Showing posts with label Lip Pencil. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lip Pencil. Show all posts

Monday, August 15, 2016

LOC Love of Color Dream Team Ultimate Collection

Birchbox launched their own makeup line called LOC (Love of Color) and today I have a review of their new summer colors from the Dream Team Collection. I was able to play with the items at the Birchbox Soho Store while in New York and they were kind enough to ship a set out for me to try out. For those new to the LOC makeup line, the products launched so far are in pencil format sized at the right size to ensure you can easily use up the color by the end of the season. It's perfect for those who like to stay on trend. There are a number of ways to try these - individually or in multiple curated sets. Price point wise, I find them reasonably priced and the quality is on point.

I have the LOC Dream Team Ultimate Collection ($52, a $95 value) swatched to review for you today which has 5 Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencils and 3 One and Done Shadow Sticks. In the set you also get a large pencil sharpener. If you're the kind of person who really likes value sets, I think this one will be a winner in your book.

The Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencils come in two kinds of formulas. One is a sheer glossy shades and others are full coverage creams. All the ones I tried are non-shimmers and apply flawlessly with smooth coverage. Colors are as follows:

Birthday Suit is a pale nude, on me it's a bit pinkish in color and very pale. The formula is pretty flawless though which I found surprising for such a light color. Most pale lip colors end up looking chalky on me or require a lot of blending or added liner. This one is an easier-to-pull-off nude compared to the Charlotte Tilbury Kim KW Hot Lips (at least on me).

Cupid's Bow is an ultra-cool blue-based fuchsia. This one is full coverage with a glossy sheen. The formula is really good, color is not my cup of tea. I usually find colors this cool-toned to be very hard for me to pull off.

Cherry Bomb is a perfect cherry red. It's warm toned but not orangey. Coverage is full.

Punch Line is a sheer bright pink which I'm obsessed with. It gives a healthy pink glow to the lips that looks natural because of the transparency.

Purple Reign is a sheer cool-toned purple which I also really like.

As far as I can tell, there is no detectable scent or taste. Texture is medium to thick but doesn't feel heavy. They hug the lips well so they stay put and don't bleed. Lasting power is better than a glossy or sheer lipstick but not quite as long as a matte lipstick.

Next up are the One and Done Shadow Sticks. These are creamy shadow sticks that set quickly so once you apply I recommend blending fast because once they set, they do not budge. For those who find eyeshadow fades quickly, I highly recommend you check these out because I found the lasting power quite impressive. I would have preferred it if these were in a twist-up format, but I suspect being packaged that way might cause them to dry out.

Heavy Petal is a shimmering champagne color. Peachy Sheen is a soft golden peach. Haute Cocoa is a chocolate brown shimmer. The shimmer in these blends out to a nice sheen. I found they layered well together. Given the fact that they dry and set quickly though I found that layering powder shadows on top needs to be done quickly if you like blending.

I give all of these a thumbs up for quality, price and lasting power. They all perform really well. Had I been able to pick out individual colors versus the set, I would have skipped Cupid's Bow just because I don't usually wear colors that bright or cool-toned. All others get a thumbs up from me and I especially appreciate that the Birchbox stock photos on their website of this collection are very accurate.

LOC Love of Color Dream Team Ultimate Collection can be found exclusively online at and also in their stores. This particular set retails at $52 - but you can also pick and choose individual shades or other sets as well.

Have you tried LOC from Birchbox yet? If yes, what did you think?

LOC items provided courtesy of Birchbox for review consideration.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Marc Jacobs (P)outliner Longwear Lip Pencil

Marc Jacobs Beauty has released three new lip pencils called the (P)Outliner ($24 each for 05g/0.01 oz). These are long-wear twist up creamy pencils with rich pigment. All three are cream shades without any shimmer and are the perfect modern nudes. In terms of wear they glide on well although they aren't super emollient (like some glossy pencils) so you may need to warm up the tip a bit by swiping on the back of your hand. Once you apply on the lips they go on very smoothly and with full coverage. Lasting power is very very good. I swatched all on my lips for reference (more below) and had to use a dual-phase eye makeup remover (my current fav is Chanel) to get the product off my lips. There is no detectable scent with these.

The three (P)Outliner shades include Prim(rose) which is a nude-brown rose, Nude(ist) which is a brownish flesh nude and Honey(bun) which is a peachy pinky nude. I'm completely in love with the names.

Here are swatches with the liners lined around the lips and filled in for reference. These are extremely pigmented lip pencils and due to the richness I recommend you apply some kind of lip primer or balm underneath if you want to use them all over the lip. The intensity can emphasize lip lines if you use it all over. I recommend using these as a traditional lip liner around the edges and blended slightly. Note these are all swatched on a bare lip.

Some comparison swatches for reference:

The labeling on the packaging really sums it up. These stay put on the lips for all-day wear and will go well with a wide range of lip colors.

Overall huge thumbs up. The three shades are all on the warm side but still lean neutral on my olive skintone. If you are one who can only wear strictly cool-toned colors these may be too warm for you. The formula is super creamy and the lasting power and pigment are phenomenal. These days I have neglected most of my lipliners (with the exception of Chanel and Charlotte Tilbury) because I am usually a swipe and go kind of lip person. These lipliners are really fun and go really well with the New Nudes Lip Gels though and helps to extend the wear. If you're near a Marc Jacobs boutique or Sephora I highly recommend you give these a closer look. I hope Marc Jacobs will expand the color selection. The formula is really really good.

The Marc Jacobs (P)Outliner is available in stores and online at Marc Jacobs Beauty and Sephora.

The Marc Jacobs liners were provided courtesy of Marc Jacobs for review consideration.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

MAC Sharon Osbourne Patentpolish Lip Pencils | Innocent, Patentpink, French Kiss and Ruby

The MAC Sharon Osbourne Collection has four Patentpolish Lip Pencils ($21.50 each for 2.3g/0.08 oz, limited-edition). These are a swipe-and-go kind of lip pencil that come in a twist up packaging. No sharpening needed. Two of the colors are repromotes from the spring release of the Patentpolish Lip Pencils ($20 each) although the ones with the Osbourne Collection come in a special edition red packaging and are slightly more expensive. The four shades include:
  • Innocent (repromote) is a pale nude, it goes on streaky and extremely pale upon first swipe, after letting this one sit for a minute, it warmed up on my lips, it works alone for me but I prefer to add a bit of a darker lipliner to blend and warm up the color 
  • Patentpink (repromote) is another pale pink, another slightly streaky color and upon first swipe looks extremely mod and pale, once it warmed up it looked better
  • French Kiss is an easy to wear brownish warm nude, this one since it's darker went on smoother in color and has better coverage
  • Ruby was a pleasant surprise, it looks dark and brown in the tube but goes on a natural ruby red with a good shine, out of all four this is my favorite

Swatches show a slightly transparent texture and glossy shine:

I didn't test out the colors from the original release but the swatches I saw of these from other bloggers looked promising and several were kind enough to e-mail me recommendations to check these out. The Patentpolish Lip Pencils are a unique formula. It's like a chubby stick with a thicker smooth texture and a slightly glossy finish. They glide on easily and even though there is a good amount of shine, I found they stayed put without feeling super glossy or emollient. They aren't drying but at the same time I didn't find them super hydrating either. My lips usually peel a day after using MAC lipsticks if I don't use a balm underneath. The same happened with these. As long as I moisturize well in the morning and at the end of the day with a good lip balm then my lips are fine.

These are designed as a swipe-and-go kind of product. I like the convenient twist up factor and especially am a fan of the fact you don't need to sharpen. I didn't really find them to be a one-swipe kind of lip pencil though. My feelings for these are mixed. For the lighter colors, to get an even application I had to swipe back and forth several times for smooth decent coverage. If you try these you might not like what they lighter colors look like at first swipe. I certainly did not but after letting them sit for about 30 seconds I found they melded to my lip and warmed up to a better more natural looking finish. The darker shades applied easily and flawlessly. French Kiss and Ruby both have very smooth coverage and better pigment. Coverage on these is medium-sheer with a slight transparent look.

Here they are swatched on my lips:

Out of the four shades, my favorite is Ruby and it's the only one that I would say is a must-have. Good natural looking reds are hard to come by for me. Most either turn fuchsia on me or have too much brown. This is the perfect balance of bright and natural to be flattering for day or night.

The Sharon Osbourne Patentpolish Lip Pencils in Innocent, Patentpink, French Kiss and Ruby are all limited-edition. Even though many items from the MAC Osbourne collection have sold out, these pencils are still relatively easy to find in stores, at counters and online. All the colors are limited edition but you can find all the Patentpolish Lip Pencil shades right now at, Nordstrom, Macy's, and Bloomingdales.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

NARS Final Cut Collection | Satin Lip Pencils

NARS has four new Satin Lip Pencils ($25 each) with the latest Final Cut collection. The color theme is modern pinks and peaches. For those new to NARS, the Satin Lip Pencils are like large chubby stick lipsticks. They have a very lightweight airy texture but have full coverage with color. You need a smooth lip surface to wear these, if you have any flakies I recommend prepping your lips with a balm or smoothing base first. I find the Satin Lip Pencils to have a matte finish.

The four shades are Stourhead (a super pale powder pink), Villa Lante (a cool toned pink), Descanso (a soft peach-pink) and Torres del Paine (a straight apricot). I could only pull off the peach shades easily. The pinks turned to be too cool-toned for my pigmented lips and olive skintone. I suspect the pink colors are more flattering on paler skintones.

Each shade has a coordinating blush in a matching color. I'll review the blushes shortly but I've photographed each pencil next to the corresponding blush for reference. Fortunately for me I can wear pink blushes more easily than pink lipsticks. Lip swatches below. For skintone reference I used Edward Bess Ultra Dewy Complexion Perfector in Medium layered with NARS Tinted Moisturizer in Groenland and Dolce and Gabbana Powder Foundation in Warm 100.

Stourhead and Sex Fantasy

Stourhead was extremely difficult for me to apply smoothly. Below you can see with my pigmented lips the color looks blotchy and very pale. I've seen it on others who have fairer skin and it looks amazing on them.

