REVIEW: Benefit They’re Real! Big Sexy Lip Kit – Flame Game, Pink Thrills, Revved-Up Red & Lusty Rose

Hey everyone!

In 2015, Laneige sparked the craze for effortless ombré lip with their Two Tone Lip Bars across Asia and even though more than two years have passed since that game-changing debut (which would have been obsolete by now in this fast-moving industry), it was only in recent months that dual- or multi-tone lipsticks had finally caught on in the Western market. Not only has Maybelline leveraged the innovation, Givenchy has also come up with their own version of the concept, thus reaffirming South Korea as the leading trendsetter in the global beauty scene once again. Now that there are already brands dedicating to the mass and premium markets, you may be wondering who is going to fill the void to cater to most of us (I assume) – the mid-tier consumers.

Well, ponder no more, Benefit is your answer!

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set

Launched last fall, they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set includes four 2-in-1 lipstick liners in complimenting colours named Flame Game, Pink Thrills, Revved-Up Red and Lusty Rose. These lipstick liners – subsequently known as They’re real! double the lip when they were upsized to singles earlier this year – has a tip shaped like a teardrop to ensure precise placement along the edges and throughout the lips for the appearance of volume and dimension. They are also advertised to have an 8-hour longevity which I was very sceptical about.

Presented in a light metallic box, each of these miniature They’re real! double the lip is loaded in a reflective fun-sized retractable twist-up tube with a net weight of 0.75 g / 0.02 oz (S$51 / S$12.75 each) vis-à-vis the 1.5 g / 0.5 oz of product contained in every single (S$35). If my math doesn’t fail me (because not all Asians are math prodigies 🙃), this set should be cheaper by more than S$6 per gram. But the price was further marked down for me (at 20% off!) because this was purchased at a Sephora private sale not too long ago.

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set

Actual size of the packaging - slightly longer than my index finger, but only the little cylindrical tube at the top is filled with product which makes about 50% of the packaging hollow after factoring in the mechanics of it 🤔 How misleading and what a waste of resources, definitely..

Actual size of the packaging – slightly longer than my index finger, but only the little cylindrical tube at the top is filled with product which makes about 50% of the packaging hollow after factoring in the mechanics of it 🤔 How misleading and what a waste of resources, definitely..

At their maximum length

At their maximum length

Since these lipsticks serve primarily as a sneak preview of the actual product, don’t expect them to last an eternity. Each bullet measures only about 1.5 cm (approximately 0.6 inches) long when twisted up to its maximum length which, with daily use, should deplete within 2 months. But the good news is that there are four lipsticks in every set, so you get four times the maximum length of use 😭

Overview of all the swatches

Overview of all the swatches

Truth be told, for a lipstick that promises visibly fuller and sexier-looking lips after usage, I was not entirely pleased with the swatches. They appear too muted to achieve that sort of result and will most likely not show as prominently on darker skin tones. But until I tried them on my lips, I thought I should give them the benefit (no pun intended) of the doubt. Body chemistry works in mysterious ways and for all you know, they might turn out differently upon skin contact. So let’s see…

At the time of trial, my lower lip was still recovering from a scab (blame my itchy fingers) which I would be using as a means to assess the opacity and consistency of the lipsticks. Ha, striking while the iron is hot 😝

#1 Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

Flame Game is described as a fiery orange-red. It is a brightened, medium orange with red undertones which complements Asian skin tone (even those with olive and dark skin) very well. It has a satin finish and glides on the lips with some tug, leaving an uneven and streaky payoff which becomes more conspicuous after several hours of wear. It offers medium pigmentation with a slight sheen. Although sheer, it is buildable to a semi-opaque coverage. The product settles into my lip lines and around my scab while accentuating other imperfections of my lips but generally it feels hydrating and lightweight. The lip liner, however, camouflages into the main colour and cannot really be seen.

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game - swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game – swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

#2 Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

Pink Thrills is described as a real pink or to be more precise, a very flattering shade of cool muted pink which lends the lips a soft, diffused look. Lightweight, it has more of a matte finish to it with very minimal shine. This shade is slightly drying so it glides on the lips with some tug. It does not discernibly settle into my lip lines but does bunch up at some edges of my scab, though not as pronounced as Flame Game. It has medium pigmentation with mostly sheer coverage that lends a more seamless colour payoff and the lip liner is also noticeable enough to give the lips some depth. This shade leaves an unattractive ring around the edges of my lips after about five hours of wear.

