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Thursday, December 01, 2016

Maybelline Lip Flush Bitten Lip Reviews and Swatches


Gahhh. 

Yeahp. Gah. 

This is one instance wherein I love my intel being wrong. 

Soooo as someone from UP Diliman, I get plenty of L'Oréal related gossip and insider scoop because L'Oréal is a very aggressive employer of UPD grads. I know UPD is a priority school for hiring and L'Oréal is among the most coveted employers in the world, but for some reason there really just is something about UP and L'Oréal, like a magical bond. So fast forward, I got insider scoop that Maybelline intends to bring Lip Flush Bitten Lip next year. This was back in June when they released Maybelline Lip Flush. I saw that in Thailand and Taiwan, they had this already, so I was reaaaally excited for it to come! I was soooo sad when I was told that I had to wait till next year to try this. 

I even hoarded whatever I could hoard when I went to Thailand in August. I say "whatever I could hoard" because it was doing super well in Thailand that almost all shades were sold out. I had to go back to the Watsons near our hotel several times to get a hold of more than one shade. You could see how all the other lipsticks were properly stocked but Bitten Lip was barely anywhere to be found. All one could hold onto were very well loved testers... 

So I am so happy that they made this come in right on time at Q4 (or 3 can't remember anymore) this year! This will be the perfect gift for all your friends for the novelty, for your dry lipped friends because it's a balm, and for your Koreaphile friends because gradation lips y'all. 

This is probably the most industry disrupting product I've ever seen in Asia this year aside from Evita's Rose facial wash and I have yet to see something be received with this much hype and acclaim. 






Okaaaay so I've been blabbing the whole time as to why I love this, why I'm so happy it's here, etc. But to give a formal introduction to those who are perplexed, this is a three tone lip balm stick from Maybelline that instantly delivers a gradation lip in one swipe.

At a glance, here are the shades I own. RD01-03 and PK01 are part of the Philippine release. PK02 and an orange shade are part of the releases in other territories, though they weren't released here anymore. I bought PK02 from Thailand that's why I have it. 

So before I go down describing each shade, here are my thoughts over the product: 
Shade Selection: This is unique in terms of shades because you technically have three colors acting in every single tube. However, what I liked was that in each tube there was a good mix of translucent and opaque effects from each color in order to make a good gradation everytime. I feel like RD03 is the only shade really close to the feel of most Korean tints, but for those looking for electrifying reds and pinks turned into gradation form, this is for you. In terms of fitting into the Pinay landscape, the shades are more on the electrifying side so I think anybody, or any morena for that matter can fit into these so long as the mind wills it. I see morena girls who are up for anything and morena girls who think they look horrible in everything, so for this collection, I think my answer is that this is apt for the morenas who think they look apt in it. 
Color Payoff: In terms of seeing tube to real life, this is not very easy to describe and discern because of the three colors going on. It doesn't swatch the same on the skin versus when it's already on the lips. The translucency and transparency of the colors in a single tube play differently once on the lips, so seeing it in the tube doesn't really cut it. I urge people to try this in real life on the lips before purchasing in order to get a real feel of things. 
Pigmentation: Each tube more or less comes with a mostly opaque dark color, a translucent middle color, and a near transparent (but still translucent) nude color. The reason why this is such an industry changer is because they have combined not only three colors in each tube but they've also played with the opacities of each color. The leading color in every single tube is so electrifying, so vivid. There is really this spunk to each shade. Every single tube is a masterpiece, if you ask me. 
Texture: The texture of this one is a lot like the usual Lip Flush. It's a thin, emollient lip balm that glides on smoothly. It has a glossy feel to it and doesn't behave like Baby Lips which has a matte, emollient feel. This formulation is almost the same feels wise with Lip Flush, to the point that this also has a lovely watermelon fragrance. 

For those who are now wondering, this formula doesn't move around so much, but it does move. When you have this on you have to make a conscious effort to not press your lips too much or to smack in a certain way in order to keep the colors in their place. One too many smacks later and it will look like you had freshly applied lip gloss and not a freshly done gradation lip anymore. 
Comfort: In the months since I've had all these Lip Flush lippies, I've felt that Baby Lips really just does a better job if one is after -just- nourishing. Baby Lips instantly gets rid of chapped lips in one use and it's made for that purpose. But nonetheless, since this is a lip balm at its core, it feels comfy. 

