Lipstick Comparisons: $26 to $34 (Part 1)
Though often lumped into high-end, this is a tier made up of designer brands like Chanel, Dior, and YSL. Most higher-end/designer lipsticks are scented, usually with floral or fruit. Rose seems to be the most prevalent scent found in brands across the board; sometimes it’s subtle (Chanel), while other times it’s heavy (Dolce & Gabbana). I find designer range lipsticks to be non-drying to moisturizing with more opaque formulas overall. Packaging is often nicer, but it’s not always the case and is, inevitably, very personal.
Burberry Lip Cover ($30.00)
- PROS: Creamy, opaque, long-wearing (4 to 6 hours), universally wearable shade range
- NEUTRAL: 0.13 oz., no out of the box shades, heavily rose-scented
- CONS: Hard to find in stores
- MY REC: One characteristic that I think is noteworthy is Burberry Lip Covers are exceptionally well designed with a lot of attention paid to the details, from the gunmetal packaging to the magnetic closure to the etched check pattern on the lipstick itself. The shade range seems very flattering across skin tones with a good variety of pinks, nudes, and reds.
Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick ($30.00)
- PROS: Semi-opaque to opaque, moisturizing, long-wearing (4 to 6 hours), nice shade range
- NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., slightly rose-scented
- CONS: Mostly cream/satin finishes
- MY REC: I love how pigmented Rouge Allures are, and I find them comfortable wear; they wear for several hours and never leave my lips feeling dry. Sometimes I wish they’d make more (or some) Rouge Allures with shimmery finishes, too; it is a range dominated by satin/creamy finishes.
Chanel Rouge Coco Lipstick ($30.00)
- PROS: Lightweight, smooth, semi-opaque, many shades available but mostly wearable shades, wears 4 hours on average
- NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., slight rose-vanilla scent, no out of the box shades
- CONS: Mostly shimmery/frosty finishes
- MY REC: This is probably the least moisturizing lipstick by Chanel, though it’s not at all drying, but it won’t heal up dry or cracked lips by any means. Rouge Coco excels in being a very wearable shade range with a lightweight formula that doesn’t quite feel like your average lipstick.
Chanel Rouge Allure Laque ($32.00 for )
- PROS: Glossy, creamy, opaque, long-wearing (4 to 6 hours), easy to apply
- NEUTRAL: 0.20 oz., slightly rose-scented
- CONS: Short shade range, limited finishes
- MY REC: I almost didn’t include these, as they’re more of a liquid lipstick than the traditional bullet lipsticks that dominate this series. It’s one of my favorite lip formulas of all time, though, because it’s very comfortable to wear.
Dior Dior Addict Lipstick ($26.00)
- PROS: Creamy, semi-sheer to semi-opaque, wears for an average of 4 hours
- NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., heavily rose-scented
- CONS: Short shade range with mostly pinks/reds
- MY REC: The lipstick doesn’t feel drying but not overly moisturizing, and it only wears for an average length of time on me (4 hours), so for a higher-end lipstick, I’m not totally sold on it.
Dior Serum de Lipstick ($32.00)
- PROS: Creamy, glossy, moisturizing, semi-opaque, several shades available (mostly wearable)
- NEUTRAL: 0.07 oz., scented but it’s quite faint (indeterminable)
- CONS: Very little for the money, wears off within 1 to 2 hours
- MY REC: These are comparable to Cle de Peau’s Extra Silky Lipsticks (which retail for $52); they’re not quite as good (particularly when it comes to wear), but they’re still very similar. It’s a moisturizing formula, but given that you get very little in each (just 0.07 oz., a little over half your average lipstick) and it needs frequent reapplication, it’ll add up quickly.
- PROS: Creamy, opaque, long-wearing (4 to 6 hours)
- NEUTRAL: 0.13 oz., heavily rose-scented
- CONS: Mostly cream/satin finishes
- MY REC: Not as moisturizing as the Shine formula but more pigmented in return. It also wears a little longer on average. The Classic Cream formula has the same heavy rose-scent, though.
