Review: Ellis Faas Creamy Lips in Ellis Red

It’s Friday the 13th, so I thought I’d show you a nice creepy shade of blood red today. Let me introduce one of the most beautiful (and simultaneously the scariest) red lipstick that I own–Ellis Faas Creamy Lips in their trademark shade, Ellis Red. A bit of background: this is something of a high-end cult brand,  started by makeup artist Ellis Faas. According to the website, she finds her inspiration for the colors from “the human palette,” meaning any color found naturally in the human body. This includes a brown the color of a freckle, a pink based off a natural flush, and a red that is supposed to look just like actual human blood. The idea behind this is that if we all are comprised of these colors, then they will be universally flattering. It does make a certain sense. Intrigued by her ideas, I bought their most popular product, the Creamy Lips. I’m ashamed to even tell you the price, but the sleek, dramatic packaging and the uniquely startling color make it worth the extra dollars.  Check out this lipstick tube!

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It doesn’t look anything like the boring, traditional tubes that most brands stock; it looks more like a lethal pen, or a little knife. Just the case looks like a piece of art. Now, this lipstick is a liquid, which is dispensed via a small sponge, as you can see. You can click the tube once for a small dose of color, or multiple times to get a full red.

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And, uh, this does look just like blood.

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I was playing around with this in the bathroom, and I had squirted a line of it down my wrist, and my brother came in and thought I had hurt myself. This stuff is exactly the color and texture of blood.

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It has a thicker texture, but once it goes on, it doesn’t budge until you want it to. I can wear this comfortably all day, and the color is really versatile because you can build it up from a sheer, almost berry stain to a true red to a dark, blood red pout. It’s almost like having multiple lipsticks in one. In the pictures above, I have on a pretty thick layer of it, but it can be built up even more to an even deeper red. I know a lot of brands have shades that they advertise as “blood reds,” but I’ve always been disappointed by them because they are always either too blue-based or too brown. The Ellis Faas lipstick, however, is the perfect blood red that I’ve always wanted.  What’s cool about it is that it looks different on different people because it transforms to the perfect red for any complexion. I will just say though that this is an intense lipstick. If you aren’t comfortable with dramatic, Goth-esque lips, then this might not be up your alley, but personally, I think the Ellis Faas lipsticks are something that every woman needs to try at least once. Gorgeous packaging, luxe feel, and a truly unique color.

 

 

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Swatches: Forever 21 Premium Beauty Lipsticks

Today, I just thought I would share these swatches with you ladies. I noticed that there aren’t any swatches up online of the Forever 21 Premium Beauty lipstick line, and as I have most of them, I thought I would post some pics! This is an affordable, high quality lipstick collection, and I find myself reaching for them more often than anything else lately. They are hydrating and creamy, and I love the color selection! There are ten colors in all, and I have seven to show you.

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^Left to right: Sugarplum, Hothouse Flower, Girl Next Door, Vacay, Miami Pink, Bisou, Hollywood Red

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Now on to the swatches…

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^Left to right, Sugarplum, Hothouse Flower, Girl Next Door, Miami Pink, Vacay, Bisou, Hollywood Red

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Individual swatches:

First up, we have Sugarplum, a midtone pinkish-plum:

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This one below is Hothouse Flower, an interesting shade of orchid-pink. I really like this one:

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This next one is Girl Next Door, a dusty rose with hints of salmon:

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Next is Miami Pink, a bright, almost neon pink that is reminiscent of Candy Yum Yum; it’s brighter than it looks!

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This next one is Vacay, a yellow toned coral pink with  slight watermelon tones:

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This one below is Bisou, a warm toned orange-red that is one of my favorite lippies ever:

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Lastly, here is Hollywood Red, a classic, bangin’ red that I absolutely adore:

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Here is a comparison picture of Bisou and Hollywood Red:

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That’s Hollywood Red on the top and Bisou on the bottom. I love BOTH of these reds!

My favorites from this line are Hollywood Red, Bisou, Miami Pink, and Hothouse Flower. What I like most about this collection is that the colors are bright and fun, but the lipsticks themselves are so comfortable to wear. Does anyone remember the Edward Bess lipstick collection, with the famously moisturizing and soothing formula? That’s what these feel like to me. At one time, I would never have thought that I would become such a fan of Forever 21 makeup, but I have loved everything I have tried. Even better, these lipsticks aren’t tested on animals!