But one thing I'd like to note for this product line is that one has to remember what behavior this is trying to emulate-- the gradation lip. The usual gradation lip involves a lip tint, and it's up to the user to add lip balm, concealer, or lip gloss to the whole look to make the gradation stand out. But at its core, it's just a lip tint one will use. And at its core lip tint is there to color, not to nourish. This has changed that landscape forever by doing the gradation lip in the guise of a lip balm. Who would have ever thought that gradation lips could be kind to the driest of lips? 

With that said, one other very important thing I would like to remind the universe is how gradation lips are so unforgiving on dry lips aesthetics wise. Lip tints have this unforgiving tendency to highlight dry patches, not stick to dry patches, or only stick to dry patches on one's lips. For those with dry lips, it's hard to get it right when one's lips are acting up. Trust me, it's not just a lack of lip balm. When my dry lips attack, they just do, and no matter what lip balm I put and no matter how many times in a day I apply it, an attack is an attack and one just has to wait it out. I can't spend my whole life waiting for when I don't have an attack just to enjoy gradation lips, right? This is the best aspect of the product to me. By turning the gradation look in lip balm form, color applies evenly over my whole lip, regardless of whether the skin is dry or not. The dry and scaly patches and the not scaly areas do not have extreme differences because the product applies evenly no matter what. Since it's a lip balm, it also stays put for the whole time it stays put and doesn't choose dry or moist patches. 

Goodbye, blotchy gradation lips! 

Longevity: Since the leading colors in each one are very electrifying, they also leave a lasting tint on the lips. I sweaaar everytime I put this on and leave it to dry people always think I had just applied lip tint on. In terms of this product, this doesn't stay moist for so long and one really needs to reapply for both the moisture part and the retouch part. The gradation is not "stamped" on and will move, so one will need to retouch the gradation every so often depending on one's desires or activities. As for the moisture, this stays moist for 2-3 hours or so, depending on how much one smacks and the weather. If I choose to sport this look for a day I would normally reapply 5-6 times throughout the day for optimum moisture and aesthetic.  

Value For Money: This retails at Php299 per bar, but do watch out for sales here and there! (from today till December 31, 2016 this is Php200 thanks to Maybelline's Crazy Sale!). Personally, I find this to be very reasonable given that this retails for like Php400 something in Thailand when I got it there, and retails for even as high as Php700-800 in HK, China, and Japan. We are a very lucky Maybelline territory to have the same product priced this low. 

Taking the other countries out of the equation, I honestly still find this to be suuuper good because it technically is three products in one. It's a lip balm, a lipstick (if I swipe it randomly and smack and blend it in, it's like I also got 5 very vivid and beautiful glossy lipstick shades), and a gradation giver all in one. This product has changed the game for my dry lips forever by giving me the opportunity of sporting cute gradation lips regardless of whether my lips are having a dry attack or not. Aaand, it has changed the game forever for everyone in general given how convenient it is to use. No need to grab a lip tint and smack like crazy, no need to ready lip balms, glosses, and all the other supporting items in a gradation lips. All you need is this, and all you need is one good swipe per side. While I do not expect people to hoard all the shades, getting at least one of these will be a good addition to any lip product collection. 

So yeah, that's about it for my feedback! Let's get down to the shades themselves. 

RD01 
This has a bluish red leading color that is more or less near opaque (for a lip balm), a watered down translucent version of the same color as the middle color, and a translucent milky beige shade. This is the best for those who like to wear shocking reds but want a toned down version of it in gradation form. 










RD02
At first glance, especially on the skin swatches, this is so hard to discern from RD01. But after much closer inspection, this is a more neutral red compared to RD01. The leading color is this neutral red, the middle color is a translucent watered down version, and a near transparent nudy color. 





RD03
This perhaps is the most Korean of all the shades in this collection. This has a deep wine red as the leading color, a traslucent watered down plum red for a middle color, and a near transparent nudy beige as the outer color. This perhaps is the bestselling shade because of how pretty the gradation is with this one. 





PK01
This is a very fresh take on gradation lips as lip tints usually aren't made in shades like these. This has a very playful candy pink as the leading shade, a translucent bubblegum Barbie shade in the middle, and yet again a cool, near transparent nudy shade as the outer shade. 






PK02
This is what caught my eye and what reaaally convinced me to hoard this. This is perhaps every coral pink lover's dream. It features a coral pink as leading color, a watered down version in the middle, and a warm transparent nudy shade as the outer color. As a gradation product perhaps this is the "weakest" one in the whole bunch because the leading color isn't deep enough to have a good contrast, but for those who want to sport something more subtle for gradation lips, this will be perfect for you. At the same time, this is also the first time I have seen a coral pink lip gradation product so the coral pink lover in me is happy as a clam. 





So yaaaaay, this is it! I hope y'all get yours sooooon <3 

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