Cargo Napa Essential Lip Color review and photos.

Cargo Napa Essential Lip Color.

Cargo Napa Essential Lip Color.

Cargo Cosmetics produce some really great products.  Personally, their Water-Resistant Bronzer (used as an eyeshadow) is a staple in my collection, the HD setting powder, HD concealer and blushes are highly praised on many youtube videos and blogs.  So naturally my confidence in this brand lead me to Cargo Napa Essential Lip Color ($22 USD/2.8g).  This highly pigmented deep plum/berry shade has proven itself to be one of the most welcoming surprises of the New Year.

Cargo Napa Essential Lip Color.

Cargo Napa Essential Lip Color.

Cargo Napa Essential Lip Color swatch.

Cargo Napa Essential Lip Color on bare lips.

The Pros to Cargo Napa Essential Lip Color:

  1. Beautiful deep plum/berry shade.
  2. Densely pigmented formula adheres to the lips instantly and applies opaquely in one coat. 
  3. Ultra hydrating formula makes lips appear fuller.
  4. Glossy appearance dries down to a stain finish after a couple of hours.
  5. Can be worn without a lipliner…NO FEATHERING/COLOR BLEEDING!!!
  6. Ideal formula for everyone–especially more mature skins and those that suffer from dry cracking lips.
  7. Amazing longevity; lasted 5 hours (while talking and drinking with a straw).
  8. An additional light layer can be applied over an existing layer, without feeling caky or color bleeding.
  9. Rich pigment wears off evenly throughout the day, leaving behind a lasting stain.
  10. Small lightweight packaging can fit into the smallest of handbags.
  11. Color adapts beautifully to a variety of lipliners/bases.
  12. Made without fragrance, mineral oil, or parabens.
  13. Contains olive oil, jojoba oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, and avocado oil.
  14. Amount/price ratio ($7.80 per oz.) works out to be the best deal amongst some high-end brands (Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy $8.50 per oz., YSL The Mats $10 per oz., Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope $14.28 per oz.).
  15. 12 shades offered.
  16. Made in the USA.

The Cons to Cargo Napa Essential Lip Color:

  1. Thicker bullet design makes application awkward, especially for those with smaller lips.
  2. Color transfers to cups and such.
  3. Really no other cons…this is a fabulous lipstick and formula.
Cargo Napa Essential Lip Color.

Cargo Napa Essential Lip Color.

Cargo Napa Essential Lip Color

Cargo Napa Essential Lip Color over Girlactik Iconic Matte Lip Paint.

The above photos show how Napa appears when worn with two different lip bases.  Girlactik Allure Matte Lip Paint (warm tone pink beige color) seems to bring out Napa’s true berry shade; however, when paired with Girlactik Iconic Matte Lip Paint (bright orange-red), Napa appears to morph into a pinky red hue.  In both instances, the color was gorgeous and lasted well beyond the six-hour mark.

The next set of photos shows how Napa was able to change the overall feel and look of my makeup.   The first photo is an example of a polished look, but in the second photo the overall impression is more brightening and awake.

Cargo Napa Essential Lip Color

Cargo Napa Essential Lip Color on bare lips after four hours.

The above photo shows how wonderfully Napa held up throughout the day.  The non-feathering aspect of this formula is such an innovative accomplishment for the brand.  Kudos Cargo!!

Comparison Colors to Cargo Napa:

Comparison Swatches: Estee Lauder Insolent Plum, Cargo Napa, YSL The Mats 205, and Lipstick Queen Entouage.

Comparison Swatches:
Estee Lauder Insolent Plum, Cargo Napa, YSL The Mats 205, and Lipstick Queen Entouage.

  • Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Insolent Plum is brighter and less densely pigmented when compared to Napa.  Although the color is lovely, IP requires a lipliner and she does not last as well as Napa.
  • Cargo Napa’s saturated formula is deeper than Insolent Plum, yet brighter than YSL 205 and LQ Entourage.  This color is a great berry choice for those that wanted to love Insolent Plum, but found it too vivid for their tastes.
  • YSL The Mats 205 is clearly deeper and vampier than Napa.  I believe Napa lasts even better than this formula and the staining effect is just as potent.
  • Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick in Entourage contains more of a brown undertone when compared to Napa.  This matte formula is truly luxurious, but Napa seems to be a formidable contender (at a fraction of the price..shhh–I did not say that) 🙂
Cargo Napa ingredient list.

