In the fall of 2018, Maquillage revamped the Dramatic Rouge line with both new formula and packaging. The revamped line is called Dramatic Rouge EX, and the emphasis was that the lippies can be worn sheer or layered for a more dramatic look. The "sheer" part and the somewhat better looking tubes sold me and I picked up five colors to try: OR420 Naive Optimist, RD365 New Starlet, RD430 Passion Inside, RD540 Diver Red, and the winter 2018 LE RS377 Faint Smile.
All pictures taken in natural light without flash.
So, the new tubes. I like them better than the old ones for sure. They feel better in my hands even if they're not necessarily any sleeker. They do appear slimmer though, what with the black octagonal cap being half the tube now. The gold tile body is reduced to other half, with the tiles themselves smaller and less "bumpy." Why not just make the whole tube black octagonal, I wonder?
See how the new tubes appear slimmer and shorter? Just optics, unfortunately, although they do store better.
Formula wise, I actually prefer the old version, the original "oily" formula that is. That said, there's not a significant difference between the two. The new version is just as thin with the same glossy finish, only a touch creamier and less oily. The reason I prefer the old "oily" formula is pigmentation. Despite the emphasis on layering, the new formula is more pigmented. It shows pretty well on my lips with just one layer, and more layering just means more color than I'd like for daytime wear. Even then, the new formula isn't consistent either and some colors are more opaque than others, like RS377 Faint Smile below. And that's not to mention the bait-n-switch with the bullet looking totally different than how it applies. Overall, I'm happy to have tried these, but unless there's a gorgeous sheer red, I probably won't buy any more of them.
- OR420 Naive Optimist: shimmer-free, semi-translucent coral with a natural finish.
- RD365 New Starlet: shimmer-free and translucent warm red. Despite the bullet appearing a darker, if not brownish red, this color turns out to be more of a coral-red on me.
- RD430 Passion Inside: translucent pink-red with scattered gold shimmers that don't show. The bullet appears a warm red but applies rather pink on me.
- RD540 Diver Red: a semi-translucent and cool-toned, almost raspberry red, again with scattered gold shimmers that don't show. This is another bait-n-switch if you ask me. Look at the bullet and the swatch! The bullet looks totally brown-red but this color not at all warm.
- RS377 Faint Smile: a semi-opaque red-rose with pigmentation and creamy finish similar to many of the previous Dramatic Rouge released in the recent years (versus the original oily formula).
From left to right: OR420 Naive Optimist, RD365 New Starlet, RD430 Passion Inside, RD540 Diver Red, and RS377 Faint Smile.