(Part 1 here.)
Coral was the trendy lipstick color when I first got into makeup around 2012, and I must have imprinted on that cultural moment, because I’ve been searching for a flattering coral lipstick ever since. So far, I’ve had the most luck with muted, brownish corals like Maybelline Naked Coral, which I bought almost exactly a year ago. But sometimes I want to wear one of those bright, juicy pinky-red corals, something like Marc Jacobs So Sofia, which I bought almost exactly two years ago and returned soon thereafter. My heart and soul belong to vampy lip colors, but there are days when I crave the vivid retro pop that only coral-pink can deliver. So my search continues.
So Sofia wasn’t my best color, but it was a beautiful color, and I probably would have kept it if it hadn’t cost me $30. So when I noticed that one of the $7 Lux Lipsticks in ColourPop’s spring collection was almost identical to So Sofia, I pounced. Despite my mixed (generally bad) luck with ColourPop’s lip formulas in the past, I was curious about the new, slightly pricier Lux formula, which had received positive reviews overall. The initial Lux launch didn’t contain many colors that appealed to me, and I was on a lipstick no-buy anyway, but I couldn’t resist Dream Easy two months later. (That was shortly before my no-buy ended on March 31, but hey.) In this post, I’ll be reviewing Dream Easy along with Ladybird, one of the Super Shock Shadows from the spring collection.
The Lux Lipsticks are only $2 more than ColourPop’s original lipsticks, the Lippie Stix, but CP spent that $2 well. Each lipstick is 0.12 oz, as opposed to 0.04 oz. per Lippie Stix. That means the Luxes are actually cheaper per ounce, with much nicer packaging: sturdy rose-gold plastic tubes with star-embossed bullets. (I wonder if the rose-gold coating will rub off with time. We’ll see!) The Lux Lipsticks in the Butterfly Collection come in beautiful blue-and-white-striped boxes printed with butterflies.
ColourPop describes Dream Easy as a “soft coral red.” Like most ColourPop color descriptions, this is not strictly accurate. If this coral is “soft,” I can’t imagine what a bright coral would look like. However, it does lack a pronounced white base. There’s some white in there, but Dream Easy doesn’t quite slip into neon territory, which is good news for me.
As I suspected, Dream Easy is very close to So Sofia: a rich, bold, warm reddish pink. In fact, I’d even venture to call it a dupe. It’s a little redder than So Sofia on my lips, but no one needs both. Dream Easy has great pigmentation, with full coverage in one swipe:
And here’s Dream Easy swatched between Maybelline Naked Coral (left) and Topshop Rio Rio (right). It’s much pinker than Rio Rio, and not even in the same reef as Naked Coral.
I’m very impressed with the Lux formula—more than I thought I’d be, frankly, given my history with ColourPop’s lipsticks. The formula is practically scent- and taste-free, with an almost undetectable vanilla fragrance. Dream Easy has a subtle, appealing shine when first applied, but it sets to a semi-matte finish. It lasts several hours, through drinking and talking, and most of it remained on my lips even after ice cream. It was comfortable and non-drying. Like, I have no complaints. I definitely want to try more shades in this formula. Here it is just after application:
But how does it look on my face, you ask? Like this:
I freely admit that this is not my most flattering color. It’s not unflattering, exactly, but it does tend to give me the dreaded “floating lips” effect. But also? I don’t really care. This shade of coral makes me happy, damn it! No other color of lipstick feels quite as summery and carefree as a bright coral. I haven’t been wearing Dream Easy much because it still looks and feels like winter here, and I don’t think coral lipstick looks its best on gloomy, rainy days—something about the quality of the light when it’s filtered through layers and layers of cloud. But once the weather brightens, Dream Easy will get a lot more wear. In the future, I’ll try balancing it out with bolder eye makeup, which I think will lessen the wax-lips illusion.
I’m equally happy with Ladybird, a Super Shock Shadow in the Ultra Glitter finish. First, look at that box. The eyeshadow is the beetle’s body! Reminds me of the Victorian craze for beetle jewelry.
Ladybird has a very sheer peachy-gold sheer base packed with finely milled white-gold glitter. Nothing about that color combination says “ladybird” to me, but we’re all familiar with ColourPop’s nonsensical shade names by now. I can only assume that their naming system involves drunken games of Mad Libs.
|ZOMG TINY BUTTERFLIES|
It’s almost impossible to photograph an arm swatch of Ladybird, but here’s my best attempt. Because the base is so sheer, most of the pigment that you see on my skin comes from the glitter.
Swiped on (right), then blended out (left):
Below, I used Ladybird as the centerpiece of the laziest possible halo eye: I applied ABH Warm Taupe everywhere but the center of the lid, then used my finger to dab Ladybird on top and blend it into the matte shade. My lipstick is Maybelline Raging Raisin.
Ladybird also works as an all-over lid shade, though I prefer it as a topper for more opaque shadows. Here I’m wearing it with just a bit of NYX Brown Perfection liner smudged on the upper lashline.
Ladybird has some fallout (I mean, of course it does: it’s almost pure glitter), but because the glitter is so light-colored and tiny, it’s not very noticeable on my face. Otherwise, I can’t think of any drawbacks to this shade. Because it’s so sheer and neutral-toned, I can imagine it cooperating with almost any combination of shadows, cool or warm.
Before this order, I’d long since given up on following ColourPop’s flood of new releases, and I didn’t visit their website more than once a month or so. But my experience with the spring collection may have drawn me back in. Which is dangerous! I’m still going to limit my ColourPop purchases, since I’m not a huge fan of ordering beauty products that I can’t swatch first or return, but I’m feeling a lot more positive about the brand than I was even a month ago.