What This is About
This is a review on Smashbox’s set of three mini lipsticks for the 2014 Holiday On the Rocks Collection. All three colors (Fig, Primrose & Legendary) are from the permanent line unlike the lip gloss set which has two limited edition colors.
Before we begin let me be clear. I did not purchase this set to review and keep. I already have all 3 colors in full size (Legendary, Primrose and Fig) and I really like them all so I purchased this set to give a friend in return for a favor. The color swatches will be from my own, full-sized lipsticks. However, I sneakily dissected this set so that i could snap photos of the minis for the review. I’m sorry, friend! I’ll put it back together nicely! I even wiped off the fingerprints.
If she doesn’t chance across this site, she probably won’t even know about the intrusion. Hopefully.
Anyhow the reason I’m writing this review is because I think that it is a great starter-/ trial-/intro-kit to Smashbox’s Be Legendary line of lipsticks. The colors picked are also very well-coordinated and (in my opinion) wearable colors. These are lipsticks that will get a lot of mileage and love.
Plus they’re mini sized! They’re cute! They’re ultra-portable and toss-into-my-bag-to-go-able. What’s not to love? In a perfect world, all lipsticks would come in a mini size but alas they can only be obtained as samples or sets.
I have a slight collector’s craze of mini things. The weight of all my mini perfume bottles threatens to make the shelf they sit on cave in.
This box doesn’t have a window cut out…
… probably because the packaging inside is boring and looks like this:
The casing is a square with rounded edges and printed with the Smashbox name in the beautiful holographic lettering found on everything “On the Rocks” related. The case is made of dense black plastic that clacks like ceramic when knocked against a hard surface. They have a definite heft to them and seem pretty sturdy. I don’t know how good they are at preventing the product inside from melting on hot days though.
First things first: You might be taken aback by the size. They are small. They are the size of deluxe sample lipsticks so the stick of product looks super fragile. I definitely would be careful with twisting these up and applying them on a warm day.
You get 3 colors, as i already previously mentioned. In essence, you are getting a classic cool-red, a neutral dusky-pink, and a burgundy-purple that is both neutral and dramatic (depending on your skin tone). All of them are creamy without being too soft and glide on like lip balms, but without as much slip. They aren’t moisturizing but they do have shiny, almost glossy finishes.
The length of the tube is a little overkill because the product retracts waaay down. It would be great if Smashbox could cut the price a bit by getting rid of the excess packaging but oh well. Turtles are cute too.
What You Get
Each of the 3 lipsticks is 0.04 oz. or 1.30g. You get a total of 0.12 oz of product for $19. That translates to $158.33/oz. On the box there is a sticker on the box proclaiming that you are are getting $24 worth of lipstick for $19.
Full sized Be Legendary lipsticks are $20 for 0.1 oz. of product or $200/oz.
If this trio of minis were priced at the same rate, the set would cost $24. Props to Smashbox’s marketing for being honest and right on the
rocks money. Sorry, i couldn’t resist the pun.
It’s not as great a deal/discounts as their other holiday sets and palettes but I’ll take it.
For size comparison: most of you who are Sephora Beauty Insiders have probably picked up your birthday gift by Makeup Forever by now. The Rogue Artist Natural Lipstick in N9 included in the set is 0.05 oz. or 1.50g.
For price comparisons:
MAC lipsticks are $16 for 0.1 oz. or $160/oz.
Bite Beauty’s Luminous Creme Lipsticks are $24 for 0.15 or $160/oz.
Makeup Forever’s Rouge Artist Lipsticks are $20 for 0.12 oz. or $166.67/oz.
Estee Lauder Signature Hydra Color Lipsticks are $22.50 for 0.13 oz. or $173.08
Bobbi Brown Lipcolors are $26 for 0.12 oz. or $216.67/oz.
NARS Audacious Lipsticks are $32 for 0.14 oz. or $228.57/oz.
Urban Decay’s Revolution Lipsticks are $22 for 0.09 oz. or $244.44/oz.
One thing that really irks me about the Smashbox website is that it doesn’t say how much product there is. I could just be blind or not looking hard enough, but such essential information should be readily apparent.
The Ulta weblisting will tell you how much product there is but it is completely wrong. The website claims that each lipstick is 0.07 oz. *smh*
Don’t I wish.
