The Lipstick Conundrum

Let’s talk about something trivial, insignificant and totally insubstantial. Let’s talk about lipstick.

The craze for gincu is real these days, and I’m not immune. Definitely not an expert by any means, and what little I’ve tried is nothing compared to the extensive collection of any of your favorite beauty vlogger and influencer. But regardless, I’ve made a list of some of my favorites, frequently-used lip products at the moment in no particular order. It was on my laptop for quite sometime as my own personal reference. I posted it here now, just because. Take it for what it’s worth. Or not, whatever.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita II and Project Chimps

The Everlasting line in general is my favorite liquid lipstick formula on the market. It has one of the most comfortable yet long lasting formula. The consistency is very liquid-y but dries down quickly to a powdery matte finish that’s completely transfer-proof after application. It’s super lightweight, last a really long time and do not feather on the edge even when applied without lip liner. Fragrance-free, but there’s a very faint paint smell on the first whiff that disappears completely after a few seconds. It’s vegan and cruelty-free, and all four shades that I owned have amazing color payoff on first swipe. Like any other liquid lipstick, Everlasting is not oil-proof so it usually fades on the inner lips after eating. But even then it’s super easy to touch-up because the layers blend real nicely.

Another good thing about Everlasting is it fades instead of crumbles. Personally, there’s nothing worse than a crumbly, flaky liquid lipstick yang rontok and left you with flakes or sand-like crumbs, semacam serbuk-serbuk kasar that gets freakin everywhere and gives you very obvious “butthole lips” but impossible to layered over *cough, Colourpop Ultra Matte old formula, cough*. Everlasting stays nice and crumble-free even after multiple layers and a couple touch-ups. It also has a long, thin, aesthetically pleasing packaging which is a bonus. Worth every penny and I can’t recommend it enough.

My two favorites from the line are Lolita II and Project Chimps. The first shade, Lolita II, is a cult-favorite and for a good reason. It’s such a beautiful and flattering everyday color on almost every skin tone, the perfect medium rosy terracotta with warm undertones. It goes on quite light, but nothing a slightly thicker coat or a second coat can’t fix.

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Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita II

Project Chimps is a limited-edition shade created in collaboration with Project Chimps, an organization that provides sanctuary for retired chimpanzees who fall victim to animal testing procedure in biomedical research labs. It is a good cause, and the shade itself is a stunner and unique.

Not quite a brick red, Project Chimps is best described as warm rusty red that looks slightly different under different lighting, and definitely a one-of-a-kind. I’m more of a cool undertones red myself, but this particular shade is just irresistible. The only downside is, like any other lipstick with warm undertones, it emphasizes yellow teeth.

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Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Project Chimps

L’Oreal Colour Riche Moist Matte Lipstick in Maple Mocha and Collection Star in Pure Garnet

L’Oreal Lipsticks are seriously underrated, people don’t rave about them enough. Their moist matte formula is one of the best in drugstore. It’s super comfortable and has amazing pigmentation. Seriously, the color payoff is quite impressive. It went on a bit shiny, but I usually wear them blotted and matte. The lasting power is good for a bullet lipstick. It’s not transfer-proof but even after eating something extra greasy like ayam kremes, there’s still some color left on the lips so I consider it a win. It’s completely fragrance-free, which is important for a bullet lipstick because unlike liquid lipstick, the scent usually doesn’t go away after application. A badly scented bullet lipstick is a big no.

My first L’Oreal lipstick was this understated warm pink-brown called Maple Mocha. This is my go-to everyday lipstick, it’s apparent in the picture below there’s only so little product left. It’s the perfect MLBB shade for my skin tone and the formula makes it really comfortable for everyday use.

Awhile ago this particular shade became quite popular because L’Oreal included it in their Ada Apa Dengan Cinta 2 Beauty Box, the Cinta‘s Look.

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L’Oreal Color Riche Moist Matte in Maple Mocha

My second favorite is Pure Garnet from the Collection Star line. It’s a stunning deep wine red in moist matte formula that looks really good blotted. Colors like this are usually very tricky – they tend to be patchy. But Pure Garnet works fine on me and looks flattering on warm skin tone.