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills - swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills – swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

#3 Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

Revved-Up Red is described as a cherry red. It is a muted cool red with pink undertones and has a satin finish with a soft sheen and a creamier, stain-like consistency. It applies with some tug and although the lip liner appears a lot darker than the main colour on the bullet, it does not translate into the desired ombre appearance on the lips. In fact, it looks a tone lighter close up which doesn’t quite does it job in defining the lips. The product settles slightly into lip lines but not as noticeably around my scab. It has medium pigmentation with some patchiness and is mostly sheer but buildable to a low-medium coverage. This shade, on the overall, feels hydrating and lightweight but budges upon contact with water and food, leaving with just a hint of colour.

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red - swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red – swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

#4 Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

Lusty Rose is described as a rosy neutral. It is a muted cool mauve with pink undertones – the most flattering MLBB shade in the set which, I feel, goes well with any skin tone. This shade gives the lips a sophisticated look without appearing too overdone, making it perfect for any occasion – be it making a quick run to the grocery store or work. It has more of a matte finish to it with a soft sheen but like the other shades, it also applies with some tug.

Out of all four shades, this is perhaps the only one with a visibly deeper liner colour (I mean, it’s rather telling just by looking at the swatch) that contrasts enough again the main colour to give that intended depth. It has medium pigmentation and a medium-but-buildable coverage that enables it to conceal my scab entirely with a layer of solid colour. It has a slightly patchy consistency and feels slightly drying and heavier as compared to the other shades so you may need to exfoliate before application. Still, it is comfortable to wear and is also probably the only shade that lives up to the 8-hour longevity claim (but with some flakiness). Hands down, Lusty Rose is my top pick from this set and I’m already planning on getting the full size once I exhaust this.

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose - swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose – swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

All in all, if you take Benefit’s over-the-top guarantees with a pinch of salt (if you’ve been a Benefit user long enough, you’d be familiar with their marketing style so this is nothing out of the ordinary 😅), this set actually makes a pretty good and worthwhile buy. The colour selection is very varied and wearable in my opinion, and the compact and handy size also makes it convenient to carry in your pocket or purse wherever you go. I recommend getting it if you’re not ready to commit to the full-size version, or if you want more bang for your buck while still being able to try out more colours from this range.

What do you think about this new lipstick kit by Benefit? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

Benefit they’re real! big sexy lip kit is now available at sephora singapore online and outlets.

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REVIEW: Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Liquid Lipsticks – Gilded, Brilliant, Ritzy, Lavish & Opulent

Hello everyone!

From glossy to matte to satin, liquid lipsticks have taken on a plethora of finishes since they entered the beauty realm to parallel those of traditional bullet lipsticks and have rightfully stolen all the spotlight with their high-intensity colour. But the most recent liquid lip trend has more to it than just being imbued with incredibly rich colour; it is jam-packed with unapologetic sparkles and has hints of holographic shimmers to make you look like you’ve just stepped out of an editorial. Dubbed the metallic lip look, this latest beauty phenomenon rides on the beauty community’s love affair with frosty lips and has taken the beauty world by storm, so much so that virtually every makeup brand would have started its own line of metallic lipsticks (like Kylie Cosmetics Metals, which I reviewed a while back).

But for those who weren’t ready to squander their money on this fad, there was one problem. Metallic liquid lipsticks, though prevalent in the Western beauty markets, were not readily available in the drugstores here, leaving us with way pricier options from Sephora – that is, until Palladio (available at selected Guardian outlets) introduced a new addition to their lipstick line – the Velvet Matte Metallic formula.

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color

Product label

Product label

Priced to meet the tightest of budget constraints (because of other makeup priorities 😜), these metallic lipsticks are so affordable at only S$11.90 a pop (4.16 g / 0.147 oz), they give ColourPop (US$6 for 2.8 g / 0.10 oz) and NYX (US$7.50 for 0.13 oz, will cost at least S$20 when it hits stores here) a run for their money and you can literally buy all 5 shades without feeling much of a pinch. On top of that, I did not see other brands carrying any metallic liquid lipstick range from my recent visits to Guardian and Watsons so I think it’s safe to say – but correct me if I’m wrong – that Palladio is the first and only drugstore brand so far to do so in Singapore.

Presented in clear plastic tubes with a container shaped like a lipstick bullet inside to make the overall packaging appear less effortless, these fragrance-free (with a hint of plastic smell) Velvet Matte Metallic lipsticks look very similar to the brand’s normal Velvet Matte (review here) range as well as Maybelline Velvet Matte Lip Color which may cause some confusion. Apart from that, there is an inconsistency in the printing on the plastic tube depicted on the website and the actual product – the former has ‘matte’ printed after ‘metallic’ while the latter the opposite as you can see. I don’t know, I feel that this boo-boo is inexcusable for an established brand in this day and age, especially where counterfeiting is rampant 🤔

Nevertheless, my verdict on the products is based on their performance, so if you’re not the least bothered by the packaging, read on!

