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making faces :: meet the vice squad

i'm completely bowled over at the idea that there's a new collection of lipsticks with one hundred and twenty shades to it. how is someone even supposed to wrap their head around that? or their wallet? i don't feel like urban decay has intrigued me with a new launch. i feel like they've assaulted me and stolen my purse.

so perhaps that's why it's taken me a while to get to reviewing something from the line. hell, it took me a while to even figure out what to buy from this line, because the choice seemed so overwhelming. when nars launched their audacious lipstick line two years ago, i was unsure of how to pick that first colour from a batch of thirty. somehow, i was supposed to choose between a hundred colours [at sephora] in six different finishes. i'm a libra, for crying out loud. decision making is not my strong point.

i worked around this problem by going into sephora a few months ago [yes, i am really, really behind in my reviews] about five minutes before closing time. i swatched a whole bunch of colours on my hand and, as the associates were about to drag me screaming from the store, i grabbed one that looked particularly nice: after dark.

it's described as a medium-dark berry pink, which is pretty accurate, although it's the sort of description that could apply to lots and lots of lipsticks. nonetheless, it is a more interesting shade, because it leans red rather than purple. most deeper berry shades go the other way.

after dark

it's not as red as a shade like rouge d'armani 402 [discontinued from the version you see here, but i believe it's been reborn in the revamped line] or bite "sugared maple", but it's closer to that than to a shade like "jilted" [which is included in the new line as well].

l to r :: bite sugared maple [l.e.], after dark, rouge d'armani 402

as i mentioned, there are six finishes that urban decay have introduced in their new "vice" lipstick line:

high shine [semi-sheer]
shimmer [semi-sheer with lots of sparkle]
metallic [semi-opaque with metallic shimmer]
satin [opaque with muted sheen]
comfort matte [soft, mostly matte]
mega-matte [intense, flat matte]

[note :: sephora groups the comfort mattes and the mega-mattes together, although it distinguishes between them in the shade descriptions.]

"after dark" is one of the comfort matte lipsticks, which is supposed to be equivalent to the "matte revolution" formula [see my review of "blackmail" here]. i'd actually planned to get one of the satin colours, but "after dark" seemed like it was the best colour of the ones i tried on my hand.

the formula is certainly among the nicer mattes that i've tried. it has a very silky, lightweight feel that applies very smoothly and evenly in a single pass. i found it a bit drying over time, but not nearly so much as "blackmail" it did, however, emphasise the lines in my lips and made my mouth look a little pinched, which is something i've observed in matte formulas before. the wear time was average, which is a tradeoff one gets for a matte that doesn't brutalise your lips.

the standard revolution formula, which is now the satin vice formula, was far superior in my opinion. but for the curved shape of the bullet, which made precise application a chore, it was well nigh on perfect. however, the colour selection was rather limited and mostly dupe-able. while i haven't tried the satin formula on my lips, the new one doesn't seem as rich or saturated, and based on the performance of the comfort matte, i don't imagine that it will be as long-lasting.

at $21cad, the vice lipsticks are a fair bit cheaper than the revolution ones that preceded them. they're also smaller, so i'm not quite sure how they compare by weight, but i suspect that makeup fiends like me take a very long time to get to the bottom of a tube no matter what the size.

here's a look at a full face of makeup [shades from the naked 3 palette], to give you an idea of how it looks at a regular distance.




i get the allure of launching a new lipstick line. urban decay needed something to get their edge back, so that they didn't just become the naked company, but the number of shades here seems like overkill, and the fact is that they had a really nice formula with the revolution lipsticks. they might have just introduced a lot of new shades there.

price-wise, they now fall below the regular nars lipsticks and bite beauty, and slightly below anastasia and makeup forever, who seem like more natural competitors for them. i'd also say that the quality of the vice lipsticks falls in that range, while the revolution formula was more along the lines of what bite offers.

i'm still curious to try more of these- particularly the satin and semi-sheer formulas- but i don't put it at the top of my list. my initial impression is that the huge collection of colours and finishes gives a lot of dazzle, but that the overall quality has shuffled back a few steps. 

Comments

I agree with your overall assessment of the Vice lipsticks. I have Backtalk, also in the Comfort Matte formula, and I really like it, but the other formulas all seem lacking. I wish UD had kept the Revolution and Matte Revolution formulas, reshaped the bullets, and added some unusual colors like blue and black. At least After Dark looks beautiful on you!
Kate MacDonald said…
I completely agree. I see nothing wrong with the formula(s) they had (well, the mattes needed to be a little more forgiving), and I don't understand why they didn't just change the bullets and expand the colour range. I would have liked to see some really shimmery, sparkling colours in the Revolution sheer formula, or some metallic shades in the satin one!

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