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L’Oreal Collection Star in Pure Garnet

Stila Stay-All-Day Liquid Lipstick in Fiery

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Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Fiery

Man, where do I even start with this one.

Fiery is it for me, my holy grail cool-toned deep red. This particular red shade is just stunning. The formula is perfection, has a thick, creamy consistency that dries to a matte finish. But it’s no ordinary matte. The photo above was taken with a dried-out, almost empty tube that didn’t do this lipstick justice. But on it’s normal state, Fiery doesn’t settle on the fine lines at all, resulting in a flawless-looking matte lips unlike any other.

It has a pleasant milky, cake-like scent. Amazing color payoff and opaque in one swipe, but layered really well. The longish, doe-foot applicator works really well with this kind of liquid lipstick. Lasted a really long time, but tends to smudge and bleed a little on the outer edge.

Dose of Colors Matte Liquid Lipstick in Cork

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Dose of Colors Matte Liquid Lipstick in Cork

We have tumultuous relationship, Cork and I. From swatches online it seemed like a yellow-toned medium brown, or what I initially dubbed as ” interesting turd color”. But on my lips it’s just a cool toned deep brown and I was disappointed. The formula was horrible too at first – thick and flaky.

But surprisingly Cork improved with time. As the product became drier and less liquid-y in the bottle, it became much easier to apply and ten times more comfortable as well. It last quite a long time and no longer flaky. It has a slight drag when lips were rubbed together, but remained transfer-proof throughout the day. Also the color kinda grown on me – it is a deep but vibrant (?) brown, and not at all the greyish, corpse-like brown that’s really on trend right now. And the yellow-y turd color that I’m after did show up on certain lighting so that’s a plus. Cork also has a nice, milk chocolate-y scent. Combined with the brown color, it always reminds me of Choki Choki.

In addition, Dose of Colors definitely has one of the best liquid lipstick packaging and applicator of all time. Seriously, the applicator is supreme. The color selections, though, suck. I wish they would expand to daring, bold colors instead of same old pinks, nudes and browns.

Lancôme Juicy Shaker in Cherry Symphony

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Lancôme Juicy Shaker in Cherry Symphony

I hate lip tint. Even when the craze for Korean makeups and lip tints started a couple years back I could never get into it. The reason is quite simple: lip tint just doesn’t work on me. I have uneven-colored lips with prominent dark pigmentation on the outer edge. Moreover, I have no define lip line both on my top and bottom lips. Thus lip tint, in any color and formula, just look weird on me. But then came along Juicy Shaker the brainchild of my favorite beauty guru on YouTube, Lisa Eldridge.

Actually, no. Scratch that. Calling Lisa, an accomplished professional makeup artist, a “beauty guru” is like an insult.

Right. Juicy Shaker. Cherry Symphony is a tinted lip oil in pretty raspberry pink shade. To use it, you need to first shake the cocktail-shaker-like bottle to mix the oil and the pigment while also soaking the pointed sponge applicator with the product. This sponge applicator though, is superb. Its pointy end makes it easy to reach the cupid’s bow and lined the outer edge. It goes on sheer at first, but easily buildable. And because it’s an oil, the color disperse evenly instead of gather in the inner lips and settle on the fine lines. My favorite way to use it apart from on its own, is to layer it over Lolita II to give it a nice sheen and a slight gradient look.

The only downside – and what a major downside it is – is the price. This product is EXTREMELY OVERPRICED. The caps locks are justified, because the price is mind boggling for what basically is a scented lip oil with color pigments in cute packaging. Well, it’s Lancôme what do you expect. And it’s not like this is a bad product either, but definitely NOT going to repurchase nor recommend this product to anyone. Including my past-self, if I could go back in time.

Man, what the hell was I thinking…

Colourpop Ultra Matte in Mama

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Colourpop Ultra Matte Lipstick in Mama

In my quest to find the perfect burnt orange lipstick, I stumbled upon Mama – a vibrant burnt orange. This lipstick exceeded expectations, considering it’s from Colourpop. I assume this is a new Ultra Matte formula, because it’s completely different from their old ones.

