A Journey Through Purge-atory, Part 3: Lipsticks and Nail Polishes

“A Journey Through Purge-atory” is my ongoing, if not exactly regular, destashing series; here are my first and second posts. Today, let’s get rid of some lipstick and polish!

Lipsticks, left to right: YSL Glossy Stain in Rouge Gouache, Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Mauvy Night, Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Suede Lipstick in Supermodel, Maybelline Colorsensational Vivids in On Fire Red, Milani Amore Matte Lip Creme in Crush.

YSL Rouge Gouache is three years old now, and the formula seems a little off: it’s thicker than it used to be and it doesn’t quite set on my lips. We had some good times together, Rouge Gouache, but I didn’t wear you enough while you were still in decent condition, because it turns out that I like opaque glosses only in theory.

Revlon Mauvy Night is one of my oldest lipsticks: I bought it in the summer of 2011 after seeing Midnight in Paris and falling in love with Marion Cotillard’s dusky lip color. I did not, however, fall in love with Mauvy Night. Over the past four and a half years, I’ve picked it up maybe once a year, wondered why I never wear such a nice shade, tried it on, and thought, “Oh, right, that’s why.” It’s just so drab and unremarkable. It’s not unflattering, but there’s nothing special about it, either, and the color looks dated and ages me a bit. Oddly, Mauvy Night is very similar to Urban Decay Rapture, my favorite neutral lipstick at the moment. And that’s why I don’t believe in dupe-huntingthe smallest tweak to a color’s warmth and saturation can pull it from “modern vampish neutral” to “bland ’90s office makeup.” I’m going to give Mauvy Night to my mom, who likes to mix Maybelline Brazen Berry, a bright purple, with more restrained mauve shades like this one.

Revlon Supermodel was a birthday gift from my mom, and it’s going back to her. It’s almost identical in color to Mauvy Night, but the formula is worse: heavy and a bit sticky, yet not even opaque. How is that possible?

ColourPop Frenchie just doesn’t suit me. It always looks a bit off, and life is too short to wear lipsticks that look a bit off. If I found Frenchie more flattering, I could put up with the heavy, slightly gummy Lippie Stix formula, but I don’t and so I can’t. (I still want to try the Lippie Stix in Brills, though. Finding an opaque lavender lipstick is so difficult.)

Maybelline On Fire Red is a perfectly good almost-opaque cool-toned red. I have nothing against it. It’s comfortable, flattering, a bit shiny, and not as obnoxiously bright as Urban Decay 69…and I never wear it, because I just don’t find it exciting. There’s nothing truly distinctive about it. I’m hoping my roommate will enjoy it more than I do.

Milani Crush is simply unwearable for me. I put it on a few weeks ago, on a rare day when my lips were almost perfectly smooth. The formula made my lower lip crack open after an hour or two, and it took me several days to nurse my lip back to normal. I wish the beauty world were less enamored of liquid-matte lipsticks right now: I can’t be the only one who dislikes the totally flat finish and finds the formula too harsh. I guess I’ll just have to wait for this trend to run its course; at least that means I’ll be saving some money. If you like liquid mattes, however, you’ll be happy to hear that Milani is making the Amore Matte line permanent in early 2016 and adding many more shades!

Swatches, L-R: Mauvy Night, Supermodel, Frenchie, Crush, On Fire Red. Sorry, I forgot about Rouge Gouache until after I’d washed the swatches off my arm.

I’m also clearing out 17 (!) nail polishes that I never wear, either because the formula is problematic (e.g. streaky, chip-prone, slow to dry) or because the color looks bad on my hands.

L-R: Essie Big Spender, Secret Story, Island Hopping, Haute as Hello, Resort Fling, Marshmallow.

L-R: Milani Fuchsia, Gold, Gems, White, all discontinued. White (what a name, huh) is streaky, and the glitter in the other three polishes hides at the bottom of the bottle, just out of reach of the brush.

And an assortment of cremes. L-R: OPI If You Moust You Moust, Sally Hansen Sonic Bloom (see, Milani, that’s how you name a nail polish), Barry M Shocking Pink, Urban Outfitters Smush, Absolute! Light Blue, Wet n Wild Through the Grapevine, OPI Lucky Lucky Lavender:

Finally, three polishes that get one more chance before I purge them: Essie Good as Gold, Urban Outfitters Bright Lights, and OPI I Don’t Give a Rotterdam! Good as Gold has a great formula, but I don’t like gold polish except for nail art, which I do maybe once a year. I haven’t worn Bright Lights or IDGAR for quite a while, but if memory serves, both are streaky and slow to dry. I’m going to try layering them over another color, perhaps a gray like Essie Chinchilly.

