I'm trying to get back into beauty blogging again. My old features such as Monster High Monday, the Lipstick Challenge and Beloved Beauty Bits, fizzled out when I was unable to wear makeup and keep up my beauty regime. Poor 'Too Pretty To Swatch' died before it even began! I contemplated resurrecting it, but the thought of 'ruining' these items purely to swatch for the blog then relegate back to their box, kinda defeated the purpose of the whole thing. The point was to see beyond the pretty surface and hopefully find new favourites that I could integrate into my regular makeup routine, not a one-time use thing. Even wearing makeup once a month would be more than I'm capable of right now, so I'm trying to work around that to see if there is something more 'manageable' I could continue doing on a regular basis. Of course, I also don't buy nearly as much makeup as I used to, because I don't see the point when I'm not wearing it, but I recently ordered some lip products and thought I'd swatch them, as that used to be my favourite type of beauty post to do.
I just have two of the lippies for you today by NYX. NYX are much more widely available over here now than they used to be, with the likes of Boots and ASOS stocking the brand. I can recall when they had to be imported through swapping sites or relatively unknown websites had random items. Unfortunately they aren't quite as inexpensive as they would be in America, but they sit somewhere between Rimmel, Seventeen or Sleek and L'Oreal, Revlon or Bourjois, so not too bad. The two I have for you today are from the Matte lipstick range.
The packaging is pretty standard and flimsy if I'm honest. Black, rounded cases, light-weight with a clear section in the middle. The lipsticks twist up, even with the lid on, though somehow they haven't smudged against the lid yet (so perhaps something does prevent this). Sometimes I've noticed through the clear section that the lipstick colour has disappeared and that's when I realise it's twisted itself up! The brown one is especially bad for doing this and actually won't 'click' shut when you turn it back down. There's already a nick out of it from it scraping against the inside of the container, but like I say the top has remained undamaged. I even noticed the brown one slipping back down, when I tried to swatch it or even when it was just sitting there. There's obviously something not quite right with the mechanism. I normally wouldn't care too much about basic packaging, but I'm not sure I'd feel that secure about chucking them in my bag (for fear of lids falling off and lipstick going everywhere). I do like perspex or self coloured bits that help identify the colour inside without having to take all the lids off. If you store your lipsticks like I do (standing up in a drawer), you still have to pull the lipstick out in this instance. It would be handier on the base or lid, but that's a minor niggle.
The lighter lipstick is (MLS26) Shy, described by NYX as a true nude. It's certainly not got any pink or enough orange tones to call it peach, but it's got that peachy-nude thing going on, if that makes sense? It's not neutral beige/brown toned, but not a coral-peach either. I might just have confused you even more!
On light skin, it's going to act like a concealer, neutralising the pink or red tones in your lips. It's very light, so will be lighter than your own lips, no matter how pale they may be. These lipsticks are very opaque and highly coloured, so the colour will cover whatever is underneath (if your lips are very pigmented), but it's also buildable (more on that in the swatches). On medium or dark skin, it's going to appear very white (like glow in the dark style) and too light to be a nude.
The darker of the two is (MLS21) Butter, a toffee nude according to NYX. That's a fair description, as it's a brown with taupe rather than red undertones, but still has a little warmth to it. On my light skin it's quite deep, but I'd imagine it would make a great nude on darker skin.
Both lipsticks are relatively creamy and don't 'pull' as many mattes can. When I think of matte, I think dry, patchy and hard to work with, but these are anything but. The colour intensity and coverage are both excellent. Both would benefit from being worn with a lipliner though. I wasn't wearing any other makeup at the time, but thought I'd quickly try them on my lips (half a mouth each) and both looked rather stupid on me. They are not your quick makeup fix type lippie, you need to take care applying and use a liner. So I wasn't going to post these photos, because I'm not even sure they are a good reflection of the colour, but it does illustrate a few points.
One being that Shy is extremely light, even on my pale skin and looks most unnatural and unflattering. In reality it was brighter (more garish actually) than it looks here. I'm a great lover of light and nude lipstick, so I was disappointed that this one looked so weird on me. It settles into lines, has an obvious line where it meets the more moist part of my mouth and seems to highlight imperfections, where there weren't any. My lips are always very moisturised, but they looked dry and chapped here. The colour of the lipstick reminds me of MAC Naked Liner lip pencil (hope I've got the shade name right, been so long since I've used it). It's too light and bright to look good. That said, I'm hoping to play around with it and try it with a lipliner underneath and maybe a gloss on top (totally defeating the purpose of the matte thing here, but hey ho).
Butter looked better on the lips (couldn't look much worse than Shy), but it looked sloppy because it needed a liner to define the edges. Where I'd missed bits, my lips looked so pink in comparison, but I'm more hopeful that I can work with this one (I think it just needs makeup on my face and a lipliner). Again it's come across lighter in this photo and I'd say more 'tan' than it was in real life.
In the hand swatches, I've applied several layers, then swiped the lipstick just once so you can see the good colour pay-off in just one layer. Shy looks pretty on the hand, so it's really disappointing that this doesn't translate onto the lips. With the one swipe the orange tone is greatly reduced, giving a much more natural (for me) skin colour. Butter doesn't change too much between swatches, it's just less opaque and lighter, but in the same tone. With the right liner, this may give a lot of people that Kylie Jenner brown lip look.
Overall, I'll admit I'm a bit disappointed with these. I had high hopes and they both looked so gorgeous in the tube, I was sad to see they weren't as beautiful when swatched and a bit of a nightmare on the lips. The packaging could be better-I've had £1 lipsticks in similar looking cases that perform better. The formula is great though, there's no chalky consistency and it glides on the lips well. So well, that a lipliner is required for a neater finish. They don't feel drying, which is often an issue with a matte formula. They don't look powdery matte, but there's not a shine, more a very slight sheen. The opaqueness and colour pay-off is excellent.
So I like the formula and finish, but would choose better colours next time and the packaging could improve. Phew! That was hard work. I forgot how daunting it can be to try and describe a colour accurately, when you know in your head what you mean and it won't quite come out on paper. Like I said at the start, I'm hoping to make this a regular thing and I did have some more NYX goodies with that order that I'd like to review for you. What do you think, have you tried these matte lipsticks before?
Post contains affiliate links.