When Renee visited me a few weeks ago, she brought along a new toy: the Sephora Favorites Give Me More Lip “lip wardrobe” ($59). It’s a limited edition/holiday 2015 release containing 15 lip colors (4 full size) ranging in colors, formulas, and finishes: from tinted balms to matte liquid lipsticks and from plumping glosses to vampy creams.
We decided to swatch them with Indya (Bella Noir Beauty) so that you could see how they looked on our fair, medium, and dark skin tones. We’re all warm-toned, but I’m NC15, Renee is Not Chanel 35, and Indya is NC50.
Here’s a 2-minute vid where we model (using that word very liberally) every single color.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention
WE HAVE A YOUTUBE CHANNEL NOW!
Initially, we were all psyched to be playing with these lippies. YSL! Bite Beauty! Kat Von D! Too Faced! Nars! Woohoo!
But after trying on all 15 colors tirelessly (actually we got pretty tired, especially Renee, who was fighting the flu), our unanimous verdict is: This set isn’t worth buying and it’s far from a ready-made “lip wardrobe.” Unless you want a wardrobe that resembles your clothing wardrobe, where 1/2 the items don’t fit your current style, the other 1/2 just don’t fit, and you question why you ever bought that neon orange thing.
The set can be broken down into:
- The lipsticks: With few exceptions, they were fatally flawed in their shades, formulas, or both. Bonus 10 points for the wide range of colors (brights, darks, reds, nudes), but minus 1,000 points for so many unwearable shades (on all of us) that you can’t even gift the ones that don’t suit you–because chances are it won’t look good on the recipient either and will just earn you a SIDE EYE!
- The sheer balms and glosses: Generally fine but boring and similar looking once applied, raising the question of why one needs so much of the same.
To be fair, about 60 people on Sephora’s site would strongly disagree with us as they’ve rated it 5 and 4 stars. Average rating is 4.7!
Below are swatches on (from left to right) Indya (NC50), Renee (NC35), and me (NC15), swatched in the same order as on the box.
1. Bite Beauty Matte Crème Lip Crayon in Cognac: Great formula, but the ’90s brown color is horrid on me and Renee. But it turned out to be Indya’s favorite and actually flattered her in a fierce, grown-up way (see her Instagram).
2. Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Homegirl: Vampy, goth dark purple that went on patchy.
3. NARS Lipstick in Scarlet Empress: Surprising hit for all of us. Smooth, pigmented formula in a deep berry red shade that looked good on our different skintones. My fave and Indya’s other fave.
4. Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in Berry Blast: Contrary to the name, this is just a sheer lip gloss that adds a wash of girly pink-purple color. It’s one of those tingly, lip-plumping glosses–one of Renee’s faves but one of Indya’s least faves (she didn’t like the tingling).
5. Lancôme Lip Lover in 355 Framboise Etoile: Another sheer lip gloss, this time in a strawberry red color. Perfectly fine but unexciting.
6. YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in 01 Le Rouge: Beautiful gold packaging and smooth, creamy, pigmented formula. Based on the name, I expected a pure, maybe even blue-based red, but on our skintones it looked like a bright orange red, making it feel more casual than glam in my opinion. Probably my fave formula.
7. Ciate London Liquid Velvet Matte Lip Slick in Risqué: Indya’s least fave, which says A LOT given that Indya is the Liquid Lipstick Queen. The formula went on streaky (not as apparent on camera). The shade is a loud, matte orange (“bright-ass orange” in Indya’s words) that is flattering to maybe 1% of people? On full lips, it looks clownlike, but if you want your lips to be the first thing people notice and the only thing they remember, then go with this.
8. Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Magenta Matte: We’re no stranger to bright lipsticks–Renee even liked Smashbox’s fuchsia lipstick–but this particular shade looked way too cool-toned and chalky against our warm skin. Instead of a true magenta, it’s a bright opaque purple-pink with a strong white base.
9. Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Peony: I’m a fan of the Melted formula, which is nicely creamy yet pigmented. (I have Melted Fuchsia and loooove it.) It’s a decent nude on my lips, but looks a little washed-out and chalky on Indya and Renee, making this Renee’s least fave.
10. Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Streak: I live for light, bright coral pinks like Streak, but from the start, the formula was a little weird: melty, soft, and goopy–in a bullet. Meh…
11. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Tulip: Ah, Fresh’s famous tinted lip balm in a medium blue-pink hue (advertised as sheer hot pink, but the hotness is diluted quite a bit by the low pigmentation). Barely showed up on Indya.
12. Clinique Chubby Stick Balm in Super Strawberry: Ah, Clinique’s famous tinted lip balm in a medium strawberry pink. Also barely showed up on Indya. (Can you tell I’m bored by these tinted balms?)
13. Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Sophia: Another sheer, tingly, lip-plumping gloss from Buxom–this time in a pinkish nude shade. Advertised as shimmering, but the shimmers aren’t really visible and it appears as just a creamy nude. Renee’s fave and one of Indya’s least faves for the tingly, plumping effect.
14. Tarte LipSurgence Skintuitive Lip Gloss in Energy: I’ve reviewed this before (love it!). On this day, the color didn’t develop as much as it normally does on my lips, and barely any color developed on Renee’s and Indya’s lips. If I hadn’t tried this before, I would have thought this gloss was barely a step above clear gloss.
15. Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Colour in Milky Way: Hands down, my least fave. A tan caramel beige that looks washed out on Indya and just plain weird and dirty on me. It looked OK on Renee as a true nude, like practically the same color as her skin.
Phew, if you’re still reading this, please check into Makeupholics Anonymous stat! 😀 J/k! Thanks for reading this far.
Tl;dr: In one sense, the Give Me More Lip set was a success because it introduced us to some products that we’d probably otherwise pass by. But $59 really isn’t a great value for 1-2 exciting discoveries, a bunch of tinted balms and glosses, and multiple unwearable and ungiftable colors. Invest your money in a few lip products that you really LOVE instead.