Cargo Napa Essential Lip Color ingredient list (click to enlarge).

Cargo Cosmetics are sold at Beauty.com, Macy’s, Duane Reade, Ulta.com, Amazon.com, and cargocosmetics.com.

THE VERDICT:  If makeup could talk what would it say?

Makeup would tell you Cargo Cosmetics Napa Essential Lip Color is a wonderful lipstick.  The non-feathering aspect, the lasting hydration, the longevity, and the gorgeous color makes this lipstick well worth the money.  I can already foresee Napa making my Best of Beauty 2015…yeah it’s that good.  Until next time, be well, stay safe and be happy.

-Maria

*Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com is not affiliated with any brands mentioned, all products were purchased by me. *Compensation is not given for any reviews. *This post contains store affiliate links. *Click on each photo to enlarge. *Click on the rose highlighted words to take you to a direct link to each product. *All opinions are my own and based on my experiences. *All photos are property of Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com unless otherwise noted.

Best of Beauty 2014.

Best of Beauty 2014 products in action.

Best of Beauty 2014 products in action.

This past year has proven to be quite an extraordinary time for cosmetics.  Velvety smooth matte lipsticks, hybrid gloss/stain lip products, rich eyeshadow textures and colors, and amazing cream shadows and liners seem to have dominated the industry.  We can only hope 2015 will bring us even more phenomenal creations.  Without further ado, I present my personal highlights from this past year.  I hope you enjoy!

Best of Beauty 2014 Eyes:

Best of Beauty 2014 Face:

  •  Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter is my facial moisturizer during the winter months.  My overly dry skin soaks up this rich cream like a sponge, leaving a feeling of complete hydration for the entirety of the day.
  • Guerlain Lingerie De Peau Nude Powder Foundation is the belle of the ball.  This powder foundation is smooth, hydrating, convenient, and long-lasting.  I cannot think of the last time a foundation has impressed me as much.
  • Dior Star Concealer is hands down the best concealer I have ever used.  The creamy formula glides on the skin and stays in place beautifully throughout the day.

Best of Beauty 2014 Cheeks:

Best of Beauty 2014 Lips:

  • Girlactik Allure Matte Lip Paint is technically a liquid lipstick, but I use this mainly in place of a lipliner. The smooth non-drying, long-lasting formula makes lips impervious to feathering.  So smitten was I with this formula, the color Demure (review coming soon) became the newest addition to my makeup family.
  • Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipsticks have been praise to no end on this blog.  I cannot think of another matte lipstick that can even match the texture and silky smooth feel of this line.
  • YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Mats are wonderful matte lipstick formulations.  These babies adhere to the lips instantly and leave the most potent stain behind.
  • Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipsticks came with a promise of hydration, longevity and comfortable wear.  The subtle sheen finish was designed to make lips appear more plump.  Judging by the four tubes in my possession, it is safe to say, I’m sold!
  • Dior Addict Fluid Sticks have been such a wonderful investment.  The lightweight texture and cooling sensation instantly awakens any look, especially when worn over a drying lipstick.
  • Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss 20 Audace is the perfect mauve brown shade.  I love to pair this with Girlactik Allure Matte Lip Paint for the ultimate sophisticated lip look.

Best of Beauty 2014 Brushes:

Best of Beauty 2014 Brushes: Chikuhodo Z-8, Z-4, Z-5 Philosophy Supernatural Airbrush Brush, Wayne Goss Brush 01, Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush, Billy B #12, Laura Mercier Dual Fiber Eyeshadow, Memebox Eye Brushes.

Best of Beauty 2014 Brushes:
Chikuhodo Z-8, Z-4, Z-5 Philosophy Supernatural Airbrush Brush, Wayne Goss Brush 01, Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush, Billy B #12, Laura Mercier Finishing Eye Brush, Memebox Eye Brushes.

