ISO: A Good Top – Must Last Long And Feel Fabulous!

Published on December 27, 2016 by   ·   3 Comments

How’s that for some clickbait, y’all thirsty bitches!

Now as much as I would love to dedicate this post to discussing all of my favorite top men, instead we’re going to take a look at a “new” cosmetics trend which is really just an old cosmetics trend with a new name and some slick marketing: toppers.

I’ve seen a few different iterations of this particular trend, but I want to review the two that drew me in the most and, though I loved the individual colors, that disappointed me the most: Lime Crime’s Diamond Crushers and Kat Von D’s Alchemist Holographic Palette.

Toppers 03The Diamond Crushers came out a couple of months ago and have been banging around in my beauty drawer ever since, waiting for their chance to be reviewed.  They were marketed by Lime Crime as “lip toppers,” meaning that you could add them over a lipstick or lip stain to enhance and change the color and overall experience.  Because apparently everyone who knew that you could already do that with a lip gloss were participating in some sort of insane fuckery that Lime Crime had just never really heard of.  “But wait,” says Lime Crime, “you can also wear them all by themselves for a semi-sheer burst of color!”  Just like a fucking lip gloss.  Basically, they’re making lip glosses and trying to pretend that it’s a revolutionary new product.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I actually really like these glosses or toppers or whatever the fuck you want to call them.  First of all, the formulation is definitely different than a typical gloss: it’s thinner and more watery and it dries down to a long-lasting wash of color.  No sticky or thick texture here, so I can kind of understand why they might want to separate them from all of the other glosses out there.  All 6 colors have this totally dreamy strawberry candy smell that is so delightful!  And the colors are all packed with a real colorful, glittery punch.

Toppers 01Strip is probably my favorite because I absolutely adore pink – and this is nothing if not electric, Barbie, 80s, hooker pink!  It has a pink base with a ton of pink glitter, so not a lot of the variation found in the other shades but it chooses one thing to do and it does it very well.  Just be aware that this shade, like most bright/neon pinks has very aggressive pigments and will tend to stain the skin!  Next in line is Lit, a coral pink with tons of gold shimmer that sort of looks like someone took NARS Orgasm blush and melted it down.  Dope comes in a close 3rd with it’s lovely light champagne base and opalescent glitter flash – lots of pink and blue and green shining out from this one!

As for my bottom three, Fluke is a warm taupe brown base that’s cooled by a ton of blue-green flash, and is still a pretty good option.  Trip is a nice blue base with purple shift, but it’s not as versatile as some of the other shades – you definitely need to be rocking a blue or purple lip to really make this one work.  And Choke looks really pretty in the tube – sort of light baby pink with lots of pink and blue sparkle – but it applies really light blue and is the hardest to work with in terms of getting an even, not streaky layering effect.  It gunked up at the edges more than any of the other five shades, and it’s the only one that I really recommend you think twice before purchasing.

Toppers 02Overall, I’m really liking the Diamond Crushers and they pair really well with a liquid to matte liquid lipstick, so go ahead and slather them on over your Velvetines, your Velour Liquid Lipsticks, your Everlasting….you get the idea.  Just pick a brand you like and go to town.  Just be aware that the bases on these “lip toppers” is a sheer wash of color, so the color of the lipstick underneath will definitely impact the final result.  I tried out Fluke over a layer of Deceased from the Jeffree Star Holiday collection and it definitely played up the purple tones in the lipstick and the glitter together – most of the nude and taupe tones were lost and the overall effect was much darker.  You’ll need to do some experimenting and some playing to get the right combos, but that’s part of the fun of makeup!

Toppers 02Now on to the Kat Von D Alchemist palette.  Like a summer superhero blockbuster, I feel like I heard about this palette for so long before it was released that by the time it did actually come out I felt like it should have been out for months.  During most of the build up, we were treated to lots of images of the packaging, but not much for the shadows themselves – perhaps because the palette shape and the holographic outside is really the most noteworthy aspect of the palette itself.  The palette design really is striking, a triangle shape that features an embossed A with decorative flourishes, all done in white with a hologram coating.  I really wish the contents inside lived up to the gorgeous design of the packaging.

