My boyfriend recently left his job in the UK, which is great news relationship-wise: we met in my former graduate program and have been long-distance since I started my current program seven (!) years ago, and now we’ll actually be able to live together for more than a couple months at a time. On a shallower level, however, this will be my last transatlantic makeup review for a while. Before my boyfriend returned to the US earlier this month, I sent him to the Kiko store in the Birmingham train station, where he very kindly swatched a few shades of the Velvet Passion matte lipstick line. (Weirdly, there’s another Kiko store five minutes away, in the enormous mall attached to the station.) Here’s the full display of the lipsticks, which launched last year. Each one retails for £7 (about $9).
The shade I chose was 319 (Chocolate), a medium plummy brown that feels very Jazz-Age-casual to me. The Velvet Passion lipstick bullets have an odd squared-off tip that resembles a fountain pen; this review points out that they look identical to the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipsticks, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were made in the same factory. Overall, the lipstick looks and feels more luxe than I’d expect from a brand with drugstore pricing.
|L-R: NYX Liquid Suede in Brooklyn Thorn, Kiko 319, MAC Whirl.|
Because of the slight sheerness of the formula, 319 seems to look different on everyone. I’ve seen reviews in which it pulls brown or greige; on me, though, it’s a brown-tinged purple reminiscent of (but much warmer than) NYX Up the Bass. (Interestingly, the brown and nude shades in Charlotte Tilbury’s Matte Revolution formula seem to have the same translucency.) 319 isn’t patchy—the product applies pretty evenly, without a lot of slip—but it doesn’t have the color payoff I’d expect from a MAC or Urban Decay matte lipstick. For that matter, its finish is closer to satin than true matte. It feels comfortable on my lips, but it transfers easily onto cups and straws and needs touch-ups almost hourly, which is a pain.
For the look below, I used ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in Dance Party all over my lids, blending out the crease with ABH Buon Fresco and adding some more Buon Fresco to the lower lashline. My blush is Urban Decay Rapture. The bluer purple of the eyeshadow clashes with the warm purple of the lipstick, but I don’t really mind: