Don’t you just hate it when a brand release a limited edition product and you absolutely love it only for it it to then disappear from the counters never to be seen again? Maybe it’s me, but it’s for that reason that I try really, really hard not to buy limited edition collections as I end up spending most of my time hunting for dupes or trying not to use it up too quickly.
Unfortunately for me, I’m such a magpie that pretty packaging always tempts me, and this was one of the main reasons that the L’Oréal x Balmain collection interested me. I can’t turn down anything with a marble-effect. The other reason being that my chances of ever owning anything Balmain were slim to none. As a single mum, French fashion houses tend to be out of my price range and as I missed the H&M and Balmain collaboration in 2015, I needed to try these lipsticks.
About the range
The L’Oréal x Balmain range was released in September 2017 in the usual drugstore stores (I definitely saw these in Boots) as well as Harvey Nichols. They are priced quite a bit more than L’Oréal Color Riche lipsticks usually at £12.99 opposed to around £6.99. I have to say, the price did seem high for a L’Oréal lipstick but let’s be honest, £6.99 is an absolute steal. Also, when compared with high-end lipsticks, I thought that £12.99 was a fair price especially as the quality of Color Roche lipsticks is usually great.
Olivier Rousteing, the Creative Director of Balmain, has worked with L’Oréal with the intention create a range of shades that will suit everyone. As the shade range is pretty broad, if somewhat editorial, there will be at least one shade to suit everyone. This diversity is represented in the brand’s advertising campaign with each of the twelve shades being worn by an army of ethnically diverse models with the image bearing the tag line ‘United, we are invincible wearing it’.
The packaging for the L’Oréal x Balmain collection is different from the usual Color Riche packaging and consists of a coloured marble-effect casing with an added gold trim. The collection’s 12 shades are grouped together into 3 ‘tribes’ of 4 shades as they are ‘designed to embody three femininites: Safari, Rock and Couture’.
The Safari range, which comes in the green packaging and consists of orange and green shades, didn’t really appeal to me. It felt a bit too editorial for me and although I’m trying to explore different makeup looks and techniques this year, I’m not sure that green lips is something that I can pull off on the school run.
The Couture range, which was cased in sleek, black packaging, had more ‘traditional’ lipstick colours of peach, rose gold and especially the absolutely beautiful Domination, a strong, matte, red. If it wasn’t for the fact that I am trying to experiment with makeup, this would’ve been my go-to purchase, even though I’ve got 25 similar shades. It is simply a stunning shade.
As a result, I decided to try two lipsticks from the Rock range with it’s dark blue casing which looks so pretty against the gold accent. I must admit, I settled for the safer options of brown tones, rather than selecting the matte blue or purple that also came in this range but this still counts as experimenting, even if it is only baby steps.
I seriously cannot say this without bursting into the Little Mix song, which I love almost as much as the lipstick. Power is a dark, chocolatey- brown matte lipstick. Even though it’s matte it is incredibly comfortable to wear, even without primer, it wasn’t at all drying.
If you’ve ever read anything on this blog before, you’ll know that I’m obsessed with longevity. I’m too lazy to reapply so I was glad to find that this lipstick was long-lasting and wore evenly. So many matte lipsticks leave an unsightly ring around the lips which really bugs me.
The only downside I found with this lipstick was that it did need a couple of layers to get an opaque colour as it could be patchy. However, this colour is buildable and definitely different which is what I was looking for and I received lots of compliments whilst wearing it.
First and foremost, I have to say, I absolute love the names of these lip products, they are so powerful and empowering. In addition to loving product names, I am a self-confessed red lip addict and the taupey-brown Legend was completely out of my comfort zone. It looked absolutely amazing on the shop assistant in Harvey Nichols so that I bought it solely on her recommendation.
If Power was patchy, this was a whole new level of patchiness. The colour is gorgeous and so much more flattering that I could’ve imagined but it didn’t detract from the fact that this colour needed a primer, lip liner and multiple layers to get the opaque finish that I like. I don’t have this sort of time in the morning.
It also wore off really quickly, especially in the middle of my lips. The photo of me wearing Legend was actually only taken an hour or so after applying it and it didn’t last very well at all. I have to say, I was quite disappointed as the colour suited me and I did enjoy wearing it but at £12.99, I’d expect a little more. However, the colour is unique and pretty so I will have to persevere with it and find a way to make it work.
These lipsticks are one of those times where I’m buying a product only for the hype and for the name. The colours are nice but I’m not completely sold on the pigmentation and consistency of the lipsticks and this can be seen clearly in the swatches below.
However, the camelia-infused formula does make for a very comfortable matte lipstick which is always a bonus. The colours and the comfort are the main reasons that I am going to wear to keep wearing them, as long as I’ve used primer, lip liner and multiple layers first. Plus they do look pretty in my makeup bag.
Have you tried these lipsticks? What are your thoughts on the range?