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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Review: Forever 21 Creme Lipstick in Fiery Red

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I have said it before and I will say it again. Forever 21 has some seriously great lipsticks. Since Forever 21 is a store that’s known for its trendy bargain clothes, it isn’t necessarily the first place many people would shop for makeup. But every single time I have bought makeup from them, I have been really impressed by the products. Case in point: I love their crème lipstick in Fiery Red.

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I think the name “Fiery Red” basically sums up what color this lipstick is. It is quite possibly the most pigment-heavy lipstick I have used, and it’s absurdly, daringly, unapologetically red. It is bright and with one swipe, you get full opacity. Even my beloved Sephora Cream lip stain is not as pigmented and bold as this is!

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It is more of a true red than a blue-based one, and I can detect very slight pink tones to it. The finish is another thing that I like about it. It is shiny and glossy, and looks like red patent leather on the lips. Even better, it’s the most hydrating lipstick I have used. After I take it off, my lips don’t have that tight, stretched feeling that a lot of lipsticks give them. They feel moisturized, more like I’ve been wearing chapstick. Many pigmented lipsticks are really drying, but definitely not this one. And it LASTS. For hours and hours. Honestly, for a lipstick that’s $3.80, this easily outperforms many of its more expensive counterparts.

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The only con I can think of is that because it is so pigmented, it must be applied very precisely or it will look messy. But if you are willing to spend an extra minute or two being careful about staying in your lip lines, then this is the perfect bright, shiny red lipstick. It’s proof that you don’t have to spend the big bucks to get a quality product.

Review: Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Always Red

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Hello, kittens! Let me introduce you to the boldest, most daring, most alluring red lipstick you’ll ever find…Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Always Red. This is one of my very favorite lipsticks ever, and for a lipstick junkie like me, you know that’s saying something. I’ve tried hundreds of red lipsticks, but none of them can hold a candle to Always Red. This is a creamy lip stain (duh) that looks like a lip gloss in the tube, but once you apply it, it turns into a gorgeous deep red that’s bright and matte.

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Most of the red lipsticks I have tried either lean too pink, or too orange, or they’re too glossy for my taste. I have always been on the hunt for a true red matte lipstick, and one day I saw one of the girls at my college walking around with these smokin’ hot red lips. Like the unashamed lipstick fiend that I am, I begged her to tell me what she had on her lips. It was Sephora Always Red, and there began my love affair with this lipstick. It’s extremely pigmented, and dries to a soft matte finish that stays on for hours and does not feather or bleed at all.

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Because of the doe-foot applicator, putting it on is easy and precise. I’m trying to think of another lipstick I could compare it to, and I think it’s very similar to Nars Cruella in terms of color and finish, except Always Red is only 13 bucks!

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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.

Review: NYX Amsterdam

It matches my wall!
It matches my wall!

As you all probably know by now, I love red lipstick. A lot. It’s my signature, go-to look, and no matter how sloppy or tired I look, all it takes is a swipe of red to make me feel more confident and attractive. One of my very favorites? NYX Amsterdam.

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For a lip cream that costs a mere $7, this stuff rocks hard. It is a creamy liquid lipstick that dries to a matte finish and lasts through a meal and drinks AND does not transfer to the object of my affections, i.e., the boyfriend. This is easily one of the best reds available; it’s neon bright, a neutral pure red that sometimes looks cherry and other times looks tomato, although it has very, very slight pink tones in it. It’s an in-your-face red and not for the faint-hearted.038

Although it looks shiny in my pictures, it’s a very flat matte, which is my favorite finish, but if you prefer a more hydrating lipstick, then you might not like this. To me though, a matte lip always looks more sophisticated and edgy than a frosty/glossy one. And it smells like vanilla candy!

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It’s so bold and fierce, and I think it would suit many different complexions. Also, I love the soft doe-tip applicator. It’s very easy to use and always draws precise lines with no smudges. I’ve tried a few of NYX’s matte lip creams, but this one is my favorite.

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