  • Chikuhodo Z-Series brushes are the most exquisite brushes I have ever used.   These brushes are meant to be used with powder products only.  The soft bristles blend the most pigmented powders to professional perfection.
  • Philosophy Supernatural Airbrush Brush is an oldie but a goodie that was resuscitated for use with my Guerlain Powder Foundation.  The soft dense synthetic bristles effectively works powder into the skin, giving flawless results.
  • Wayne Goss Brush 01 is a wonderful brush that works especially well with liquid foundations.  Currently, I use this brush to apply my cream and/or powder highlighter.
  • Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush is used for blush and/or contour  application.  The small dense head is perfect for accurate product placement.
  • Billy B #12 Brush is used everyday for blending out gel liners, powder eyeshadows and for my outer corner color application.  The dual fiber angled design is perfect for hard to reach places.
  • Laura Mercier Finishing Eye Brush has been in my collection for years.  I recently started to utilize this gem to blend out my concealer for amazing results!
  • Memebox Brushes are meant for travel, but the short handles and brush head designs are perfect for everyday use.  In addition, the affordable price makes this set an even more attractive offering.

Best of Beauty 2014 Nails:

Estee Lauder Insolent Plum Pure Color Nail Lacquer with flash.

Estee Lauder Insolent Plum Pure Color Nail Lacquer (with flash).

  • Estee Lauder Insolent Plum Pure Nail Color is my favorite color from 2014.  The cream formula is classic and appropriate for many occasions.  Best of all, the Estee Lauder’s formula removes easily without color bleeding or staining of the nails.
Best of Beauty 2014.

Best of Beauty 2014 products in action.

Best of Beauty 2014 in action:

  • Brows:  Giorgio Armani Eye and Brow Maestro 2 Wenge Wood.
  • Eyes:  Nars Eyeshadow Primer, Giorgio Armani Eye and Brow 9 Gold, Bobbi Brown Black Scotch, Guerlain 02 Bleu Outremer, MUFE M-600, M-510, Giorgio Armani 5 Vulcano (outer corners) Estee Lauder Crystal Baby (inner corners), Givenchy 9 Brun Cachemire and Merle Norman Inner Liner.
  • Face:  Josie Maran Body Butter, Guerlain Powder Foundation, Dior Star Concealer.
  • Cheeks:  Vincent Longo Copper Kiss Bronzer, VL Sandalwood Blush, Estee Lauder Crystal Baby Gelee.
  • Lips:  Girlactik Allure and Demure Matte Lip Paint.

THE VERDICT:  If makeup could talk what would it say?

Makeup would tell you this has been a fantastic year for cosmetics.  The innovative formulas and colors seem to have come alive this year.  What have been some of your favorites of 2014?  As always, be well, stay safe and be happy.  May you have a Happy and Healthy New Year!

-Maria

*Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com is not affiliated with any brands mentioned, all products were purchased by me, with the exception of Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipsticks and Memebox Brush Set (PR samples).  *Compensation is not given for any reviews. *This post contains store affiliate links. *Click on each photo to enlarge. *Click on the rose highlighted words to take you to a direct link to each product. *All opinions are my own and based on my experiences. *All photos are property of Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com unless otherwise noted.

Giorgio Armani 705 Black Petrol Nail Lacquer is a High-Octane Showstopper.

Giorgio Armani 705 Black Petrol Nail Lacquer.

Giorgio Armani 705 Black Petrol Nail Lacquer.

Giorgio Armani 705 Black Petrol Nail Lacquer ($20 USD/ .2 fl.oz.) has held me captive for the past three weeks.  This rich dark shimmering polish has extinguished any desire to wear another shade.  The refined complex shimmers, impeccable application, and exquisite finish has solidified this color as one of my favorites.  IMCT is completely smitten and truthfully speaking, the mere mention of Armani Beauty makes my knees buckle and my heart pound–in other words, I’m in love–at least until the next GA purchase 🙂  I hope you enjoy.

Giorgio Armani 705 Black Petrol Nail Lacquer.

Giorgio Armani 705 Black Petrol Nail Lacquer brush head.

Black Petrol is a black based nail color loaded with the most refined green and blue shimmers.  Despite the abundance of shimmer, the finish is smooth and the application is seamless.  The formula on Armani polishes is a bit thicker than normal, this makes color placement relatively easy.  This polish adheres to the widened brush perfectly and spreads out evenly on the nail.

Black Petrol 3-free formula’s dry time is impressive as well; my manicure was finished before it even began. Due to the ultra-refined shimmers used, removal is as effortless as with any other polish, sans staining.