Villa Lante and New Attitude

Villa Lante applied smoother with rich pigment. It turned a bit too blue on my skin with an almost Barbie-like look. If I had less olive in my skin it wouldn't contrast so much and would be easier to pull off for me. For some reason Villa Lante looks warmer and more neutral in the pencil but on my skin it transform into a much cooler-toned color. I suspect I will have to do some layering with a gloss on top to make it less blueish.

Descanso and Love

These two are my favorites. Descanso is what I wanted Lodhi Pencil to be (which is lovely but very bright). I purchased a backup of Descanso because I can see myself wearing through this one quickly.

Torres del Paine and Final Cut

These come in close second to Descanso/Love. The peach color is bright enough to add brightness to the face but not too bright. In general I love peach shades.

For those who have other NARS Lip Pencils, I pulled some other shades to help you decide how close they are to previously released shades. As of now there are several different lip pencil formulas by NARS. I've also included a could Tom Ford lipsticks. In short:
  • Satin Lip Pencils (formula for the Final Cut) are full coverage pencils with a satiny finish, more on the matte side, but not quite 100% matte. They have a soft sheen making them look more natural.
  • Velvet Lip Matte Pencils are more matte in finish. They have full coverage as well with a more dramatic distinct finish.
  • Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils are my personal favorite, these have a thicker tacky finish with a gloss finish. They are long-wearing and some shades have shimmer. (Old lip swatches here, here and here.)
Left to right: NARS Bettina, Tom Ford Quiver, Tom Ford Smitten, NARS Stourhead, NARS Villa Lante, NARS Sex Machine, NARS Descanso, NARS Biscayne Park, NARS Torres del Paine, NARS Lodhi, NARS Happy Days.

I'm all over Descanso and Torres del Paine. Stourhead and Villa Lante are such gorgeous pinks in the pencil it's a shame I can't pull off those lovely pinks.

NARS Final Cut Satin lip pencils are currently exclusive in the US to Nordstrom and online at

Did you check out the Final Cut collection? What did you think?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Swatches Part 3: Club Mix

The last Velvet Gloss Pencil I have to swatch on the lips for you is NARS Club Mix. It is plum-grape perfection. I love it. A good plummy-grape is hard for me to find since many are either too red or too blue for my skintone. NARS has the best selection of plums that I've seen including Damage & Klute which I've used since my college days.

Club Mix is a deep plum with slight iridescent shimmer. It has a glossy finish like all the other glossy pencils. Being darker requires a precise application, which can be hard to achieve with the large tip. I had to blend the edges with a lip brush because the product kinda went all over the outside of the lip where I had not applied slowly. I recommend lining your lips with a plum liner like NARS Marnie or MAC Beurre first, blot and blend for an even finish, then apply Club Mix. It will help the color last longer and when it fades the stain from the lipliners will at least help to keep your lips looking even.

Here it is compared to a few NARS Lipsticks: Shrinagar, Damage, Klute

Overall thoughts on all the pencils: LOVE! I was pleasantly surprised about the color payoff. Reason I'm surprised? You have to try the pencils in person to feel the texture to understand. They have a glossy finish and when swatched on my hand the colors with one swipe were sheer. After layering with a few swipes you really see the color show through.

The texture feels nice and moisturizing, although I can't really confirm whether or not they are in fact moisturizing. These feel like the NARS Lip Lacquers (pot glosses) in a tube form without the icky smell. I do still love the lip lacquers - I actually prefer them for pigment, finish and lasting power. I hope NARS does not discontinue them - although I have noticed more and more colors are getting discontinued. If they could reformulate to change the scent the Lip Lacquers would be perfect and I think more people would buy them.

It's also interesting to see how these apply on the lips. For me, the color really showed through even brighter than what I see in the pencils. I love the vibrant colors and feel like NARS released a diverse range of shades which is nice. I do find it interesting that the colors Baroque, New Lover and Club Mix make me look paler due to the contrast. I'm in desperate need of a tan.

My top 2 picks: Club Mix (plum) and Happy Days (peach).

Any rants? Yes, $24 is steep, especially given the size, formula and lack of sharpener. I feel like they will get used up really quickly.

But overall thumbs up, definitely worth checking out.

NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Swatches Part 2: Hopi, Happy Days & New Lover

Edited Sunday 7:45 AM:
I just had one of those "oh no!" moments realizing I mislabeled the lip swatch colors. I have corrected the labeling errors and included three colors instead of two.

After more testing & swatching I have to say these new Velvet Gloss Pencils from NARS are an enigma to me. They're totally different than what I expected on the lips. Has anyone else experienced the same results? Maybe there is something with my natural lip tone and skin type causing them to change with my body chemistry? They apply on the lips a lot more vibrant than what I see in the tube or swatched on the hand. Here are lip swatches of Hopi (brownish peachy nude), Happy Days (bright peach) and New Lover (raspberry gold).

Hopi (brownish peach) in daylight:

Hopi at night:

Happy Days (peachy) take lip swatched at dusk:

New Lover (raspberry gold) swatched with 1/2 my lip in direct sunlight:

New Lover lip swatched at dusk:


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