Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Lipstick – Review and Swatches

Shake it off, Sara. You’ve done this for years. It’s just a blog, it doesn’t bite.

It’s been a while! My last post was a bunch of rubbish from October, and on Sunday we’ll be leaving the hellscape of 2017. I have no excuse. Actually, I have lots! No one’s here to read them, though. You’re here because I was powerless to resist the allure of Fenty Beauty’s colourful lineup of matte lipsticks with their silly names and Alissa Ashley’s honestly award worthy video on them.

It’s what kicked me back into blogging gear. No one wanted to hear another person’s thoughts on their Anastasia Subculture palette (sitting in my drafts in bullet point form). A whole new lineup of lipstick, though? From someone who delights in the strangest of shades? Released internationally on the same day with a very limited PR run? That’s an arena I can stick my head into.

 

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I’ve been working absurd hours, but I used the few hours of sleep I’d accumulated to limit myself to three shades. I was reasonably confident in the products – since my initial Fenty review, I’ve had great success with a split pan highlighter and multiple glosses (their universal gloss and a glittery christmas variation), and have become pretty confident in the brand. Nothing lures me in faster than a brightly coloured line of lipsticks, so this was the perfect launch for me. Almost all of the colours called to me – I had to put back a deep blue that didn’t seem quite opaque and a deep brown called PMS. I turned down a lipstick called PMS. After a lengthy decision making process, I ended up with colours from all over the spectrum.

The formula, overall, is stellar – with a caveat to expectations. If you’re expecting the longevity of a Mac retro matte or a liquid lipstick, with a name like Mattemoiselle, that’s not what this is. There’s a heavy emphasis on how these products make the lips look, and so there is no clinging to dry patches or skipping, there is a lot of creaminess. They are very honestly a creamy matte, more reminiscent of some newer Urban Decay comfort matte lipsticks or the creamier shades of Mac mattes rather than a retro matte or a Melt lipstick, for example. There is some inconsistency from shade to shade that I will touch on, and that I picked up with shades I didn’t purchase, but colours that are traditionally prone to skipping and tugging at the very least layer with ease. I was surprised at how plump and hydrated my lips looked in all of the shades, despite being anything but right now. Wear varies across shades, and the creamiest of shades have shorter longevity than the slightly waxier ones. The girls at Revelist were disappointed with the sacrifice of longevity to the traditional formula, but I think that the new age of all matte liquid all the time has skewed our expectations dramatically. This feels, to me, like how a good lipstick should feel. It looks nice and wears well, and you get the things from it that you lose in a liquid matte (comfort, wearing away without looking like the inside of your lip is crusting off).

The packaging is fine, I guess, but feels flimsy as anything with the metallic finish that shows any fingerprint you even think about making. They are also tiny, tiny, tiny things. It’s not that they contain a small amount of product – they’re 1.7g to a 3g Mac lipstick (obviously they are cruelty free, vs. Mac and their record in that respect), and AU$28 to the Mac’s AU$36, which isn’t the exact conversion, but it makes sense. It’s more that the actual lipstick borders on child sized. It’s nice for my little lips, but it would make for  slow application on people with bigger lips. It’s also rounded, which can make it more difficult to get precision on the upper lip.

Ready yourself for my traditional terrible swatches.

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L-R: s1ngle, one of the boyz, midnight wasabi

s1ngle

Almost all of the near-nude lipsticks that I own are liquid formulas, and recently on my days off/bold eye days, I’ve been feeling a little lower maintenance. On people with deeper skin, this looks less peachy, but I found myself drawn to just how smoothly this applied. My new silver/purple hair is also giving me more range with peach tones and I own very few of them. This is possibly the best of the lipsticks in application, despite being the lightest.

One of the Boyz

I have purple hair now, so I wanted to try lilac lipstick again. This one went on, again, very smoothly. It felt almost like a cream lipstick, even as it sat on my lips. These colours are not the most flattering on me, but I don’t really care.

