Liquid matte lipsticks are on their way out. They've been slowly taking a step back in the market for other formulas and looks. But while I was initially pretty vocal abut my dislike of liquid lipsticks, and then very carefully with a lot of requirements, dipped my toe into liquid lipsticks. I acknowledge there is a place for long-wearing, smudge-resistant, mostly bulletproof lip colours - and I have plenty of reasons to need longer-wearing lip colours. Not every day, but often enough. Enter the new cream to matte lipsticks I've been coming across. Applies like a lipstick bullet or crayon, sets to a matte finish, similar to a liquid lipstick. Not as bulletproof as some liquid mattes, but pretty close. Also more comfortable, easier to apply, take longer to set so mistakes can be fixed more easily, can be reapplied without being fully removed (mostly)...the virtues are many. Cream to matte is my new matte lipstick love. Good-bye, liquids. I have a new friend, one who hopefully won't expire quite as fast.
I've tried two different cream to matte formulas, at two different price points: NYX Super Cliquey Matte Lipstick (not to be confused with the Super Cliquey Glossy Lipsticks, which have the same packaging) and Marc Jacobs Le Marc Liquid Lip Crayon (as an aside, why do all Marc Jacobs products have to have Le Marc in their name? We get it. You're Marc Jacobs Beauty). And while there are some differences in formulas and shade ranges and how they wear and packaging, I'm very happy with both and I think both of them are great, not just for their price points, but great products. For NYX, this is saying a lot, since I think most NYX products are trash and overpriced for drugstore, and I've rarely liked anything I've tried from them.
L-R: Night Mauves, In the Red, Obvs
According to the NYX website, the Super Cliquey Mattes are $12 in Canada, but I paid $9.99 at Shoppers because I like sales, and a friend had recommended the line to me, since she had just bought one and quite liked it. The Marc Jacobs Liquid Lip Crayon was $34. I could have bought this during the Sephora sale, but I picked it up after a visit to my ophthalmologist.
(As a note: I've been making great strides on not stress shopping and generally don't advocate it, but there are just some things in life that are too much without a bribe to work through it. I've disclosed on this blog that I have a lot of vision issues, so you can probably guess that even a routine visit to any of my eye care team is a negative thing for me. I promised myself that if I got through it, I would go to Sephora and buy a lipstick that I'd been wanting for a while. I lived, I got a lipstick. Here we are today.)
I picked Night Mauves from the selection of shades in the Liquid Lip Crayons, though I also had and still have my eye on Fram-bois! because it is the prettiest magenta. Night Mauves, on the other hand, is more wearable on all occasions. It's described as a "soft pink mauve," which is kind of accurate but doesn't mention the gorgeous pearl finish which adds some dimension and doesn't affect the long-wearing nature of this lipstick. It's pretty. It's comfortable. It's a very creamy crayon, easy to apply and easy to fix until it dries down. I find it gets heavy, transfers more, and looks frosty if you try to apply another layer over one that's already set, so I prefer to remove this before reapplying. However, I haven't much needed to on the many days I've worn it to work, since it wears well and the fade from my inner lips isn't super noticeable with a colour like this.
It doesn't stand up to the greasiest of food, but makes it through most of my lunches and all of my snacking. Apparently this claims 16 hour wear time, to which I say "HA," but it does make it through a work day, which is 9-10 hours from me getting up and getting ready to me coming home and taking off my lipstick to eat supper. The crayon is slim and a twist up, and the cap is secure, provided you remember to push it till it clicks in place (remember this! MJ does have a label to remind you if you don't, though). All in all, this is a great product. But not exactly budget friendly at $34 per crayon.
So for the budget version, I got two of the Super Cliquey mattes, since a) sale was still going on, b) I had such a great experience with my first one that I wanted another colour for some variation, and c) I wanted to see if others in the line were as good, you know, for science. I have such a low opinion of NYX that I thought it could be a fluke. But apparently not so low to avoid giving them my money. ANYWAY.
The bullet shape of the Super Cliquey Mattes.
The idea of the Super Cliquey lipsticks is that you click them (duh) with the button on the bottom of the tube. Each click will dispense the exact amount of lipstick you need for an application! Hahahaha. No. I've needed to click a few times to get enough lipstick to not have the tube scraping on my lips, which I don't like. I do like the teardrop shaped slanted bullet like tube, because it makes it easy to get into the corners of my lips. I've had mixed luck in reapplying this over an old layer. If I haven't properly exfoliated my lips before, reapplying really highlights any flaky skin bits and seems to make it break down faster. But if I've properly prepped, then I've had no issue.
The first Super Cliquey I picked up was In the Red, a very vibrant true red. Man, I love it. It's so happy. And the formula is both tenacious and spectacular. It lasts most of the day, doesn't need a ton of touching up, it lights up my face, and it doesn't make my lips look dry like traditional liquid mattes do. A+ from me. I think I lucked out and picked one of the stars in this formula on the first go. It's so great that I was surprised, because NYX.
In the Red.
My other Super Cliquey is Obvs, a muted plum. The formula of Obvs is good, but not as fantastic and tenacious as In the Red. It definitely wears and needs some lunch time touching up. It sinks a little more into my lip lines. It's basically a slightly inferior version on all fronts, and while I like the shade, it's simply not as satisfying as In the Red. If I had bought this one first, I might not have gone for a second - it's good but not that good, and with my very low opinion of NYX as a brand, I probably would have been happy with one and moved on with my life.
I'm hoping other brands will actually pick up on this kind of formula, because while NYX and Marc Jacobs both have a good spread of colours in their lines, I feel like a lot could be done with this. And also selfishly, I'd like to have some in a more middling price point. Plus I want my title of this post to be true. Cream to mattes satisfy what I was really looking for, that long-wearing lipstick that isn't as drying and is easier to apply than a liquid on a doefoot. Finally!