsticks at affordable pricing. These still have that typical Rimmel lipstick smell, but the formula is excellent – smooth and opaque, great lasting power, intensely comfortable. Not as matte as a Mac matte, but definitely something. I actually like these flat angled bullet shapes. Provided you’ve got fairly full lips, they allow for quite easy application.

Rimmel The Only One Matte lipstick in 500 Take the Stage (Permanent, bottom left) – I didn’t at all need another red lipstick. Particularly one like this, that is quite pink toned and shares a lot of DNA with lipsticks like Ruby Woo and all of its leagues of imitators. I absolutely have no need for this, but it is a completely practical lipstick for the everyday consumer, and I would definitely recommend this or one of the Maybelline Mattes as a nice staple that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Winky Lux Matte Lip Velour in Mermaid (Permanent, bottom right) – Let’s all stop and take a moment to acknowledge that this is absolutely not a matte lipstick. Lies and slander, Winky Lux. It is, however, a gorgeous colour. It’s Show and Teal and Deep with Envy had a baby in a cream finish. I’ll forever find justifications for different shades of teal. It’s dark but not gothic, and it’s kind of a nice change to have some dimension.

Matte Liquid Lipsticks

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Sugarpill Liquid Lip Color in Trinket (Permanent, top left just after initial application; top right after slight rubbing with finger to show gold glitter) – You’d think “Trinket is way too neutral for Sara” but you’d be wrong. I fell in love with this lipstick the moment I saw it on a gorgeous waitress in a seedy sports bar in Honolulu. We talked about it for fifteen solid minutes, she let me swatch it, and it was love. It’s mostly the way it transforms as it wears that bewitches me. It starts neutral-with-a-twist and gradually gets more and more golden, which is why I put two swatches there. It wears beautifully, but I do wish the colour to the base was a little stronger so that the colour didn’t lose itself to the micro glitter over time.

Sugarpill Liquid Lip Color in Pumpkin Spice (Limited edition, middle left) – I caved to all of the beautiful photos of this lipstick, despite knowing that gold is not really my colour. Sadly, this colour did what I dreaded it would do, and went on a bit sheerer than it looked like it would. It’s a lot more liquid than Trinket, and somehow the orange tones don’t transfer as much so it’s more neutral gold than pumpkin. Talking pumpkin, the pumpkin spice scent is heavy – if you’re sensitive on the lips, the cinnamon in this is definitely irritating on delicate sorts. With the metallic finish, it also wears away a lot faster than Trinket.

Sephora Cream Lip Stain in 17 Dark Red (Permanent, middle right) – It looks like the collection expansion that came to Australia is different to the shade expansion that the US got. It’s a bummer in that the more fun shades, other than the black, haven’t reached Australian shores, but on the bright side – different shades to explore that don’t seem to be around in the states. This dark red shade is not that dark, but it’s darker than 01 Always Red (the best red liquid lipstick about), which makes it perfect for me. Like the rest of the lipsticks in this formula, sans the few weird ones in the original collection, it’s opaque and comfortable and wears spectacularly and smells like cake. It’s become a new everyday colour for me.

Sephora Cream Lip Stain in 29 Dark Forest (Permanent, bottom left) – Very much the liquid lipstick version of Deep with Envy, so my platonic ideal of a lipstick. Great formula, obviously takes a tiny bit more work because the colour is so bold, and wears away a little more quickly.

Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in Out Loud (Permanent, bottom right) – I had heard such great things about this formula but the brown shade, True Grit, underwhelmed me and got a little flaky. With my recent gravitation towards anything burnt orange, I was excited that these finally hit Australian shelves and I got to put a Mecca voucher I had towards trying out what I’ve seen to be the standout shade from the range. Thankfully, this is incredibly comfortable – it feels like one of the Sephora brand ones on the lips. I’m not hugely into the giant triangle applicator, which makes it harder to get a clean application quickly. This wears wonderfully. It’s a great liquid lipstick.