Midnight Wasabi

Now, I own a lot of green lipsticks. As soon as I saw the pictures of this, I knew it was a pretty unique shade. I’d call it a muted forest green? It’s the stiffest of the three to apply, but it also lasts really well. It does also require two layers for even application, because it does tend to disperse from the upper lip.

Bonus photo of Midnight Wasabi after five hours of night time wear – no eating, but plenty of drinking. Ignore the rest of the makeup, which had been holding on for more like 14 hours at this point.

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I’m pretty pleased with that, for a creamy, comfortable lipstick.

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.

 

USA Haul 2016 (or: Acknowledging My Own Consumerist Failures)

I bought so many things, it is genuinely embarrassing. Makeup is a hobby and while I enjoy indulging in things I love, I also acknowledge the problems with buying into a culture that largely trades on commercialising femininity and insecurity but also weaponising those same ideas. It’s a complex industry in terms of its relationships with gender and sexism, and while I have long accepted that my enjoyment of it and my desire to express myself via aesthetic means being a part of that industry, that doesn’t necessarily mean just being complicit. I just think its important to acknowledge the interplays between what we do and how its impacted by the world around us and the intersections of circumstance that have led to this point. I’m holding myself accountable here and I told myself that no matter what I bought, I had to be transparent about it. It’s okay to treat myself, but I have to be honest about the ridiculousness of where that money has gone and how much I spent in the pursuit of material satisfaction and making myself feel lovely.

My thinking centred mostly around the ridiculous pricing of cosmetics in Australia, so I tried to stick to things that were either difficult to access at home or suffered in pricing comparison. I had been putting money aside and been minimising my spending in the months prior. I was also away over Thanksgiving/Black Friday, so I did try to maximise on sales and deals where possible. Alright, have you mentally prepped?

I’m not doing swatches here, but I will definitely be doing some reviews of certain things at later dates. Instead, just pictures and lists and maybe a little bit of explanation of what and why.

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  • Sephora Favourites Lash Stash to Go – I needed a new mascara (my Bobbi Brown mini that I took away was just not working out) so I figured the little sampler set with the voucher for a full size was as good of an option as any seeing as I don’t have any true favourite mascara. I basically took a stab on which one to redeem for, on a combination of reviews and chats with people – went with the MUFE. I have used the Blinc mascara before and know I like it for everyday, have been curious to try the Tarte mascara, and the others were a bonus
  • Urban Decay Electric Palette – A total impulse purchase. I was at the outlets outside of Portland in the pre Black Friday madness, and this was reduced in the Luxury Beauty Store to roughly $15, not to mention a further discount for their Black Friday sale that came off the whole sale. There was one palette left, and it’s something I’ve been lustfully eyeing for years, so the impulse purchase finally fell into place. For about $15AUD instead of around $80AUD at Mecca, I’m really happy to have some fun colours to play around with for special occasions and pops of brights
  • Lorac Pro 3 Palette (with Eye Primer) – I knew I wanted to try a Lorac palette, as they’re famously difficult to get to Australia, but the Mega Pro was overwhelming and honestly I didn’t need it, and of the normal pro palettes, this was the one that spoke to me. I’ve already got quite a bit of use out of this – warmer neutrals are my go to colours, and it isn’t as warm as the Modern Renaissance palette (which I somehow abstained from), so it’s a happy medium for me and the mattes blend really nicely.
  • Sephora Favorites Makeup Must Haves Set – This is a Sephora in JCPenney exclusive set, and a strategic purchase. I bought it because I needed a new beauty blender and a new Kat Von D Tattoo Liner (my forever liquid liner). The other things were little split offs – my sister wanted a red lip, and Nars Cruella is something I already own; my mum needed a new mascara, and this was before I had 300 minis; I have a friend who will really appreciate a little pan of Becca Opal with her Christmas presents (I already have one that I’ll never finish) and Urban Decay’s Mushroom is something I haven’t made up my mind on yet.
  • Sephora Favorites Hair Rescue Set – I don’t generally do the hair mask thing, so I didn’t think to bring any, but I forgot how brutal washing your hair constantly is and how terrible sea water and chlorine and sun and Hawaii in general are on my hair which is already bleached and bizarrely dyed. Instead of buying one hair mask for the time I was there, I figured I’d try a whole bunch, and I’ve actually really been enjoying them.
  • Sunday Riley Power Couple Set – I came into the trip knowing I wanted to buy Sunday Riley’s Good Genes, because I just wanted to try it (after sampling and making sure it didn’t mess up my skin which thankfully was not the case). I totally didn’t need the full size, though. And I have skincare coming out of my ears. So I bought the duo of half sizes with the Luna oil, and I waited til I got my december $20 voucher on a $50+ purchase, so this worked out cheaper than it was going to be. This was a pretty heavy planned purchase, though.
  • Kat Von D Everlasting Mini Liquid Lipstick Set – I love Kat Von D’s liquid lipstick formula, and I only own one of the colours in the set in a full size (Echo, and I have a friend who will happily take the mini off my hands). This was another planned purchase that worked out way cheaper in Portland than it would have been at home, and I’ve already been wearing certain colours loads. Sante Sangre is a notably beautiful bright red that became my Hawaii staple, and the set-exclusive Plath is truly gorgeous and I can definitely see it being popular in full size.

