Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Kevyn Aucoin Bloodroses Lip Product Swatches and Review


I've told this story several times on other social platforms, but the very first lip color I ever obsessed over as a child (I was 11) and saved up to buy was a deep dark oxblood or black cherry color.

That obsession has survived over 20 years, which is probably testament to the fact it is timeless and has never gone "out of fashion". Maybe it's the fact that this is a color which balances intense drama with a strange ability to flatter pretty much any skin tone.

I only recently discovered Kevyn Aucoin had a series of lip colors (and a cheek product actually) in the shade romantically named "Bloodroses". This is a deep dark cherry red which echoes the color of his makeup packaging.

The lip products are available in:
The Flesh Tone Lip Pencil - black cherry pencil
The Matte Lip Color - matte black cherry lipstick
The Expert Lip Color - creme dark cherry lipstick (more red-toned than the pencil and matte lipstick)
The Lip Gloss - sheer glossy tint (more brown-toned than the other products)


As you can see, the lip products are not all exactly the same color. So you should choose based on your preference.

The product I like least is probably The Lip Gloss. Simply because it's so sheer that it makes little difference. If you want to wear it on its own for a crushed brown-berry stain, you can get a similar tint just with Clinique's much cheaper Black Honey lipstick. It has a thin and light texture, so it actually feels really nice on the lips BUT I do not recommend buying this to layer with the lipsticks or liner. This sort of light, "flowy" gloss layered over lipsticks or liner will melt the product beneath and make everything look slide around. It will look uneven on the lips and sink into lines. Which is fine with more medium-toned colors, but NOT something like Bloodroses.

The other 3 products on the other hand, I love. The textures are ultra-smooth.

The Expert Lip Color goes on intensely in one swipe, and the color is gorgeous. It's probably the truest to the name "bloodroses". It's rose (cool-toned burgundy) balanced with blood (warm-toned brown red). I've seen people apply it on Youtube and it looked a bit sheer, but I was soooo happy when it went on quite color-true and quite intense for me. (Or maybe it's just that I always apply a very generous amount. I didn't see any bleeding but if you're wearing any dark creamy lipstick, it's always a good idea to wear a liner around the edges at least.

If you want a subtle "ombre" effect, you can also apply the Expert Lip Color, then run the Lip Pencil around the edges after. It's slightly darker than then lipstick so it gives a 3D look. I personally prefer applying liner all over the lips as base first and layering the lipstick over for opaque shine.

Bloodroses: The Matte Lipstick with The Flesh Tone Lip Pencil in the matching shade just around the edges

I'm most obsessed with The Matte Lip Color. This doesn't quite have a true "blood" tone. It's a cool-toned Bing cherry color with a berry undertone to it, which can help balance out yellow-toned skins and stop everything from looking too sallow. It's also much more dramatic looking and deep than the Expert Lip Color. The liner and matte lipstick are the two products that truly match each other in tone.

The texture of Kevyn Aucoin Mattes is very creamy and non-drying. But just like some of the newer MAC Mattes which are smooth and light in texture, they won't be as opaque and intense as old-school MAC mattes like Russian Red and Prince Noir, or Viva Glam I. You can't keep building and building the color. That said, it's pretty intense all on its own.

But you can always take it up a notch if you need perfect opaque coverage for a shoot, and layer the matte lipstick over a coat of the matching liner and then lightly kiss a sheet of tissue to take down the shine. That's going to give you that dramatic velvety rose-petal effect.
Kevyn Aucoin makeup is not available in Singapore, so I purchase my products from Net-a-porter.com and Fragrancex.com. FragranceX has free international shipping with purchases over $69 (enter coupon code FREE69) so it's usually where I check first, but they don't usually have stock for all shades. 
Net-a-porter.com (correction - I'm sorry I don't know why I listed Harrods!) is my second choice as they have a better selection, but you have to factor in international shipping cost.
Prices can vary depending on site, shipping rates and exchange rates, but these are definitely in the luxe range and currently cost around SGD$45-50 per tube. 

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