reI bet you were all privy to the collective freakout that wracked the beauty blogosphere just before Halloween, when Nyx started floating promo images of their Wicked Lippies. We’ve since undergone a seasonal transition– pumpkin spice to peppermint mocha, according to the traditional calendar of my people, the #BasicBitches. But I’ve finally gotten my hands on these low-cost, jewel-toned babies.
It might be too late to incorporate them into your costume– might I suggest “Unfortunate Courtier Who Accidentally Bumped Into King Midas” for next year’s concept? But anyway, I feel pretty strongly about the fact that you don’t need repurposed religious rituals to, like, eat candy and wear weird lipstick. I haven’t gone trick-or-treating since before puberty; I just live like it’s Halloween every day!
Nyx promises “velvety” smoothness and a “dazzling metallic finish” with the Wicked Lippies. The former’s definitely true– these lipsticks are highly emollient and comfortable to wear, although there’s the trade-off of limited longevity and a tendency to bleed. I recommend a lip primer or colorless liner to keep that color in its place– the pigmentation is worth it, especially at these prices! As for the bit about the metallic finish– that actually varies in practice. The lipsticks seem to range from genuine, magnetic foil to a kind of wet-look glossiness.
Quantity: 0.15 oz
Now for the swatches, in rough rainbow order!
I was originally going to pass on Power. Thought it’d be yawningly conventional, well within the range of wearable grungy-retro frosts. But then I saw it on Christine of Temptalia and decided I had to have it. This is definitely one of the colors that reads metallic, although the plushness of it makes the shade seem more fairy tale than science-fiction. Nyx describes it as a “deep metallic rose with silver shimmer”; I’d call it a dirty, lightly bronzed plum. On the lips, the microshimmer melds pretty seamlessly into the base color, contributing to its general metallic glint. It does add dimension to the shade, making your lips seem fuller.
For color that initially seemed so pedestrian– I mean, come on, it’s a species of pink— Power was weirdly hard to dupe. The closest things I had– and here my criterion was pretty much, “Is it a pink frost?”– were Maybelline Pink Wink and Nyx Pandora. Pink Wink is, appropriately enough, way pinker, and Pandora is brighter and less brown. Both of them seem less metallic in finish. Forgive the pun, but I’ve been overPowered. I bow before its singularity.
Next up is Wrath, the “O” surrogate in my weak approximation of ROY G. BIV. Nyx describes it as a “metallic copper with an orange undertone”, which seems fair to me– although I’ve got to say, I’ve seen coppers more orange than this. Wrath is actually pretty similar to Power in finish and luminosity, and it has the same unproblematic application.
I have to say, Wrath was rather dupable– although that might reflect the fact that I should stop buying bronzy lipsticks. There weren’t any twin shades in my stash, but I had a lot of luck unearthing plausible siblings. That could be very good news– some those lookalikes were high-end lipsticks, two to five times pricier than a Wicked Lippie. So if you’ve been eyeing any of them, you’re in luck. Eve Pearl Amaretto is redder; both OCC Authentic and Nyx Apollo were brighter and more emphatically orange– Apollo is a little pinker than Authentic. MAC Fetish is very similar, just a little browner– I’d say you should feel comfortable skipping Wrath if you’ve already got that one on hand. Finally, Tilt/Shift Supernova is lighter and brighter, with an ethereal pink cast.
Here’s Mischievous, an indispensable part of your “I ran into Midas and all I got was this stupid gold-encrusted face” makeup look for Halloween ’15. According to the official party line, this is a “metallic gold”– hard to argue with. It’s a warmer gold, neither yellow nor champagne. This one was sheerer, and the slip made it tough to layer to evenness and opacity. A little bit of flesh-color always showed through– you end up with a delicate, gold-leaf look, which may or may not be your thing. I’m usually a fan of bulletproof opacity. But the weathered finish you get with Mischievous is actually really pretty– makes me feel like an art object from antiquity. On the other hand, it does tend to bleed out beyond the outlines of your lips.