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  • Sephora Collection Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation – Wouldn’t spend the money on the Dior airflash, wanted to try an airbrush foundation, something light for summer.
  • Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk UV Foundation – This foundation does amazing things for my skin, but it costs nearly $100 in Australia and everyone is looking for the Luminous Silk. Even in the states, it’s tough to find in stores at it costs a bit over $60 USD. And then I was at the Luxury Beauty Store, and they had about three shades, and one of them was mine. For $40 USD. I worried about fakes, but I did all the googling, and it seems pretty legit, and it smells and feels like the formula which I’ve been milking samples of for more than a month now. This was a planned purchase as well, but it was planned for $64, so I’m glad it cost less than anticipated and I’m so glad I don’t have to ration it out anymore.
  • Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer – I’ve been meaning to try this bronzer for a while, but the urge finally reached its pinnacle, and Physicians Formula is so much cheaper in the states.
  • Milk Makeup Holographic Stick – Do I dislike the whole Milk Makeup aesthetic? Sure. But I, like everyone else who likes their makeup weird and often ethereal, was fascinated by this product. It is gorgeous on bare skin or a minimal base, has a beautiful shift, but it does feel a little greasy and it will shift what’s underneath it. I wore this one night in Hawaii with no other makeup and I felt like a goddamn fairy.
  • Mac Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Soft Frost – A white that breaks violet, so sort of like the milk stick but in powder form. Beautiful and ghostly and not out in Australia yet, of course, but will undoubtedly have a giant markup like everything else Mac in Australia. Planned purchase.
  • NYX Angel Veil Primer – Honestly, I just needed a primer before we went out one night, and I remembered hearing someone talk about this. Bad Sara.

 

