Since getting my hands on the Lavshuca Moist Melting Rouge, I also started hunting for their predecessor, the Rouge Essence Bar. This is the product that got everyone's attention to begin with, and I wanted to compare the two, to see if there's any difference. Thanks to Rakuten JP and E(vil)bay, I was able to track down 9 colors that were still floating around despite the line being discontinued several years ago. I know there's a huge risk in buying cosmetic so old, but I was willing to bite the bullet. Fortunately for me, all the lippies I received were still fresh and perfectly usable ^.^"
From left to right: Rouge Essence Bar BE-1, BE-3, PK-1, PK-2, PK-3, PK-4, OR-1, RD-2, and RS-1. All pictures taken in natural light without flash.
So what's the difference between the Rouge Essence Bar and the Moist Melting Rouge? There isn't much difference at all. The packaging is the same, save for the cap nub on the Rouge Essence Bars. Both are in twist up pens sealed at the bottom where the twisting mechanism is, and both are retractable.
Texture wise they're also the same, both are super moisturizing, and extremely soft and buttery, much so it's recommended that you only twist up just enough for a single application. The Rouge Essence Bars have more much more visible shimmers than the Moist Melting Rouge. While I do feel the shimmers on my lips, it's not gritty by any means. Their lasting power is about the same also. The colors fade after about 2-3 hours, with the moisturizing effect lasting a couple more hours after that. Finish wise, I think the Moist Melting Rouge are just slightly glossier, whereas many of these Rouge Essence Bars apply with a wet sheen, with the rest leaving a subtly glossy finish.
Color wise though, I have to say these Rouge Essence Bars have more unique colors than the Moist Melting Rouge, even though they're all wearable. Out of the 12 Moist Melting Rouges I own, only 5 of them are distinct colors (BE-7, OR-3, PK-5, RD-4, and RS-2), with the rest of the 7 being very similar. Out of these 9 Rouge Essence Bars, there are also 5 distinct colors (BE-3, PK-1, OR-1, RD-2, and RS-1) - more than half!
- BE-1: a somewhat opaque nude pink with shimmers that leave a wet sheen, a very wearable my-lips-but-better color.
- BE-3: a translucent golden nude with fine shimmers that give a pearly finish. It's a couple of shades lighter than my natural lip color, but thanks to the translucency it's still wearable for me!
- PK-1: a cool rose that's somewhat translucent, also with shimmers that leave a wet sheen. This color goes on a shade lighter on my lips, a shell pink almost, but the translucency prevents it from turning frosty. It actually leaves my lips looking youthful and fresh.
- PK-2: a shimmery warm coral pink in the tube but goes on my lips with a lot more pink, like a petal pink. Applies slightly opaque but gains translucency after a couple of minutes. Very pretty and flattering.
From left to right: BE-1, BE-3, PK-1, and PK-2.
- PK-3: this one is even redder than PK-2 above in the tube, but goes on me a coral pink. The shimmers also leave a wet sheen. Gorgeous!
- PK-4: a cool tawny pink in the tube but goes on me with a lot more pink. Also has shimmers that leave a wet sheen.
- OR-1: not really orange in my opinion. It swatches an orangey peach on the back of my hands but goes on me a muted peachy coral. I think this is color also has shimmers, but they are so fine the color applies with a satiny cream finish. Very pretty.
- RD-2: the most pigmented color in the lot. Looks like a red wine in the tube but goes on me more of a shimmery raspberry. Lovely and flattering!
- RS-1: a translucent cool pink that's a lot brighter in the tube than on my lips. On my lips it's more subdued, but still a lovely juicy pink with a wet sheen from the fine shimmers.
From left to right: PK-3, PK-4, OR-1, RD-2, RS-1. I do realize the OR-2 is out of "order," but I put it after the pinks for convenience.
Here are all the colors together for your comparison.