Monday, May 15, 2017

Sheer Matte Showdown: ColourPop Blotted Lip vs. Glossier Generation G

I've owned two Glossier Generation G lipsticks, Jam and Cake, for over a year now, and I wear both pretty regularly. They have their flaws (enumerated in the reviews I've linked), but I love the ease and subtlety of the sheer matte finish. So when I heard that ColourPop was releasing a new lipstick formula that seemed, shall we say, inspired by the Generation G formula, I had to order a couple of shades for comparison.


For the record, it doesn't bother me that ColourPop more or less ripped off Glossier's idea. Glossier has ripped off quite a few ideas from Asian skincare, and anyway, that's how the beauty industry works: one brand comes up with a general idea, and other brands improve upon it, and the consumer gets a wider range of choices. While Glossier offers six shades of Generation G, ColourPop's Blotted Lip formula comprises 11 shades, with a further eight in the liquid-to-matte Ultra Blotted Lip range. All of the BL and UBL shades have names that evoke popsicles or candy, in line with the "popsicle lip" trend that has dominated East Asian beauty for years but has only just made it to the West.

Source

In this post, I'll compare the Blotted Lip and Generation G formulas in several different categories and see which comes out on top. (Note that although I spent my own money on the Blotted Lips, the Generation Gs were gifts from Renee.) First, though, a bunch of photos! Choosing just two Blotted Lip shades was tough, but I eventually settled on Drip, described on the website as a "warm rosey mauve," and Bees Knees, a "fuchsia."


It should be "Bee's Knees," and the absence of that apostrophe really annoys me.


I don't see much mauve in Drip, which looks to me like a straightforward pinkish brown, though it pulls a bit cooler on my lips. Bees Knees is a very red hot pink along the lines of Revlon Cherries in the Snow, and the more you layer it the redder it gets. I don't usually care for this shade in opaque formulas (hence my neglect of Cherries in the Snow), but I find it a lot more wearable in Blotted Lip form. Here's one and three layers of Bees Knees (left) and Drip:


One (top) and three layers of Bees Knees on my lips:


Drip, same story:


And some comparison swatches:

L-R: Revlon Colorburst in Fuchsia, Revlon Cherries in the Snow, Bees Knees (1 layer), Revlon Balm Stain in Crush. Why are all my fuchsias from Revlon?

L-R: Milani Matte Naked, MAC Whirl, Drip (1 layer), Revlon Matte Balm in Sultry.

Finally, the two shades on my face (I'm wearing about three layers in each photo). Here's Bees Knees with ABH Buon Fresco eyeshadow, Urban Decay Demolition eyeliner, and NARS Threesome blush:


Drip with ColourPop Paper Tiger and ABH Golden Ochre eyeshadows, UD Whiskey eyeliner, and Illamasqua Zygomatic blush:

Not terribly happy with this eye look. Oh well.

And now for the SHEER MATTE SHOWDOWN, with the caveat that Glossier has made slight changes to the Generation G packaging and formula since I got Jam and Cake. The tubes are now fully opaque, and Glossier claims the formula is more moisturizing (though customer reviews would indicate otherwise). But since Glossier hasn't reformulated the lipsticks completely, I think my comparisons are still worth something.

Size:
ColourPop: 1g (0.035 oz)
Glossier: 2g (0.07 oz)

The Generation G lipsticks apparently contain twice as much product as the Blotted Lips, which I find baffling. The tubes are almost exactly the same size, and the bullets are almost exactly the same width. I've used about half of each Generation G shade, but from what I can remember, the bullets are about the same length as the Blotted Lip bullets.


The only explanation I can think of is that the Glossier lipsticks have more product wedged down in the tube to stabilize the bullet. But since that product isn't accessible unless you dig it out, I think it's fair to say that these lipsticks are functionally about the same size. Right? Am I missing something?

Winner: Glossier, I guess? I wish I had a new Gen G so I could do a better comparison.

Price:
ColourPop: $5 for 1 g (0.035 oz) = $5 per gram
Glossier: $18 for 2 g (0.07 oz) = $9 per gram

Even if the Generation Gs really are double the size of the Blotted Lips, they're still much pricier per gram. And since the Blotted Lips are more pigmented, you'll likely go through them less quickly. I think the Generation Gs are vastly overpriced for what they are, and I'm happy that people wanting the sheer matte look now have a cheaper option.