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  • Foreo Luna Play (Black) – I wanted to try out this weird concept because Clarisonics seem like way too much for my very delicate skin, but they are hugely expensive. Turns out this thing is definitely not a staple, but it is really cool and I do really enjoy using it. Planned purchase, in some capacity.
  • Pixi Glow Tonic – This is hugely expensive in Australia, so I thought I’d try the small size, but my skin loathes a cult product. What else is new? It was cheap (I had a 25% off coupon) and someone else will love it
  • Tatcha Classic Rice Enzyme Powder – Could not bring myself to buy the set that had this and the Camellia cleansing oil with its weirdly fetishistic geisha namesake, but felt like I should try a Tatcha product and see what they’re about. Just got a mini because the brand’s marketing really irks me, but let’s see how the product goes.
  • Mario Badescu Facial Spray – Somehow I forgot that Hawaii was hot? This was $5 at Nordstrom Rack and it was nice for lying by the pool and for on the plane back to Australia.
  • Lush Sugar Plum Fairy Lip Scrub – I don’t know why I bought this in the US instead of getting it here, other than that I was out one day and my lips really needed a scrub. Bad Sara.
  • Make Up Forever Excessive Lash Mascara – This was the mascara I redeemed the Lash Stash voucher for, because it seemed nice? I’m not going to open it for a while, to preserve it from drying out. I gave my mother the mini.
  • Milk Makeup Tattoo Stamp – Ditto my earlier thoughts on Milk branding, but I am terrible at eyeliner art, and the idea of being able to easily apply little stars of eyeliner really appealed to me. Sephora don’t carry this product, but apparently Urban Outfitters do? It will be fun for specific looks.
  • Mac Sized to Go Pigments in Platinum, Tan and Blue Brown – These were all $5 for the days surrounding Black Friday (and no sales tax, thanks Oregon), and I would never in my life finish a full size pigment – I doubt I’ll finish a mini, to be honest. I wanted Blue Brown before landing, Tan seems really versatile and Platinum was an impulse. I wanted Rose, but sadly it was sold out everywhere.
  • The Body Shop Makeup Brushes – I shouldn’t have bought any Body Shop products, with my staff discount not being applicable overseas, but in a recent product information booklet it appeared that we’d be getting a limited release in Australia, and I thought I’d utilise the buy 2 get 1 offer on brushes. The fan brush is a little denser than my favourite Smashbox fan brush, a little too dense to properly diffuse highlight, but I love the eyeshadow brushes – I got for crease and for blending. Definitely softer and more effective than the already lovely brushes from TBS (I’ll be the hype woman for Body Shop brushes – they’re good stuff). I hope we get the contouring brush in Aus, because I’d like to try it.

Shall we tackle lipsticks?

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  • Urban Decay 24/7 Lipliner in 714 – This is in the LE Gwen Stefani packaging, but 714 is a lovely classic matte red and it’s a good liner to use with my finicky reds (714, Ruby Woo, etc). Shoutout to Nordtrom Rack thought – this was like $8.
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Lipliner in Deep – Apart from Junkie, all the UD lip stuff was Nordstrom Rack. Wanted a nice nude liner with a little brown to it because my only nude liners are either grey or pink toned.
  • Urban Decay 714 Lipstick – In the Gwen Stefani packaging, it doesn’t seem as matte as the current iteration of 714 (mega matte vice), but I find this to be a more workable version of Ruby Woo – a balanced retro red. My Ruby Woo is nearly finished and I wouldn’t repurchase that one.
  • Urban Decay Temper Matte Revolution Lipstick – I love the Matte Revolution formula (Bad Blood is one of my favourite red bullet lipsticks), so I thought I’d pick up a colour I don’t own a lot of. It’s not a true matte, but this is a pretty red orange shade. I haven’t worn this one yet.
  • Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Junkie – Hey, Urban Decay, bring the blue and green lipsticks to the Australian stores, alright? Don’t shaft us. This was an impulse purchase, and honestly seems similar to something like Lime Crime’s Serpentina (long destashed), but I love it.
  • Mac 4Eva Lipstick – This is a lovely light blue purple as opposed to the dark blue purples that dominate the blue purple market. Mac lipsticks are $17USD and $36AUD and honestly, I should have bought more and planned on buying more and can never get over how rubbish that markup is.
  • Mac A Perfect Score Lipstick – Post Black Friday, I scoured the stores to see which lipsticks had overstock marked down. Did I nearly buy a back up of my beloved Bowl Me Over? Yes, but I stayed strong. Instead, for less than $10, I nabbed A Perfect Score (naff theme aside, the It’s A Strike collection was kind of excellent for lipsticks) because it’s a close enough relative of Russian Red that it can serve as my backup for that, seeing as Russian Red is the only lipstick I routinely finish or need multiples of.
  • Mac All Fired Up – Sure, it’s in the Magic of the Night packaging (which will admittedly look beautiful in my collection of lipsticks), but All Fired Up is a really pretty red-toned fuchsia. I wore this a lot in Hawaii and it’s not as dry as a Ruby Woo which is the main deal with the Retro Matte formula for me.
  • Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte lipstick in Scarlet – My friend loves this formula and I wanted to try it and this was on sale at a CCO. First instinct: bit slippier than I go for, but I’ve only worn it once.
  • Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet in 403 – Was weirdly gravitating towards low maintenance lip colours? I shouldn’t have bought this. This was a Hawaii-brain purchase. It’s not a realistic Sara purchase. I like full impact. I did wear this a lot in Hawaii and hopefully I continue to this summer.
  • Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Duo in Sour Cherry/Gold – Honestly, Sour Cherry is a pretty standard red and I’m on record as not having enjoyed the last Amuse Bouche lipstick I tried, but this duo was $10 and the gold is gorgeous.
  • Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in True Grit – I wanted to try this formula and this was the colour that spoke to me, a true brown. It was between this and Out Loud, which is more of a pumpkin red orange and I kind of wish I’d gone with that, which is more unique in my collection.
  • NYX Cosmic Metals Lip Creams in Dark Nebula and Comets Tail – These are essentially highly pigmented glosses, so while they don’t wear well and feel really slippery, they pack one hell of a punch. I got so many compliments the day I wore Comets Tale in Portland.
  • NYX Butter Lipstick in Big Cherry – I took  my orange butter lipstick with me and was wearing it almost every day so I got this just so I could switch it up a little bit.
  • NYX Velvet Matte Lipstick in Midnight Muse – As if I wasn’t going to try another navy blue lipstick option.

