Now that my inner child is a teenager I have been diving into the world of makeup in a way I never have before, (parochial upbringing) and loving it. For me, makeup is fun and not at all about following trends (my eyebrows can confirm this) or trying to look a certain way, other than colorful and shiny. I’m talking the Joss Whedon, Firefly kind of shiny. I also mean shiny as in, metallic eyeshadow because it makes me happy like Ramona Quimby puddle jumping with red rain boots.
This was an experiment to discover if lip products could become my favorite makeup items. I thought it was time to try ‘high end’ i.e., pricier products, with the idea of discovering some kind of holy grail product. I purchased a smile-shaped box holding six different high end brands in a variety of lip finishes from Sephora. For $28 dollars I got two full sized products, and four products in what the beauty world calls ‘deluxe sample’ sizes. (I have to admit I’ve become a snob and eschew foil packet samples. Don’t save me.)
I’d heard wonderful things about Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick by Too Faced. It felt softening and perfect, the color seemed made for me, but it had a cloying sweet smell that while not overly powerful, was strong enough to give me headaches. (I applied it on two different occasions, and wore it for at least half an hour to be sure. I now think of it as Evil-in-an-Elegant-Squeeze-Tube). Next I tried Kat Von D. Studded Kiss Lipstick, the miniature spiky looking container is perfect. The color is fine, but the formula feels drying, and it has a mild scent that while it didn’t give me headaches, it didn’t fade and annoyed me the entire time I had it on. Also I have the same color in a Colourpop Lippie Stix, which costs $5 compared to the full size KVD Lipstick for $21, and the Colourpop doesn’t feel as if it’s actively removing moisture from my lips.
There’s a Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment, it’s a balm with a hint of color. It’s beautiful (product and package), it feels great, looks great, but again, what is with the strange scents in lip products? Hello, cosmetics companies? The nose is right above the lips, have you not noticed? Wearing a scent I don’t like on my lips is like having a smoker living in the apartment beneath me.
How sensitive to scent am I? On a scale of one to ten, one meaning I can sit next to tuna man on an airplane and never notice, I’d say I’m a seven. I’ll notice the unpleasant odor, and ration however many sticks of Big Red I have in my bag to last the length of the flight, chewing until my jaw hurts in order to smell something other than my neighbor. If I keep the comparisons to other lip products, the scent on Colourpop’s Lippie Stix I don’t particularly like at first uncapping, but it disappears in an instant (and it’s not on all of them). Another example I can give, Fresh Sugar untinted balm hits me with a whiff of, no joke, lemon pledge furniture polish, but, and this is a big but, the smell fades quickly and I can wear it in comfort. I can’t say the same of the tinted balm in this package, which in all fairness the scent is faint, but for me, it’s just strong enough to be an annoyance.
Back to the box, I picked up the full sized Juicy Shaker by Lancome. Upon first glance it’s an adorable, tiny martini shaker but with a see-through lower portion which showed the product to be separated like old nail polish. Ghastly. Ah ha! I realized, it must be shaken. I shook it and told myself my lips were being spared from a nasty binding ingredient, but between you and me that glimpse of unmixed product wasn’t appealing. Then I saw the warning sticker telling me the contents are “Flammable”. Let me pause so that can sink in. ___________. I want to ask Lancome, what exactly should I avoid doing while wearing your lip product? Visions of birthday cakes setting my face on fire came to mind. Too much Stephen King you say? You may be right, but I haven’t opened the tiny shaker yet.
There’s a Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick (the other full sized product) which I had planned from the first to give to my niece as she loves that brand. Also, a NARS Satin Lip Pencil, which my oldest daughter says is one of her favorite brands, so that is going to her.
All in all, eyeshadow remains my favorite makeup product. While I expected I might not like the finishes or the colors of all the lip products, it didn’t occur to me that I’d have issues with scent of more than say, one item. Oh well. I’m ready for the next adventure.