 

 

Review: Lorde + M.A.C. lipstick in “Pure Heroine”

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Hello, kittens! Today I am happy to show you the new Lorde + MAC lipstick, called “Pure Heroine” after Lorde’s album. I’ve always liked Lorde’s vampy lipstick choices, so when  I found out she was releasing a limited edition collaboration with MAC,  I was pretty excited. I snatched the lipstick up the second the collection showed up on the MAC website, and I would advise you ladies to do the same, because this is one heck of a lipstick. It’s described as a deep plum, with an amplified lipstick, and looks like a cross between the original “Heroine” and “Cyber.”

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(Without flash^)

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(With flash^)

It is dark and vampy, but it doesn’t have that Goth feel to it the way “Cyber” does. Also, the amplified finish is exceptionally creamy, making it easy to apply even without a mirror. I know some bloggers have said it seems more like a Fall color than a Summer color, but really, as far as I’m concerned, rules like that are completely arbitrary. I think it’s lovely regardless.

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Sometimes, the MAC lipsticks with the amplified finish don’t last too long on the lips, but “Pure Heroine” does. I wore it all day yesterday with no touch-ups, and it still looked great. I think  this MAY be my favorite MAC lipstick that I’ve ever had…as of right now, it’s still available on the MAC website, but I’m sure it will sell out quickly, so if you want it, grab it.  It’s the perfect purple lipstick, and I think it would look great on all skintones. Seriously, I love this stuff. ❤

 

New M.A.C. Maleficent Lipstick in True Love’s Kiss

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Good evening, kittens! I have something special to show you today: the beautiful red lipstick from M.A.C.’s new collection, inspired by the “Maleficent” movie. Although I wasn’t too wowed by most of the collection, the one item that did stand out to me was (of course) the red lipstick. Called “True Love’s Kiss,” the M.A.C. website described it as a bright, clean red with an amplified finish. To me, it looks like a deep, glowing ruby-rose color with red shimmer running through it.

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It applies like a dream, smooth and creamy and very pigmented. While I usually prefer a matte finish with my lipsticks, I actually do like the “amplified” finish of this one. It’s nice and shiny, almost wet-looking, with a slight metallic look to it.

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Although the color itself is gorgeous, what I love the most about “True Love’s Kiss” is how darn comfortable it is. It may be a bright red, but once it’s on, it feels so lightweight and hydrating. It may be the most comfortable lipstick I have ever worn, and it has good staying power too. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure if this collection truly represents the evil Maleficent in all her dark glory, but regardless this is a really glamorous lipstick to have.

Other products used:
Face:
Per-fekt Skin Perfection Gel in Luminous
L’Oreal True Match foundation in n1
Nars matte multiple in Laos
Nars Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder

Eyes:
Urban Decay Naked Basics

Dupes for Nars Lipstick

Happy Friday, kittens! Today I have two awesome dupes to share with you! I recently bought several Nars lipsticks during Sephora’s VIB sale, and two of the ones I chose were Heat Wave and Schiap. Heat Wave is described as a bright orange red, and Schiap is described as a neon pink. And, while they’re both pretty colors, I was struck by how similar they are to two of my Forever 21 Premium Beauty lipsticks. Similar isn’t even the right word. The Forever 21 lipsticks are identical to the much more expensive ones from Nars! Get excited. Get very excited.

The dupes: Forever 21’s Miami Pink is a dead ringer for Nars Schiap. The color and the finish on both are exactly alike.

Miami Pink is on the left, Schiap is on the right
Miami Pink is on the left, Schiap is on the right

 

Miami Pink on the left side of my lips, Schiap on the right
Miami Pink on the left side of my lips, Schiap on the right

Forever 21’s Bisou is a great dupe for Nars Heat Wave. While they look slightly different swatched, once they’re on the lips, they look the same.

Bisou on the left, Heat Wave on the right
Bisou on the left, Heat Wave on the right
Bisou on the left, Heat Wave on the right
Bisou on the left, Heat Wave on the right

As you can see, the Forever 21 lipsticks are essentially the exact same colors as the Nars lipsticks. But is this a case where the more expensive lipsticks just look creamier, feel better, and are generally worth their higher price tag? In this case, no. I was honestly a little disappointed by how dry the Nars lipsticks were. Schiap in particular made my lips actually crack at the corners it was so drying. So, I definitely PREFER the Forever 21 lipsticks. They go on more smoothly and they aren’t drying at all. Oh, and they’re $8.80 compared to the $26 ones from Nars. If you’ve been wanting Schiap or Heat Wave, save your money and get the Forever 21 lippies. You won’t be disappointed.

