Before I launch into my review, let me say this: until last year, I'd never been a real lipstick-wearer. I've been picking out colors and applying it on clients for a long time, of course, but I never really adorned my own lips with anything other than gloss unless it was a special occasion.
Now, I'm glad to say I've become a little bit of a lipstick junkie. Most of the lipsticks I own are from Make Up For Ever (Rouge Artist Intense, $19 at Sephora-- their satin is my all-time favorite formula) or Buxom (Big & Healthy Lipstick, $18 at Sephora, with a plumper).
(Kindly ignore my hair. I'm in the awkward stages of growing out my pixie).
First of all, I want to talk about the formulas. Most matte lipsticks are incredibly drying and pull at your lips when you're applying-- even the NARS Matte lipsticks. The Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, however, doesn't have that drying or pulling effect at all. It feels like a satin, but looks like a matte. This is clearly a benefit of the Vitamin E and emollients in the formula, which are nourishing for the lips.
The Velvet Gloss, meanwhile, has additional benefits; it comes enriched with hyaluronic spheres. Hyaluronic acid retains more than 1000% its weight in moisture-- try getting dry lips with THAT kind of moisture! If you've got mature skin or lips, the Velvet Gloss would be a great choice; more and more skincare experts are agreeing that hyaluronic acid is a better choice than collagen when looking for products that will fill in and prevent wrinkles.
I wore these two lipsticks for seven hours today. They lasted through breakfast (a granola bar) with no need for reapplication. I had a mocha midway through my day, and I barely had to touch up, which impressed me. After supper (pizza), I did need to reapply, but there was no bleeding, as I have experienced with some other lipsticks after eating greasy foods. They also lasted through lots and lots of talking and a fair bit of lip-licking (a bad habit of mine) with no need for reapplication. All in all, I touched up only twice today, and I'm more than fine with that.
Pencils, in my opinion, are preferable to traditional lipsticks; they're great for precise application without a lip brush. However, I wish they were retractable or had a built-in sharpener. I don't like toting a sharpener in my purse, and pencils that require sharpening don't last as long as a retractable pencil or traditional lipstick. The only other downside to these pencils is that the cap can pop off if you're not careful to close it correctly. I don't know how to better explain it than to say it feels like too much air gets trapped inside the lid and pops the lid halfway off, which could create a mess inside your purse. Also, I wish they made more colors! Right now the Velvet Gloss has seven colors, while the Velvet Matte has twelve. I'm eyeing Mexican Rose from their spring collection... major color lust for that beautiful deep pink.
Great for dry/mature lips
Doesn't come with a sharpener
Problem with the cap coming off
Limited selection of colors
Overall, I'd recommend these. They're long-wearing, feel great on the lips, and are absolutely gorgeous!
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