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


Availability: $2.61 from Walgreen’s,

Quantity: 0.17 fl oz

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Review, Swatches & Dupes: Nyx Wicked Lippies in Power, Wrath, Mischievous, Trickery, Sinful, Betrayal & Cold Hearted

I 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.

Look at that gorgeous metallic rainbow.

Look at that gorgeous metallic rainbow.

Price: $5.99 from Ulta or $6 from

Quantity: 0.15 oz

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Review, Swatches & Dupes: Milani Power Lip Lasting & Moisturizing Gloss Stain in Raspberry Tart

Mondays are rough. On this one, I overslept by an hour, missed a pedagogy meeting, and sat through four hours of teaching plus two hours of seminar without the benefit of solid food.

See, I’m taking this short course that only meets in November. A very famous 92-year-old Sinologist is in town for the month. While all my undergrads are citing him in their final papers, he’s trying to teach us some stuff about technical writing. It’s so full of esoteric details it’d probably make my skin erupt in hives if I tried to parse it on my own. Like, really– we read this thing about weights and measures, and I was so proud of myself for using eighth-grade math to figure out some stuff about the relative capacity of this vessel. (Squares inscribed in circles, isosceles right triangles!) And then I realized I misread the Chinese….

But whatever. This guy’s pretty cool– he’s got a bookcase necktie, and he let me illegally sip Soylent in a library seminar room while bumbling my way through some commentaries. And my drugstore lip stain survived the experience!


Availability: $6.49 from, CVS,, and Walgreen’s 

Quantity: 0.09 oz

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Review, Swatches & Dupes: CoverGirl Outlast Lipstain in Plum Pout

As a beauty buff who technically lives on a fixed income, I try not to be a brand snob. But really, brand snobbery’s pretty much the first thing that happened to me, as soon as I became financially independent. If I pay my own bills and file my own taxes, I get to buy myself the occasional Chanel lipstick! Or so I tell myself.

In reality, my Nyx-to-NARS ratio is respectably high. And I do buy a lot of indie! But I can’t deny that one of my favorite pastimes is the Sephora splurge. As a result, I’ve been neglecting the cozy and inviting world of drugstore makeup.

But no more! This weekend I celebrated the end of Daylight Savings by buying all of the lip stains from every pharmacy within a one-mile radius. It was sort of an impulse buy– that cut across three brick-and-mortar establishments. What can I say? Long-wearing lip color is very important to me.

I’m still working my way through that rather immoderate haul– expect a lot of reviews in the weeks to come! But so far, that stuff is pretty great. As far as lip stains go, I’d take every drugstore find I’ve tried over the hallowed Benetint (which I quite like as a cheek product). Here’s one of the standout performers!


Availability: $7.84 from Walmart, $7.89 from, $8.99 from ULTA, CVS, or Walgreen’s 

Quantity: 2.5 g

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Guest Post: NYX Macaron Lippies with Katy!

I’ve got a special pre-Halloween feature for you! Here’s a guest blog from my friend Katy, who has great taste, especially wrt unconventional lipstick colors:

Hi, i am Katy and I am not a beauty blogger but I care a lot about non-natural colors that i can put on my face.

A thing that you should know about me before we begin is that I have been on a quest for opaque unusual-colored lipstick for the last several years, so this is a topic very near to my heart. During Ulta’s 40% off sale, I finally got around to picking up my favorite 7 NYX Macaron Lippies. Although that sale is over, they are now buy one get one 50% off on the Ulta website!

Swatches from top to bottom: Chambord, Lavender, Coconut, Citron, Violet, Pistachio, Blue Velvet. Also check out my scar at the top; I got it when I was a little kid.

Swatches from top to bottom: Chambord, Lavender, Coconut, Citron, Violet, Pistachio, Blue Velvet. Also check out my scar at the top; I got it when I was a little kid.

Overall, I really love these! They are very creamy, and very opaque. The only ones I found lacking in opacity were Citron and Coconut. The most heavily pigmented and opaque ones were Violet and Chambord. My absolute favorite is probably Lavender but I’m maybe biased because that’s my favorite color. I also love Pistachio!

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Sale Alert! Nyx at Ulta

Nyx products are going for 40% off this week at Ulta! Technically the sale also includes Revlon, Physicians Formula, and Almay. I’m sure they all have very decent products– pretty sure I owned some Almay Wake Up Liquid Makeup during early undergrad that I pretty much liked? But Nyx is my favorite drugstore brand– very possibly in the running for my favorite anything brand for makeup. So I’m going to fixate on the goddess of night, and her entourage of mythologically named lipsticks. The sale ends next Saturday, September 4.

Sale prices doing include Nyx Kits over $14.99, but there are plenty of other goodies you can pick up, including the widely touted Butter Lipsticks and the neon and pastel Macaron Lippies for those more adventurously inclined. (I’ve had middling luck with smooth coverage when it comes to Earl Grey and Lavender— but the cost of entry’s so low now I might experiment with a couple other colors anyway.)

My picks are below. But first I wanted to show you this– the most perfectly named powder blush of all time. I think I may need this because I’m supposed to give my undergrads a Very Brief Intro to Marx tomorrow. Too bad it wouldn’t arrive in time for the hour of my need.

Nyx Powder Blush in "Bourgeois Pig".

Nyx Powder Blush in “Bourgeois Pig”.

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