Black Magic: NYX Goes Dark With Their New Lip Top Coat

Published on March 31, 2015 by   ·   1 Comment

Not that I don’t love a little gratuitous nudity just as much as the next oversexed queen, but I am over this whole nude face that seems to be all the rage now.  Over. It.

Naked 02I blame Urban Decay.  The home of the yummiest eye shadows on the planet, Urban Decay is usually known for bold strokes of color – think the Electric palette, filled to bustin’ with neons and brights that are absolutely sickening!  It’s too die, and it’s 100% Technicolor realness!

But in addition to their insane brights and darker-than-my-soul shady shades, Urban Decay also has a little series of palettes you may have heard of called the Nakeds.  Naked 1 has a selection of pretty standard neutrals, some shimmer and some matte.  It is a good base palette for building totally neutral looks or to add depth to your other eye looks.  Naked 2, my least favorite of the palettes, features shades that have sort of a taupe/gray beige base and while it’s not a total yawn I never felt moved to add it to my collection.  But then along came Naked 3: a set of neutrals tinged with rose.  These pinky neutral shades are disgustingly gorgeous, almost universally flattering, and seem to have ignited an unstoppable return of the naked face.  The palette is one of the biggest sellers in UD history, has been front and center at Sephora for month’s and (I suspect) was a deciding factor in selecting Marsala as the Pantone Color of the Year.  I’m not going to lie – I added this palette to my own collection and I love the rosey glow it provides.  But all of this naked frenzy has been sapping the vibrancy out of cosmetic collections for far too long.  Now, the nude craze has travelled down to the lips, leading to an unpalatable outpouring of beige and tan lipsticks that are boring as hell, and I for one am sick to death.

Naked 01Apparently, so is NYX Cosmetics.  They are doing everything they can to inject a little darkness back into your kisser, and I for one am eating it up!  First, NYX released the Wicked Lippies collection, a set of 12 lipsticks with metallic shine and a range of crazy colors.  Of particular note are Risqué, a forest green metallic that looks like it could give Lime Crime’s Serpentina a run for its money, and Power, a deep mauve-y rose edged out with silver glitter.  All of these shades are doing their part to amp up lip color as we know it, but with a recent release, NYX went a step further.

Bring on the V’Amped Up Lip Top Coat!  It’s a jumbo lip pencil in tuxedo black that promises to put a little vampy sex kitten into the most neutral of lipsticks!  The pictures on the site intrigued me: a bright cherry red is transformed into a sultry crimson, and a pinky lilac becomes a turgid purple that would look right at home in an 80s music video.  NYX is known for being a brand that combines quality product with amazing price points.  This top coat?  Only $6.  I decided that I had to put it to the test.

I decided to test the top coat with 6 of NYX’s own jumbo lip cream pencils, 2 each from the Simply Red, Simply Pink, and Simply Nude collections (I didn’t bother ordering any from the Simply Vamp collection – they seemed to have dramatic color already handled!).  From the Simply Red I ordered Maraschino and Russian Roulette, XOXO and Primrose were my go to shades from Simply Pink, and from Simply Nude I chose Peaches and Fairest.  I wanted to see how NYX’s top coat would play with its own sister products before I introduced it to some of the other fabulous shades from my kit.


So how did it go?  Here are some photos from my “play day.”  Please note: I am fucking terrible at taking selfies, so if I look a little bit tired or disturbed or just plain tragic, let it go.  Seriously.  Let.  It go.  Also, this was done two days after a show; I decided not to shave so I have some scruff and I also have a very prominent ingrown hair right near my lips.  That’s what I get for scraping my face off with a sharp object and then spackling over it with heavy theatrical cream foundation.  Such is life.


I started off with the pink shades as I was excited to see if I could recreate the fabulous purple color from the website.

Primrose is a nice bubblegum blue pink, and this one gave me the purple payoff I was looking for.  I was surprised by the texture of the topcoat.  I guess I was naively thinking it was going to be just like the lip crayons, but it had a thinner, slicker texture allowing it to glide pretty easily over the lipstick, blending with it but not wiping it away.  This was a pretty good fit, and probably one of my favorite results with the top coat.

XOXO is a little bit more of a yellow pink and tends a little towards coral.  I wasn’t as impressed with the color after I applied the topcoat.  With Primrose, the black accentuated the blue tones but with XOXO things just sorta got muddy.  It was OK, but definitely not something I would crave.


I also loved the way the NYX site showed red lips being transformed into deep burgundy puckers with just a simple swipe!  I was hoping the payff would be the same for me over Russian Roulette and Maraschino.

Russian Roulette is the first and lighter of the two reds.  I didn’t think it looked quite like what the website promised, but I did like the brick red color that resulted.  It reminded a little bit of a poor man’s Viva Glam I.  A nice classic color, and worth the time to apply.

Maraschino was a bit darker than Russian Roulette (which was weird because Maraschino cherries are known for being, like, electric neon red!) but it applied similarly to Russian Roulette and in the end I didn’t see much difference between the two looks; it made me wish I had tried a different member of the Simply Red family for the experiment.


These are the shades I was most excited to try out and I was raging against the beige-y nude lipstick in the first place and there wasn’t a preview pic of a nude lip on the NYX website, so I didn’t know what to expect!

Peaches is the more peachy toned of the two shades – obvi!  I actually didn’t mind this color that much by itself, but I was craving a strong brown lipliner to define the look.  But that’s not part of the experiment!  I was surprised by how much I liked the color once I add the topcoat: a soft gray reminiscent of Lime Crime’s Chinchilla.  I’m not sure how useful gray lipstick is, but it you want to play with it, this combination will save you a few bucks off the Lime Crime lipstick, plus you can use your toap coat with other lipsticks, granting you a better deal as well as more versatility!

Fairest is more of a cool ivory shade, and it’s what I think of when I think of the nude lip – the color sort of blended in with my skintone.  Why would someone think this was attractive is beyond me.  The color itself wasn’t bad and with a strong liner to define it, it might not be so bad, but I just wasn’t having it.  This one, like the reds, didn’t have a huge change from the Peaches swatch.  It was nice, but I thought the peach tone of Peaches gave the gray more softness and maybe a little sweetness.


I enjoyed playing around with the top coat, but in the end I’m glad I didn’t pay a lot for it and I don’t see it becoming a staple in my kit.  Good to keep on hand in case you want to change your look quickly – day to evening anyone?  I don’t know what sort of magic tricks I expected, but I was hoping to see different reactions to different colors.  But basically it was pretty predictable: pinks tend to go purple/violet, reds tend to go deeper, and nudes tend toward the gray.

But even if I wasn’t blown off my feet, I appreciate NYX doing their part to vamp up lip color in the face of nude faces!  And now that lips are under control, they’ve moved onto eyes: the recently released a new black eyeshadow base that plays well with light and reflective shadows to give them more depth and interesting new color profiles.  NYX’s eyeshadow bases (especially the white!) are already must have items for your kit; I can’t wait to take some of my SugarPill loose shadows out for a ride with this new dark base.  Perhaps that’s another post just waiting to happen…

Now Go Forth And Get Painted!

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  1. […] Living For These Lips: NYX Cosmetics Does Ombre 101 Black Magic: NYX Goes Dark With Their New Lip Top Coat […]

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