Giorgio Armani 705 Black Petrol Nail Lacquer.

Giorgio Armani 705 Black Petrol Nail Lacquer indoor lighting.

Indoor lighting does not reveal the gorgeous shimmers as brilliantly as when the color is exposed to the sun.  However, the color still manages to look spectacular in any lighting situation.  The “Petrol” look is definitely noticeable in the above photo; who would have thought the image of gasoline on wet pavement would look so striking on the nails?  I know who…my man Giorgio 🙂

Giorgio Armani 705 Black Petrol Nail Lacquer.

Giorgio Armani 705 Black Petrol Nail Lacquer in full sunlight.

Giorgio Armani 705 Black Petrol Nail Lacquer.

Giorgio Armani 705 Black Petrol Nail Lacquer.

Twilight Edward Cullens

Twilight Edward Cullen sparkles in the presence of sunlight. (photo courtesy of robattack.wordpress.com)

Just like Edward Cullen, Black Petrol truly “shines” in the presence of sunlight.  The gorgeous green shimmers seem to dominate and come out in full force.  This color looks particularly striking when paired with gold jewelry.  Unlike, 701 Bleu D’Armani Nail Lacquer (reviewed here), Black Petrol requires two coats.  The abundance of shimmer in the polish makes the first coat slightly uneven to my eye.  However, if you tend to be light handed in your application, you might be able to get away with using only one coat. This polish also lasts well on my overworked nails, with slight chipping evident by the fifth day.

Giorgio Armani 705 Black Petrol Nail Lacquer.

Giorgio Armani 705 Black Petrol Nail Lacquer.

One more shot of GA 705 Black Petrol clutching my lip combo for the week.  Just in case you are wondering (because I would), the below photo shows this combo in action.

Lip Combo: Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope in Black Tie topped with Dior Addict Fluid Stick in 995 Intrigue.

Lip Combo:
Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope in Black Tie topped with Dior Addict Fluid Stick in 995 Intrigue.

Giorgio Armani 705 Black Petrol is sold at Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman Marcus, and giorgioarmanibeauty-usa.com.

THE VERDICT:  If makeup could talk what would it say?

Makeup would tell you Giorgio Armani 705 Black Petrol is another hit in my growing Armani collection. With 21 colors to choose from, which shade tickles your fancy?  Personally, 502 Scarletto has expressed a very strong interest in becoming my next object of affection 🙂  Be well, stay safe and be happy.

-Maria

*Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com is not affiliated with any brands mentioned, all products were purchased by me. *Compensation is not given for any reviews. *This post contains store affiliate links. *Click on each photo to enlarge. *Click on the rose highlighted words to take you to a direct link to each product. *All opinions are my own and based on my experiences. *All photos are property of Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com unless otherwise noted.

Dior Addict Fluid Stick 995 Intrigue review and photos.

Dior Addict Fluid Stick 995 Intrigue packaging.

Dior Addict Fluid Stick 995 Intrigue packaging.

What do you do when your significant other asks you what you would like from the store?  My conservative altruistic-self could have answered, “Oh nothing honey, but thank you for thinking of me.”  But such pretenses would have been immediately interpreted as insincere, therefore, I allowed my true nature to take the reins and a list was instantly formed for my beloved to purchase.  Amongst the spoils of the day was Dior Addict Fluid Stick 995 Intrigue ($35 USD/ 5.5 ml).  This gorgeous full-bodied Cabernet color definitely arouses an air of intrigue when worn–I can already hear the whispers when walking the streets, “Who’s that Girl?”  🙂

Dior Addict Fluid Stick 995 Intrigue lipswatch.

Dior Addict Fluid Stick 995 Intrigue freshly applied on bare lips.

Although gorgeous to look at, I found the pigment of this particular Fluid Stick to settle a bit unevenly and appear slightly patchy when applied heavily to bare lips. However, when approached with moderation and/or paired with other lipliners and lipsticks, the formula blended seamlessly.  As with all Dior Fluid Sticks, the applicator head performs brilliantly to distribute the color and outline the lips perfectly.

Dior Addict Fluid Stick 995 Intrigue applied over Girlactik Allure Matte Lip Paint.