#1 Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded (US$8.00 / S$11.90)

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded (US$8.00 / S$11.90)

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

The lightest shade in this metallic lipstick range is Gilded, a warm rusty brown infused with fine bronze shimmers. It applies buttery smooth and offers sheer but buildable coverage, leaving a tacky yet emollient texture which wears comfortably without settling into the lip lines. The lipstick does not dry down completely thus making it seem like a film of easily-removable gloss on the lips. Moreover, it clumps up around the inner rim of my mouth, forming a very visible (and unsightly) ring of crust. Glided fades to a muted brown after several hours of wear.

#2 Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant (US$8.00 / S$11.90)

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant (US$8.00 / S$11.90)

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Rock the edgy vibe with Brilliant, a deep burgundy brown laden in fine reddish brown shimmers. It goes on thick and creamy with somewhat streaky (and tacky) consistency to create that distressed appearance. Although it lends a mostly opaque coverage, it pulls and separates noticeably into the lip lines over time, making them seem ever so prominent. Each application gives less product and because it does not dry down completely, it can be removed with the slightest touch.

#3 Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy (US$8.00 / S$11.90)

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy (US$8.00 / S$11.90)

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Regardless of the finish, no lipstick collection would be complete without a classic red. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to include Ritzy, a vivid bluish-red with purple shimmers into this line of metallic lipsticks to cater to those not quite ready to step out of their comfort zone. The consistency of this highly pigmented red is thick and creamy, and a little of it really goes a long way. Its rich texture gives an opaque payoff and is able to conceal the lip lines with just one swipe.

Its inability to dry down gives it a wet, sultry look but at the same time, it also makes it extremely prone to transfer. Besides, unlike the others, the duochrome effect in Ritzy is barely noticeable on the lips as the shimmers seem to get buried deeper into the product with additional applications. So disappointingly, it appears entirely red with only a strong sheen which I feel does not justify paying close to S$2 more than the regular Palladio Velvet Matte lipstick for it.

#4 Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish (US$8.00 / S$11.90)

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish (US$8.00 / S$11.90)

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

If bright siren red isn’t your cup of tea, there is a darker alternative going by the name of Lavish. This deep ruby red has brown undertones and is riddled with fine purple shimmers. Although the sparkles are mostly camouflaged within the product, the purple metallic tint still pops to some degree in the right light. The lipstick goes on creamy with an opaque coverage and is definitely patchier than Ritzy. Like the rest, Lavish is not touch-proof and has a tacky finish, but feels hydrating on the lips.

#5 Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent (US$8.00 / S$11.90)

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent (US$8.00 / S$11.90)

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

It may already be 2017. But like it or not, dark plum lipsticks are here to stay. This universally flattering shade goes well with practically every skin tone  – I’ve honestly never come across anyone who doesn’t look good in it. If you haven’t already added a dark plum lipstick to your stash, it’s not too late to get one now. And you being new to this whole vampy lip look, you may want to start small and Opulent is one affordable option you can consider.

Opulent is a deep burgundy with similarly unnoticeable fine purple shimmers. It has a creamy application with a streaky consistency that accentuates lip lines. Perhaps due to its thinner texture, Opulent dries down (albeit not totally) seemingly the fastest among all five shades featured here, and is perhaps the only one that does at all. Although not completely transfer-resistant, it cannot be removed with regular wet wipes unlike the others. It is emollient and more long-lasting which enables it to fade to a plum stain after several hours of wear.

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic swatch comparisons with other metallic liquid lipsticks I have. No dupes identified except for Brilliant and Kylie Cosmetics' Reign which are closely similar each other. Reign is more muted with a more even distribution of shimmers, making it look more metallic than Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic swatch comparisons with other metallic liquid lipsticks I have. No dupes identified except for Brilliant and Kylie Cosmetics’ Reign which are closely similar each other. Reign is more muted with a more even distribution of shimmers, making it look more metallic than Brilliant

Despite the name given to this line of lipsticks, they are barely velvet (creamy would be a better description) and matte (too much of a wet look to it) while the metallic intensity differs from shade to shade. I noticed the darker the lipstick, the sparsely distributed the shimmers. But generally, the metallic effect is not as pronounced as what you see in the market, which makes it very wearable in a largely conservative place like Singapore. I would recommend these to those looking to add a new twist to their lipstick colours without overdoing it or digging into their pockets. However, as one who prefers my lipsticks to be more transfer-resistant (I can’t be bothered to touch up my makeup once I’m out), these unfortunately warrant a ‘no’ from me.

What do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or through my poll!

Thanks for reading!

Palladio velvet matte metallic cream lip color is now available online for US$8.00 each and at selected local guardian outlets for S$11.90 each.
Products featured in this review were editorially selected. All opinions, as always, are genuine and uninfluenced.

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