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The brand describes the formula as a “shade-shifting topcoat” that can be used over their “cream, metallized, and matte shades” of Vice Lipstick or any of the Vice Liquid Lipsticks, but–wait for it–“or wear these shades alone.” They’re supposed to be a “comfortable, gel-cream formula that dries down quickly and provides long-lasting wear that never feels sticky” while also creating a “water-resistant barrier that seals in the color underneath.” The brand also warns that your lips might “feel tingly just after applying.”
As a topcoat, I think they perform the best; it can be hit or miss depending on the underlying shade, and some topcoats are more versatile than others (sheerer ones tended to work well with anything, more opaque ones could be hard to apply). I did not feel like they truly locked the underlying lipstick in, as they transferred and still lasted about as long as the lipstick did on its own. I also felt that it was lightly tacky, and it varied, but a few shades would lift color in places. The tingling effect was least pronounced when layered. In general, layering over very light shades was often where they missed and any unevenness became much more visible.
On their own, they often struggled to go on evenly. The application over bare lips was similar to trying to apply some of the darker topcoats over very light or dissimilar colors, which just made any application shortcomings highly visible (compared to say, blue shimmer over a blue lipstick). They had a very strong, lingering tingle where my lips felt like they do after being numbed (like from the dentist)–almost too big, swollen, and a mixture of tingling, cooling, burning. This effect lasted between two to three minutes before subsiding. I wouldn’t say it’s water-resistant, as it seemed to transfer after drinking water, but if I did not drink anything, it was fairly transfer-proof. The wear has been between two and four hours and drying.
The packaging on these doesn’t make sense to me; they have a very thin, brush-type applicator that is terrible for spreading product across the lips, but the formula was often sheerer so getting crisp lines with the included applicator seemed like an exercise in futility. I think a squeeze-tube or more typical doe-foot applicator would have worked here, but I like the idea of a squeeze tube, which would “force” one to use a separate applicator would make more sense, as using it directly on top of another lipstick would result in lipstick transfer to the wand and back into the tube.
The average rating based on all reviewed shade(s) in this formula is shown below.
Go from all-business to party-all-night in one swipe with Vice Special Effects Lip Topcoat and transform any lip color from beautiful to beyond. Apply this shade-shifting topcoat over cream, metallized, and matte shades of Vice Lipstick or any Vice Liquid Lipstick to instantly morph your favorite colors. Make it look like you spent hours crafting an Instagram-worthy lip look or wear these shades alone. Our i nnovative, comfortable formula provides long-lasting wear that never feels sticky and creates a water-resistant barrier that seals in the color underneath.
Based on 0 Reviews, 5 Quick Reviews
The Good: Easy To Apply (2), Long-wearing (2), Travel-friendly (2)
The In-Between: Non-sticky (4), Sheer (2), Thick (2), Thin (2), Buildable (1), Highly Pigmented (1), Sticky (1)
The Bad: Uneven (3), Hard To Blend (2), Dry (1), Hard To Apply (1), Drying (1)