Dolce & Gabbana Shine Lipstick ($30.00)
- PROS: Creamy, glossy, semi-opaque to opaque shade range with wearable and some “fun” colors, moisturizing, wears 4 hours on average
- NEUTRAL: 0.13 oz., heavily rose-scented
- CONS: May be difficult to find in-stores
- MY REC: Other than it being harder to check out in person (and worse yet, Saks doesn’t have a great cosmetic return policy last I checked), I’ve had a lot of success with their Shine Lipsticks. They’re moisturizing and have lots of color pay off. I think the biggest complaint I’ve seen from others who have tried this lipstick is the scent (very strong).
The Lipstick Comparisons series is designed to provide a quick reference summary sheet for some of the many available lipstick formulas. It seems like most brands have at least a couple of formulas, if not half a dozen, and it can be difficult to find the formulas that will work best for your budget, coloring, style, or taste.
This is not necessarily a best of list, and it’s not exhaustive–it is based on actual lipsticks that I’ve tried; they are all, however, decent to excellent lipsticks. (And perhaps, some day, it will be an exhaustive list.) I have summarized my experience based on pros and cons, but also some “neutral” factors that may be pros or cons, depending on your preferences. I will update this series as I try new lipstick formulas.
Test-driving Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall Collection: Attempt #1
Don’t let that preview image fool you, this look did not make it past my front door. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Well, why bother showing us?” Because inevitably, I’ll be reviewing the products I used in this look, and it’s proof positive of my experience. Loved the lips, but the eyeshadows just weren’t working. They didn’t seem sheer, and they felt soft and smooth, but I couldn’t get them to stick for the life of me. I packed on three or four layers in a futile attempt to get the colors to look true-to-the-pan. A tackier base (like a creamy eyeshadow) helps, but you’ll need to get creative to get these to work.
I will also admit fully to giving up at a certain point and not even bothering to fully blend it out–everything just kept blending away into a faded, slightly muddied mess. But you know what’s funny? In reality, few people would really notice anything was amiss, especially since your eyes remain open for longer intervals than closed.
This my process when I review products, even product types I may have tried before, even from brands I enjoy. I may not always share the process (I often wear a mash up of all sorts of products in disarray, so it’s not exactly pretty, LOL!), but I had originally aimed to create and share a look around the collection in addition to testing wear and application. It didn’t work out as a look, but perhaps sharing the process will also help (and help you understand my review, which will follow shortly).
What I used…
- Eyes: NARS Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base (neutral eyeshadow base), Dolce & Gabbana Divine Eyeshadow Quad (soft nude, medium beige, medium pink, dark purple), Dolce & Gabbana #11 Eyeliner (silvery gray), Bare Escentuals Buxom Mascara
- Face: MAC Pro Longwear Foundation (NC30), Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder (translucent)
- Cheeks: Korres #15 Natural Blush (pink-nude)
- Lips: Dolce & Gabbana Orchid Lipstick (fuchsia-purple), Dolce & Gabbana Vibrant Lipgloss (fuchsia)
- Brushes: 249 (flat, firm brush), 239 (fluffy shadow brush), 226 (fluffy crease brush), 219 (pointed crease brush), 116 (dense blush brush)
For eyes, start by applying Smudgeproof as your eyeshadow base all over the eye area with the 249. Using the 239, apply the pink on the inner half of the lid and pull upwards along the inner crease. Lightly blend the medium beige eyeshadow on the outer half of the lid with the 239. Next, apply the dark purple eyeshadow into the crease with the 226, lightly blending onto the outer lid. Blend the nude eyeshadow with the crease shade and highlight the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying #11 eyeliner on the lower lash line. Finish by sweeping lashes with Buxom mascara.
For cheeks, apply #15 Natural blush on the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116.
For lips, apply Orchid lipstick first, and then layer Vibrant lipgloss for a complementing lip.