Review: Revlon, Hard Candy, and e.l.f lipsticks

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I know, I know. Too many of my reviews are about lipstick. But there are so many colors out there to try, some of them at very reasonable prices. Case in point: I just found two red and purple lipsticks for less than $9 that have blown me away with their rich colors and comfortable feel. I guess I’ll back up a little. I’m reviewing three new lipsticks, the Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Shameless, the Hard Candy Ombre Lipstick in Confidence, and the e.l.f. matte lip color in Rich Red. Two of these I adored, and one did not impress me at all.

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The Revlon Matte Balm is a deep, bright purple that reminds me A LOT of the famous MAC Heroine, except Revlon’s is much cheaper. It’s a very unique, fun color that adds some instant punk to your look. The e.l.f matte lip color is a very pigmented true red that is easy to apply and lasts all day, and the Hard Candy Ombre Lipstick was the one I was most excited to try and the one that I found most disappointing. See how frosty and sparkly it is?

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I was really intrigued by the idea of an ombre lipstick, and I couldn’t wait to get my greedy hands on this one, but it just wasn’t very good quality. Sorry, Hard Candy! These swatches were done with just one small swipe of product–the Revlon and the e.l.f, as you can see, are smoother and more pigmented than the Hard Candy.

Top to bottom-Hard Candy, Revlon, e.l.f.
Top to bottom-Hard Candy, Revlon, e.l.f.

Shameless is without a doubt my favorite one. It’s so smooth and feels luxurious, not to mention it’s just a downright cool color. See how freakin’ purple it is?

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It is matte, my favorite finish, and has a slight minty smell/taste. I think I paid $7 for it, and it’s a great deal for such a beautiful color. The e.l.f. one I happened to find at the Dollar Tree, and it’s amazingly pigmented and long-lasting for a lipstick that only cost a dollar! I love the way it’s shaped more like a lip liner–that makes it really easy to get a precise application and you won’t need a lip liner with this one. It does not feather at all.

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And, lastly, here’s the Hard Candy one. I had to go over my lips six times to get the color you see here, and even with that it still looks uneven. It’s very frosty, almost gritty, and the pigmentation is not too good. As for the “ombre” effect, I think it looks more like I just put on too much lip-liner and forgot the lipstick!

You can tell I'm not too impressed...
You can tell I’m not too impressed…

I usually like Hard Candy’s stuff pretty well, but something about this lipstick seems off. The texture is too sparkly, and the square tip makes it hard to keep it inside my lip line. This product seems more like a gimmick, an attempt to capitalize on the current ombre trend, but it’s not something I would really recommend.

Revlon Fifth Avenue Red

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I was doing my usual sweep of the beauty aisle at Walgreen’s yesterday, when, lo and behold, I spied the brand new and very coveted Revlon re-releases of five classic lipstick shades. Now, I’ve been planning to snag the new Fifth Avenue Red ever since I found out it was one of the re-released shades, so I immediately swooped down like a bird of prey to grab that little sucker for myself. There was only one left, so ecstatically I snatched it up, only to realize that some charming person had decided it would be cute to break the seal, open it up, use it, and scrape part of the tip off, then walk off without buying it. It drives me ballistic when people open the cosmetics and make a mess of them at every store. I mean come on. You didn’t have to spoil a perfectly good tube of lipstick. So I did what any sensible lipstick junkie would do. I bought it anyway. Heck, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to find another tube of it. My small town is notorious for not getting the LE releases. I’m glad I took the chance, because I really love this color. 153

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I’m not even sure why it was discontinued in the first place, because it is that sort of lipstick that would be the perfect red for any skin tone. It’s vampy but somehow still very wearable, a dark red with subtle rusty-brown tones and a creamy finish. Sorry for the comparison, but it’s a very bloody shade of red. I’ve tried lots of red lipsticks that were supposed to be the perfect Gothic blood red, and they all looked pink on me. Not this bad boy. It’s dark and deep, but still red enough to look classy.

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I love reds that are dramatic without looking clownish with my Casper skin, and this one fits the bill quite nicely. My pictures aren’t QUITE true to color; the actual lipstick is much prettier than my photos make it look. The color is like someone got NYX Hestia, NYX Hero, Revlon Matte Really Red, and NYC Tempted and blended them all together for a neutral, deep true red.

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Go scour your local drugstores and find this lipstick. You won’t be sorry. Of all the shades Revlon reissued, to me this one is the clear winner. Sandstorm was kinda too 90’s for my taste, Icy Violet was too frosty, and Snow Peach and Jungle Peach just aren’t my type. This one is perfect.

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