Look, I know I have too much lipstick. You don’t have to tell me that.

 

Recent Lipstick Wrap-Up

With the amount of lipsticks I acquire, pass on, etc, writing individual reviews on them seemed like a bit of an overwhelming concept. Rather than going back and talking about these lipsticks one by one, I thought I’d pull them all and compile a post where I go into the details of each of the new lip products I’ve added to my collection over the last month. I am excluding products received in subscriptions, because both the bullshit jelly lipstick and the not-my-colour Face of Australia lipstick have passed in and out of my collection in record time.

Most of the lipsticks I’ve picked up recently have been new releases to the Australian market (Mac, Urban Decay, Makeup Forever). One was a replacement (the Body Shop lip liner). The other three were 3am purchases while on endone in hospital (Pretty Zombie Cosmetics). Were those good decisions? How do they look? How do they fare on the lips? Those details and more and things I feel confident sharing now I’ve given them all a good go.

I’ve been on a bit of a traditional bullet lipstick kick. It has a lot to do with those being a lot of new launches, but also the ease of reapplication. I still reach for liquid lipsticks constantly, but bullets have been catching my interest. Swatches of those bullets:

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From left to right, Urban Decay Vice Lipsticks in Conspiracy and Psycho, Mac Lipsticks in Bowl Me Over and Midnight Troll, Makeup Forever Artist Rouge Lipstick in M401

And the liner/liquids –

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L-r: The Body Shop Lip Definer in Hot Date, Pretty Zombie Cosmetics Liquid Lipsticks in Transylvania, Jupiter and Broomstick

I’ve included my classic low quality lip swatches, and I’ll talk about each lipstick one by one. I’ve got plenty to say about most of them.

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Urban Decay Conspiracy is a described as a “plum bronze shimmer with a metallized finish” and I’d argue that not much of that plumminess comes through on the lips. The shimmer is a warmer copper but the brown beneath reads as neutral to me. I will say that it does swatch with the promised plum, but I’m glad I gave it a shot based on the Temptalia swatches – it’s gorgeous and brown on. As a metallized finish, I was glad that it didn’t feel gritty – the shimmer is smooth – but it’s not going to wear as long as a matte, and has an inherent slip to it. As such, it’s not one I find myself reaching for that often. It’s more of a statement lipstick with specific looks. It conveys a very specific aesthetic. Love, like, loathe? At the moment, I’d say I like this lipstick. It’s ok.

Urban Decay Psycho, my least favourite term for people with mental health problems or who act in any way that someone doesn’t approve of, is nonetheless a gorgeous lipstick and is described as a “bright rose with iridescent blue micro sparkle in a comfort matte formula“. I’d say it was closer to a magenta than a rose – surely there’s too much red to call this rose, but what do I know? The blue sparkle is surprisingly prominent, which was what made this lipstick stand out to me amongst the overwhelming launch. It has a good level of dimension on the lips, but from this distance has that same matte appearance that I enjoy, and it’s a cool balance. The comfort matte formula is nice and the wear time is decent. It doesn’t wear as well as some of the other lipsticks here (Bowl Me Over, M401), but it’s impressive for something with sparkle. My main issue is a little bit of grittiness on application, but it wasn’t perceptible on the lips. Love, like, loathe? Another one I’m not head over heels for. It’s a lipstick I like, and wear for the colour sometimes, but I don’t love it.

