Friday, October 24, 2014

Swatches: hunting for my perfect plum lip

Last year, thanks to the Annabelle TwistUp campaign, I discovered a real love for deep, plummy lips thanks to Annabelle Royale. Of course, as a beauty blogger and all-around makeup magpie ("oooh, shiny!"), I can never settle with just one product, no matter how lovely it is. I wanted to find another stunner.

What I'm looking for: A deep plum. Not too cool-toned or red-leaning or blackened, and nothing too frosty or shimmery. (I suddenly feel like Goldilocks...) Anyway this somehow this spiralled down into a drugstore/Sephora swatch-fest of no less than 24!!! lip products. Way too much to post on Twitter, so I've thrown them all together in a blog post.

I'm not exactly happy with the swatches; I have adjusted them in Photoshop for better colour accuracy but bad lighting + phone camera = less than perfect results, and I am not about to re-swatch all of these. Hopefully somebody will find this somewhat helpful, as at least it offers some side-by-side comparisons.

A lot of these swatched much more berry or pink or red than I would have expected from the name or even the colour of the product itself. It's difficult to tell because even the colour in the tube can be deceiving sometimes: the actual lip bullet would look decently deep or plummy but then swatched much lighter or pinker than I expected.

Note: swatches are shown with 2 passes

Drugstore swatches 1 - with flash
From left to right: L'Oréal Colour Riche Extraordinaire Lip Colour in Plum Adagio, L'Oreal Colour Riche Caresse Wet Shine Stain in Berry Persistent, Rimmel Matte Lasting Finish by Kate Moss in 107, Maybelline Color Sensation Elixir in Amethyst Potion, Maybelline Color Sensation Elixir in Caviar Couture, Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in Plum Paradise

Booooo. While lovely, most of these lean very red, even Plum Paradise. 107 is straight-up red. Plum Adagio stands out for being quite dark, but the actual colour reminds me more of a black cherry (needs moar plum!)

Drugstore swatches 2 - with flash
NYX Chunky Dunk Hydrating Lippie in Pomegranate Margarita (lolol @ that product name), NYX Butter Lipstick in Hunk, Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Shameless, Revlon Super Lustrous in Berry Haute, Revlon Super Lustrous in Violet Frenzy

Okay, now we're getting somewhere. Shameless: SO much potential. I think it could be layered underneath to purple-ify a gloss or lipstick. This one really confused me upon Googling because looked strangely blue-leaning on some people and just right on others. The others are still a little too red or aren't deep/intense enough. Missing but worth googling: Revlon Super Lustrous in Va Va Violet (I have it swatched here in an embarrassingly old post)

Sephora swatches 1 - no flash
Marc Jacobs Lovemarc Lip Gel in Little Pretty, Smashbox Always Sharp Lip Liner in Violet, Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte in Crushed Plum, Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Fig, Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Vivid Violet, Smashbox Be Legendary Lip Gloss in Vivid Violet

No's all around here. Crushed Plum is such an awesome name but it's very much not-plum :< Very lovely, smooth formula though.

Sephora swatches 2 - no flash
Stila Color Balm Lipstick in Brigitte, Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural in N28, Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Natural in N50, Clinique Long Last Soft Matte in Plum, Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting in Insolent Plum, Sephora Rouge Cream in Truth or Dare, Sephora Rouge Cream in Crush

Missing but worth Googling if you want a super vampy, blackened burgundy: Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense #49.

N28's name is Purple, damn it. The bullet is quite deep in colour, but it swatches berry. I didn't pick up on the hint in the Natural part of Rouge Artist Natural at the time, but it makes sense that the lipsticks in this line would be more translucent. Shockingly, the ones I really liked out of this bunch were the Sephora Rouge Creams. Both seem a little too red to be my "Goldilocks plum", but they were intense and pretty with just two passes, so I may end up with them anyway. Judging by Googling, neither seem to be getting much attention and therefore I must adopt them and love them.

I think I went overkill on the swatching. My head is spinning with plums and berries and I may have just confused myself (remember, makeup magpie = distracted by too many shiny things.) As I wrote this post, I realized that I haven't put much consideration into the fact that your natural lip colour influences the end result quite a bit. My lip colour is deeper and greyer than most people, so things that I initially wrote off as not dark enough or too berry might actually pull just right on me. In the end, even with arm swatches you're only getting half the story.

What does this mean? Was this all just a pointless exercise in my habit of over-researching? *shrugs* Well, I squeezed a post out of it and the process introduced me to some lines that weren't on my radar, such as Sephora Rouge Cream and Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting. Maybe my perfect plum really is Annabelle's Royale, but it won't stop me from acquiring more shinies--my front runners are Sephora Rouge Creams in Truth or Dare and Crush, and Revlon ColorBurst in Shameless.

What lip colour are you obsessed with right now?

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