The entire set comes in the lip-shaped cardbox pictured above. The rest of the items in the set are a sample size Laura Mercier Créme Smooth Lip Colour in Milky Way, Marc Jacobs Poutliner Longwear Lip Liner Pencil in Nude(ist) 300 and the Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint in Namaste. It's a nude lip lover's paradise although I must admit that the shades included seem more directed towards fair to medium skin tones. I'm definitely in that category and many of these colors look downright pasty on me. A clear winner though is NARS Dolce Vita, up close below.
|NARS Dolce Vita lipstick|
Dolce Vita is described as a dusty rose. I find it to be a peach-leaning beige brown on me. It's not super opaque though, so some of that natural lip color does shine through and changes the way this lippie looks on different people. It can be paired with the Marc Jacobs Lip Pencil, just like everything in this set, although it's not a perfect color match.
|Marc Jacobs Poutliner Longwear Lip Liner Pencil in 300|
The Marc Jacobs pencil comes in a twist up formula that requires no sharpener. I have no real complaints about it and I don't find it particularly special either. I use a Revlon lipliner from the drugstore that costs about a third of the price of this product in full-size so I can't say I'm impressed enough to splurge on Marc Jacobs. Still, it's nice to have.
|Laura Mercier Créme Smooth Lip Colour in Milky Way|
On to Laura Mercier with the brownest of the bunch, this Créme Smooth Lip Colour in Milky Way. When I first twisted this up, I thought, no way! It's soooooo brown. Can't wear it. But after I put it on, I realized that, ok I can wear it. It makes a nice base for several gloss products that I have because it keeps the lips that very neutral color, with less of its natural pinkness and it brings out the best in my MAC Huggable Glass in Sweet Persuasion. It's such a pretty combo that I think I will be going back to from time to time. That said, I am in no rush to grab one of these in full-size. As a matter of fact, I probably never will, because I would never conceive of using it by itself.
|Nudestix Lip + Cheek Pencil in Whisper|
|Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint in Namaste|
The Nudestix Lip + Cheek Pencil in Whisper looked promising but fell flat once I had applied it on my lips. It literally looked very flat and emphasized my lip lines. If I wanted pasty, this is the item I would grab. I don't think I would ever attempt to use this on my cheeks either. Maybe I just don't get the entire concept of the Nudestix brand but I have yet to determine how much use I'll have for this. After I put it on, I went and grabbed the Tarteist Lip Paint, hoping to salvage the look but I didn't realize that the Lip Paint would also be matte. Not being a fan of the completely matte look, I wasn't happy with how this looked on me. That said, it photographs rather well and the combo wasn't as drying as I thought it would be.
In the swatches I have below, you'll notice I put cafe au lait on the Marc Jacobs lip pencil. I couldn't find the color written anywhere on the item (pardon my geriatric eyesight, or perhaps I didn't check hard enough) so I looked it up on the Sephora website and found this written: Nude(ist) 300 - cafe au lait. I zeroed in on cafe au lait, thinking that was the shade name. But I don't care to revise the photo so... just saying.
On to the next thing. I have below the Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain. It's just a little something something that I wanted to try on a whim. Let me preface by saying that I'm a lipstick kind of person. Meaning, I prefer good old regular lipstick to any other lip product. Stains, in particular, are probably among my least favorite lip products. But I thought I'd give this one a try anyway.
|Sephora Collection Creamy Lip Stain in Pink Soufflé|
So maybe I should've listened to my gut and not bought this one. I like the color a lot when I look at it and in the swatch below, you'll see it's quite pretty. But this one looked matte when I had it on and it was just the absolute worst thing for my lip lines. It showed each and every one of them and some I never even thought that I had. Eager to remedy the look, I popped another Sephora lip product on top (you'll see it shortly, the Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color in Fig Luster) but that only made it worse since Fig Luster is also matte and way more brown. Try as I might to blot the whole thing off, it wouldn't come off! So I was left with this muddy pink brown stain, lip lines looking cracked and all. The only thing left to try was gloss. I added a super shiny sheer lip gloss in a soft shimmery rose color and all was well in the world. I even got compliments on it when I arrived at my first destination that day. Overall though, I may never want to wear this product ever again.
