Sunday, 23 February 2020

Review & Swatch Comparisons: Clarins v MAC Mousse Lip

Post contains some affiliate links.  No products gifted.  
flatlay of beauty products little twin stars mirror and brush, clarins and mac mousse lip tubes and pony park highlighter
Before Christmas I ordered a couple of bits from the Clarins Spring 2020 Milkshake collection. At the time, it was an online exclusive so there were no swatches or info as nobody had bought it yet. To be truthful I wasn't quite sure what I was buying, as it's an entirely new formula for the brand, but I ordered one of the mousse lip colours. I've been getting more and more into MAC again recently, but missed the Pony Park K-beauty collaboration last Autumn. A few weeks ago, I noticed they had some back in stock, so ordered the highlighter and a lip product. Again this was pegged as a mousse formula, so I wasn't quite sure what it was going to be like. When it arrived, it immediately struck me that it was similar to the Clarins one I'd bought (and promptly put away because I wasn't that enamoured with it), so I've photographed and swatched them both to review. tubes of clarins and mac mousse lip products

Although I initially was a bit disappointed with the Clarins one, since I brought it back out of my stash, I'm using it daily and growing to like it. The Clarins lip balm, lip perfector and lip oils are some of my all-time favourite lip products from any brand, so I think my expectations were high here and like I say, I wasn't quite sure exactly what the finish was when buying. It's a limited edition product, available in 6 shades, I got 06 Milky Nude. I'm going to quote Clarins directly here as they probably describe it better than me, "Milky Mousse Lips has a tinted effect that instantly infuses the lips with colour and embraces them with a peach-soft, velvety satin finish. It has a lightweight, airy and refreshing texture that's like a cloud of whipped cream floating on your lips", a cloud of whipped cream...okay, definitely wouldn't come up with that one! tube of clarins milky mousse lip product in 06 milky nude on little twin stars star shaped mirror
So firstly the packaging is a squeezy tube, the lid pulls off and then snaps shut again (no twisting) and the applicator is a rounded ball shaped sponge with a hole in the centre where the product comes out when squeezed. You're kidding yourself if you think you'll keep this from getting 'dirty'. When it first arrived I applied it onto my finger (as I do with a lot of lip products), trying to 'save' the sponge from getting product on it and then onto the lips. It got brown pretty quickly, even doing it that way, so I prefer just using the applicator now. I felt it was quite streaky with my finger and still can be with the sponge, but less so. You also have to be careful of an initial 'poof' when you first squeeze; a small blob of product tends to jump out and you don't always catch it! It happened the other day and I wasn't quite sure where it landed and since found staining between two fingers and on a cushion, so...found it! I'm liking the graded, ombre colour of the tube, it's quite fresh for Clarins, they've definitely been aiming more for the younger market lately and also the colour corresponds to whichever shade you bought, so you can easily grab the correct one at a glance (if you had multiple). close up of rounded sponge applicator
As for the product, well, I'm still not quite sure what it is! It comes out from the tube in a blob the size of the hole, so you kinda have to dot that on the lip, then spread. I'm finding the sponge soaks up the colour easily, so that's counter-productive as there's nothing left to spread. Mousse conjured up feelings of a light, airy, whipped texture for me and I wasn't getting that upon the first swatch, it felt quite heavy, but on my lips it does feel light. I also expected more of a 'milky' nude as the name suggests, less brown in terms of colour, so was surprised by how deep it was  When you spread it across the lips, it then appears a little patchy, likewise pressing lips together seems to remove colour from the top lip.  If you favour a pristine, opaque application, then this likely isn't for you (unless using a liner underneath to fill the entire lip). Then the biggest surprise is the staining, it stains massively, but weirdly not on the lips. I'm finding the performance on my hand versus my lips is the complete opposite actually. When I photographed these swatches below, my hand was stained for the rest of the day, even after copious hand-washing with soap and initially cleanser. Even my fingertip was stained from applying it and the next day there was still a slight staining on my hand. [Swatches below show initial application straight from the tube, then very sheered out with the finger and the final image, washed off]

