Sephora massively expanded its Cream Lip Stain range last month, adding 27 new shades, mostly trendy browns, purples, and taupes, plus some offbeat colors like black and teal for the goth mermaids out there. The Cream Lip Stain formula has been around for at least a few years (you've probably heard of Endless Red and Marvelous Mauve), and it tends to garner positive reviews. Being generally indifferent to liquid lipstick, I'd never taken much interest in the Cream Lip Stains, but that changed during a visit to Sephora at the end of December. While glancing over the new shades, I found myself drawn to one in particular: 25 Coral Sunset, which looked a lot like my platonic rusty orange. A swatch proved me right. Forth reaching to the fruit, I plucked, I bought.
The Sephora Cream Lip Stains are $14 for 4 ml. Their packaging makes them look smaller than they are; here's Coral Sunset next to a NYX Liquid Suede, which actually contains slightly less product (3.8 ml):
I think it's cool that Sephora has minimized the amount of plastic per unit; this also means that the Cream Lip Stains are lighter and more portable than other liquid lipsticks. The cap twists shut very securely, with an extra little catch to hold it in place. The applicator is a small, slanted doefoot that would make it easy for a less clumsy person to get in all the corners, but I'm just not great at applying liquid lipstick and I don't think any shape or size of applicator would change that.
The name "Coral Sunset" is rather misleading. Coral isn't the easiest color to define, but I think of it as containing at least some pinkness and some brightness. Coral Sunset, however, is a deep russet, sitting squarely on the border between orange and brown. I expected it to be similar to Marc Jacobs Rei of Light (another milestone in my quest for the perfect rusty orange), but Rei of Light is brighter and redder. In fact, Revlon Matte Balm in Fierce is the closest match for Coral Sunset in my collection:
|L-R: Revlon Fierce, Coral Sunset, Marc Jacobs Rei of Light, Topshop Matte Lipstick in Rio Rio.|
I've heard great things about the Cream Lip Stain formula, specifically its longevity, but Coral Sunset has disappointed me on that front. Having worn it twice now, I can conclude that it looks like a matte liquid lipstick but doesn't quite act like one. Though it dries down to a flat matte finish within a minute, it transfers onto cups and doesn't stand up to food at all. On the plus side, it's not patchy, I don't find it particularly drying, and it's easy to remove before eating. Basically, it has the same longevity and lipfeel as my MAC matte bullet lipsticks, and that's fine; it's just that I expected something different.
(Update, 1/9: On a suggestion from reader Clara, I tried applying the thinnest coat possible of Coral Sunset, and I'm pleased to report that it barely transferred at all onto cups and glasses. However, it did still feel a bit tacky when I pressed my lips together, and I could still smear it easily with my finger. It may be that the new shades have a different formula from the original ones, or just that the formula varies from shade to shade.)
(Update, 9/11: All right, I think I've finally figured out the best application method for this lipstick. After I remove the applicator, I wipe the excess product on the rim of the tube, then apply a single swipe to my bottom lip. I mash my lips together, use the applicator to add a bit more lipstick to each lip, and then blend it out across the entire lip with my finger, repeating as necessary. This not only gives a more natural, lived-in look, but also ensures that I get the thinnest, least tacky layer possible. The thinner the layer of Coral Sunset, the brighter and more orange it will look.)
Today I wore Coral Sunset with some orangey shades from my new ABH Modern Renaissance palette, which I'll review eventually. For now, suffice to say that I'm delighted with it so far, and grateful to all of you who encouraged me to get it! I blended Burnt Orange and Realgar into the crease, then placed Antique Bronze on the outer half of the lid and along the lower lashline, and finally added Raw Sienna to the inner half of the lid. I'm also wearing Illamasqua Zygomatic blush and ColourPop Lunch Money highlighter on my cheeks. (I wore Zygomatic for about two weeks in a row while traveling last month, and never once felt the need for another blush. Now, that's a holy grail.)
|That's my collection of enamel pins held up by a pants hanger. Classy. My earrings are from American Apparel.|
And a closer look at the eyeshadow:
Orange is still a difficult color for me to wear, but it's clear that I do better with dark, earthy oranges than with bright, white-based ones. I love how easy it is to diffuse the Modern Renaissance shadows into a relatively subtle wash of color.
Overall, Coral Sunset is a nice lipstick, but I'm not exactly dashing to my nearest Sephora to pick up more Cream Lip Stain shades. I bought Coral Sunset specifically for the color, and if there's a shade you love in the CLS range, I wouldn't discourage you from getting it. But don't order the 40-piece vault, people. Come on. You know better.