The only non clothing and non makeup stuff I got was from Bath and Body Works, because the rest of it tends to be fairly accessible.

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I don’t need to go through that. Things will turn up in empties eventually. Essentially, I’m a sucker for things that smell like Christmas.

And then there’s some points/birthday/free things.

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Ulta really came through with the Benefit samples, despite me not caring for the They’re Real line. From Sephora, I (surprising even myself) opted for the skincare option of the birthday gifts over the Marc Jacobs makeup gift, because I don’t use black pencil eyeliner or neutral rosy lipsticks while I do enjoy cleansers and face masks. I redeemed (some) of my many points for the tiny Bite lipstick in Liquorice, the Estee Edit Pore Vanishing Stick and the Dr Brandt. Pores No More primer. The bigger kits didn’t really catch my eye.

And, um. That’s that. I’m too exhausted to self-flagellate anymore. I’ll probably have posts coming up on bigger ticket items, like the palettes, and I’ll definitely be looking closer at some lipstick formulas, but other than that, this is mostly a post about accountability and honesty. Here you are.

 

The Makeup I Travel With (AKA packing for a trip with a makeup hoarder)

Something different today, because I actually leave the country tomorrow and as I packed my makeup bag I was struck with the sudden urge to share. I do think there’s value in posts like there because it indicates what products I feel like I really do need or fit specific needs. I also totally understand the joy and fascination of peeking into someone else’s mind, not to mention their bags.

I’m off to two very different climates necessitating some very different products, but I also intend on buying a whole bunch because I’ll be outside of the notorious Australian makeup markup and have been popping money aside for a long time. I will also be going to a place that elicits a bit of discomfort in me right now, which I know is the everyday reality for a lot of people, and I strongly believe that the decision to remain apolitical is a political decision of its own. So in an environment where a lot of my identity is at total odds with the apparently opinions expressed by a distressing amount of people, I’ll continue to hold onto makeup as my masking device. My little comfort blanket, in spite its own deeply complicated relationships with consumerism and patriachy. On a less buzzwordy, personal level, I won’t bore you with my long mounting thesis on protest in makeup, but rather just dig into some quick photos and reasons behind the stuff that’s been shoved into my travel makeup bag.

My guidelines: minis where possible except on products that break easily, take stuff that’s near finishing if you’re intending on buying new stuff, pick products for sturdiness and versatility and lack of needing brushes. Perfumes that are small and don’t break easily, base products in squeeze tubes rather than glass bottles where possible, minimal on options (except in lipstick, where I know myself, and I know I need options and will wear an obscene amount).