When applying on the lips, I'm just not getting a lingering colour, just this slightly patchy application. It tingles a bit on the lips initially (I quite like that, but it doesn't necessarily do it every time, so I don't know if it's supposed to) and it feels cooling at first and when you smack your lips together. I feel it doesn't last long though and the issues with the sponge soaking up the product means I never get a decent coverage to begin with. I'm still using it daily, as a balm sorta thing, but it's not a patch on other Clarins lip products. Finish wise, it is matte-ish, not a dry powdery looking matte. I wouldn't say it's moisturising on the lips, but I also didn't find it drying. I think if you want that "just bitten" or Korean look where the product is applied in the centre of the lips and not to the edges, it might work for you (albeit in a brighter or rosier shade). Colour-wise compared to the MAC one, I favour Clarins as it doesn't have the orangey tone, though can still look very terracotta on my lips.   swatches on hand of Clarins milky mousse lip and mac pony park matte lip mousseswatches blended on back of hand of clarins milky mousse lips and mac matte lip moussestain left on hand from clarins milky mousse lips in 06 milky nude
MAC Matte Lip Mousse is described as "Breakthrough K-beauty colour is whipped for an ethereal lightweight feel. Long-wearing formula provides sheer-to-medium buildable coverage with a soft-matte finish. Specially designed in metallic rose gold and matte dark grey packaging inspired by star tarot cards". The colour I bought was One-Hit Sharp Cookie, a warm nude. As you can see from the swatches above, it's got a lot more of that orange-terracotta tone to the brown. I expected to dislike it, but it's actually very brightening for my complexion and makes me look very fresh faced. The applicator is slightly different from usual MAC glosses, with a curved end to the wand. I really like this, it hugs the lips and the point is fantastic for first lining the lip then turning it around to fill. I've never had that precision with a liquid product before. The lid is that slight fuzzy peach-skin texture which I just know is going to end up covered in fingerprints, but the pretty pattern will hopefully go some way to disguising that.  Where they get 'grey' packaging from though, I don't know, it's definitely black.MAC Pony Park lip mousse tube on little twin stars star shaped mirror
This one definitely packs more of a punch in terms of colour. I disagree with the sheer to medium, buildable coverage statement. On my lips, it's a solid, opaque shade almost instantly. Again this isn't a drying formula, though the finish is matte once it dries down. It wears off from the centre of the lips outwards, so you may be left with a ring around the lips. When I eat, it all disappears (pretty much instantly) anyway. On the hand swatch as you can see, when washed off, this completely disappeared, no staining whatsoever. It's unusual for a matte product to not leave a bit of colour behind in my opinion. When I smack my lips together, they didn't stick (on either products) and this one especially felt quite bouncy which I liked and continued to do so throughout wear. close up of curved sponge applicator wand on MAC matte lip mousse Overall, the Clarins one is a bit of a miss for me. While the packaging looks cool, it doesn't come without issues (I'm even noticing a little product starting to cover the inside of the lid and therefore creep out a bit when I'm opening and shutting). The colour beats MAC for me, just slightly, though the patchy application isn't a look I go for, so it's unlikely I'd choose to wear this out on a 'makeup' day. With lips filled in with liner it could help, but I haven't tried this yet. MAC wins on performance, for a matte product it did indeed have a bouncy texture that wasn't drying (the mousse feeling I anticipated) and the colour was intense without any patchiness. As it's quite a dark shade (the rest of the range was too), it does noticeably wear off, so it's not in my opinion a long-lasting product (the website stated 8 hours, I'd aim for 2 tbh). I also didn't understand the "Immediate and long-term (one week) moisture" moisturises for a week, with one application?? I wouldn't be buying it for that anyway, but I don't actually know what they mean by that. Price wise if you were still debating between the two, Clarins is £1 cheaper, so there's not much in it. I'm glad I've tried them both, I wouldn't repurchase the Clarins one, but if MAC ever brought out new shades, I'd be tempted to take a look.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Wowee your comments cheer me up!

Unfortunately I've had to disable anonymous comments for now, due to a high volume of spam.