Mac Bowl Me Over is from the recent (ridiculous) It’s a Strike! collection, and is called a “deep burnt brown with a retro matte finish“. On other people I’ve seen, this reads red, but I’m true to the description and all about the brown with that little rusty redness beneath. It’s a retro matte, but it feels nicely creamy and still has the lasting power – it isn’t like a Ruby Woo retro matte that drags on the lips and feels like it’s going to crumble. As a retro matte, it will highlight any flakiness on the lips (and any staining – I some other lipstick staining going on), so make sure your lips are prepped. As ridiculous as the collection was – a bowling collaboration? really? – I’m pretty happy with this colour, and i completely understand why I felt so drawn to it. I have been wearing it a lot. It’s a happy medium between neutral and a little bit interesting. Sadly, it’s limited edition, but the colour feels dupeable if not in the same formula. I’m glad I didn’t have to pay $4 extra for fancy ridiculous bowling inspired packaging. Love, like, loathe? Love. I flat out love this lipstick. I hate myself for buying into the limited edition Mac hype machine, and this ridiculous collection, but this lipstick is amazing.

Mac Midnight Troll, a “rich blue in a matte finish“, comes in some of the tackiest packaging that has ever affronted my eyeballs and yet speaks directly to my soul. It appeals to some people’s nostalgia (I was never that big on troll dolls), but what really catches me is the fact that this is a rich blue lipstick in a neon orange tube. Do I hate the rubberized finish, a magnet for markings and dust? Absolutely. Did I begrudgingly hand over the full price? Of course. I had been ignoring Mac’s permanent navy offering, Matte Royal, on the grounds of its sub par formula and too-purple undertones, so this filled that gap of being exactly as blue as I wanted it to be. I, in spite of myself and full of grumblings at the cost, love the Mac matte formula, and this has decent wear time, opacity, and feels super comfortable on the lips, which are things that you don’t often see in the blue lipstick market – often it’s a trade off on some fronts. Some days I don’t feel like the full on, high maintenance avenue of a liquid lipstick, you know? I took this out of the packaging one night when I was chatting to two beautiful makeup artists and a silence fell. It’s stunning. Love, like, loathe? I’d say I really really like this. It’s borderline love. Not quite full-blown.

Makeup Forever Artist Rouge Lipstick in M401 is described on Temptalia as a “medium-dark red with neutral-to-cool undertones and a semi-matte finish” and while I agree with most of that, this is about as matte as as a bullet lipstick gets without feeling like Ruby Woo on the lips (aka crumbling and dry and making you want to cry). Mine is the Icona Pop edition, but I really just grabbed it because I was considering Urban Decay’s 714 as a matte red, and I wanted to try a different formula of bullet lipsticks because the Urban Decay ones had been all like and no love for me. I’m really glad I went for this one. It’s a pretty typical red, no two ways about it. Neutral cool is accurate, but I’d say medium-bright – it’s a very pin-up red. It’s very matte, wears well, and I love the pointed bullet because it makes application super easy. I would definitely consider getting more lipsticks in this formula, despite previously having no interest. Love, like, loathe? I really actually love this lipstick.

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The Body Shop Lip Definer in Hot Date is a pretty standard lip liner colour – a deep berry pink with red tones (much more pinky red than the lipstick of the same name from The Body Shop) – but it’s the formula that’s appealing. I’ve tried a hell of a lot of lipsticks, but I love how pigmented most of these are, and how creamy they are without being the kind that break easily or get used up really quickly. They’re comfortable enough to wear alone, but have enough light waxiness to really grip the lips and stay in place. I haven’t quite finished my first pencil in this colour, but it’s a tiny little stub that I keep in my locker at work. I will say that the quality is not consistent from colour to colour, but the only ones that have let me down are the very light nude (Golden Syrup) and, for some reason, the pink (but it looks great on everyone else???). The rest are gorgeous and I wear them all the time, on days off and work days alike. Beech is another particular favourite because it’s the perfect slightly grey neutral, and Coral Blush is the perfect red toned coral. Love, like, loathe? I hate when I sound like an advert, but these are a body shop product that will definitely remain a staple no matter where I work because I love them, especially at the price they are – $15.95 is really great.