My roommate has claimed five of the polishes I’m destashing, and I might leave the remaining dozen in the English department office for anyone who wants them. By the way, did you know that nail polishes are classified as hazardous materials and you’re supposed to bring unwanted nail polish to your local waste-disposal facility instead of throwing it in the trash? Yet another reason not to buy a bunch of polishes you’re unlikely to wearnot that that’s stopped me from adding Marc Jacobs Fluorescent Beige and Butter London Toff to my wishlist in the last week. I’m hopeless.

11 thoughts on “A Journey Through Purge-atory, Part 3: Lipsticks and Nail Polishes

  1. Wow, I wish I could as ruthless with my lipstick and nail polish as you! Especially lipstick. So many lipsticks do not look good on me, but that's never stopped me from buying them and keeping them :p I think a good edit is in order…


  2. If you saw my remaining collection, you'd have a very different opinion of how ruthless I've been! The lipsticks here are a tiny fraction of the ones I'm keeping, and I could stand to get rid of several that have escaped this purge. But I'm not a minimalist by nature: I like having choices, and I can't limit myself to keeping only the lipsticks I wear several times a month. There are a few that I wear maaaybe two days a year but keep around because they make me so happy for those two days. 😀


  3. I'm not super fond of matte lipsticks. Though you'd never know it from my purchasing habits as I keep buying them. But then I cheat and when they start to get too dry I apply some chapstick over the top of them. COMPLETELY ruins the matte look and destroys the whole long wearing thing. But so much more comfortable.


  4. With my Milani lipstick, I found that a lip balm would start breaking down the color. Maybe other liquid mattes are different? Honestly, as much as I protest against the liquid-matte thing, Trap will probably find its way into the ColourPop order I'm planning to make next year…


  5. I love a good purge post. So enjoyable and relaxing to see a bunch of products that don't inspire object desire. I don't think anyone wears liquid matte lipsticks outside of instagram posts. Do they? Maybe some small group of fortunate souls whose lips are self-moisturizing. I know brands are starting to market products specifically for instagram but the liquid matte lipstick trend seems to be bigger than that. Guerlain coming out with their own version for the holiday offerings was reaaally interesting, I think they're the only *luxe luxe* brand to market one. BRB gotta look up a social history of matte lips.


  6. I've spent a good amount of time in several major cities since the trend took hold, but I haven't seen even one person wearing a liquid matte lipstick IRL. I've noticed quite a few women with matte lips, but always with the slight sheen that indicates a traditional lipstick formula. It's so bizarre that there's such a sharp line these days between Instagram makeup and offline makeup.I wasn't aware of the Guerlain liquid mattes! That is interesting, but then designer houses have always co-opted street style…though in this case it's the cyberstreet, I suppose. Very Neal Stephenson.


  7. I wear liquid mattes! The ones I have aren't that drying somehow so I find them quite comfortable. They also fade rather than ball up and flake away. I don't apply so precisely so it's not as harsh as on instagram


  8. I agree about frenchie and colourpop: i hate the formula although the colour is gorgeous. There is nothing technically wrong (opacity, etc) but it feels so uncomfortable. The finish also seems less refined than other brands. I will not be buying anymore colourpop lippies. Their sheer lippie is actually pretty damn good. Its super moisturizing and looks a million times better.


  9. There are definitely other lipstick formulas I dislike more, but I can't stand anything that feels sticky or gummy on my lips (which is why I almost never wear lip gloss, either). I'd like to find a bright, opaque lavender in a different formula, but Brills is the closest I've come so far. I'll keep searching, though, because the rational part of my brain is reminding me that I almost never wear formulas I dislike even if I'm in love with the color.


  10. Life's entropy (indie) not 100% transfer proof, and LASplash (the lip couture line.) I've also tried the Menow $1 ones which were decent too. The LASplash (mine is in ghoulish) was supremely comfortable. I wore it to bed to test it until after my meeting the next morning without feeling like I wanted to rip my lips off and it also lasted through breakfast.


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