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, Macy’s, Duane Reade,,, and

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.


* 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 unless otherwise noted.

About Maria Pia

A blog about beauty (what else), what makes me smile and life with two boys and a dog. This blog is about positivity and inspiration sewn in with a little humor. Makeup is not serious, but how we feel after we apply it, is no joking matter!!! I'm here to share my tips and tricks I have learned on my own for the past %&^$% years :) Enjoy my lovelies.


  1. What a stunning color; really unique! It’s a shame that Cargo is so difficult to find because they’re products truly sound lovely! I’m a huge fan of Lipstick Queen, so finding a more affordable alternative is always nice 😉

    Great post!

    • Hello Maeve,

      Napa has become one of my favorite colors and formulas; I’m already eyeing a few more colors. I’m sorry Cargo is unobtainable in your region. I love Lipstick Queen as well, but Cargo really has an amazing formula on their hands with these Essential Lip Colors.

      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment.


  2. These are beautiful pictures, they really make me want to go out and by everything you mention (in every blog post)!!! Thanks for your review, you always provide accurate and fair recommendations.

    • Hello Samantha,

      Thank you so much for such an encouraging compliment. My photography skills are slowly improving with every post. I’m so happy you find my reviews helpful. These Cargo lipsticks were such a pleasant surprise, I thinking about acquiring more!!!


      • Hello Natalie,

        Napa is such a beautiful color and the lasting power is equally as impressive. I don’t think anyone can go wrong with this shade. Keep in mind, Napa can also be worn as a light stain depending on how much is applied.

        Thank you so much for your support.


  3. This shade looks amazing. I have never tried a Cargo lipstick before, but now Napa is on my radar. BTW, beautiful clear pictures.

  4. I don’t think I ever tried a Cargo lipstick, not even during the Monica Lewinsky craze. This might be the time to try since their formula sounds moisturizing like a very pigmented lip balm.
    As usual, the deep color looks gorgeous on you!!

    • Hello Olivia,

      Thank you my friend. This is my first Cargo lipstick as well and I can honestly say, it is just as wonderful (if not better) than some lipsticks that cost twice as much. I think I will try a neutral shade for my next selection.


  5. WOW I love the colour and the finish. I have been looking for a similar colour for a while. Unfortunately, no cargo available where I am. However, that swatch of the estee lauder lipstick might prove itself really valuable! 😉

    • Hello Tirurit,

      Thank you so much. These lipstick are so moisturizing and the wear is fantastic. I know quite a few people that love the formula (myself included) of Estee Lauder Insolent Plum, but find the color too vibrant. I’m so glad you found this helpful.


  6. Hey Maria, like I said, THIS LOOKS SO HOT ON YOU!!! It’s so super amazing on its own, and even bolder layered! What’s on your cheeks by the way? I love that glowiness and color!

    • Hello Sunny,

      Thank you so much. I’m really blown away by the lasting power and non-feathering aspect of this formula.

      I have on Cle De Peau 13 Sand Beige Luminizing Face Powder applied with a dampened brush. I would like to say review coming soon, but holy moly my kids winter activities are really taking up so much of my time. I will eventually get to reviewing this beautiful product 🙂


Questions, Comments, or Concerns?