Pretty Zombie Cosmetics Liquid Lipstick in Transylvania is described as “dark purple” but, much to my delight, it’s got plenty of blue to it. I know a lot of people in the indie community are not cool with PZC thanks to their cribbing off of My Pretty Zombie’s name in order to tap into the popularity. In the hierarchy of brand sins, it’s not great, but I’d rather they had my money over someone like Jeffree Star. Everyone is problematic. The formula is one I have reviewed in the past on my old blog and it is one of my absolute favourite liquid lipstick formulas. It isn’t smudge proof, but it is hugely long wearing and incredibly comfortable and non-drying. Most of them (with the exception of one) are truly opaque. Everything about the formula rings true here. With such a dark colour, some work is required to keep it neat, but it’s beautiful. Love, like, loathe? Love it so, so much.

Pretty Zombie Cosmetics Liquid Lipstick in Jupiter is a “dark teal-green” and it’s beautiful. That’s basically all I have to say. The formula is consistent. It was the first colour that called out to my endone-addled brain. I adore it. Love, like, loathe? Love with my whole heart.

Pretty Zombie Cosmetics Liquid Lipstick in Broomstick is the “dark brown”, and the only one of the three that I was slightly underwhelmed by. That’s purely because of how dark this dark brown is – it’s difficult to tell this is even a brown, because it borders so heavily on black. I was kind of hoping for something truer to the website swatch. That said, it’s still a nice colour and really good for when I don’t want the full intensity of a black – it’s softer. The formula is again consistent with the others. Love, like, loathe? I like this one, and I like it a lot, but I don’t love it like the others.

Recent lipsticks, wrapped up and reviewed. This should probably recur, but I am planning on going slow this month. November/December I will be in the US, and it is likely to be a bit of a wild time for shopping and caving to rampant consumerism.. Send strength.

Posts like these do make me consider my role in consumer culture, but lipsticks are a thing that make me happy, and I buy them for myself. I wear them and enjoy them, and they are almost always very well thought out purchases. Bar those last three. It’s still important to call into play the role that society’s demands on women play in shaping my identity, and shaping that idea that I wear makeup “for myself” – I want to feel good, and I feel good in lipstick, but what are the reasons for that? It’s more complex than a simple “because it looks nice”. It’s a bunch of reinforcement and culture immersion and messages in media and patriarchal pressures. Beauty can be seen as a trivial thing, but it sits at the intersection of a lot of issues of race (regarding trends, colours, marketing), gender (to ridiculous extents) and sexuality (don’t even get me started on the heterosexuality of makeup). I just think it’s important to be mindful.

 

 

Black Moon Cosmetics – Black Metal Trilogy: Liquid Matte Lipstick Review (and Dupes)

I bought the Black Metal Trilogy from Black Moon Cosmetics because my family got some awful news, I was having a weak moment, and instagram is a dangerous place. Seriously, have you seen these?

I will preface this review by saying that since these lipsticks arrived in the mail, I have worn Sorrow and Armageddon and almost nothing else, without fail, every day I’m not at work. If you don’t feel like reading a rambling review, that should give you a little insight into my thoughts. I can also quite summarily say that if you are Australian, these beautiful suckers are expensive. I ended up spending about $90AUD on these in total, and while  $30 a piece isn’t too bad for a lovely liquid lipstick, it’s a lot to spend on something you can’t swatch in person and on something you might not wear every shade of. While they did, at first, feel utterly unique, it was kind of sad to look into my collection and realise I own a collection of liquid lipsticks that have gone for a very similar effect that do retail separately and cost significantly less, albeit the formula has a couple more kinks. These thoughts and more to follow!

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Packaging – I mean, usually I wouldn’t mention it, but the packaging for these is some of the most beautiful I have ever seen in my life. I tore into the box far too quickly to get those beautiful photos I wanted to take, but the black with silver accents – unf. The tubes themselves are very witchy and look like little magical vials and it’s so in line with everything I go for. The doe foot applicators on these are also huge and paddle-esque, but enable a really neat application with a clean line.