Base

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  • Primer – Travel sized Hourglass Mineral Veil is the primer I’ve been using recently. This trip is not about heavy base makeup – half of it is going to be spent by the pool- so when I do wear it, I wanted something lightweight and smoothing, but not overly heavy or silicone feeling.
  • Concealer – Two concealers where I would normally carry one. The most essential, Maybelline Super Stay Better Skin, is lightweight but good enough coverage for round the face. I suspect I will not be sleeping much, because I’ll be sharing a bed, so I did also pack the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye for if we go out and I need to look like a human being who’s slept through the night.
  • Foundation – For full coverage in the colder half of the trip, Tarte Amazonian Clay which smooths my skin out and I can easily work with using my fingers. I really wanted to avoid bringing brushes. I expect to more regularly reach for the It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream for everyday, and I’ll just be using sunscreen alone the rest of the time. Really come to love this one and it’s very easy to use when your skin is on the oilier side – so for me, only during the warmer weather.
  • Powder and Brush – Pretty easy for me. Need a powder to pop in the bag on makeup days, and the one I use is The Body Shop All in One Face Base so I packed the retractable Real Techniques retractable bronzer brush to apply it with and then there’s the sponge inside for touch ups. I prefer that brush to their other retractable brush, didn’t want to bring multiple brushes, and really wanted to bring one with a lid.

Not-Base, Not Lipstick

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  • Eyeliner – Not bothering with eyeshadow, though some will probably be purchased, but an easy wing with the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is an easy way for me to look fancy.
  • Mascara – Just picked one of the two mascaras I had deluxe sample sizes of because I don’t have any that I adore open at the moment. This is the Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara and it’s nice? I only do mascara when I’m going out at night, so I didn’t need a real workhorse here.
  • Brows – One of the few steps I’ll probably throw on almost every day because of the sparseness where I’ve stress-picked at my brows through my life, not to mention how great the shape is at the moment. This is a mini It Cosmetics Brow Power pencil which is good if I want precision, but I also brought the mini Benefit Gimme Brow for an easier soft fill.
  • Perfumes – A few choices for different climates, sturdy small bottles that I’ve travelled with before. Solstice Scents Blackburn’s Parlour  is banana-vanilla-chocolate and I wear it in all weather, my ultimate comfort perfume; Solstice Scents Sycamore Chai is my favourite rainy day perfume; Fortune Cookie Soap Paradise Found is sweet and fruity and summery.

The Lipsticks 

Oy vey, the lipsticks.

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  • The Body Shop Lip Definer in Beech is a grey toned pink nude (?)  that wears beautifully alone or under most lipsticks to mute them, and NYX Sierra Lip Liner is my favourite deep red liner that isn’t too wine coloured
  • The Mac lipsticks are my collection staples and don’t require much thought – Russian Red is the perfect balanced red, Bowl Me Over is a more muted, rusty brown red and Antique Velvet is a rich brown with red hints. Clearly my favourites involve red and brown. I plan on probably picking up a few more reds abroad – Mac lipsticks are definitely a product Australians get shafted on.
  • For Kat Von D, one of my favourite liquid lipstick formulas, Lolita for the off chance that I decide to go neutral here and there and Nosferatu for when I want a red but in a liquid lipstick formula rather than Russian Red.
  • I find I only reach for bright, fruity colours on summer days, so some definitely-just-Hawaii colours are Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Showy (I may actually wear it in Sultry to the airport) which is the easiest crayon formula, and the NYX Butter Lipstick in Fireball is a hot orange red in a way glossier formula than I ordinarily go for, but nice for cocktails by the beach.
  • A couple of Pretty Zombie Cosmetics liquid lipsticks because I need my more out there colours on hand – I grabbed Sea Witch and 3 witches but there were lots of close calls.
  • Similarly, some witchy colours – Black Moon Cosmetics Armageddon and Sorrow which are truly beautiful and make me feel like a goddess.
  • I needed the possibility of a green, because I might feel like a green, so Impulse Cosmetics Boggart is one of my favourite metallic green shades and very serpentine on the lips. It’s an aesthetic I go for.
  • And finally, a comfy almost-neutral that makes my eyes look beautiful, Colourpop Ultra Satin Lip in Mess Around which I’m sure will get reached for a lot.