I was talking Fig Luster, right? So, below you'll find the infamous Sephora Collection Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color in Fig Luster. I admit, I was prompted to buy this after trying it on in the store. I was in front of the mirror and one of the associates saw me put it on and said, ooooh that's lovely! I had my doubts, at the time, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. See, I almost never try products in the store anymore. I'm just so darned afraid of all the bacteria those testers harbor, especially at Sephora. But I was insanely curious so when I was given some applicators to try the product, I went in and tried two shades. One on my top lip and another on the bottom. I took one look and then wiped them off. So the effect of that compliment? Yeah, I came home and ordered it online.
|Sephora Collection Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color in Fig Luster|
But outside of the store, in natural light, I realized exactly how dark and heavy on the brown this shade was. That's not usually very flattering on me. However, I may yet find some use for this product, so I will keep trying.
I had previously purchased the duo of Magenta and Scarlet Luster, in the same formula. I appreciated how saturated in color those two were so I wanted to try a shade that was less bright, just to see. But in the end, I think the strength of this formula lies in the very bright shades.
|Sephora Collection Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color|
Magenta Luster and Scarlet Luster
The applicator is wide and flat. This really doesn't matter to me because I would insist on putting this product on with a lip brush. I also treat it as a top coat and never use it on its own. If going for pink, I would apply any shade of a non-drying pink lipstick, use lip liner to make the outside lines nice and crisp and then top with this. The result is always vibrant, even color that will definitely become the central focus of your look.
There are things I don't like about this formula though. One, it doesn't seem to completely dry down (which leads to that luster matte effect, very hard to explain). It comes on somewhat glossy looking and you will need to ensure that you apply just the right amount of product and try not to press your lips together after or product will cling to each other in a weird way, hanging off your lip. You could lightly blot off excess on a tissue. I find that it helps. Once you do that, it shouldn't be too much of a problem trying to keep it from staining your clothes, your hair, your child or boyfriend.
You could also try the insert your finger into the center of your mouth and pull it off while cupping it with your lips method and that should remove most of the excess from the center/inner part of your lips. You will, however, stain your finger/hand. Have some waterproof eye makeup remover handy for that.
Once dry, you will find that it is definitely matte. These two shades didn't seem like a super flat matte to me. I found Fig Luster seemed a little more matte. How is that possible? I don't know. In the end, while beautiful, I find it to be a very fussy formula to work with and I do not recommend it.
|Sephora Collection Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color|
Oh, and here's another reason this product fascinated me so much. The tubes look just like MAC Huggable Glass in size, shape and style. I love my Huggable Glass (Mega Hug and Sweet Persuasion pictured below) that I may break my rule never to buy backups of anything. The MAC Huggable Glass line is limited edition. MAC stores don't even have the display out anymore.
Finally, I just wanted to show you Sephora's new gel lip liners. I grabbed these at the store before they even had the display set up. A really nice associate brought out the entire basket of lip liners and we opened testers. I got three shades: Rose Wine, Dragon Fruit and Wine-O.
|Sephora Collection Rouge Gel Lip Liners|
At $12 a pop, I thought that they weren't too expensive. Swatching them on the hand in the store, you could see and feel them glide on like butter, with vibrant shades that just really called to me. However, once I had them home and started using them, I felt like they were kind of hard to control. It's like using a gel lipstick in pencil form. I was wishing it was bigger and wider so I could just apply it on its side. If I handle it like a pencil, I can't seem to keep the lines really straight. Maybe it's just me.
The shade options are plentiful and they seem generously-sized, requiring no sharpener. You just twist up and apply. But once the novelty had worn off, I went back to my trusty Revlon.