Dior Addict Fluid Stick 995 Intrigue applied over Girlactik Allure Matte Lip Paint.

Dior Addict Fluid Stick 995 Intrigue four and half hours later.

Dior Addict Fluid Stick 995 Intrigue four and half hours later.

Typical of all Dior Addict Fluid Sticks, the formula is hydrating and smooth to the touch.  The longevity and staining effect of the darker shades are more pronounced than their lighter counterparts.  For the above photos, Intrigue was applied over a light coating of Girlactik Allure Matte Lip Paint, the lasting power of this combination was beyond impressive.  I was able to snap a photo by the 4½ hour mark, and as you can see, the color and shine were very much present even after copious amount of talking and laughter.

For those of you who are new to my blog, I use Girlactik Allure Matte Lip Paint (reviewed here) as my go-to lipliner/base for all of my lip combos.  This wonderous product keeps feathering at bay and lip color in place for the long haul.

Dior Addict Fluid Stick 995 Intrigue over Estee Lauder Decadent Pure Color Envy Lipstick.

Dior Addict Fluid Stick 995 Intrigue over Estee Lauder Decadent Pure Color Envy Lipstick.

For the above look, Intrigue was placed over Estee Lauder Decadent Pure Color Envy Lipstick.  The wine tone of Intrigue complimented Decadent beautifully; giving this rich brown shade much-needed dimension and shine.  I decided to pair this sumptuous color with a very neutral eye, giving the lips the spotlight they deserved.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Black Tie Lipstick.

BEFORE:
Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Black Tie Lipstick.

AFTER: Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Black Tie Lipstick topped with Dior Addict Fluid Stick 995 Intrigue.

AFTER:
Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Black Tie Lipstick topped with Dior Addict Fluid Stick 995 Intrigue.

For the above photos, Dior Addict Fluid Stick 995 Intrigue also paired perfectly with Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick in Black Tie.  The bright blue based red color was instantly transformed into a deeper red wine color.  This combo lasted comfortably for six hours without any of the color feathering into my fine lines.

Dior Addict Fluid Sticks L_R: 995 Intrigue, 893 Trompe L'Oeil, and 975 Minuit.

Dior Addict Fluid Sticks L-R:
995 Intrigue, 893 Trompe L’Oeil, and 975 Minuit.

Dior Addict Fluid Stick Swatches.

Dior Addict Fluid Sticks L_R:
995 Intrigue, 893 Trompe L’Oeil, and 975 Minuit.

  • #995 Intrigue does not apply as intensely as depicted in the tube (this swatch is three coats).  In fact on me, the wine color transforms more into a succulent cool based grape color.  This would be the ideal shade for those ladies that prefer cool tone plum reds.
  • #893 Trompe L’Oeil (reviewed here) is a much lighter version of Intrigue (this swatch is two coats).  In comparison, Trompe contains more red pigment and the texture is more even and dense.  Personally, I cannot wear any of these colors without a lipliner/base due to my feathering issues; however, if that is of no consequence to you, then this color applies seamlessly on its own.
  • #975 Minuit (reviewed here) continues to be my favorite color of the lot (this swatch is one coat).  This brown based red compliments my skin tone perfectly.  The color remains rather stable and does not appear patchy when worn on its own.

Dior Addict Fluid Sticks can be found at Sephora, Nordstrom, Saks, Macys, etc…

THE VERDICT:  If makeup could talk what would it say?

Makeup would tell you Dior Addict Fluid Stick 995 Intrigue makes an excellent addition to my growing Fluid Stick family.  The deep rich wine color compliments all of my red lipsticks perfectly–just remember to approach this shade with caution.  Will you exude a ton if intrigue when wearing this shade?  Absolutely–at least that’s what I tell myself when I’m walking the dog 🙂  Someone has to look good for my Yoshi.  Special thanks to my husband for putting up with all of my obsessive makeup demands.  Be well, stay safe and be happy.

-Maria

Shiba Inu

Yoshi the Shiba Inu, thinking, “Yes, Mommy your lipstick looks nice, now please, just take me for a walk.”

*Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com is not affiliated with any brands mentioned, all products were purchased by me. *Compensation is not given for any reviews. *This post contains store affiliate links. *Click on each photo to enlarge. *Click on the rose highlighted words to take you to a direct link to each product. *All opinions are my own and based on my experiences. *All photos are property of Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com unless otherwise noted. 