Formula – Consistently between the three of these liquid lipsticks, there is one swipe opacity and a beautiful matte metallic finish on the lips. Not as metallic as something like the LA Splash Day of the Dead collection, but pretty intense. They also smell of cupcakes, and not in the way that makes me want to throw up. Despite being fairly consistent, there is a weak shade of the three – Immortal, the purple, lacks the same intensity of the other shades, and is a bit denser in glitter so requires a bit more work to get the actual pigment spread around. Sorrow and Armageddon are actually dreams to work with. They feel drier on the lips, obviously, than a cream formula, but as far as matte liquid lipsticks go they are some of the least drying I have used. While you can feel them on the lips, there is no cracking or peeling, and it’s easy enough to ignore them.

Wear Time & Reapplication – I have photos of some wear below, but these are some extremely stubborn liquid lipsticks. They do wear away in spots  when faced with oily food, but will look near perfect after snacking and drinking. Armageddon is particularly wonderful for this. They reapply extraordinarily well, without any flakiness or clumpiness.

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This is Armageddon after going to town on some churros and a can of coke

Colours/Lip Swatches – My favourite of the collection is Sorrow, for obvious reasons. Have you read this blog before?

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Sorrow

It’s like I’m wearing the night sky on my lips. The opacity is outstanding, especially for a blue lipstick. It’s a compliment catcher – I’ve never worn this and not had people comment on how gorgeous it is. It’s definitely on the cooler side of navy blues, and I’d say it’s black based – blue on black.

I’ve worn Armageddon nearly every day since owning it, because it’s normal enough that I can throw it on to walk the dog without too much fuss (it’s red, after all), but there’s that extra level brought to it by the metallic nature that makes it more than an ordinary red.

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Armageddon

The shift to Armageddon is silvery, and the red base is a cooler toned red. It’s a killer combo.

Immortal is definitely my least favourite of the three, but that’s not to say it’s not gorgeous. It’s more to do with the fact that I don’t tend to wear greyer toned purples as often, as well as the chunkier formula, with a more tangible glitter to it.

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Immortal

The actual purple is a grey toned smoky purple with silvery green reflects, and I just find it wears quicker and takes more work to apply. By “more work”, I mean it takes about a standard amount of work for a metallic liquid lipstick, which is not what I was used to with the first two shades.

Dupes/Alternatives – Ordinarily I shudder at the overuse of “dupe”, but the reality is that with such lovely colours brought onto the market, I also have a huge distaste for inaccessibility. These lipsticks, beautiful as they may be, are not the most accessible. When I bought them, slightly feverish and lured in by the idea of artificial scarcity from the “limited edition” label, a lot of that had to do with the fear of missing out, and the lack of ability to buy them separately. I didn’t think about the Australian dollar, or the shipping, or the fact that Immortal was probably not for me, and I knew that reviews of the brand were scarce and reviews of these specific colours would be even harder to come across. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to make sure I had given these are really sturdy test before I wrote this review.

When we get swept up in things, we’ll convince ourselves that they are more unique than they actually are. These lipsticks, while absolutely beautiful and worth it – for me, as a lipstick devotee and someone who values and uses them enough to see the worth in an impeccable formula – are not as unique as my initial gut sense screamed at me based on instagram posts. On receiving them, my first familiar instinct was to pull them up against a recent colour release from a favourite formula of mine, some Fyrinnae liquid mattes:

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From top to bottom, that’s Fyrinnae’s Phantasma on top of Immortal (biggest difference between shades – Immortal is much warmer next to Phantasma); Fyrinnae Candied Kisses on top of Black Moon Armageddon (Candied Kisses is a slightly more orange toned red); Fyrinnae Sugar Coated on top of Black Moon Sorrow (near identical in colour terms). Off the top of my head, I suspect Sorrow would also be similar to Impulse Cosmetics’ Poe, which I don’t own.

The differences, while there, aren’t huge. On the lips, minor. I’m probably even overestimating them based on my own obsessiveness in regards to colours. The Fyrinnae formula is a lot more watery, and does require either a liner or a couple of thin coats, but it shares the same comfort on the lips.

