Friday, April 12, 2013

Tarte LipSurgence 5-piece Collector's Set 2012

I've been wanting to try the Tarte LipSurgence pencils for a long time but missed out on the 2011 Lip Service Collection, which sold out in a flash at a super reasonable $29 (the pencils are $24 each!). So last year, I made sure to snatch up the LipSurgence 5-piece Collector's Set 2012 before it too sells out.

From left to right: Natural Lip Luster EscapeNatural Lip Tint EnchantedNatural Matte Lip Tint ExposedLip Luster Sweet, and Lip Tint Elite. All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

This set contains 5 full size pencils and has a good mix of Lip Luster with shimmers (Escape and Sweet), Lip Tint without shimmers (Enchanted and Elite), and Matte Lip Tint which is matte and, as far as I can tell, is also shimmer free (Exposed). The finishes vary, with some more translucent and some more opaque, and I find the Matte Lip Tint to be the most opaque and the Lip Tints most translucent. However, translucency does not equal sheerness, and the Lip Lusters with shimmers can be very sheer while the Lip Tints, as translucent as they are, are not necessary sheer. With the exception of the Lip Luster Escape, all other colors go on light but quickly gain brightness and pigmentation. In the case of Matte Lip Tint Exposed, it also gains opacity after a minute or two. So do wait for your lips to show some color before you pass judgement on these.

Can you guess which ones are my favorites? Yep, the Lip Tints without the shimmers! Aside from the fact that I prefer my lip products shimmer free, I think Lip Tints have the best formula and texture. They go on buttery but not too slippery, are thick enough to retain some tug, and they leave a very nice glossy sheen.

In general, I do like all my LipSurgence pencils. For one, I love their soothing minty scent, which lasts longer than that of the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains but I'm going to be demanding and wish they last even longer anyway :P They also stain just a little bit, but don't expect anything near the intensity and vibrance of some of the Revlon Balm Stains. Unfortunately, these do have a taste, which irks me but I'll overlook it this time since I actually have to wipe them off before I can taste the tinge of sweetness left behind on my lips. And on a side note, I'm not sure what's the difference between the "Naturals" and the *not* naturals ^.^'

- Natural Lip Luster Escape: shimmery rose in the tube but goes on me a shimmery but totally sheer whisper pink. I would say this one is even sheerer than Clinique Chubby Stick 06 Whoppin' Watermelon! I was worried it would be frosty and/or turn my lips pale, but it's totally translucent and lets through my natural lip color just fine. I didn't think I'd like it but I ended up loving it!

- Natural Lip Tint Enchanted: a deep red wine in the tube but goes on me a translucent and shimmer free cool berry and then turns magenta. Very pretty! 

- Natural Matte Lip Tint Exposed: this one pulled a bait and switch on me. It looks like a nude in the tube but swatched an opaque and cool berry with a dash of wine! What the...?!? This dash of wine disappears on my lips though and I'm left with a matte pinky berry that's still very wearable.

- Lip Luster Sweet: a warmer version of Escape above, with gold shimmers instead of white.

- Lip Tint Elite: yet another bait and switch. This one is totally coral in the tube. It even applies coral but then quickly turns very pink, almost hot pink on my lips. Thanks to its translucency, it's infinitely more wearable, and flattering(!), for me than the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain 025 Sweetheart. Love it!

Swatches (left) and stains (right) of Natural Lip Luster Escape, Natural Lip Tint Enchanted, Natural Matte Lip Tint Exposed, Lip Luster Sweet, and Lip Tint Elite. 

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