Look, I don’t recommend the average person takes a separate bag of lipsticks away with them. I don’t advise that they then intend on buying more. I don’t advise this lifestyle. I know my life and my limits, and I know that I wear at least two lipsticks a day, and I know that I’ll probably end up with new clothes which might match different things. I imagine this has given you some insight into my life and my lipstick drawer. These aren’t even my favourite lipsticks – I mean, lots are, but it’s missing some major ones (I’m not bringing any black lipstick or teal or bronze and even writing this is making me want to go and pack more, yikes).

I’ll be away until a bit into December, and then I launch into working retail christmas, which will be a combination of magic and sheer hell. I’ll do an empties post for the two months together, and my subscription boxes will most likely be late or missed all together (depending on how many shifts I’m working). I’ll also try and at some point to another Recent Lipstick Wrap-Up, with a couple of past purchases (Fyrinnae Magic Whipped Metallics, Colourpop Ultra Metallics, the new Body Shop liquid matte lipsticks and matte bullet lipsticks) and probably the ones I purchase in the US, but it might be a little bit overwhelming? We’ll see.

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!

 

 

New Fyrinnae Metallic Liquid Matte Lipsticks (quick swatch/review)

When it comes to liquid lipsticks, I’ve tried out…a lot of the market.

I have raved about the Fyrinnae liquid matte lipsticks three hundred times or more. Between these two posts on my old blog, I have swatched and reviewed nearly my entire collection (but I have more). I own almost all of the colours and there are a still a couple I am eyeing up: the other one that was released with these two, a beautiful matte-metallic purple shade called Vintage; a gold called Enchanted.

As a recap, or for the unfamiliar: the main selling point for me are the beautiful and interesting colours, as well as how light these feel on the lips. While they do feel drier than formulas like the NYX Matte Lip Creams or the Colourpop Ultra Satin lips, neither of which are particularly matte, I never feel like these are balling up or cracking on my lips and they don’t wear away in chunks (which is one of my many, many beefs with the Jeffree Star liquid lipsticks, and one shared by the Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipsticks). The formula, I will definitely say, is not the most consistent – there are definitely some hits and misses in the collection – but when they’re good, they’re great. They’re very thin and liquidy, so some have issues with opacity and there is a steeper learning curve than with some other brands, but the doe foot is good and a liner will fix most of the worst of it.

I also love supporting Fyrinnae – they’re one of the most consistent brands when it comes to indie cosmetics, and one of the few I can be bothered ordering from now in my weird stage of indie fatigue. Enter the three newest shades, released on sale while I was in hospital (though they normally retail for $10USD). I picked up the two that spoke to me he clearest.

So the blue. I picked the blue. It’s always the blue.

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Fyrinnae Sugar Coated

Sugar Coated is a blue shimmer over a black base, and it is stunning. It is the lipstick for all of your spooky witchy needs. You can kind of see that gorgeous blue sparkle here, but it shows up differently under different lights. It requires two coats (I did them wet) because otherwise the shimmer disperses a little unevenly, or it would be fine over a black or blue liner (NYX have a black lipliner). I ate a messy fish dinner and it held up with no smudging and fair colour loss.

I also picked up the red, because I’m a huge fan of two of their existing reds (Vixen and Naughty & Nice), and the metallic spin looked beautiful.

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Fyrinnae Candied Kisses

Candied Kisses is a metallic dark browned crimson. It isn’t a rich bright red – definitely less richness than Naughty & Nice – and the brown and purple tones differ depending on the light. I love the metallic finish, and it’s incredibly easy to get opaque, but it wears away faster than Sugar Coated and fades after a couple of hours. The Fyrinnae formula stands up really well to reapplication, so it’s not really an issue for me.

Overall,

Pros:

  • Beautiful colours
  • Comfortable formula
  • Wears away nicely and reapplies well

Cons:

  • Higher learning curve than mousse formulas
  • Can take a liner/second coat for even dispersion/opacity
  • Not as long wearing as some of the colours from the range

 

That’s a bit of a quick and dirty overview of the formula with my investigation of the new colours, which I adore. It was a blue on black lipstick – it was practically made for me.