For the longest time, Bobbi Brown Crushed Plum sat on the top spot (for which, I haven’t even wrote a dedicated post about). Not counting the stuff I mention on purge and purchases, I seldom talk about products I just got — especially if I really like them. I have a tendency to get blinded by the high. So, I usually wait after the high is gone. When the product is too good to be true, I wait even longer — sometimes even to a point where I’m almost about to use it all up. I must’ve gotten this skepticism from several years of audit work. I have issues. It’s a special case with Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope. Since getting it (around 3 weeks ago), I’ve received a lot of messages from both blogger and offline friends, mainly asking if it’s worth the price. If you’re a lipstick
addict afficionado, buy it — it IS worth the price. I was “suckered” into buying this after watching Poppy Kings’s promo vid for Barney’s New York where she says:
Basically, I’m trying to preempt any reason why a woman won’t wear lipstick and give her no excuse. Every nuance in the color has a totally different emotional landscape. Velvet Rope is a super high-pigment lipstick that feels like you’re wearing nothing.
This woman is talking to ME! Her passion for lipsticks makes me want to root for her and force her lipsticks on everyone. I think she’s wearing Velvet Rope in the vid. Love. Let’s move on to more important matters — the lipstick itself. I chose Velvet Rope Entourage to welcome me to the Lipstick Queen line. As soon as I received it, I swatched it on the back of my hand and I felt love.
It was a different case when I swiped it on my lips for the first time. I got disappointed. I found it too slippy, similar to lipsticks that don’t quite set. (Hahaha, I must be the only woman on earth who likes tuggy lipsticks.) It’s pigmented, but I felt like it wasn’t as opaque as I thought it would be. Also, it’s not a true matte. I tried to build it up to the pigmentation I’m used to (Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte) and I ended up with splotchy dark colors on depressed areas of my lips. I felt so defeated that I just blotted off the extra layers thinking I’d just use it as a stain. But after I did that, I was blown away. When I looked at my lips in the mirror, I saw the richest, most vivid, deep red I have ever seen.
On the Lipstick Queen website, Entourage is described as the richest wine. On me, it looks like a deep red (like the swatches above). It looks almost exactly like MAC Diva, but the difference is, when it’s on, there is nothing quite like it. It is not flat matte. It gives dimension without the duochrome — something other matte lipsticks try to achieve but fail at.
I removed everything and tried to apply it “right”.
Apparently, this lipstick is not meant to be layered. Extra swipes will just feather and move around. I swipe it once on the top and bottom lip making sure I don’t get too close to the edge. Then with my pinky (a small pencil brush works better), I blend the color to the edge. It will end up like that in the photo above. Yes, that’s only one swipe blended out. Not 100% opaque, but very pigmented nonetheless. This lipstick gives new meaning to what “rich” means. I can’t capture it on camera, my photo skills are limited and I’m only using a point-and-shoot. But when you see it in real life, you’ll know what I mean.
FEEL AND TEXTURE
This lipstick, as Poppy claimed, is high-pigment and lightweight. The woman preaches the truth. Compared to the matte lipsticks I’ve been wearing exclusively for most of the year, this lipstick feels like nothing. Nothing enough to make me forget that I’m wearing lipstick. There was a time I was deep in work and I accidentally smudged my lipstick because I forgot I was wearing one. The one thing I do not like about this lipstick is the mint. It smells and feels minty. I should have no problem with that, but if there’s one thing that CAN dry my lips out, it’s mint — even if it’s in a supposedly moisturizing balm. Good thing my lips can tolerate drier lipsticks. I can wear this for 3 consecutive days straight, but after that I would have to take a break and wear my other mattes.
It’s really suprising how long this lipstick wears, considering how slippy it is upon application and how thin it lays on. I usually equate drag to longevity. Velvet Rope Entourage is able to give both: lightweight-feel and long wear time. As the day goes on, the shine tones down a bit and you’ll end up with blotted-down-looking lips (see photo below). The blotted-down version looks like an even stain that doesn’t look flat. It looks like the skin on the top part of the lips is made up of red skin cells. I can’t describe it well but it’s like the lipstick became an actual part of your lips. That’s pretty much how it will look like until your next meal. With drinking (water/coffee), there’s even but minimal fading — no lip rings with this lipstick. An important thing to mention is if you eat or drink just a few minutes after applying the lipstick, fading will be significant. It pays to wait a little bit longer for it to set. But to be honest, I can’t tell when it has set because, again, it’s very lightweight.
The lipstick is very easy to blend. You can apply it sheer and it will blend across the lips evenly (see blended swatch above). It’s also usable as a blush. My favorite thing about it is it makes the nicest looking ombre lips. You can put it on the corners of your lips and blend it to the center. Applying it like that makes the lips look really plump. I’m not usually moved by packaging — even with this one. I don’t care much for it, but it is beautiful — and heavy! It snaps shut via magnet(s) but I feel like the magnet isn’t strong enough. So far, I haven’t experienced the cap getting off, so, maybe it’s ok.
This is NOT the best matte lipstick in the universe. I still prefer my mattes to be ultra-matte and have 100% coverage. But this lipstick, in itself, created a new category of lipstick finish. Technically it’s matte. But it’s not matte. And it’s not satin either. It’s like a lipstick version of a foundation that doesn’t need subsequent contouring and highlighting . In a way, Poppy was successful in giving me no excuse to wearing a formula I’m not used to.
I’m definitely getting 2 more lipsticks from the line: Black Tie and Private Party. But I’ll check out the Sinner range first (coz you know ~cheaper).
Note: I rarely get chapped lips and those small hardened bits of skin. I don’t know how this will look on dry lips and if it settles on cracks. If you’re a matte lipstick lover, this is a must try. It’s the only “shiny” lipstick I like.
November 1, 2014 EDIT: After my satin lipsticks experiment, I got chapped lips. The blue pigments in this lipstick will cling to those dry skin bits. Exfoliate before use.