Things I Have Been Loving.

Things I've Been Loving: Zoya Nail Polish Remover,  Oribe Superfine Strong Hairspray, Rose Mountain Herbs Argan Oil, Crystal Essence Deodorant, YSL 205 Rouge Pur Couture The Mats, Lipstick Queen Entourage, Hourglass Diffused Light, Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows ME-654, M-510, and M-600, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Solo #2 Armani Navy, Rapidlash, Chikuhodo Z-5, Memebox Brushes, Pomellato Nude Ring, Gold Hoop Earrings, and EZsizer Ring Guards.

Things I Have Been Loving:
Zoya Nail Polish Remover, Oribe Superfine Strong Hairspray, Rose Mountain Herbs Argan Oil, Crystal Essence Deodorant, YSL 205 Rouge Pur Couture The Mats, Lipstick Queen Entourage, Hourglass Diffused Light, Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows ME-654, M-510, and M-600, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Solo #2 Armani Navy, Rapidlash, Chikuhodo Z-5, Memebox Brushes, Pomellato Nude Ring, Gold Hoop Earrings, and EZsizer Ring Guards.

This blog centers around all the things I love.  However, sometimes there are things that are utilized (and loved) that are only mentioned in passing.  I mean really, there is only so much you can say about nail polish remover to excite the masses.  So for this post, I will briefly highlight all the things that have been on constant rotation in my routine as of late.  Don’t be surprised if an odd item makes its way toward the middle or end.  After all, I write in my kitchen with the company/distraction of my children, impending dinner and a perpetually hungry dog circling around me at all times 🙂  I hope you enjoy.

    1. Zoya Nail Polish Remover removes all traces of polish swiftly without drying out the nails or cuticles.  As an added bonus, the smell is so much more pleasant than your average drugstore polish remover.
    2. Oribe Superfine Strong Hairspray smells heavenly and the superfine mist holds the most challenging hair styles in place.  A word of caution, if used in excess the build up can feel heavy and unpleasant.
    3. Mountain Rose Herbs Argan Oil is exactly the same as Josie Maran Argan Oil, without the inflated price tag. I can purchase 8 oz. of MRH Argan Oil for $44 USD as opposed to 2 oz. of Josie Maran Argan Oil for $48.  Both are organic, cold-pressed and unrefined..you be the judge.
    4. Crystal Essence Deodorant is aluminum-free, natural and perfect for the fall/winter season.  The Pomegranate Fragrance is refreshing and non-offensive.  Even my husband and son love this brand.
    5. YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Mats 205 (reviewed here) has been worn on its own and paired with every lipstick in my collection.  The berry tone is beyond suitable for the upcoming cooler weather and the stain left behind is rather potent.
    6. Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick in Entourage (reviewed here) is the best matte lipstick IMHO.  Do I need to say more?  Nope…I’ll stop gushing now.
    7. Hourglass Diffused Light (compared to Nars here) has been brought out of hibernation for the fall/winter season.  This ambient powder promises to diffuse the look of imperfections…yada, yada, yada….I use it with a dry BeautyBlender and use the press and roll method around the T-Zone area. However, do tread lightly with this beauty…too much will result in photo flashback in flash photography.
    8. Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows ME-654, M-510 and M-600 (reviewed here and here) have been used everyday since their purchase.  The creamy texture is beyond dreamy..try them and see.
    9. Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Solo #2 Armani Navy (reviewed here) is the best matte navy color on the market.  Not even Make Up For Ever has a navy of this caliber in their 210 color line-up.  If you are looking for truly exceptional quality matte colors..GA is your man.
    10. Rapidlash was purchased at the beginning of summer.  My typical coconut/castor oil mixture has served me very well, however, I wanted to see if I could achieve the same results in less time. Ladies this not only works, but it works a little too well, on me (I have to trim my lashes).  In all fairness, I have very long lashes naturally so my goal was to gain volume. Incredibly long lashes have not only been obtained using this serum, but it seems my once-upon-a-time voluminous lashes have magically returned.  Application has now been downsized to every other night, with the continued use of my coconut/castor oil conditioning every night.  Costco now carries this brand for $49 for a pack of two.  Bed, Bath and Beyond also carries this brand and you can use your 20% or $5 off coupons.
    11. Chikuhodo Z-5 Eyeshadow Brush (reviewed here) is used everyday.  This beauty applies eyeshadow so quickly and defuses the most pigmented colors perfectly.  If you would like to invest in one quality Chikuhodo Brush, this would be my pick.
    12. Memebox Meme Eyebrow Brush (reviewed here) is used everyday to apply my tight line color, gel liners and/or dampened to apply powder eyeshadows as liner.  This little gem is worth the expense of the whole Meme Brush Set.
    13. Minimal Jewelry is the theme de jour.  I’m enjoying the simplicity of wearing one statement ring (Pomellato Nude Ring) with my plain 2 inch gold hoop earrings, sans necklaces and bracelets.
    14. EZsizer are wonderful ring guards used to protect rings and/or make rings fit more securely.  If you are like me and have enlarged knuckles and thin fingers, then these are a must for you.  I purchase the medium size for winter and the petite size for summer.
    15. Spirulina (read about the health benefits here) is suitable for internal and external use.  This green algae is added everyday in my post workout shake and applied once a week as a detoxifying mask. The idea for this mask came from Olivia from The Unknown Beauty Blog (here); in her wonderful post she outlines all the details to concoct this amazing mask.  Your skin feels so soft after the mask has been removed; frankly, everyone needs to get on the Spirulina bandwagon..That’s right I said it 🙂

