Here, as promised (look at me, keeping a blog-related promise!), is my review of the second item from my recent ColourPop order: the Blur Lux Lipstick in Slow Dance.
Early in 2019, ColourPop introduced sixteen shades of Blur Lux Lipstick, a “matte lipstick formulated with soft blurring pigments.” This semi-sheer formula was designed to replace the discontinued Blotted Lip formula, which I reviewed back in 2017. The Blotted Lips seem to have been popular (I often see them mentioned on “discontinued products you miss” threads on Reddit), so it’s anyone’s guess why ColourPop got rid of them, just as it’s anyone’s guess why there are only two Blur Lux shades in stock as of this writing. Is ColourPop experiencing a COVID-related supply problem, or simply phasing out the Blur Lux formula just as hastily as it did the Blotted Lip formula? It seems silly to buy or review ColourPop products while this nonsense continues, but here’s my review of Slow Dance anyway, because we all need some distracting content in These Troubled Times.
Slow Dance has the standard Lux Lipstick packaging: a sturdy, star-patterned rose gold tube with a color label on the bottom.
Slow Dance was one of the five Blur Lux Lipsticks in the Come Fly with Me set from November 2019. Evidently, the set wasn’t as successful as ColourPop had hoped and was broken up so the lipsticks could be sold singly. The lipsticks from the permanent (“permanent”) Blur Lux Lipstick line have the usual Lux Lipstick star pattern on their bullets, but Slow Dance and the other shades from the set have smooth bullets. Slow Dance comes housed in a glittery butterfly-printed box that I can’t bring myself to throw away.
ColourPop describes Slow Dance as a “red cocoa”: for once, an accurate color description from the brand! Slow Dance is a very good match for the exposed-brick walls in my apartment. If you’re looking for a lipstick reminiscent of the mid-’90s or mid-’70s, you can’t do much better than this.
While I’d classify Slow Dance as a reddish brown instead of a brownish red, I notice that the more product I layer on my lips, the redder it looks. In the lip swatches below, I’ve applied one layer, then two (this image also reveals the flaws in the formula, but more on that later). An Instagram pal whose complexion is warmer and a little deeper than mine reports that Slow Dance looks much browner and more neutral on her, so I think this is one of those hard-to-categorize shades that metamorphose from person to person.
And some comparison swatches: from left to right, we have ColourPop Lux Lipstick in Gallop, Slow Dance, Revlon Lustrous Matte in Shameless, and Urban Decay Sheer Vice Lipstick in Lawbreaker. Slow Dance is essentially a sheerer Gallop, which is fine with me, since Gallop is one of my favorite fall lipsticks and it’s nice to have a toned-down version.
The regular Lux Lipsticks have a faint vanilla-plastic smell that I don’t mind at all, so it was an unpleasant surprise to discover that Slow Dance has the same fragrance as the new Ultra Glossy Lip formula: a cloying artificial caramel. I don’t know whether the other Blur Lux Lipsticks have this scent, or whether ColourPop was experimenting with something different for the lipsticks in this set. However, the fragrance seems less strong in Slow Dance than in the Ultra Glossy Lip I own, and it dissipates more quickly after application.
Unfortunately, I’m not enamored of the Blur Lux formula. Slow Dance feels very powdery and siliconey on my lips, putting me in mind of formulas like Maybelline’s Color Sensational Matte and Revlon’s new Luscious Matte, though Slow Dance is less moist than the lipsticks that I’ve tried in either of those formulas. The powdery finish makes the product spreadable—I can easily diffuse the color across my lips with a finger—but also prevents it from adhering to the inner part of my lower lip or building on itself smoothly. When my lips are in good condition, one or two coats of Slow Dance will produce a soft, velvety look; when my lips are dry, which is often, the product clings to the dry patches and clumps up on itself. It also makes my lips feel dry after an hour or two, so I generally apply it over balm.
(Update, 11/12/20: I ended up giving away Slow Dance because it was unbearably drying and made my lips peel every time I wore it. I wonder if the strong fragrance had something to do with that.)
I was curious to see how the Blur Lux formula compared to the Blotted Lip formula, so I swatched Slow Dance beside my Blotted Lip in Bee’s Knees, a bright reddish pink I still wear often. ColourPop has been accused of repackaging and rebranding old products, but they definitely haven’t done that here. Bee’s Knees is sheerer but also more buildable than Slow Dance, and its formula is waxier, giving it more grip on the lips. I have more control over Bee’s Knees than I do over Slow Dance; I can wear it very sheer or almost opaque, or more saturated in the middle of my lower lip for a popsicle effect. Slow Dance is less dynamic; it just kind of sits there.
|L-R: one and two layers of Slow Dance; one and two layers of Bee’s Knees.|
Here’s a look that’s representative of my current makeup-wearing habits (i.e. boring), also featuring Boa and Pebble Beach from the ColourPop That’s Taupe palette, Tarte blush in Paaarty, ColourPop blush in Aphrodisiac, and ColourPop highlighter in Lunch Money. Almost a full face of ColourPop!
I’d also been wanting to imitate a look from 1976 that I’d seen on the makeup artist Sandy Linter’s Instagram, featuring sky-blue and gray eyeshadows with deep, slightly glossy terracotta lipstick. The color combination is so foreign to current tastes that instead of looking dated, it somehow manages to look hyper-modern. I was excited to try this combination with Slow Dance, since I thought a semi-sheer lipstick might make the look less costumey than an opaque, glossy one would.
For the eyes, I used Glossier Skywash in Pebble, a pinkish taupe, as a primer. I haven’t reviewed the Skywash formula on my blog, but it’s a sheer liquid eyeshadow that sets to a long-lasting matte finish. Pebble is almost exactly the color of my eyelids, so I don’t wear it often on its own, but it’s a good base for pastel eyeshadows. Then I packed ColourPop Bassline, a slightly shimmery baby blue, onto the lid and almost up to my brows (which felt so, so wrong). I lined my upper lashline with NYX Slide-On pencil in Gunmetal, a shimmery gray, and smudged out the eyeliner with Rock Steady from That’s Taupe. You couldn’t pay me to put black eyeliner on my waterline (well, you probably could), but I applied Rock Steady lightly to my lower lashline. The result did look a little costumey—this amount of pastel eyeshadow always does—but it reminded me how much fun you can have with makeup if you abandon your assumptions about which colors go well together. Pastels and earth tones: who knew?
I doubt I’ll buy any more shades of Blur Lux Lipstick, but Slow Dance fulfills my longstanding desire for a sheer brick-red lipstick, so I don’t regret the purchase (update, 11/12/20: I do now, lol). I should really stop buying unfamiliar lipstick formulas online, though.
Have a happy Halloween! And, if you’re in the US, a painless-as-possible Election Day, which happens to be the day after my birthday! Love that for me.