Caked Makeup Lip Fondant Swatches

As promised, here are the Caked Lip Fondant Swatches. Not a fan of the packaging, and these do have a distinct chemical smell meant to imitate vanilla. But they perform above and beyond their counterparts. Just as much coverage as Dose of Colors, without the drying. They are head and shoulders above Beauty Bakerie and Kat Von D in terms of feel. Those two make me want to peel my lips off after about an hour because they are so dry. These go on like a lipstick, and dry to a soft finish. There is minimal to no transfer once they are set. They are easily removed with makeup remover or an oil based cleanser.caked lip fondant 2

caked lip fondant 1

caked lip fondant

Cheap packaging aside, these are definitely keepers. I hope they come out with more colors because I’m so here for it. If they get rid of that horrible smell (although it fades after a few minutes), I’ll be even happier.

Lip Service: Ben Nye Lipstick

Now, lets say you don’t feel  like shelling out (or waiting for) a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick. Ben Nye is here to the rescue, with a selection of highly pigmented colors that give its more expensive counterparts a REAL run for the money.

There are about 20 colors, for just about any skin tone. I ended up with 5. At $10 a pop, these lipsticks are a steal.


I know. Doesn’t look Plum to me either.

Wild Violet:

Red Coat:



The pigmentation of all of these lipsticks is off the charts. You can use them as a stain (using just your fingers), sheer them out with gloss, or lay them full on from the tube. They are AWESOME. I highly recommend these. Not only is the price point attractive, but the performance is Professional Grade.

You can find out more about Ben Nye Lipsticks HERE.

Lip Service: Tory Burch Lip Color

I’m not really sure who to fuss at about this. Tory Burch for the lovely ‘on paper’ presentation but lackluster reality, or Nordstrom for the horrid … cheap… display of this makeup brand.

I had to be led to the Tory Burch display so I could take a look at it… past the gorgeous shiny displays for Giorgio Armani, MAC (naturally), and Chanel. sitting in the midst of all the lovely photos and amazing layouts is this little plastic ‘bin’ looking thing, with one of each item from the Tory Burch makeup collection sitting on top of it.

Just raggedy.

I ‘dig’ through the display to see what’s what. The lovely bronzer, that looks so pigmented in pictures, lacks any real color payoff… except perhaps on the palest skin tones. But the lipsticks are a different story. They look to be stronger in the tube than on the lips, and apply more like a shiny gloss (think, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine). So I end up with the darkest color (that’s not really dark at all), and a fabulous orangey coral color.

See how beautiful the tubes look? Classic Tory Burch pattern and color. And the gold is raised, which is nice. But the tube is nearly weightless, and that’s problematic. Think of the weight that a standard tube of Chanel, or even Hourglass (my hands down favorite presentation) lipsticks have. These tubes lack such weight… any weight actually, and the translation is ‘cheap.’

Knock on Wood:

This color reminds me a LOT of Clinique’s Black Honey Lip Color. It’s strong in the tube, but slick and sheer on the lips. A wide range of skin tones can wear this color with no issue. Initially, I was worried about it going goth, but it’s actually a very warm and inviting color.

Smack Dab:

This is my favorite of the two. Smack Dab is a warm, juicy orange based coral. The color is sheer, so the effect is flattering, not garish. If you don’t have Tom Ford’s Firecracker, this is a decent compromise for a little less money. You won’t get the presentation or pigmentation of Tom Ford, but you won’t be paying nearly $50 for it either. 🙂

These lipsticks are not bad, but I do feel that not much thought was put into this makeup line overall. It just seems to be done by committee, with no real thought about how customers might react to a $32 lipstick that feels and performs more like a $5 counterpart. I’m not sure who the audience is for this makeup line, but I think it’s fair to say that I’m not a part of that audience. I like for my makeup to make a statement from presentation to performance, and this makeup sort of gets lost in translation.

You can find out more about Tory Burch Beauty HERE.

Lip Service: Burberry Lip Cover in Oxblood

Burberry got it right. Most companies who try to release a dark maroon lipstick always end up going too far one way or the other. The color is either too light, or way too dark and goth looking. But Oxblood rides the fence between the two, making for a very wearable lipstick.

I kept the rest of the face very simple, to really let the lip color shine. This formula is highly moisturizing and wears pretty much all day. I reinforced the lip line with Chanel’s lip pencil in Rouge. The colors are almost identical. This is such a comfortable formula, and the pigmentation level is fabulous. The color is balanced enough to suit a wide range of skin tones. I’d say that unless you are uber pale and not a fan of dark lips, pretty much anyone can wear this color.


You can find out more about Burberry Lip Cover in Oxblood HERE.

Lip Service: Marc Jacobs Lipstick (Showstopper)

‘Tis the season for rich, bold colors… especially in the lipstick department. Marc Jacobs got the the Holiday Party started a little early this year, with the introduction of a beautiful red shade, appropriately named Showstopper. Instead of the classic black tube, this special edition lip color comes in a shiny candy red tube. Very ‘holidayesque.’

Like all the Marc Jacobs lipsticks, the hydration level in this little tube is amazing. You can put this lipstick on with no prep and end up with full, luscious color.

The other really awesome thing about this lipstick is that you can sheer it out to a tint, or layer it for full color. I absolutely love it. You can find out more about Marc Jacobs Lip Gel (lipstick) in Showstopper HERE.


Lip Service: Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss (Controversy)

Chanel released a tiny new collection (as they are apt to do, in an attempt to separate you from every single penny) in anticipation of the big Holiday Collection. The little bundle consists  primarily of lip colors, with a nail color thrown in for good measure.

I saw the collection recently, and decided that the only real standout was the Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Controversy.