Color Breakdown and Perfornamce
All swatches are done on the inside of my arm. Each swatch is two swipes as I would apply them to the lips: back and forth. I took two pictures, each in a separate lighting.
If you want to see the lipsticks on various skin-tones, please visit the Smashbox Website for the Full Size Lipsticks but clinking on this link here. Select a desired color and look down to the left, you will be able to preview the lipstick modeled on various women and get a pretty good sense of how it performs across a variety of skin tones. However, the lipsticks are photo-shopped on… The shine (of lack of for matte lipsticks) and dimension are not accurately portrayed nor are some of the lipstick colors.
Legendary – is a lovely, medium blue-red that applies like a opaque lip balm. Upon close inspction I can detect very fine micro-shimmers in various shades of red, orange and some gold. The undertones are very neutral, barely warm or cool. It’s a little dimmer than what i would consider “classic” red lipstick: cranberries with a yellow base that makes the color appear brighter like so
Legendary, unlike the lipcolor featured above is blue based so it has the bonus effect of making your teeth look whiter because yellow and blue are complementary colors. What does that mean? If you have slightly yellow, less than glacial white teeth, the blue cast from this lipstick will do a bit of color correcting, making your teeth appear brighter and whiter.
This lipstick feels like a rich balm gliding on. One swipe back and forth across the lips yields an opaque coat There is minimal tugging because the formula has quite a lot of slip. The finish of Legendary is rivals that of a lipgloss and makes your lips look 3-dimensional without any effort. Unless you want your lips to look like they are made of vinyl, you probably wont need a lip gloss over this one for some shine. For an hour or two after application there is a slight tackiness that i would not normally associate with lipsticks. I suppose this might be from the shiny coat over the color. The shine eventually goes away though leaving behind a stain that looks a lot like Fresh’s Sugar Rose. It’s a slight just bitten red-pink that looks natural yet is eye catching enough to make people wonder whether or not it is your natural lip color. I have not experienced any drying over time with this lipstick but if you have dry lips to begin with or flakes of skin, this lipstick is unforgiving. The shiny finish will highlight any unevenness in lip texture upon inspection from 3 feet or closer.
Primrose – is a medium pink with a cool mauve base. I daresay that there is a touch of brown to this lipstick that neutralizes the “cuteness” that pinks are usually associated with. There is a tiny bit of shimmer that disappears on the lips but contributes to a very shiny finish. I would describe this as a “meet the parents pink”. Others might describe it as “boring” but let’s take the middle ground and call it a “safe” pink. It’s meant to be neutral and mimic the color of nude lips. The mauve dims the pink down and makes it look sophisticated enough to wear everywhere. Primrose – in my opinion – borders on medium-dark. You know how the upper lip is usually darker and duskier in color than the bottom lip which is usually lighter and more vibrant? No? Just me? Well anyhow, it is an exact match for my upper lip. It is a slightly darker and more purple than my bottom lip though.
Very fair and light warm skin tones might look washed out and ashen since the mauve cools the lips and the rest of the face down. Medium to darker skin tones shouldn’t have an issue though, as long as they aren’t an orange shade of tan. I can only describe the texture of this lipstick as room-temperature butter (without the grease). The color applies softly and smoothly but there is a little drag that suggests a certain solidity. I feel that out of the three, this one has the thickest formulation and densest pigmentation.The shine will dry down byitself but the finish is always at least a satin, never matte. This lip-color is completely non-drying. It isn’t quite like lip butter because it doesn’t hydrate and moisturize, but it forms something almost like a barrier on the lips that has next to no feeling. On the lips, Primrose is the most durable to “stresses” like eating and drinking. It doesn’t transfer as easily as the other two. I can eat a sandwich and still have lipstick on my lips if i don’t drag a napkin across my mouth. On my arm it leaves a brownish-peach stain but its undetectable on the lips.
Fig – is the rich, complex color of the honeyed, sun-ripened figs that i pick off my Brown Turkey tree every summer and early fall. They are usually so ripe enough to just have developed a crack in the outer flesh.