 

Things I've Been Loving: Pure Hawaiin Spirulina.  This is the brand I use.

Things I Have Been Loving:
Pure Hawaiin Spirulina. This is the brand I use (photo courtesy of Amazon.com).

Spirulina Facial Mask

Things I Have Been Loving:
Spirulina Facial Mask.

Things I Have Been Loving: Rapidlash has not only given me length and volume, but my lashes seem darker as well.

Things I Have Been Loving:
Rapidlash has not only given me length and volume, but my lashes seem darker as well.

THE VERDICT:  If makeup could talk what would it say?

Makeup would like to know, “What have you been loving lately?”  Be well, stay safe and be happy.

-Maria

*Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com is not affiliated with any brands mentioned, all products were purchased by me, with the exception of Lipstick Queen Entourage and the Meme Brush. *Compensation is not given for any reviews. *This post contains store affiliate links. *Click on each photo to enlarge. *Click on the rose highlighted words to take you to a direct link to each product. *All opinions are my own and based on my experiences. *All photos are property of Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com unless otherwise noted.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick in Black Tie and Entourage are Simply Luxurious.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipsticks.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipsticks.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipsticks in Black Tie and Entourage ($50 USD/ 3.5g) are the ultimate refined matte lipstick formula.  The smoother than silk effortless application, gorgeous substantial packaging, highly pigmented color, hydrating feel and long-lasting velvety finish are truly deserving of the title QUEEN. Even the mightiest of lipstick kings cannot compare to these reigning stars. Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope lip colors are not your average matte lipsticks; friends this is true luxury at its finest.  I hope you enjoy.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipsticks in Black Tie.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick in Black Tie.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipsticks in Entourage.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick in Entourage.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick Swatches: Black Tie and Entourage.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick Swatches:
Black Tie and Entourage.

  • Black Tie is a deep blue red.  This shade looks particularly stunning when paired with an all black suit and against lighter complexions.  This crimson hue is very reminiscent of the 50’s lip; bold, yet feminine.
  • Entourage is a gorgeous deep wine red.  This shade looks amazing with a variety of makeup looks. Despite the dark coloring in the tube, Entourage’s red undertones balance out the vampy feel of the shade, thus making this stunner suitable for many different complexions. This shade is very reminiscent of the 20’s lip; daring and vivid.
Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipsticks in Black Tie.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick in Black Tie.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipsticks in Black Tie.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick in Black Tie.

Just like Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick in Private Party (reviewed here), Black Tie and Entourage apply with the same level of ease.  The silky smooth paraben and mineral-oil free formula does not tug on the lips and the lightweight feel is like nothing I have ever experienced.  As with most lipsticks these days, silicones are responsible for easy application, but in the case of Velvet Ropes, the color seems to glide on the lips in an incredibly soft and sumptuous manner.  This is a case of, you have to feel-it-to-believe-it.