I know there are other gold lipsticks. Ka’oir has one; so does the Portland Black Lipstick Company. But I can’t tell you how closely those resemble Mischievous, because I don’t own them and now I’m sad. I did try to dupe it with an eyeliner, Urban Decay Goldmine. It’s brighter, and more opaque. Don’t quote me on its lip-safety, but I’m tempted to try using it as a lipliner…
Trickery is described as an “olive green with gold undertone”. It’s a shimmery khaki color, like opulent army fatigues. This one was one of my favorites– unique, multi-dimensional, and surprisingly wearable. I did have some of the texture issues I experienced with Mischievous, albeit to a lesser degree– I had some difficulty achieving full opacity at the center of my bottom lip, especially. You end up with an ombre translucency that might be pretty easy to spin as a feature instead of a bug.
No dupes here, not even in my eyeliner stash! It’s too bad– I think an olive shimmer like this would make a gorgeous liner.
This deep, slightly green-leaning blue is Sinful, described as a “deep cobalt blue with silver pearl”. The pearl actually isn’t that noticeable to me, except at very close range; for the most part, it just contributes to a wet-look glossiness that makes your lips seem crazy full. For some reason, this color flatters my teeth more than any other blue I’ve tried– I know that blue-based reds are supposed to have a cosmetic-dentistry effect that obsoletes those Crest Whitestripes, but actual blues tend to make my teeth look yellow. Not Sinful, though! It does tend to feather around the edges of my lips, which my swatch has lovingly documented. But I didn’t have any issues with opacity– this is one of the most pigmented lipsticks in the range, and it stains.
For your comparative consideration, I’ve got the canonical blue lip color, OCC Rx, which is matte in finish, significantly brighter and also more “primary”, without the subtle green undertone I think I see in Sinful. There’s also Kat Von D Poe, which is purpler, matte, and has discrete shimmer instead of Sinful’s diffuse gloss.
Here is, I think, the gothiest lipstick in the bunch– the cool blackened purple Betrayal. According to the Nyx website, it’s a “deep vamp purple with pearl”. I think the pearl here is slightly more prominent than it appears in Sinful— there’s a visible silvering you don’t see as much in the blue. For the most part, though, it still reads as wetness and gloss. Betrayal performs very much like Sinful— it’s heavily pigmented but also has a lot of slip, which leads to feathering and unevenness around the edges of the iips. I suspect some MAC Nightmoth underneath would do wonders.
when it came to dupes, I immediately thought of Fyrinnae Nemesis, the last deep purple I reviewed. It turned out to be slightly lighter and cooler in tone– in addition to far more matte in texture. MAC Cyber surprised me by being quite similar– just warmer and browner. Lastly, there’s OCC Technopagan, one of my favorites. It’s brighter, bluer, and more genuinely metallic. They’re actually not that similar at all; I kinda just wanted an excuse to swatch Technopagan!
Now I’ve reached the end of my makeshift rainbow. Cold Hearted is, officially, a “deep metallic granite with silver shimmer”. One of my friends proposed to christian it “Sparkly Emo”, which brings to mind one Edward Cullen, a.k.a. the worst male lead ever, with the exception of Fitzgerald Grant. (And presumably Christian Grey, who is, after all, an Expy of Undead Ed.) Too me, Cold Hearted seems more retro space opera than melodramatic (sub)urban fantasy. I think it’s more campy than tortured– a glimpse of the utopic, space-faring future I’m disappointed that humanity’s failed to achieve. Cold Hearted a cool-leaning gray shimmer that seems to flash steel-blue in certain lights; the finish is genuinely metallic. It performed similarly to Trickery– the same translucency, especially around the center of the mouth.
Eyes: Too Faced Shadow Insurance Candelight, Too Faced Brow Envy, Benefit High Brow Glow, TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Eyeshadow Palette in Matt Smith, Matt Patel and Matt Schilling, Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in 23L, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Abyss, Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Waterproof Mascara
Face: Skin79 Oriental Gold BB Cream Plus, Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette in No.2, Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light, Incandescent Light, and Radiant Light from the Ambient Lighting Palette