Tuesday, January 5, 2016

L'oreal Colour Riche Star Collection Lipsticks (Singapore Release) Shades and Swatches

L'oreal Paris has released their Star Collection lipstick series globally; and the shades are grouped into Pure Reds and Pure Nudes with the premise that everyone has a perfect nude and a perfect red that complements their skintones.

I definitely agree with that, but I really wouldn't restrict myself to ONE nude and ONE red. Considering how many different undertones there can be, that would be too boring!

In Singapore, the collection has been distilled down to 8 shades (SGD$21.90), each tagged to one style icon and bearing their signature on the cap. I do really like several of these - especially the Reds, and I'll tell you why later.  I daresay most people will find at least a couple of colors that they like in the series.

I still highly recommend swatching the testers in store whenever possible, because that's the only way to check the true shade of the lipsticks. The color indicators outside are not often that accurate for showing how they will look on skin. And - please - do not use the display images of the stars in store to try and guess which will suit you.

Below are the 8 swatches taken under white daylight lamps (these are pretty much what you get standing by the window in the day), and a brief description of the shades and what sort of skin tones they are recommended for.

Star Collection Pure Nudes (from front): Barely Coral, Barely Pink, Barely Plum, Barely Moka

Who doesn't love looking at marshmallow-y soft colors like these?

The Pure Nudes come in gold tubes, and are creamy in texture. I had initially been expecting the nude shades to be more universally wearable but upon swatching I realized that these are quite pigmented on the lips and 3 of the 4 shades are on the paler side, so they can come off a bit too pastel or ashy on medium to tan skins. Make sure you try these on before buying, just to see how they look against your face.

Barely Coral - fronted by Fan Bing Bing, this is a soft creamsicle orange-nude better suited to pale to medium-fair skins with yellow undertones

Barely Pink - is what I call a "beach bunny" nude which often makes people look more tan. The color is fronted by Doutzen Kroes and I would say it sits better on neutral to slightly pink-toned skins and will look more dramatic and pastel on yellow skin tones.

Barely Plum - more a dusty mauve pink bearing Sonam Kapoor's signature on the cap. It's not as pale as Barely Pink, but it's very cool-toned, so it will sit nicely on neutral to pink skin tones, or the very pale-skinned, but might look a bit ashy on yellow toned skin.

Barely Moka - possibly the most universally forgiving shade of the 4, this neutral creamy caramel brown bears Gong Li's name, and will suit a pretty wide range of skin tones. If you're very pale, it can look quite monochromatic so you might need a nice warm blush to pep up your face. For medium skins it's a nice warm toffee, and on deeper skins it's a great non-chalky nude.
I love the texture of this formula but I personally would pick Barely Moka and possibly Barely Coral from here if I want a more dramatic pale-nude look. I have a medium-light yellow-based skin tone and the two pinks look a bit stark on me. These are not sheer lipsticks, so they won't be as forgiving on non-complementary skintones. Not to say you can't wear all of these if you are medium to tan - just expect them to look quite dramatically pale on the lips.


Now, the Pure Reds I love. Every single shade. These come in black tubes and have more of a satin, semi-matte texture compared to the creamy Pure Nudes. They don't feel too drying on the lips, but just have a much more muted sheen and more intense color.

Ironically when I first saw the 4 colors printed on the store displays, which are (let's be completely honest) photo-shopped onto the lips of the stars, I wasn't sure what they would really look like. It's partially a problem with print quality, partially lighting, partially just what happens when you try to photo-shop someone's lips a completely different color from what they originally are.

Star Collection Pure Reds (from front): Pure Vermeil, Pure Amaranthe, Pure Fire, Pure Scarleto
Even looking at the colors in the lipstick tubes, especially if you are looking at these under bad store lights, you might not be able to see the clear difference between Pure Vermeil and Pure Fire, or Pure Amaranthe vs Pure Scarleto. Because these swatch completely different from how they look in the tube.

The formula of the red dyes used for this range have a tendency to look over-saturated in the bullet and come off more red than they actually apply. Don't believe me? See swatches below!

They are actually very different, and I wouldn't even classify Pure Amaranthe and Pure Fire as "reds" at all. Which is fine - because all 4 shades are GORGEOUS intense shades which manage to be both bright and deep at the same time, so they will look beautiful on a majority of skin tones. And to think I would not have known if I hadn't swatched them at home. 

Pure Vermeil - coral-based red; this beautiful bright red shade has a touch of orange and a touch of pink and probably looks good on most skins. Fan Bing Bing's signature is on the cover.

Pure Amaranthe - L'oreal has an older shade called Amaranthe in the regular Colour Riche line, which is a creamy deep pink that I love. This gorgeous deep magenta beats that one hands-down in the drama department, and has enough red in it that it's not too cool or blue-toned for yellow-based skins. I would say pretty much anyone can wear this and look good. Gong Li's signature graces the cap.

Pure Fire - bright saturated orange with a shot of red. This is a glorious shade that would look good on yellow to neutral skins from pale to deep. If you have a neutral to pink undertone, you might still be able to pull it off. Just make sure to neutralize any areas of redness with foundation or concealer first. Li Bing Bing fronts this shade in the visuals.

Pure Scarleto - a true ruby red for that classic old Hollywood look. It's different from Pure Vermeil as this is deeper, more grown-up almost, and doesn't have that neon undertone which makes Pure Vermeil "pop" against the skin. I can see all skin tones pulling off a true red, although it's especially flattering on medium to tan girls who don't want something too bright. Blake Lively's signature is stamped on the cap of this shade.
I love the Pure Reds and would recommend them all. They each give a very different look on the face, but in terms of uniqueness I would go with Pure Vermeil, Pure Amaranthe and Pure Fire, simply because they're such fun shades. Pure Scarleto is good but a classic red shade a lot of people might already own in one form or another. If you don't then check this one out. Do note these have great staying power but do leave a stain on the skin after removal.
On some lips, some of the pigments in these intense bright colors can go on darker. I'm not sure if it's the liquid dyes or oxidation or just the color of the natural lip coming through. If this happens to you and you want to maintain the brightness instead of having it show up as a deeper more red tone, simply buff a tiny bit of foundation or a matte beige eye primer over your lips before applying lipstick. This will help the lipstick pigments "float" and stay true. 


There's a Lunar New Year promotion going on from Jan to Feb 2016. Purchase any 2 Colour Riche Star Collection lipsticks for $32. Perfect time to try out all the different reds I say!

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