The strong berry-purple color is part chic, part goth. I think it’s perfect for the Autumn/Winter season, and I love that you can manipulate the color with liners to bring out either a cool or warm result.

I feel like there’s just enough brown in there to keep it from going totally goth on me. This color translates well on my warm skin, and wears more like a deep rusted berry.

You can find out more about Controversy HERE.

Lip Service: MAC Retro Matte

MAC released a series of matte pencils and lipsticks that … with the exception of one lip-liner, are all permanent. That means… no feeding frenzy of ‘collectors’ who absolutely MUST have six of every color. There’s enough for everyone. And when they run out, they’ll just make more. 😉

There are 8 lipsticks, and 8 lip liners. The limited edition liner, Fashion Boost, is most likely a must have for MAC fans. I imagine that when it’s gone, it’ll be gone forever… or until MAC repromotes it at some future date.

I ended up with two Lipsticks (Flat Out Fabulous and Fixed On Drama), and the Fashion Boost Lip Liner.

Flat Out Fabulous:

Fixed On Drama:

Fashion Boost Lip Pencil:

To say that the lipsticks are highly pigmented is an understatement. Like Ruby Woo (the original… and also present in this collection), the lipsticks wear a true matte, and can actually be layered for intensity. I used Lisa Eldridge’s tip of patting it on with my finger for a ‘stain’ recently, and it worked wonderfully.

I’ve seen Fashion Boost Lip Pencil compared to MAC Heroine (which sold out in a ridiculously short amount of time), and I have to say… it’s pretty darn close. So if you missed out on Heroine (I did), then you  might want to get this one as an alternative.

MAC Retro Mattes are currently on sale on the MAC website.

Lip Service: Armani Rouge Ecstasy

The new Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipsticks claims to be a ‘CC Cream’ for the lips. If CC stands for Color & Correct in foundation/skincare, then it means Color & Care in lipspeak. There are a billion (read: 37) shades to choose from, so there is literally something for everyone. I took a look at the range and found that some of the shades are very similar to each other, with slight variations that go from light to dark depending on your individual skin tone and needs.

There are six color families: Beige, Brown, Red, Coral, Pink, and Plum. I chose one from the Brown, Coral, and Pink familes for my first go.

Diva (Pink 503)

Tangerine (Coral 307)

Ambiguous (Beige 105)

These are essentially highly pigmented lip balms. Diva (I LOVE that they have names instead of exclusively numbers now. So much easier to identiffy) is definitely the most ‘lipstick’ like of these three. They go on smooth and set semi-matte.. and they fade fully matte (which I love. There is no waxy goop in the middle of your mouth when it wears off. It fades evenly).

There are a bunch more that I want to try, but for now these will tide me over. You can find out more about Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipstick HERE.

Lip Service: NARS Mysterious Red


Can you really have too many lipsticks?

I debate this question every time a ‘new and improved’ red lip color crosses my eyeline. Sometimes I resist the urge to adopt one… sometimes I don’t. In the case of NARS Mysterious Red (Autumn 2013), I lost the argument.

Like other Velvet Matte Lip Pencils, this one is incredibly easy to use, and can double as a lipliner (with careful application) and a lipstick.

Some people might find this formula a bit drying. If you’re not a fan of the ‘feeling’ of matte lipsticks, I suggest a light balm under this one, as it has the tendency to ‘pull’ a bit once its set. It goes on almost silicone smooth, but can feel a little dry as time wears on. Too much balm will change the ‘finish’ of this lip color though, from matte to satin. So use the least amount of balm possible to get the job done.

with flash

without flash

You can find out more about NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Mysterious Red HERE.

(Lots Of) Lip Service: Ardency Inn and Laura Mercier

Okay, this is a long one… so strap in!

Instead of breaking this up into two different posts, I decided to combine them. These are my new two favorite lippies. I love them for unique presentation, ease of use, and … for the moment … lack of competition.

I’ll start with Ardency Inn.

The ‘punk’ inspired makeup line features the classic items needed for the perfect punk look: smoked out eyes and natural lips. Ardency Inn features a cozy range of lip pencils, for the perfect nude for any skin tone. My color is Essex… which is a bit of a rusty brown color:

It looks more warm than ‘nude’ on me, but I found that it perfectly compliments my skin tone. The color above (Houston) is a bit too light, and tends to go a little ashy on me.

Essex is a perfect match for my skin tone. It is so moisturizing. You can apply it directly on dry lips, and it moisturizes them beautifully. The color is so flattering that you don’t need a mirror or perfect lighting to put it on. I do believe that’s the point… as most ‘rocker’ looks tend to be on the effortless side. I absolutely love how easy it is to use this pencil. And there’s no sharpening required; simply twist the bottom of the pencil to roll up more product. Easy… effortless… love.

Laura Mercier came out with a ‘weightless’ lip color that actually works. Most weightless colors tend to leave my lips on the dry side… and when I found out that these formulas were ‘wax free’ — I was even more concerned. Pure pigments that don’t leave your lips feeling like you’ve been rubbing sand on them… I had to find out more.

What really made me fall in love was the ‘sheer’ nature of some of the lip colors, despite their rather daunting bullet colors. I just HAD to have the color in ‘Sin’ — which looks black-based purple… but swatches closer to berry.

I was so surprised by this lip color. I love it. It’s very sheer, so it wears more like a lip gloss, and it is indeed truly weightless. You can’t exactly put this one on in the dark, but you don’t have to really pay attention to application to get it perfect. Like Ardency Inn, this lip color leans toward an overall effortless looks and feel.

Both of them are getting lots of love these days. You can find both lovely lippies at Sephora.