Until this week, Glossier wasn't shipping to Canada, which I have lamented about plenty, mostly because I was dying to try the Generation G lipsticks. Sheer, matte, bullet lipsticks? I must have them. But it was proving to be a lot of work to get them, since Glossier's site wasn't going to let me use my Canadian credit card to order and send to an American address. But then Colourpop came out with the Blotted Lips, which looked suspiciously like the Generation Gs, as well as a description that immediately invited speculation. And these were available internationally! I originally ordered two during free shipping event, then three more during another free shipping event because there were an awful lot of those this spring. I was head over heels for the look of these things. Though they aren't without faults, that's for sure.
(I have a Generation G on its way to me so I'll be comparing these with that after a period of proper testing, but the general consensus I've seen is that they're similar, but not totally identical in feel/pigmentation. Plus the Blotted Lips are way cheaper.)
I ended up getting Drip (a warm rosey mauve), Bee's Knees (fuschia), Ice Cube (cool-toned berry), Sucker (soft coral), and Lexi (a cool-toned red). Lexi was part of some collaboration with a beauty guru that I've never heard of or care about, hence the black tube. It originally had lovely copper lettering for the labels, which has long since rubbed off. To my surprise, the silver lettering on my other Blotted Lips remains intact, which is pretty unusual for Colourpop packaging. The plastic on these is matte, and seems to be decently strong - no cracking. The only downfall so far is that Lexi fell out of the tube this week. I've heard other people having this problem with both the Blotted Lips and the Generation Gs, so here I am to confirm it can happen. Despite me hoping I was immune. I'm annoyed but the Blotted Lips aren't expensive (plus I got all of mine on sale sooooo). However, I know I'll be grumpy if and when my Generation G does that.
Bee's Knees (According to the label, this is "Bees Knees." I refuse to call it that.)
I find Lexi to be the most difficult of these to wear, since it has a tendency to wear off the inside my lip very quickly. Lexi is the problem child of these, even though the sheer blue red is exactly my kind of colour. Drip is the most emollient of these, followed by Lexi.
Drip is my favourite for a casual lip. It comes across as a more of a rose brown on me, and is really more opaque than the others on first swipe.
In direct sunlight: Lexi, Sucker, Drip, Ice Cube, Bee's Knees
Indirect sunlight: Lexi, Sucker, Drip, Ice Cube, Bee's Knees
Overall, the formula is a waxy, stiffer bullet that gives a translucent wash of colour. They can be built up to total opacity very easily, without any issue. Some colours are definitely more draggy than others, and they do need to be warmed up a bit if they've been in a cooler location - see me trying to keep my heat off once May hit, and the very cool spring we had no cooperating. The feel of them on the lips is light, almost weightless. They aren't moisturizing, but I also don't find them drying - though again, this is somewhat dependent on colour. Some are more drying than others, some are more emollient than others. These slight variations don't impact the look all that much, but I can see it being a problem for people with more sensitive lips.
That said, even the more emollient ones aren't really emollient. You can't move the pigment around if you fuck up the application which I do two of every three times I put on lipstick because I am so not a morning person, guys. So I end up layering more on, having more of an opaque look. They (overall) aren't patchy or streaky, so layering to fix mistakes isn't a huge deal. But still. Not quite the effortless wash of colour for which one may be looking.
Do I recommend the Blotted Lips? Yes, but with some reservation. For what they are and the price, you probably won't go too wrong if the sheer matte lip is something you'd like to try. You're almost certainly better off buying Colourpop over Glossier to try them out, especially since the Colourpop shade range is larger and you're more likely to find a colour that appeals. On the other hand, the packaging and formula demand that you be careful when opening them, since they're prone to breakage. They do require some finesse to apply.
But they are on trend - that sheer popsicle stained look has taken hold, and they're an inexpensive way to partake. And I'm good with that.