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:
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 –
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.
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.
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.