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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!