lip products, liquid lipstick

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick “Caramello” | Review

Hello friends!

I know, there’s a lot of shocking things happening right now! First – a new review, two weeks in a row?! Second – a product that’s actually still available for purchase??! I know, wild times, but I am feeling quite the rush of motivation to keep working through my makeup collection and sharing my thoughts with you all!

Color: Caramello is described on the Stila website as a “neutral nude”. This seems somewhat accurate, but looking at it on myself I actually consider it a cool-toned peach. It looks pretty grey on me, but still has an almost peachy color to it. It’s so hard to explain, but spoiler alert: I love it!

Finish: If you guessed that the finish of this product is matte, you’d be correct! It goes on shiny but dries down in about a minute to its flat matte finish.

Packaging: The packaging of this liquid lipstick is a traditional acrylic tube, but with a satin gold cap. The Stila logo is printed on the tube along with other product information, and the bottom has a sticker with the color name.

Applicator: The doefoot for this product looks pretty standard, but is a bit longer than a normal paddle and doesn’t have any flair.

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Revlon Matte Lip Balm “Enchanting” | Review

Hello friends!

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a review of something that is 1) not a liquid lipstick, and 2) drugstore pricing!

Back in the day (AKA like 2014 and earlier), the Revlon balms were all the rage! Since then, the popularity has really died down and it seems like Revlon has decided to no longer continue with manufacturing despite the rave reviews. I’ll discuss this more in the “where you can purchase” section.

Color: Enchanting is a light peach with warm undertones. Since there isn’t a website that I can compare my observations to, you’ll just have to trust me and your own eyes!

Finish: Matte balm sounds a bit like a contraction, but the actual finish of the product is surprisingly, actually matte.

Packaging: The packaging is a simple plastic that matches the color of the product. The back of the lip crayon twists, which is how the product comes out when you need more. The tip sticks out of the actual tube.

Applicator: With this being a lip crayon, the applicator is just the product in a pointed shape. This works fine when it’s fresh, but as you continue to wear the product it will eventually wear down into a flat top, so you’ll have to adjust the way you apply it. This may mean trying to sharpen it somehow or just putting up with a flattened top instead of a point.

Application: With the product being fresh and pointy, application is pretty simple; I use the side instead of the tip of the product for applying since that speeds up the application process. If you have smaller lips, I’d suggest lining them with the tip of the product and then filling in the rest with the side to preserve the shape longer.

The color isn’t especially opaque, so I do have to go over my lips a few times to get full coverage; I have pigmented lips, so that doesn’t help. Even after going over a few times, I feel like you can still see my lip color underneath.

There is a very strong minty smell when applying. This does go away pretty quickly, but if you don’t like that smell I’d recommend passing on this.

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theBalm theBalmJour Creamy Lip Stain “Namaste” | Review

Hello friends!

I am of the opinion that theBalm is a pretty underrated brand in the beauty sphere! They have their popular products like the Mary-Loumanizer or their eyeshadow palettes, but everything else doesn’t seem to get quite the same hype. Today I’m sharing my review on one of their lip products; their creamy lip stain.

Color: Namaste is a deep, warm pink. It looks slightly more neutral upon application, but wears into a fuchsia throughout the day.

Finish: As the name suggests, this lip stain’s finish is definitely a cream, similar to that of a bullet lipstick but with less opacity. It’s not quite shiny like many glosses, but does hold a similar vibe to one.

Packaging: theBalm is definitely known for their cute, vintage looking packaging featuring various people, and this isn’t an exception. The tube is a matte grey plastic, with a cute sticker in it featuring a red head saying the shade name. Each shade has a different character on it, which is a nice touch.

Applicator: The applicator is your standard doefoot. I didn’t feel like the shape helped or hindered in applying this product.

Application: I found getting an even application with this color to be a bit tricky, as it’s not fully opaque. I had to be careful to not swipe back and forth too much, or I would risk pulling up the product I’d already put on my lips and making it look patchy. One layer was the best bet for getting an even application, however I still wasn’t completely happy with the evenness of it.

I also had a bit of difficulty with getting the edges of my lips, as product would want to bunch up and leave a thick line – with many other products it’s easy to fix, but with this one I had to carefully dab it away or risk a more patchy appearance. I found it easiest to press and rub my lips together to disperse excess product.

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MAC Electric Wonder Collection Matte Lipstick “Life in Sepia” | Review

Hello friends!

Last year, MAC came out with arguably the most beautiful collection known to exist, a.k.a the Electric Wonder. With gorgeous packaging and popular, wearable shades this was sure to draw the eyes of anyone interested in traditionally feminine, “instagramable” packaging. I, of course, was no exception!