Topper 05Now, there isn’t anything wrong with the palette itself, but I think it’s a victim of its own sense of mystery.  At one point it was being described as a palette of “eyeshadow toppers,” at another it was being called a face palette, and finally, closer to the launch, I saw it described as a highlight palette.  It’s a little bit of all 3, but it’s definitely not anything revolutionary.

And if you’re a fan of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Moon Child Glow Kit, then you might even say it’s a bit of a rip off.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s review the palette and the shades before we get into the problems I had with this product and its release (and the insane 0 and insanely disappointing – hype).  In the palette are 4 small round pans, about the same size as a typical Makeup Geek or Coloured Raine eyeshadow pan.  Which means that for a product that is meant to be used on the eyes, lips, and face, you aren’t getting all that much product at all.  The good news is that these are meant to be used on top of other products, like over your lipstick or eyeshadow, so a little goes a long way.  And despite having a semi-sheer application, to allow the base color to show through, they do have a pretty good amount of pigmentation.  At $32, it’s maybe a little overpriced but when considered on its own I don’t feel like it’s a total waste.

Topper 09Emerald, the green shade, is actually more of a yellowy lime shade than a true green, and there is a lot of gold tone to it as well.  Amethyst, the ultra-violet shade, is the most true to its base color and also seems to have the deepest color payoff of the four shades.  It’s questionable whether it’s really a purple shade or more of a deep blue, but the color is lovely and has lots of potential.  The light blue shade, Saphyre, is an ice blue with good pigmentation as well, and this would pair really well with a white base color to really amp up the chill factor.  The warmest option in the palette is Opal, a pink shade that has a lot of deep pink, almost red, reflect.

If you were looking at those shades and thinking that they maybe looked a little familiar, you’re right.  This “revolutionary” formula that Kat Von D claimed to have been working on for 7 years is pretty much a dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Moon Child Glow Kit.  Emerald is all but indistinguishable from Lucky Clover, Opal is a clear dupe of Pink Heart, Amethyst is a pretty close approximation of Purple Horseshoe (though maybe a little lighter in color), and Saphyre is the same as Blue Ice.  This reviewer felt that the main difference between the two palettes was the amount of glitter.  Once you notice how close if not identical these shades are, you might start to wonder why you’d pay $32 for 4 smaller pans of those colors when, for only $8 more, you could get the same colors in larger pan sizes, plus two additional metallic shades.  Yeah, me too.

Topper 08

Another thing you may be wondering, if you follow Kat on social media, is what happened to the 5th shade.  Now as far as I can tell, Kat never said that the 5 holographic shades she swatched that were reblogged by TrendMod were from the Alchemist palette, but if you look at the colors…what else could they be?  And right in the middle is a golden yellow shade that is nowehere to be found in the finished palette.

Topper 04

What would the golden shade have added to this palette?  First, it would have added a shade that isn’t in the Moon Child palette, so it would have gained it some points for originality.  Second, with the pan sizes where they are, and how they are arranged in the palette, you could easily get a 5th shade in there and make the $32 price point feel more worthwhile.

Hologram 01As with any makeup brand, there are Kat Von D superfans who are acting like this shadow is the most amazing thing they’ve ever seen.  Let’s spill a little inconvenient truth for those superfans: this isn’t even close to the first time that a brand has done holographic shadows – as you can see from the comparison shots above it’s not even the only brand out right now that’s working with this sort of formulation.  The palette isn’t bad, but if you’re going to hype something for months on end by talking about how revolutionary and special it’s going to be, you’d better end up delivering something more than a knockoff of another palette that’s already on the market featuring products that have been around in one form or another for a long time (Miss Jaye’s roots go back to the late 90s where you couldn’t swing a dick without knocking over rack after rack of duochromes and holographics!).

In the end, these toppers are fine but you’re better off investing in the Lime Crime lip products as they are much less dupe-able and actually have a really good color payoff.  Like the dead science it was named after, the Alchemist palette just can’t turn it’s meager materials into cosmetic gold, and Anastasia Beverly Hills blows them out of the water with the Moon Child Glow Kit.  Go for that palette instead.

I guess if you’re looking for a top to really change your life, you’ll have to get back on Grindr with the rest of those thirsty bitches and just keep waiting.

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

Toppers 01

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Readers Comments (3)
  1. says:

    LOVE LOVE LOOOVE this review! Color us in agreement

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