The NYX Liquid Suede lipsticks didn’t spark my interest when they first came out last year. So many NYX products have disappointed me that I tend to approach the brand with skepticism, and the Liquid Suede line seemed like a hasty attempt to capitalize on the liquid-matte trend of 2015. And since NYX had been making matte liquid lipsticks for years (the Soft Matte Lip Creams, which I’d never bothered trying), it was unclear what niche NYX wanted the Liquid Suedes to fill. The NYX website touted their “soft matte finish,” but blog reviews described them as not quite matte, and indeed their full name was “Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick.” The shade range was small and divided awkwardly between brownish neutrals and weird NSFW shades like greenish gray and fluorescent lavender. And shortly after the Liquid Suedes were released, NYX followed up with a zillion new shades of matte lipsticks and Soft Matte Lip Creams, plus a “Lip Lingerie” line composed entirely of liquid mattes in trendy gray-brown shades, and a “Full Throttle” line of matte bullet lipsticks that were somehow different from NYX’s original matte bullet lipsticks (??). The poor Liquid Suedes got lost in the shuffle, and the reviews I did happen to read didn’t rate them very highly. So I felt confident that I could ignore them for the foreseeable future, and then—
And then what, exactly? I don’t even know. I wrote that paragraph as if it were leading to a turning point (a volta, in sonnet speak), but the fact is that I can’t remember how I first developed my lust for NYX Liquid Suede in Amethyst. A chance hashtag search on Instagram, probably. The “turbid ebb and flow” (apologies to Matthew Arnold) of online consumerism. I just know that at some point during the academic conference I attended last week, my curiosity about the intense blue-purple of Amethyst sharpened into desire. (Not every conference paper can hold the attention of every listener, I’m afraid.) What most attracted me, I think, was the challenge: could I work it into a wearable look? Could I muster the confidence to wear it outside the house? Armed with a $2 CVS coupon, I bought Amethyst last week and dared it to do its worst. CVS was having a buy one, get one 50% off sale on NYX, but I valiantly resisted leaving the store with more than one item.
I was gratified to find that Amethyst came sealed with a plastic sleeve, which was, alas, as difficult for me to remove as every other lipstick sleeve:
And, you guys? I LOVE IT.
Damn it, this is why I can’t quit NYX. Every time I tell myself that I’ve developed real adult standards and will no longer settle for trendy mediocrity, they lure me back in with something like Amethyst. LOOK AT IT.
The black cap has a cute beveled top and, inside, a longish squared-off doefoot applicator:
The Liquid Suede formula is unscented (save for a very slight chemical smell that vanishes quickly). In terms of application, Amethyst’s formula isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot better than I was expecting; it just takes a bit of work. For whatever reason, it’s almost impossible to find a dark purple lipstick in an opaque formula. One coat of Amethyst looks very streaky, and even two will give you this if you’re not careful (in Amethyst’s defense, this was an unusually hasty application):
The method I’ve figured out after a few uses is finicky and not for the impatient, but it does work. First I use my finger to stain both lips with a thin coat of Amethyst. After that, I apply a thicker coat with the doefoot, wait about a minute for it to dry, then fill in any lighter patches if I need to (which I often don’t). This process gives me a much better result:
As for the finish, my sense is that some Liquid Suedes are more matte than others. Someone I follow on Instagram has Sway, the aforementioned bright lavender, and reports that it transfers all over the place and never seems to dry down. With Amethyst, I get an all-but-matte finish and no transfer whatsoever. It feels a bit tacky if I press my lips together, but it’s on until I eat a full meal (and I like to remove my lipstick before meals anyway). It doesn’t come off on my coffee cup, or on my partner if I kiss him on the cheek. And it’s not drying! It feels comfortable and moves naturally with the lips, instead of sitting on top like a coat of tempera paint, as matte liquid lipsticks often do. Well done, NYX—now I’m regretting not taking advantage of that BOGO deal.
Amethyst is a very blue-toned purple that looks straight-up cobalt in particularly cool light. (It makes my teeth look so white!) I don’t have anything like it, and the closest color dupe I’ve seen (is it a “dupe” if it’s significantly more expensive?) is MAC Matte Royal. Here’s Amethyst with some of my other purples, L-R: Bite custom lipstick (close to MAC Heroine), Amethyst, & Other Stories Droguet Purple, Maybelline Brazen Berry.
Full disclosure: I still haven’t worn Amethyst out and about (except to do the laundry in the building next door, which hardly counts). But I think it suits my coloring quite well:
I mean, yeah, it’s a Look, but it’s a Look that I think I can pull off. I’m having a hard time coming up with a cultural reference point for this lipstick, which is bothering me more than it should. The color certainly looks very sci-fi or Effie-Trinket-esque; let’s live with that for now until we find something better. My other color makeup here is NYX Jumbo Pencil in Iced Mocha and theBalm Sleek on my eyes, and Illamasqua Zygomatic blush and ColourPop Lunch Money highlighter on my cheeks.
I decided to keep the rest of my makeup simple and neutral for this look (as if I ever do anything else…), but Amethyst would also look great with different tones of purple all over. I think I’ll try that tomorrow and update this post then.
Update, 4/10: Purple face: theBalm lavender-taupe eyeshadow with ColourPop Eye Candy in the inner corners, and a few layers of ColourPop Rain blush. Not as adventurous as it could be, but I can’t bring myself to do a bold eye with this lipstick. I just can’t.
Amethyst certainly isn’t a lipstick I’m going to wear every week, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a few just-for-fun lipsticks in weird colors for those days when I’m feeling especially futuristic. $5.50 well spent, I think. Life is short; paint your mouth indigo. That said, I’ve decided to go on a lip-color no-buy for at least a month. Oh, and did you notice that I didn’t use the word “blurple” in this post until just now? That was on purpose.