Thursday, September 4, 2014

Review: NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams (Lip Swatches!)

I don't know what took me so long to get these NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams (SMLC). I even remember suggesting these to one of my friends when the SMLCs were first getting hyped in the ~blogosphere~ (geez, how that word makes me cringe). But when I stopped by an Ulta a couple weeks ago with my boyfriend, I knew I should just go for it ($3.50 off and 2x points holla). I made sure to pick the two shades I thought would test how A) true to color and B) opaque the product is on my highly pigmented lips. So I went for a "nude" shade and a deep shade.

NYX SMLC in Copenhagen (L) and Stockholm (R), $5.99.
Excuse my out-of-control nails. 

I noticed that the products were either sealed or unsealed in the NYX display at Ulta. I kind of WTF'd at that but made sure to grab the sealed ones (no, I didn't open the other ones to swatch. That's gross and inconsiderate for the next person). The packaging is pretty standard. I actually like how simple it is. The tops are a rubberized matte texture a la NARS, so beware if you don't like your products to start collecting weird gunk on the outside. It comes with a generous 0.27 fl oz, as opposed to MAC lipglass (0.17 fl oz) or NARS lip gloss (0.18 fl oz). All of NYX products are cruelty free, as far as I know (look for the little heart bunny thingy that signifies "cruelty free"), which is amazing for a budget friendly cosmetics line. Hell, ANY cosmetics line. 

When I first used this, I noticed that the applicator does pull out a big glob of product. I just swipe off the excess inside the rim. This is important because I have found that the SMLCs do work better in thin layers. Otherwise, you're just smearing around the product. It feels comfortable to apply and has a strong vanilla cake batter scent. I have to admit, I am NOT a fan of the sickly sweet scent trend most lip products have nowadays. Actually, I hate all added fragrance in products. Fortunately for me, the scent goes away almost immediately. 

Once applied, you'll probably need to get used the texture. I wouldn't say it's sticky as, say, a lip gloss, but it does have a slight "tacky" feel. Even after the product sets to a perfectly matte finish, I find myself constantly smacking my lips together to see if it completely dries down. It doesn't. You also need to be careful to not smack your lips together too much. I think the tackiness of the product tends to pull at itself then you end up with weird patchy lips. It's not noticeable from a regular distance, but you'll be able to tell when you check in your car mirror. Besides needing to get over the initial weirdness, the product does last a long time and fades evenly. I was able to have a couple drinks and eat greasy popcorn before I noticed any fading. If you're concerned about needing this to last through a long day, fully line your lips, blot, then apply the SMLC. I suggest you swipe a thin layer on first then go back in to pat the color on. This ensures you don't disturb the color underneath. 

When it comes to the shades I picked, I've found that they weren't as true to color as I would've liked. Copenhagen looked to be a clotted blood red in the package but when swatched, it was a deep berry red. I like the resulting color and how it looks on my lips, but I REALLY wanted that dark blood red color, too. Stockholm was okay. In the package, it looked like a brown-based pinky beige. Swatched, it's more of a coral beige.. I have strong warm undertones in my skin, so if you're cool-toned and want to try this out, it probably would look straight up coral on you. As for the opacity, one swipe of this product wasn't enough to completely conceal my uneven pigmented lips. I mean, if you have evenly colored lips, I'm sure you'll be able to quickly apply and go. But in order for me to get complete coverage, I had to do the swipe-and-pat method I mentioned above. This isn't such a big deal for me because I like to spend a while on my lips anyways. It's just something to be mindful of. 

On to the swatches! For reference, I am NC 30-35 in MAC and 2W2 Rattan or 3W1 Tawny in Estee Lauder Double Wear (depending on how much sun I feel like exposing myself to). 

Copenhagen (L) and Stockholm (R)
See what I mean? Berry and coral.

My lips have like, three different colors going on. A true test for lip colors!
(Excuse the blemishes. Hormones and sunburn going on and I didn't feel like packing on too much makeup.)

I really do love Copenhagen on my lips. But like I said, it's more dark berry on the lips than the dark blood red in the package. Almost full coverage here though!

I can still get away with calling this a "nude" for my skintone. But it's very obvious that it leans coral. You can also see a little bit of my pigmentation peeking through

At the end of the day, I do not regret my purchases one bit. Even though they weren't exactly what I wanted in terms of color, I have easily found a way around it. I just use a black lip liner beneath Copenhagen and it's the perfect gothy blood-black. As for Stockholm, I just use NARS Bahama Velvet Matte lip pencil then pat Stockholm on top for the perfect 90s pinky-brown lip. I do plan on going back and buying more shades. 

xx May

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