I’ll be honest — how a product looks is more important to me than how a product feels. If I wanted to write about things that make me feel good, this would be a column about liquor or sex.
Liquid lipsticks are one of my favorite beauty products of all time. I love their intensity, their precision, and their long wear. With the right liquid, you can paint your lip on before you go out and not have to worry about it smudging or fading throughout the night. That, to me, is what a good beauty product is all about —looking good and feeling confident.
Sure, they don’t come without their faults. Some liquids, while giving you bulletproof wear, can dry out your lips throughout the night and into the next day. To me, this is not the end of the world, and completely worth it if you loved the way you looked the night before.
I look at beauty as a sort of exchange. Does that make a me a bad beauty writer? No. If we were at a place where every beauty product was perfect, I’d be out of a job and THEN what would you guys do? I’d have to write about liquor or sex and none of you want that.
I’ll deal with a bit of drying if it means that I don’t have to worry about smudging my lipstick all over my face all night. I’m not saying beauty is about perfection, that’s not realistic nor is it fun. After all, smudged eyeliner always looks cool, but smudged lipstick does not. If I still can have a bold lip with clean lines at 2:00 AM, then I can deal with having to wear a little lip balm to bed.
Buuut, not everyone is on the same page. To some, the comfort of a product is more important than how it looks. Every time I’ve written about liquids, there’s always a chorus of commenters saying “but they’re drying!”
Fine! But look at how good they look!
I’m not saying you can’t have it all. There are a bunch of liquid lipsticks that are comfortable and long wearing and the product as a whole gets better with every new release.
I love ColourPop and the Ultra Mattes are a HUGE reason why. They’re extremely long-wearing, they stay exactly where you put them, and they come in a massive range of exquisite, intelligent colors. All of this for six motherfucking dollars.
The Ultra Matte formula isn’t perfect if “perfect” to you means “hydrating.” But to me, they’re pretty perfect. The colors are just insane, my lines will always be crisp, and they won’t come off on my straw or on my friends or on the breathalyzer.
And I personally don’t even find them drying but I suppose that ship has sailed.
The big difference between Ultra Matte and Ultra Satin is that Ultra Satin doesn’t dry down to a completely matte finish. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still pretty matte and more matte than many liquids that promise a matte finish. They look ~velvety~ on the lips, not a true matte.
This means a few things:
1. They transfer, but they tell you that from the jump. As ColourPop puts it, the colors “kiss and tell” (which is so cute omg.)
HOWEVER — this does not mean that they’re going to get all the fuck over everything. They definitely cling on to your lips so you’re not going to accidentally wipe them clean off, like you would with some. They’re durable. They’ll leave their mark without leaving your lips (That’s good. ColourPop, you can use that.).
2. They’re elastic and flexible, making them super comfortable. Once you’ve applied, they feel like a mousse on your lips. Not heavy, sticky, or even tacky, but you know they’re there. You’re never going to feel them pulling or shrinking.
3. A matte finish will bring out the imperfections in anything, nails, lips, you name it. Because of the soft satin finish, you’re not going to end up with lips that look crinkly or crepe-y like you would with some liquid mattes. Your lip color is going to look good, but your lips themselves are going to look great, too. I found that the texture almost fills in any lines on your lips, making them look fuller and more plump.
4. They're not drying.
And the colors. I'm a color guy. This collection is surprising in that it doesn't feel like they tried to cover all of their bases to please everyone, but did a collection of shades that's as trendy as it is innovative. For instance, there's not a true red in the bunch (there is a sick blue red, though.) Nor is there any iteration of coral, which I feel is like, ~the~ spring color.
Instead, they've given us sixteen killer colors including half a dozen gorgeous, nuanced nudes, and while there's an absence of true brown, the brown lip trend shows up in the form of a yellow brown, a red brown, and a plum brown.
I could go on and on about the shades, but why don't I just show you my favorites.
There's Tansy, a medium yellow-brown.
The Rabbit is a searing hot fuchsia with a subtle blue sheen. This is the only one in the collection with any added sheen. The touch of blue really makes the pink jump.
Dopey is the color right now (as evidenced by how quickly it sold out,). It's a perfectly dusty, rosey-lavender mauve.
London Fog is a bright blue red that really pops.
Petit Four is a gorgeous slate gray with just a touch of turquoise.
Marshmallow is a greyed out lavender, not lavender enough to be a pastel but not deadened enough to wash you out. I loooove this one.
All sixteen shades are incredible, and I can't to see what shades they come up with next, both in the satin and matte formulas.
Have you tried ColourPop's Ultra Satins yet? What's your favorite liquid? Tell me everything down below!
Tynan is covered in candy on Twitter @TynanBuck.