Winner: ColourPop

Packaging:


Both lipsticks are housed in thin white tubes that snap shut securely (remember that the new Gen G tubes are more opaque than the one above). The silver lettering on the ColourPop tube is a nice touch, though if experience can be trusted, it will probably wear off in a few weeks. I like that the inner part of the Blotted Lip tube matches the shade of the lipstick.


Almost every review on the Glossier site and MakeupAlley notes two big problems with the Generation G packaging: the cap is prone to cracking and the bullets often break off at the base. In fact, it seems like the packaging revamp has somehow made the cap flimsier! I can report that both of my Generation G bullets broke off shortly after purchase (the caps are still intact), though I managed to mash them back into their tubes. Interestingly, a couple of Blotted Lip reviews have mentioned the same issue. There must be something about a dry, waxy formula in a thin tube that leads to breakage. My own Blotted Lips are fine so far, but I haven't had them long; I'll update this post if they break eventually.

(Update, 6/4: I opened my tube of Drip today and the bullet had detached from the tube! Luckily it didn't fall out. Be careful, guys.)

Winner: ColourPop

Pigmentation:

Glossier claims that all of their Generation G shades have "dialed-down pigment loads," though Cake and Like in particular are "super subtle." I can certainly attest to this! No matter how many coats I layer on my lips (usually about four or five), neither Jam nor Cake can reach full opacity. The Blotted Lips are significantly more pigmented, and Bees Knees in particular takes on the look of a regular lipstick after three coats. Drip and the two Gen Gs aren't pigmented enough to smooth over lines and dry patches on my lips, but Bees Knees is.

Here's one swipe (top) and three swipes (bottom) of each shade:

L-R: Jam, Bees Knees, Drip, Cake.

And here I am wearing Cake...


...and Jam:


In this category, I think the Blotted Lips have the advantage. They're sheer when first applied, but you have the option of layering them for a bolder look. The Generation Gs are practically invisible on my lips with just one swipe, and I have to use several coats if I want them to show up at all. Again, this is just personal preference: the Generation G formula was designed for people wary of traditional lipstick, and that is...not me, lol.

Winner: ColourPop

Scent:

The Blotted Lips have no scent whatsoever, while the Generation Gs have a faint clay-like smell that vanishes after application.

Winner: ColourPop, though I don't find Glossier's scent problematic at all.

Comfort Level:

Glossier claims that the Generation G formula contains blue agave, which "binds moisture inside lips for comfortable wear," and safflower oil, which "creates a barrier to prevent moisture loss in lips." But a glance at the customer reviews will reveal that the formula falls short in the moisturizing department. Personally, I find the Generation Gs neither drying nor hydrating. They certainly don't make my lips feel better if they're already dry, but they don't actively suck out moisture either. They're also more emollient than the Blotted Lips, meaning that I can smush the color around on my lips after application.

Unfortunately, the Blotted Lips haven't lived up to my expectations for comfort. Drip in particular is quite drying (it even looks dry in the FOTD I posted above), and layering it over a balm interferes with color payoff. The best method I've found is one layer of Drip, followed by one thin layer of balm, followed by a couple more layers of Drip. I was hoping that Drip could be my new throw-on-and-go purse lipstick (to replace Revlon Pink Truffle, which I seem to have lost, and which itself replaced my lost NARS Dolce Vita), but the formula is just too finicky. For some reason, Bees Knees is more comfortable than Drip, though still a bit more drying than the Generation G formula. The Blotted Lips aren't at all emollient, either: I can't really move them around on my lips, which is a problem when I've applied them wonkily.

Winner: Glossier

Longevity:

When I wear one of my Generation Gs, I find myself touching up every 90 minutes or so. The Blotted Lips last longer: Bees Knees in particular stays on for 2-3 hours before I need to touch up. Bees Knees also seems to fade more evenly than Jam, which can cling to dry patches in my lips.

Winner: ColourPop

Overall:

ColourPop triumphed in most categories, and I'd recommend the Blotted Lips more enthusiastically overall, but the comfort level is a big drawback for me. My experience with Drip doesn't tempt me to buy more shades in this formula. A couple of people have commented on my Instagram that they find the Ultra Blotted Lip formula less drying, so that's something to keep in mind. As for Generation G, my opinion hasn't changed since last year: a nice lipstick, but not worth $18but then, what lipstick is worth the price asked for it? (If this review has somehow encouraged you to buy one, you can use my Glossier affiliate link here. Or not.)

Have you tried either of these formulas, or anything similar?
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19 comments:

  1. I love Bees Knees on you! I think I'll take the inspiration and try sheering out Cherries in the Snow or UD Catfight (I have both for some reason) since I can't deal with drying lip products.