Color: Life in Sepia is a cool, mid-toned brown. On the lips, it definitely has a grey undertone – this is the kind of color that most people either love or hate. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a vampy color, but it is definitely darker than a traditional nude.

Finish: As the name suggests, this is a matte finish. Even when it goes on there is very little shine, which quickly fades into a flat appearance.

Packaging: Unsurprisingly, the packaging of this lipstick is its selling point. It is a gorgeous pink marble, with veins of metallic gold scattered throughout. The inner portion of the tube is a matte gold, along with the small bit that peeks out and the MAC printed on it. The actual shape of the tube is a traditional MAC bullet lipstick.

Applicator: The shape of the actual lipstick is basic – just like any other lipstick shape with a traditional tear drop shape and a point.

Application: Applying this lipstick was as easy as any other bullet lipstick. Even after wearing it down a bit, I didn’t have problems with getting straight lines. One thing I will point out is that this particular shade is one that shows my natural lip colors on the edges if I don’t cover them completely. That just meant I had to be a little extra careful to make sure I got all the edges otherwise you could see pink, which looked a bit strange.

One other thing that is incredibly important to point out is the strong vanilla scent that MAC lipsticks have. This one is no exception – I could smell it upon application and for about 5 minutes after.

Continue reading “MAC Electric Wonder Collection Matte Lipstick “Life in Sepia” | Review”

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Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick “Babe Alert” | Review

Hello friends!

Aside from primers, one product that really worked for Smashbox was their liquid lipsticks! So many people discussed them when they first came out, and even years later I still hear people talk about these being a favorite formula.

Color: Babe Alert is a corally-pink nude. It’s got a warm undertone, and is mostly pink but feels more wearable than what I’d consider a “true pink”. Sephora and Ulta both describe this as a “nude rose” – I’d say more rose than nude.

Finish: This lipstick dries down to a completely flat matte finish. Even upon initial application the actual appearance of the dry down was pretty quick; there wasn’t any period of shine.

Packaging: The lipstick that I have is a sample size, but the packaging is similar between the full size and sample size. It is a large square acrylic tube with a black cap. The label is printed directly on the tube and doesn’t appear to be a sticker.

Applicator: The applicator on this lip product is a tear drop shape with a hole (also known as a well) in the center that holds extra product. It’s got a bit of a fuzzy texture to it but I didn’t find that there was any problems with that making the edges less crisp.

Application: Applying this lipstick is very easy. The teardrop shape made getting a sharp line simple, and the well holds enough product to cover both lips without having to dip back in.

I did feel like even with applying the normal amount that comes on the applicator, the product felt thick going on. This, in turn, played in to the amount of time that it took for the product to dry & I believe also played into how it looked later on.

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Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick “Fire & Ice” | Review

Hello friends!

One thing I love about really popular, classic brands like Revlon is that they’ve been around long enough to establish cult products. One such product, though less popular than another red of theirs, is Fire & Ice!

I was fortunate enough to find this color on clearance, and knew I needed to snatch it up right away!

Color: Fire & Ice is a warm red that leans a bit coral – there is a strong orange-pink undertone to it.

Finish: This lipstick is a cream finish. I’d say it would lean a bit more towards matte than lustrous like a gloss, but it’s not quite satin. Interestingly, it’s also relatively sheer.

Packaging: The packaging looks incredibly classic. The tube is a glossy black, with a clear window on the top of the cap so you can see the lipstick color when looking down at it. When you pull the lid off it’s a shiny gold with Revlon printed on it.

Applicator: This is a standard cut bullet; there’s nothing special or unique about the shape.

Application: I found application on this lipstick to be as easy as any other traditional bullet lipstick. The point is just sharp enough that you can get a crisp line relatively easily, though I imagine that the more you wear it down the harder it will be to get that even line.

One thing that I struggled with was needing to build up opacity on this particular color. I would typically swipe about three times to get the opacity level I wanted. While it would look opaque from normal talking distance, when looking up close you could definitely see the darkness of my lips poking through still.

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Physician’s Formula The Healthy Lip Velvet Finish “Berry Healthy” | Review

Hello friends!

I was unbelievably lucky and found a bunch of these Healthy Lips on clearance at Walmart – I couldn’t help but snag some because I’ve heard people rave about them.  Spoiler alert: for good reason, too!

Color: Berry Healthy is a neutral, deep pink that leans slightly cool, but could mostly be considered a neutral pink-berry.  The neutral-ness of the shade tends to make it look less berry than what one would traditionally think – there’s very little purple in it. I personally would consider this a pink nude in my own collection.

Finish: As most liquid lipsticks do, this formula dries down to a matte finish.  The packaging states that this is a velvet finish, but to me there isn’t much shine, and what little there is definitely goes away as the product wears.