The packaging is also an example of gold packaging done right.  These beauties do not collect fingerprints and the weighty feel ensures a quality product was produced.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipsticks in Entourage.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick in Entourage.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipsticks in Entourage.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick in Entourage.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipsticks in Entourage at the five hour mark.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipsticks in Entourage at the five-hour mark.  Slight feathering/bleeding on the upper right lip.

Black Tie and Entourage initial application is a bit glossy, but after a couple of hours the colors dry down to a true matte finish.  I am able to wear each color without the need for a topper shade or lip balm.  When applied to bare skin, the lasting power is roughly six hours (without eating or drinking) with slight feathering on the upper lip region.  However, when paired with a long-lasting lip liner or base, the colors remain more consistent (sans feathering) for seven hours.  When the colors do eventually fade, a lovely stain is left.  The natural light peppermint scent is faint and completely imperceptible after 30 seconds.

Wearing Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick in Black Tie topped with Entourage.

Wearing Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick in Black Tie topped with Entourage.

Pairing Black Tie and Entourage together proved to be a match made in heaven. The deeper bordeaux red concoction was not only appealing, but the lasting power was sure to impress most.  This combo lasted so well throughout the day, I was shocked to see a substantial portion of my lipstick intact by dinner time.

Wearing YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Mats 205 as a base color topped with Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick in Black Tie.

Wearing YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Mats 205 as a base color topped with Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick in Black Tie.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipsticks also play very nicely with other drier matte formulations.  For the above photo, YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Mats 205 (reviewed here) was used as a light base and then topped with Black Tie.

Comparison Swatches:

Dark Red Lipstick Comparisons: Tom Ford Black Orchid, Lipstick Queen Black Tie, LipstickQueen Entourage, YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Mats 205 and YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Mats 206

Dark Red Lipstick Comparisons:
Tom Ford Black Orchid, Lipstick Queen Black Tie, Lipstick Queen Entourage, YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Mats 205 and YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Mats 206

  • Tom Ford Black Orchid is noticeably glossier and deeper in tone than Black Tie or Entourage.  The lasting power is not as potent as Velvet Ropes, and on its own, Black Orchid does bleed into my fine lines after a couple of hours.
  • YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Mats 205 is darker and deeper than Entourage.  The strong plum undertone is more comparable in color to Black Orchid.  The formula is a bit denser in appearance and feel than Velvet Ropes.  However, the stain left is exceptional.
  • YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Mats 206 has a strong brown undertone.  Even though the application of The Mats is smooth, they are not as smooth as Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope.  However, when combined with VR, the two formulas yield amazing results.

Ingredient List for Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick in Black Tie and Entourage:

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Octyldodecanol, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax (Cire De Candelilla), Silica, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Perfluorononylethyl Stearyl Dimethicone, Beeswax (Cire D’Abeille), Polyethylene, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernal Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Limonene, Linalool, Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Red 30 Lake (CI 73360), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide Cl 77891

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Swatches L-R: Star System, Black Tie, Entourage, Brat Pack and Private Party.

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Swatches L-R:
Star System, Black Tie, Entourage, Brat Pack and Private Party (in full sun).

Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipsticks can be found at Nordstrom, Beauty.com, SpaceNK, Ulta and lipstickqueen.com.

THE VERDICT:  If makeup could talk what would it say?

Makeup would tell you Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick in Black Tie and Entourage are the ultimate beauty indulgence.  These beautiful matte colors are the top of the line in terms of formula and wear.  I do not know how Poppy King did it, but the silky smooth composition of these beauties is unmatched.  As it stands, Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope Lipstick in Entourage is my favorite red lipstick.  A bold statement, but one I totally stand behind.  Be well stay safe and be happy.

-Maria

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*Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com is not affiliated with any brands mentioned *The lipsticks for this post were provided by PR for consideration. *Compensation is not given for any reviews. *This post contains affiliate links. *Click on each photo to enlarge. *Click on the rose highlighted words to take you to a direct link to each product. *All opinions are my own and based on my experiences. *All photos are property of Ifmakeupcouldtalk.com unless otherwise noted.