I'm quite a fan of the latest generation of matte and semi-matte lip creams, one of them being indie Indonesian-based brand Rollover-Reaction, which is gaining quite the cult following locally. They have a capsule series of creams called Sueded! which work as both lipsticks as well as blushes.
I do love a good uber-matte - don't get me wrong - but this year, I'm a bit over the transfer-proof lip, if you know what I mean. I love how they look in photos, freshly applied. They are so dramatic and your lips look "DONE". But I don't love how they feel, how they darken and morph into completely different shades when dry, and how they emphasize every single line. Great for reel life, not so great for real life.
Luxe brands like Dior, Armani, Chanel, NARS, Burberry and Bobbi Brown have their own versions of the "velvet" lip creams which are nothing like the trendy transfer-proof liquid lipsticks a la Kat von D and Jeffree Star. These luxe lip creams are designed to be forgiving to dry and mature lips. Most go on a creamy satin, with the understanding that lip products dry down after some time and become more matte. (You'll see how they are much more matte on my lips versus the arm swatches.)
I've really been enjoying some of these (Burberry and Bobbi Brown in particular) for their ability to look matte and last for hours, while feeling comfortable and not emphasizing dryness. So imagine my pleasant surprise when I applied my first Sueded! shade and thought "Wait - these feel like the Burberry Liquid Velvets!"
Now the Sueded! range is meant for lips and cheeks, so the whole color range is understandably neutral-leaning. (Which is probably great news for a lot of people.) But I do have to say the shades are very different from one another - you're not going to get 3-4 warm rosy beiges that look alike.
Another feature is they have a "cream-to-powder" finish since they are also meant for the cheeks, so they do rub out into a non-greasy texture and will go matte if you don't apply too heavy a layer. These feel slightly different from the typical non-drying lip creams on the lips because of that formula.
As for the shades, I have to say I love Umma, the deep oxblood shade, and Lucy which is a powdery soft orange beige. Saddie is a great rosy brown tone for neutral 90s lip lovers, and I also like Sally as a standard soft peachy nude, while Livv is a unique terracotta shade which is quite lovely too.
I have to say I have not used these on my cheeks, because I personally prefer a little more play-time to blend cream colors and these do set moderately fast. They would probably be better for less dry skin than mine. Also, if you have lighter skin, you might find all but 2 of the shades are a bit too strong for the cheeks unless you're an expert at blending.
A couple of other minor cons for me?
- the frosted plastic tubes make it quite hard to tell what shades are within because they distort the light. If you have more than 1-2 shades, you won't be able to quickly tell what shade they are just from eyeballing the tubes.
- a squeeze tube might be more hygienic for dual cheek-and-lip creams.
That said, I do really like Sueded! creams purely for lip use, and I hope they'll expand the color range soon. Ruby red, magenta, tangerine, dusty lavender, and a deep dark cherry-noir come to mind in my wishlist.
Check out the Rollover-Reaction collection here, or if you're in Singapore, purchase directly from Coma Makeup at S$24 each.