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    1. I could probably have sheered out Cherries in the Snow too, but I'm just too lazy--I like a product that does it for me! I'm thinking of destashing my tube of Cherries in the Snow, actually: it's almost six years old (I wore it on my 24th birthday, lol) and I reach for it maybe twice a year.

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  2. Thank you for the comprehensive showdown! I don't find the BL overly drying, so have picked up a few more, but they definitely aren't moisturizing.

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    1. The level of dryness does seem to vary by shade, but I don't feel comfortable ordering more.

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  3. Ha I don't know if you read (or like) Reductress, but this is timely: http://reductress.com/post/glossier-announces-new-line-of-makeup-for-women-not-already-beautiful/

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    1. Omg best thing I read today, thanks for sharing hahaaaaa!!!

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    2. Haha, I saw that linked on Reddit! I kind of wish I'd written it. :D

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  4. Bees Knees looks stunning on you! Great review, I've been contemplating the blotted lips when they had free shipping and restrained, but this is making me want them again.

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    1. Thanks! I'm definitely not crazy about the formula, but I think it's worth trying a shade or two.

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  5. Both look beautiful on you! I don't see you in fuchsias very often, but that's a very flattering colour. I almost ordered a few of these when ColourPop was having free international shipping, but I abstained. It's probably inevitable that I'll go for it one of these days, anyway. I'm sort of curious about the UBL formula, but I feel like having three different liquid lipstick formulas within one brand is really pushing it. I'd really only try one out of curiosity - though I haven't seen nearly as much hype about the UBLs as the other two liquid lipstick formulas they carry, so I don't know what to expect.

    I have been interested in the Glossier lipsticks, but Glossier is still unavailable here so I guess if I really want to see what the sheer matte fuss is about I'll have to go with ColourPop!

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    1. I wore a LOT of fuchsia lipstick in my early/mid-20s, when I was first getting into makeup, but it's true that I don't gravitate toward it much these days. Maybe I just burnt myself out on the color too early? I do find it flattering, though, especially in a sheerer formula. And I agree, ColourPop's three liquid lip formulas are a bit much. I was wary of the Ultra Blotted Lips because I find the Ultra Matte formula quite drying, but now I'm considering picking up a shade!

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    2. I'm coming to realize that I have the exact same relationship with fuchsia. When I was first getting into makeup 4 years ago, I thought it was the most flattering colour on me and bought about 500 fuchsias. Now I apply my old favourite fuchsias and I don't think they look as good as a nice berry or even something - gasp! - neutral.

      If you try the UBLs I'll be really interested to hear your thoughts. Am I correct in recalling that you haven't tried the Ultra Satin Lips formula? Now I've tried the Ultra Mattes and Ultra Satins, so I kind of want to try a UBL just to be a completist.

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    3. My relationship with fuchsia is so complicated. It's still my favorite color, just not my favorite color to wear. And it's not that I find it less flattering than before, just...not really where my aesthetic is these days. I find that fuchsia lipstick can easily stray into '80s territory if I'm not careful.

      And I haven't tried the Ultra Satins. I've heard great things about them, but I don't see the point in buying a liquid lipstick in a formula that doesn't necessarily last longer than bullet lipsticks. I hope ColourPop eventually releases more shades of UBL, since the current ones don't really appeal to me.

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  6. Oh man! I really want Drip. And thank you for this comparison! I've been so curious as to how they measure up, but have yet to hear from too many people who own both. I'm satisfied to have one less Glossier thing to be intrigued by, though.

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    1. Drip is a beautiful color, and if you have less sensitive lips than mine, you might not find it drying. I do enjoy the Glossier lipsticks I have, but I can't recommend them wholeheartedly due to the packaging issues.

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  7. Does the Blotted Lip have any scent?

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    1. Oh, thanks for reminding me! The Blotted Lips have no scent whatsoever, while the Glossier formula has a faint clay-like scent. I'll update my post with that info!

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  8. This is the most thorough comparison of the two formulas I've seen so far - thank you! I'm sure a ton of people were wondering about how they compare. I was really eyeing the Blotted Lips, but considering I found the Glossier G's fairly drying, I'll probably pass.

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    1. Glad it was useful! It's hard to generalize from personal experience and predict how a formula will work on someone else, but the Blotted Lips definitely have a drier, waxier consistency than the Gen Gs, so I doubt you'd have much luck with them. Alas!

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