Thursday, November 21, 2013

Givenchy Le Rouge Sensuously Matte in Violine Précieux Review and Swatches

Ever since its release, Givenchy's Le Rouge lipsticks have been heaped with praise. I have coveted, so very much, so when Sephora's VIB sale rolled around, I picked one up, the LE holiday Violine Précieux, described as a "berry rose".
The packaging is, indeed, beautiful. The holiday editions have a gold-and-black leather case, and it is supremely classy, albeit rather ridiculously large. It took me a bit of time to figure out how to open it––you have to hold the little squares on the front and back and pull the lid up, which is harder than it sounds; on the upside, it's not going to come apart in your bag!

Ultimately what matters, though, is the contents. The prettiest case in the world can't make up for a lackluster lippie, which is unfortunately the case here. The color isn't perfection on me; it's a little dark and warm to really work flawlessly with my complexion, making it more dramatic than I was wanting for a wear-often lippie: strike one.
Left to right: MAC Pro Longwear Lip Creme Positively Dashing;
Givenchy Violine Précieux, one swipe; Givenchy Violine Précieux built up,
Becca Berry Twist
It is almost exactly the same as MAC Positively Dashing, which is half the price––that one may be slightly pinker, and the formula isn't quite as creamy, but the difference is negligible. I included Berry Twist just to show how it compares to a true vamp, which is...obviously very different.

My hair was being weird this day. VP doesn't look as dark
here as it does IRL, but believe me, it is somewhat dramatic.
For it to look even, I find I have to rub it in with my finger after applying (see how there's some unevenness in the built up swatch above?), but I have to do that for a lot of dramatic lippies, so it's not that much of a problem, and the texture of this one is really nice, smooth and creamy and lightweight: ball one. It wears pretty well, too, though not flawlessly; I get a good couple hours from it before I need to touch up, and it survives light eating and drinking mostly intact, but it's not the awesomesauce wear that others have gotten. Still, for such a dark lippie, it fades pretty evenly, so: ball two. Unfortunately, it dries my lips out. I've worn it all day two days (not in a row), and both times, my lips started the day nicely plump and finished tight, slightly flaky, and sore. It's not the most drying formula I've tried, but it is definitely a foe to moisture: strike two. The losing pitch, of course, is the price. At $36 a tube, I want absolute perfection, and this just doesn't deliver.

I think I'm the only person in the world who doesn't love this formula! The holiday releases are listed under "Le Rouge Sensuously Matte", while the normal range is just "Le Rouge", but the descriptions of the formula are the same for both, deemed "semi-matte", so I'm not sure if there's actually a difference or not. A year ago, I probably would have kept it, indulging in some denial ("it's not really drying, right? And it's good to have dramatic lippies!") in order to have the luxury experience, but I am older and lazier now. I gave away my Guerlain Rouge Automatique Chamade a few months ago to a friend, because as gorgeous as the color was, it was seriously drying and prone to sliding around, and I never wear my Rouge d'Armani because it's also really drying, but reading my original reviews of those tells me they were not always so. Maybe my lips have changed? I am getting older, after all...

I so wanted to love this lipstick. I have this dream, of being able to apply lipstick in the morning and be good (=even color, moist lips) for 5 hours, then touch up midday and have perfect lips until bedtime, because realistic expectations are for losers. Regardless, Le Rouge is evidently not the thing to help that happen. Sigh. At least I won't be feeling the urge to pick up the whole range!

$36 for 0.12 oz, available at Sephora

Quality: 9 (it didn't work on me, but not because it's not high quality!)
Effectiveness: 3 (pretty long-lasting, but it does not "plump and moisturize", as the website claims it should)
Ease of Use: 4.25 (for such a pigmented shade, it is quite easy to apply)
Senses: 3 (drying! and slightly rose-scented, but it's pretty faint)
Pigmentation: 5
Duration: 4
Consistency: 4.25 (besides drying my lips out, the feel of the formula is fantastic, very lightweight and smooth)
Price: 0.5
Value: 4.5*
Packaging: +0.5 (very pretty, but contributes to the horrifying price)
Grade: C

*I wasn't able to weigh the g/use, since the tube is so heavy, so I am assuming it is the same as MAC Positively Dashing. If that's true, then one tube contains 680 applications of 0.005 g at $0.053/application. It would last 5.5 months wearing 10 hours a day and applying every 2.5 hours, costing $0.21/day. This is a great value, assuming you find a shade you will actually wear all the time. And, of course, you can get the same amount of wear from a tube of MAC Pro Longwear, for 50% the price, but Le Rouge does provide a whole 'experience', if you will, and the formula is admittedly better.

Have you tried any of the Le Rouges? How did they work for you? Have any suggestions for long-wearing lipstick formulas that I can give a whirl?
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