 

TL;DR – The fact of the matter is that if these aren’t colours that you need need need, there are other things out there that are available separately and aren’t limited edition and don’t cost $90 shipped to Australia.

I personally am thrilled with this purchase. I love Armageddon and Sorrow and can not stop wearing them. That won’t stop me whipping out Candied Kisses and Sugar Coated, because I love them as well (I reviewed them here), but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I loved the ease of applicated provided by the simplicity of applying a bold metallic colour in one stroke. If Black Moon Cosmetics bring out more unique shades, I now have a great deal of faith in their ability to formulate them. With shades I can get elsewhere, available individually, they might not be my first pick.

Rating – Armageddon – 5/5

Sorrow – 5/5

Immortal – 3/5

Black Moon Cosmetics Black Metal Trilogy – 4/5 (With footnotes)

“My heart is breaking”: Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipstick in Kale – review

Let’s start with the obvious: this lipstick is beautiful. When Bite Beauty decided to bring out a selection of shades for Summer and I saw that half of them were these beautifully rich, dark colours, I was psyched. So psyched, in fact, that I couldn’t wait for them to amble their way over to Australia, if indeed they ever get over here. I have poor impulse control when it comes to blue and green lipsticks. It was a costly and complicated ordeal and I don’t want to talk about it. I was well-behaved, though. I only ordered one, the single most enchanting lipstick I had seen: Kale.

Kale is a blackened forest green. It is completely unique in my collection, and if you’re familiar with my collection, that is saying something. It looks straight up black in some lights, but there’s a lit-from-within unmistakably green tilt. I could wax poetic about the colour for hours, but instead, here’s a photo.

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It is a pure sexy sea witch colour.

But sadly – and god, it is sad – I have qualms. Mostly, they’re my own fault. I digress.

The colour goes on mostly opaque, though it does drag a little on initial application. It smells like lemon cleaning products, but not in an unpleasant way and I’m kind of into it. Once on the lips, it’s a distinct cream finish, so your enjoyment of it will come down to your enjoyment for cream finishes and formulas. I had conveniently forgotten that I am…not a fan.

The cons. Ay.

Without a lip primer or liner, this colour has the tendency to do that thing when it separates on the upper lip and you try to fix it by applying more and it just makes things worse. When adequately prepped, like in this photo (I used the Too Faced Lip Insurance in this instance), it’s not as much of a problem.

This lipstick is so damn slippery. I love it, and I want to wear it forever, but it slips and slides around on my lips like no one’s business. I can get maybe two hours of comfortable and appropriate wear without weird slip’n’slide lip action going on and everything looking a mess. With less intense, beautiful colours, it’s not a problem, but with this colour, it’s so obvious that there’s no avoiding it.

Not sure if it’s just my bullet, but it is nearly impossible to get a clean line with direct application. The bullet has no sharpness to it, and while that’s resolved with a liner or applying with a brush, I am notoriously lazy and need to be able to apply my lipstick straight from the bullet on the go from the bullet, as is. Here is an unfortunate, unflattering close-up of what I am talking about:

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It’s  not atrocious, but it’s not great. I hate looking messy when I’m wearing a lip as high impact as this. I want to look my sexy goddamn sea witch best, right?

Alright. I’m calm.

This lipstick is beautiful. It’s one of the prettiest colours I own, and were it in a liquid formula I love or a great matte, I would wear it next to non-stop. If you love hydrating cream formulas, you might love it, and I might very well love this formula in less intense colours.

But these lipsticks retail for $40 in Australia, and these colours aren’t currently and may not be available in Australia at any point in the future. Who knows. So to pay to have this shipped over via a third party from the US, was it worth it? I’m glad I have it to play with, but I honestly just don’t know.

I’ve heard nothing but raves for this formula, and truly, so so beautiful, so take my review with lots of salt grains, but the overall melancholy is palpable.

Onwards with your lipstick ventures!