For once, it’s a much more comfortable formula. Nowhere near the comfort level of, say, KVD’s Everlasting but definitely an improvement. The trick with this one is to apply it as thin as possible, and since the pigmentation is great there’s no need to go for the second coat anyway.

But the most jarring difference is the finish. As shown above, there’s a sheen because it doesn’t dry powdery matte. Don’t get me wrong, it is a matte lipstick – transfer-proof, drying and all. But instead of powdery-smooth, there’s a slight drag to it when rubbed. Everything else – consistency, scent, packaging, applicator – is still the same.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Double Dare and Plath – a muted pink-brown and a deep warm-toned reddish brown, respectively. Both are excellent lipsticks for reasons stated above.
  • NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in any shades – the lipstick that sparked the liquid gincu fever. Definitely a lip cream instead of a liquid lipstick, so it’s comfortable and versatile but not super long lasting. Wide color range, affordable and available almost everywhere. Personal favorites include Cannes (mauve-y MLBB), London (warm brown nude), Prague (medium magenta).
  • Lonely Planet Liquid Lipstick in Brick City – a brownish brick red. Pigmented with decent staying power and nice black forest cake (?) scent. Versatile and blends really well on top of any lipsticks.
  • Jouer Long-Wear Lip Crème Liquid Lipstick in Dahlia – a stunning metallic plum. Soft whipped cream texture, crumbles quickly without a layer of lightly blotted lip balm underneath. One of my favorite liquid lipstick packaging ever- minimalist and straightforward.
  • Ofra Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Miami Fever – a unique bright rust orange. Has a pleasant coconut scent, whipped texture, not drying but not transfer-proof either. Thank God they decided to change their packaging because with the price, the old packaging is so freaking ugly and cheap-looking.
  • NYX Butter Lipstick in Licorice – a deep cranberry. Like the name suggests, it has such a nice, buttery texture. Glides on smoothly on the lips, good color payoff and fragrance-free but flimsy packaging.
  • Lime Crime Velvetines in Pumpkin – a muted burnt orange. I have mixed feelings towards the line, but this particular shade is a stunner with outstanding formula.
  • MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo a neutral vivid red. The most iconic red lipstick of all time. And for a good reason too, because it is fabulous. Extremely dry, hard-to-apply matte formula, definitely not for everyone.

Dishonorable Mentions:

  • LA Splash Smitten Lip Tint Mousse in Nymphaea and Inflamed – a greyish brown and a deep cherry red, respectively. Crumble within SECONDS after application, extremely heavy and uncomfortable on the lips, DREADFUL chemical scent, and streaky. I despise them with a fervor.
  • NYX Round Lipstick in any shades – horrible, extremely strong, headache-inducing perfume-y scent that NEVER go away. Too bad, because color payoff is decent.
  • Cailyn Pure Lust Extreme Matte Tint in Demonist – stunning metallic berry color. Pleasant scent, nice whipped cream texture but horrible formula. Crumbles within minutes, and I can’t make it work no matter what.
  • Colourpop Ultra Matte old formula in any shades – it’s like pouring cement on your lips. Streaky, impossible to touch up, crumble in flakes and sit heavy on the lips.
  • Wet n Wild Mega Last Lip Color in any shades – amazing color selections, but extremely waxy and heavy on the lips. Some darker shades are patchy and stained for days. Notorious for having a bad packaging, and I wholeheartedly agree.
  • Revlon Lacquer Balm in Whimsical – an extremely sparkly pink. Pleasant minty sensation but weird formula. No matter how many times I apply it the pink color barely show up, just the glitter. And it IS glitter, not shimmer. It’s chunky, coarse, sparkly and it gets everywhere on the face.

There, I’m done. All 2195 words of pure procrastination. Again, I’m by no means trying to show off. This is just the work of a procrastinator in need for an excuse.

Written while listening to: Double Trouble Couple – Mamamoo