If you can’t tell by the semi-sappy poetic description, I like figs a lot. If you don’t enjoy figs, get off my blog. Just kidding. But even if you aren’t a fan of fig fruits, if you are a fan of beauty, you should be able to appreciate this color for what it is: a warm, burgundy violet with a hint of brown that mutes the color, keeping it in the neutral category and preventing it from being “loud”. Very, very close inspection of the product yields extremely fine red, violet and magenta sparkles that are imperceptible once the lipstick has been applied. One pass back and forth is enough to yeild an opaque coat. It is however the sheerest of the three colors and can be lightly layered over a neutral lip liner. You can dab at it a little bit with a lip brush, then apply it from the brush to darken your lips a bit and get a wash of color and shine. Fig applies quite smoothly, true to it’s cream lipstick nature, and has a glossy finish (like a honey glaze). It is initially moisturizing but over the course of approximately 3 hours, the shine fades and leaves my lips feeling dry. I was also left with a stain that looked like i had been making out with the above pictured fig. Without reapplication, the stain gracefully faded over the course of the day getting lighter and pinker. Smashbox describes Fig as a “red grape” which is pretty lacking. Red grapes have more of an orangey warm-tone to them. This lipstick has a cool wash over the warmth of the purple and mimics the skin of a ripe rig pretty well.
If you’ve never had a sun-ripened fig freshly picked off the tree (and washed), I pity your existence. Sometimes, if the fig has been hanging in direct sunlight, the flesh will be pleasantly warm which intensifies the honey flavor. If the thought of warm fruit makes you gag, figs are just as excellent chilled in a cold water bath before serving. This post could easily turn into an exaltation of figs if i let it. I mean just LOOK at the glazed dark purple of that juicy, honeyed deliciousness.
But alas, this is a post about lipstick, not fruit. Back on track we go. I am of the opinion that this lipstick is a very wearable all the way from Fall through the nippy months of early Spring, but then again I’m comfortable with wearing non-vanillin colors on my face in public. Fig would be an excellent “neutral” night out color for those of you who are more lipstick shy or very fair skinned. For anyone who is super light, this color will contrast nicely, showing up strong, rich and dark. However, it might be too vampy and dramatic if the rest of the face is porcelain pale to the point of looking “flat,” so a complementary blush is a must. I have a sneaking suspicion that this color might not be as flattering on very cool, olive-toned people because of the warm burgundy base but i have no way to confirm it. The cool wash might let them pull it off yet.
All Thoughts Together
I cannot recommend this set enough if you have ~$22 to spare (after tax is factored in!) because its a great sampler kit. I don’t dare say that the price-per-ounce quality is unmatched but I can say that the colors in this set are well picked to be complimentary, wearable and fun. All 3 are office/work/school appropriate when worn with the right attitude. Yes even the red (Legendary). If you don’t wink at people and make beckoning gestures, you can get away with wearing it during a normal day. I’m really glad that they included two of my default-days lipcolors in this set.
All three of the lipsticks are classified as creams with lustrous finishes. The Lustre is more apparent on Fig and Legendary because they are so bold and bright. Fig and Legendary also leave a “under-the-skin” stain after a handful of hours. All three wear comfortable and feel “barely-there” but Fig has a tendency to make the lips feel dry after a handful of hours.
Legendary – the red – is the shiniest with a liquid shine; leaves a rose-red stain; shortest lasting of the 3 (including stain time)
Primrose – the pink – is the dewy-shine finish; too close to my own lip color. I can’t tell if it leaves a stain or not; most durable and resistant to rubbing off
Fig – the purple – has a finish like that of a thin glass glaze; leaves a “red-berries” stain; lasts the longest (including stain time)
If you can’t tell. I am a huge fan of Fig. If you are going to pick and try a darker lip color for the first time, Fig is a good – and safe – choice. I’m on my second tube of it. The purple in the tube may look scary but the lipcolor is about as menacing as a bouquet of violets.
Primrose is a nice color. It’s tame and sophisticated but the extra color makes my lips look fuller/more shapely and gives me an extra boost of confidence. Due to the constant use of it, I will have to crack open a third tube of it soon.
To be honest, out of the two reds that Smashbox offers, I prefer Infrared Matte over Legendary. Both are good beautiful reds but out of the two, I find myself using Infrared Matte more often because it has greater versatility and leaves a longer lasting stain. It is significantly more drying though and people with drier lips may need to carry a balm with them. I won’t go into too much detail in this review. Hmm. Future post maybe? If you would like a review on Infrared Matte vs Legendary, leave me a comment or a message.
The price tag also makes it a reasonable gift to get for others (and yourself). So if you’ve ever been curious about the Smashbox brand of any of the colors in this kit, get it. Even if you only have your eye on one of the three colors, the other two are bound to get used as well.