Thursday, August 4, 2011

Essence Lipstick in Fairytale Review and Swatches

My search for an HG (Holy Grail) MLBB (my lips but better) lip product, which has been somewhat documented under the tag "HG Lip Search," is my longest-running makeup obsession.  I've come close, but have yet to succeed in finding that one lipstick/balm/gloss to end all others.  My requirements, after many years of honing, are as follows:

1) Must be cheap.  This is why I've never tried Fresh Sugar, even though it seems right up my alley.
2) Must be pinky-mauvey-rosey-berry.  Nothing too cool (no lavender-pinks––made that mistake once, and even my brother commented that I looked like a corpse), nothing too warm (ixnay on the ickbray, thank you), and nothing too nude (brown lips on me are even worse than purple).
3) Must be semi-sheer.  I want something I can apply without fuss, that complements my lip color but doesn't compete with it, and that can go with many different looks.
4) Must look natural.  That's the whole point of MLBB, at least for me.  This means nothing obvious (see #3 above), and preferably nothing with obvious shimmer or (shudder) glitter.
5) Must make my lips look better than they would on their own.  Obviously.  But matte lipsticks often fail in this respect, as do many lipstains (some reviews on the latter to come, talk about horror stories).

Okay, now that that's been established, time to turn to our next contender in the fight for the title of HG MLBB: Essence's Fairytale.
Essence Fairytale (and very sad-/ooking nails)
Essence has seriously been a source of joy for me.  I am so glad (though my wallet is less glad) that it's sold at Freddy's!  Much easier than having to go back to Berlin, definitely.  And glad that Karen from Makeup and Beauty Blog has been reviewing their products, because if not for her, I would never have tried Essence's lipstick (see her review of Kiss Me here).  I figured that, for $2.49, they would have that terrible drugstore lipstick smell and would be too heavy for me.  So glad to be wrong on both counts!

Essence Fairytale in sunlight

Fairytale is a medium pink-mauve with very subtle shimmer.  It smells like something vaguely sweet, quite pleasant, and it feels very nice on––light smooth and silky but not slippery or gloppy, though it can sometimes feel a wee bit waxy.  It doesn't dry my lips out, though it's not particularly moisturizing either (of course, it's not supposed to be, so I can't fault it for that), and it lasts ~an hour before I need to reapply (this is with my lip smooshing, so on normal people, it should last longer than that).  It's just the right level of sheerness, and can be built up to be more opaque if need be.  One thing I particularly love is that the shimmer (besides being extremely fine and subtle) doesn't remain after the lipstick wears off, and it doesn't migrate off my lips.  It really does just work to draw some attention to the lips: very much an MLBB effect.

So, are there any cons?  I can only think of one slight quibble––the tip of the lipstick extends over the top of the tube by a little bit, which can get caught when putting the lid back on (nothing as bad as the Jordana Easyshines, and probably wouldn't be a problem for most people, but given my shakiness it's a tiny bit irritating).  It's also a very small tube; when holding it, I feel like it's almost mini-sized (though the product amount is definitely full-sized!), so those with larger hands may find themselves feeling like clumsy giants.
See, most people wouldn't have trouble not getting the lid stuck on that little bit that's barely sticking up. I guess I'm just special.
Successfully closed! Note how the tube is the same color as the lipstick––makes identifying it much easier.
It's also not a dramatic shade, so if you want something bolder, look elsewhere.  As an everyday, go-with-anything, MLBB shade, though, it's great.  I am extremely pleased!

$2.49 for 0.14 oz, available at Fred Meyer, Ulta, HEB

Pros: It fits every requirement for a MLBB for me. Must I say more?
Cons: Packaging is mildly irksome, may be hard for some to find

Quality: 9.75 (doesn't feel like a drugstore lipstick, doesn't smell like a drugstore lipstick, must not be a drugstore lipstick?)
Effectiveness: 5
Ease of Use: 5 (completely foolproof, seriously)
Senses: 5 (smells lightly sweet)
Pigmentation: 5 (semi-sheer and buildable)
Duration: 3.5
Consistency: 4.75 (almost leans towards waxiness)
Price: 4.75
Value: 5 (0.14 oz is on the larger end of standard lipstick sizes, never mind that everything about it is perfection)
Packaging: -0.25
Grade: A

What do you think of Fairytale?  Have you tried any Essence lipsticks?
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