Physician’s Formula The Healthy Lip Velvet Finish “Berry Healthy” | Review - A Midwest Belle

Packaging: The packaging on this lipstick is definitely unique to other liquid lipstick tubes! It’s square and acrylic with the silver cap.  This definitely feels weighty and more luxurious than a typical drugstore liquid lipstick.  The only complaint I have is that it’s unnecessarily bulky – there easily could have been less acrylic on the outside of the product and still kept the aesthetic.

Physician’s Formula The Healthy Lip Velvet Finish “Berry Healthy” | Review - A Midwest Belle

Applicator: I adore the teardrop applicator with a well on the inside. The shape lends well to application – it’s easy to get a crisp line with the pointed tip.  The well ensures that you don’t have to dip into the tube a second time as it holds enough product for both lips.

Application: I found application of this to be strange at first, until I got more comfortable with the formula.  It’s not actually fully opaque; it’s semi-opaque, but with this particular shade that actually worked in its favor.  The product is thicker than you would expect – not a mousse, but also not thin like a standard liquid lipstick.

There were some issues with evenness on application, especially on the edges of my lips.  You could definitely tell that some spots were more pigmented than others, however it was incredibly easy to just use my finger and dot off the excess.

Physician’s Formula The Healthy Lip Velvet Finish “Berry Healthy” | Review - A Midwest Belle

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Where Are They Now? | Makeup I Reviewed Between April and June 2019

Hello friends!

I’m back to share a roundup of where the products I reviewed this quarter have gone!  I ended up testing quite a few different products, so I thought getting a quick glance at my thoughts would be beneficial to you all!

A category that I wanted to add starting this quarter is “wouldn’t repurchase”.  Since I’m expanding my reviews to cover more makeup products than just lip, I thought that this was a necessary section!  It’s what I would consider the “it was okay” stuff – it wasn’t so bad that I would immediately declutter it, but I wouldn’t buy it again when I run out.  So, if a product is in this category you’ll probably end up seeing it in my empties posts down the road! I don’t want to waste products by getting rid of them if they aren’t perfect, but I don’t want to mislead anyone by making you think I loved the product when I didn’t!

I do also want to say that lip products are a little different than anything else on this list.  I try to hold them to higher standards and I own so many that I just consider keeping them to be the other makeup equivalent to “wouldn’t repurchase”.  I just have such a love affair of trying new lip products constantly that I’m not sure I would ever use one up, let alone need to buy a replacement!  I do want to be clear though – if it’s staying in my collection, it’s something that I think is a good product.

Continue reading “Where Are They Now? | Makeup I Reviewed Between April and June 2019”

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BareMinerals Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lipstick “Hemp” | Review

Hello Friends!

I have a habit of buying lipsticks from Marshall’s on the regular, and I thought that this was a really beautiful color to try!  When this formula first launched, I heard a lot of buzz about how nice these were, so I wanted to test it for myself!

BareMinerals Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lipstick "Hemp" | Review - A Midwest Belle

Color: Hemp is a pale peachy nude with a pink undertone.  In some lighting it looks more nude, and in others it pulled very orange; almost coral.  I would still consider this a bright peach nude though!

Finish: After first being applied it has a demi-matte appearance, but it did end up drying down to a very flat matte like a traditional liquid lipstick.

BareMinerals Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lipstick "Hemp" | Review - A Midwest Belle

Packaging: I think the packaging of this is really beautiful! It has a black cap and stripe, with a tube that fades from frosted to clear.

Applicator: The applicator of this is a long, flat and rounded tip doefoot that works well to gather enough product for application.

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Tarte Sugar Rush Sugar Coat Velvet Liquid Lipstick “Cupcake” | Review

Hello friends!

This year, Tarte has come out with a sister brand called Sugar Rush, which appears to be for a younger audience.  The prices are cheaper, and the packaging is a lot more fun and childish-looking compared to a lot of their normal products (depending on which specific collection you look at!).

Color: Cupcake is a my lips but better shade! It’s a medium mauve color with slight warm undertones that look just a touch orange on me.  The color is mostly brown.

Tarte Sugar Rush Sugar Coat Velvet Liquid Lipstick "Cupcake" | Review - A Midwest Belle

Finish: True to it’s name, the finish of this is definitely a velvety matte.  It doesn’t look like a traditional matte lipstick finish, but there’s not any shine to it.

Tarte Sugar Rush Sugar Coat Velvet Liquid Lipstick "Cupcake" | Review - A Midwest Belle

Packaging: I really love the packaging of this!  The entire tube is a soft material that feels slightly NARS-ish, but the color matches the lipstick shade and product information is printed directly on it. It’s very basic otherwise, and the logo is black with that cute diamond symbol that signifies the Sugar Rush collection.  The top of the lid has a golden diamond.

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