So while I'm resigned to mostly grabbing deluxe sizes with codes, I've had a very good streak lately. In addition to purchasing a mini MAC lipstick in Diva, a matte, I've gotten freebies of Fenty Beauty Matte-moiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Griselda, Tom Ford lipstick in Indian Rose, and Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Big Bang. All of which were great for trying the shade, formula, and seeing a comparable version of the packaging. However, not all of them were great...which is why samples are something I'm trying to take advantage of more often, particularly as I don't have regular access to a variety of stores to swatch things. This way, I'm ultimately saving money and getting to try things, even if they're not always colours I'd choose for myself.
L-R: Tom Ford Indian Rose, MAC Diva, Fenty Griselda, Urban Decay Big Bang
I'd actually already tried Big Bang in a little sample blister, but it was very different in a bullet form. It's described as "bright pink sparkle." That's true. I loosely subscribe to Auxiliary Beauty's Lipstick Taxonomy, so I'm inclined to feel like it's a glitter lipstick, since the shimmer is fairly large. Urban Decay calls it metallized. Okay.
Quibbles about the finish of this lipstick aside, it's very, very pretty. That's the end of my positive thoughts on this. It's gritty and wears off in weird patchy chunks. But it's so pretty! That is not enough to keep a little deluxe lipstick sample. Do not get this, not even with a code. The Vice lipstick range is large, so there are better things in there.
Tom Ford Lipstick in Indian Rose is probably the best mini lipstick I've ever come across. This was a 100 point perk at Sephora this fall, and I nabbed it. I wanted to try Tom Ford lipsticks, but I've heard they go rancid really, really fast, and for someone with a lipstick collection the size of mine, a lipstick that goes off quickly is no good. I've already used mine up a ton, and I can see it being an easy lipstick pan this year.
Indian Rose is a neutral pink, very wearable, office-appropriate colour. It's sheer-ish, and the formula is creamy with a glossier finish on the side of satin. It wears easily and because it's such a sheer neutral, it doesn't look weird as it rubs off.
It's a very soft formula, and it's fine...but it's just fine. Tom Ford lipsticks run $70. I want to be singing from rooftops about how great it is for that pricetag. It's not, though. It's merely okay. I'll happily wear it. I won't ever buy a Tom Ford lipstick. There are so many amazing formulas - for much less money.
Fenty Beauty Matte-moiselle Plush Matte Lipstick in Griselda was another 100 point perk that I had picked up with my Christmas gift card purchases in January. I also picked up a full size of the Matte-moiselles, Candy Venom, so I can tell you that the formula for these varies between colours. Candy Venom is pigmented, lightweight, opaque and smooth in application. Griselda, a burgundy, is stiff, draggy, and patchy. I could not, for the life of me, get this to apply evenly at all, ever. It's terrible. I hate it. I can't even bring myself to try to pass this on to another person because it's so bad. I definitely couldn't bring myself to wear this for a whole day to test it, so I can't tell you what it looks like over a day. But I think not being willing to do that indicates to you how much I hate this.
Which is especially mystifying because Candy Venom is so good.
Comparing Griselda to MAC Diva, Diva is the easy winner. Both are burgundies, but Diva is much smoother and more red-toned, which I think is more flattering on me. It's also along the stiff side, but it applies more smoothly and doesn't look patchy if you try to even out the layers. It leaves a really nice dark pink-red stain and wears relatively evenly, for all that burgundy is such a finicky colour. I love the vamp of this colour, though I generally try to avoid being too vampy because it's so easy. But it's certainly a colour that I only really need one of.
2 out of 4 that I actually like, and 1 out of 4 that I would buy (or in this case, buy again). Not a stellar showing for the tiny lipsticks, but again, this was an easy way to try a few things, and explore some formulas.