Here's the thing about the Maybelline Color Elixir in Vision in Violet: Maybelline never promised that the vision would be a good one.
I was at CVS today, buying a new tube of my favorite liquid eyeliner, Maybelline Line Stiletto in Blackest Black, and I decided I'd take advantage of the Maybelline sale and try one of the new Color Elixirs. I'd heard encouraging things about these glosses, not least that the line contained that elusive unicorn of drugstore cosmetics, a true purple gloss that remained purple on the lips. And the tubes, designed to resemble lipsticks suspended upside down in clear jelly, fit into one of my favorite aesthetic categories: things that look like other things. So Vision in Violet accompanied me home, where I discovered that it matched my beloved purple Converse:
In the tube, it looked like a pink-tinged purple; swatched, however, it pulled much more blue. This was very exciting for a purple-lip lover who had been burned by deceptively purple-looking fuchsias.
I compared Vision in Violet to MAC Up the Amp, a gray-toned orchid purple (left) and Maybelline Brazen Berry, a neon pinkish purple (right). It reduced those obnoxious lipsticks to timid, cowering mauves. Better and better.
Then I put it on my face.
Is this a vision? Yes. This is a Boschean vision of a woman being punished in hell for her love of cosmetics. There are copulating fish-people and bagpipe-headed goats somewhere behind me.
Before today, I'd always been smugly certain of my ability to wear purple lip colors. Vision in Violet has shaken that certainty. This is, however, an excellent gloss. I'm not sure about the pigmentation on other colors, but this one is pretty evenly saturated; you can see some unevenness up close, but who will want to get that close to you when you're wearing this color? It feels comfortable on the lips, too, but I didn't wear it long enough to test Maybelline's claim that the Color Elixirs are liquid lip balms. I'm sure you'll understand.
You know, the sane part of my brain may want to return this gloss to CVS, but the part of my brain that loves dystopian fiction and China Miéville wants to wear it every day. Maybe to tomorrow's colloquium workshop, where my professors and fellow grad students will critique my first dissertation chapter?
I mean, it doesn't look bad with a blazer.