Review, Swatches & Dupes: Wet ‘n’ Wild Fergie Vicious Varnish High Shine Lip Stain in Epic & Voguing Madness

I’m not exactly a snob when it comes to celebrity beauty gimmicks. Midway through the great drugstore lip stain buy-up of 2014, I spotted some tempting tubes of color bearing the name of one Fergie. I guess I haven’t thought about her since “Glamorous”, a highly relatable anthem I pondered putting on my Nero playlist.

Not sure what else the Black Eyed Peas frontwoman’s been up to lately– are the Peas even still a thing? But she has evidently been working with everyone’s favorite purveyor of cheap beauty thrills to furnish Walgreen’s-goers with lip stain at soft drink prices.

I actually took these photos 5ever ago– just got distracted by the arrival of my long-anticipated shipment of Wicked Lippies. But without further ado, I give you Wet ‘n’ Wild Fergie Vicious Varnish High Shine Lip Stain– a lot of alliteration for… not a lot of dollars. #Glamorous

packaging

Availability: $2.61 from Walgreen’s,

Quantity: 0.17 fl oz

The Wet ‘n’ Wild x Fergie offering belongs to a genus of lip stains that also includes Milani’s Power Lip range– I guess the ur-example of it would be YSL’s Rouge Pur Couture Vernis A Levres, which I haven’t had the good fortune to try yet. (If you wanna help me rectify that, I am accepting tribute. For science.) I’m placing these in opposition to those budge-proof, relentlessly matte, often drying stains you apply like taking a highlighter to your lips, e.g. CoverGirl Outlast.

Anyway, these Vicious Varnishes are more comfortable to wear than the aforementioned lip markers– Wet ‘n’ Wild even promises hydration, although I don’t know if I’d go that far. They’ve also got a wet-look finish that makes your lips look fuller, if you’re into that. The trade-off, of course, is longevity– and mess. This stuff does transfer. And it’s much more likely to be on the losing end of a tussle with coffee or brunch. (I, for one, constantly snacking and sipping, so I pretty much don’t expect gloss to last on me at all.) The color, however, does stain even after the finish wears off. I just don’t think it stains more than your average highly pigmented gloss with no pretensions to particular staining power, e.g. One Direction Loved Your First.

The formula is slightly tacky. You swipe it on with a soft, lozenge-shaped applicator made of the same porous material as a traditional doe-foot– its floppiness just makes you have to work a little more for crisp edges. I noticed that if you apply it over a lip balm, the color tends to fracture, leaving your lips with an interestingly giraffe-like pattern of pigment. It certainly is a look, just not the one I was going for. I just had to wipe off the balm and start over. The good news is, these stains are plush enough that you shouldn’t need an additional layer of moisture for comfortable wear. This little quirk of application actually bothered me way less than the scent– a kind of plastic, highly abstracted grape that makes me temples throb. But it doesn’t linger after you apply.

Anyway, I picked two colors:

Epic lip swatch

Epic lip swatch

Epic on my face

Epic on my face

Epic comparisons and dupes (L-R): Epic, CoverGirl Berry Wink, CoverGirl Plum Pout (see my review here!), MAC Rebel, Nyx Aria, Too Faced Melted Berry. Second row is just Epic, for comparison.

Epic comparisons and dupes (L-R): Epic, CoverGirl Wild Berry Wink, CoverGirl Plum Pout (see my review here!), MAC Rebel, Nyx Aria, Too Faced Melted Berry. Second row is just Epic, for comparison.

Epic is a mid-tone berry that leans slightly warm, a kind of archetypical fall shade that I, at least, usually wear matte rather than glossy. It’s actually pretty similar to Too Faced Melted Berry, which dispenses with the shine; Epic is also slightly lighter and warmer. MAC Rebel is purpler, as is Nyx Aria— which is lighter and cooler-toned besides. CoverGirl Wild Berry Wink and Plum Pout are very similar– I don’t know why I got two dupes from the same range– and both are redder than Epic, Wild Berry Wink slightly more so.

Voguing Madness lip swatch

Voguing Madness lip swatch

Voguing Madness on my face

Voguing Madness on my face

Voguing Madness comparisons and dupes (L-R): Voguing Madness, Revlon Romantic, Nyx Miracle, OCC Queen, Revlon Barcelona Nights. Second row is just Voguing Madness, for comparison

Voguing Madness comparisons and dupes (L-R): Voguing Madness, Revlon Romantic, Nyx Miracle, OCC Queen, Revlon Barcelona Nights. Second row is just Voguing Madness, for comparison

Voguing Madness looks dramatically different from Epic in the tube. But on the lips, they seem surprisingly akin– just tonal variations of red. Maybe it’s because I have unusually pigmented lips? Anyway, this one’s a reddish coral, quite similar to– though far glossier than– OCC Queen. Nyx Miracle is lighter, and Revlon Barcelona Nights pinker. Revlon Romantic isn’t actually that similar at all– it’s a lot sheerer, and more orange in tone.

Full Face:

Eyes: Too Faced Shadow Insurance Candelight, Too Faced Brow Envy, theBalm Meet Matt(e) Eyeshadow Palette in Matt Smith, Matt Patel, Matt Schiling, and Matt Horowitz, Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in 23L, Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperliner in Spark of Envy, Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Waterproof Mascara

Face: Skin79 Oriental Gold BB Cream Plus, Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette in No.2, Amazing Cosmetics Blush in Cinnamon Spices, Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light and Incandescent Light from the Ambient Lighting Palette 

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