If I’m having a bad day, nothing will perk me up faster than a little retail therapy and my absolute favorite products to search for are luxurious, beautiful lip products. Lipsticks, glosses, liquid lipsticks – these have always been my favorite beauty products and they are where I’m always willing to splurge to try something new or get something that tickles my happy.
When I started researching the Black Owned Makeup Brand (BOMB) Challenge, I found a whole list of great brands and started to peak through to see what they had. Some had interesting foundation products and maybe a little contour (look for a review of Black Opal products coming soon!), and some of them did some great eyeshadows (you can check out my review of Juvia’s Place Masquerade palette HERE), but I was looking for one that would give me some gorgeously saturated lip colors to drench my kisser in. Enter Gold Label Cosmetics.
Gold Label Cosmetics has a range of lipsticks in both traditional tube form as well as liquid to matte, and a variety of colors that I really enjoyed. When I got to that page, I saw some deep – I mean, DEEP – shades, the kind I’m usually afraid to try to work with. I do a lot of vibrant colors, both not a lot of deep dark shades. If you’re pasty like me and plan to rock a dark lip…well, you’d better mean business! But that’s what the BOMB challenge was all about for me: getting out of my usual, discovering great new brands and new products, and finding a new and more glamorous comfort zone!
In two separate orders, I ordered a total of 5 lipsticks: 3 tube lipsticks in the shades 1978, Evil Twin, and Dark Children, and two liquid lipsticks in Style Section and 2006 Malbec. The tubes were on the first order, once I received those and started playing around with some swatches, I wanted more so I picked up the two liquids! Here are some shots of the shades themselves as well as some swatches:
From left to right, the tube lipsticks are 1978, Evil Twin, and Dark Children. The pink liquid lip is Style Section, and the deep purple is 2006 Malbec. I was trying to decide how to display them and I thought it would be fun to pose them around my rhinestoned tape dispenser! I thought it went well with the brand identity, which is all about classic style – gold and diamonds! The lipsticks arrived in gold metallic bubble mailers; in addition to the lipsticks and the packing slip, each package also had 2 small plastic diamonds – such a cute little accent to these products.
My one minor complaint about the packaging is the lipstick tubes themselves – they are very lightweight plastic and don’t feel very durable. The printing of the logo, however, is thick and won’t rub off easily and the lips snap on to connect with the base, so you don’t have to worry about the cap coming off in your bag or kit. As for the colors themselves…wow! Here are some swatches:
This set of swatches is done with a flash and gives you a better, truer sense of the colors. 1978 is a deep purple, almost black. I love this shade and I’m a little terrified of it all at the same time! It is super gorgeous, and I love that it’s named after the year I was born. Evil Twin is a bright orange with hints of coral; probably not a great color choice for my complexion, since I tend to be pretty cool toned, but I honestly couldn’t say no because of the name! I grew up on Days of Our Lives, and there were always evil twins popping up and things like that! Maybe not the best reason to buy a lipstick, but I stand behind it. Finally in the bottom group, we have Dark Children which is a lovely deep brown with a strong red undertone. When you see it in the tube, it just looks brown, but when I applied it, the color really comes alive with all of these great red tones – beautiful!
These are highly pigmented and very creamy, but I was excited to see that they removed very easily. There was no staining and it didn’t take a lot of scrubbing. I tried 1978 on my lips to see if I had the same experience and it was just as comfy as I imagined, the color payoff was just as good, and removal was just as easy.
Since I’m always riding the struggle bus in terms of my lighting, I also did a pic of the swatches without a flash. The top two larger swatches are the liquid lipsticks. Style section is the perfect bright Barbie pink! It’s definitely a blue-toned pink, but it never really goes over the line into that sort of 80s fuchsia – you know what I mean? It’s toeing that line, but it stays firmly planted on the right side! 2006 Malbec is like the matte version of 1978 – deep dark purple, but it dries down to a matte. Did I need both shades? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love them.
The packaging on these looks very similar to the lipsticks, but for some reason these don’t feel as flimsy to me – perhaps the different design or the liquid product inside makes them feel different or distributes the weight differently? These are a very different style of applicator for most of the liquid lipsticks I’ve found, and I have to say that I am a fan! Instead of having a wand or doe foot applicator that you unscrew, these have a felted applicator with holes in it (similar to the applicator lips on the Too Faced Melted liquid lipsticks – not the Melted Mattes, but the originals and the Metallics) and a push button in the bottom. When you push a couple of times on the button, product comes out of the tip and you’re ready for application! It can take a little trial and error to figure out how many clicks you need, especially to get it started, but the application is a dream. They go on so smooth and totally pigmented! I got opaque, full coverage swatches on the first application without a lot of fussing and finessing. These are the real deal!
Another minor quibble with these was how difficult they were to remove. It’s a good problem to have right? The pigmentation is so rich and full that they just don’t want to come off! I used one of my Tyra Pop It Clean wipes as well as some tarte Maracuja oil that I got as a sample in my last ipsy bag. I put the oil on the swatches and let it sit for about 15 seconds, and then massaged it in to the color. Even with that, it took a fair amount of scrubbing to get the color to fully remove (especially Style Section – bright neon pinks, because of the pigments used to create those colors, are notorious for staining!). I haven’t actually tried these out on my lips yet, though I am thinking that Style Section will probably make an appearance sometime during my trip to Days of the Dead in Atlanta in February!
I also had left a note in the comments section that I found the site while researching the BOMB challenge (I did that for almost all of my orders – all of the ones that I remembered before it was too late!) and I got a very nice note from Kristen, the owner. I wrote a quick email back to her and told her that I was very excited to try the lipsticks, that I loved the packaging, and that I wondered if the shade name 1978 had any inspiration (since it just happens to be the year I was born!). She again wrote back and told me that it was inspired by a family member who was also born in 1978 that she always looked up to for having amazing style. I just thought it was so sweet of her to take the time to personally answer not only my original comments but also my follow up note – and that is exactly why I love shopping from indie brands. It’s just such a personal experience compared to going to a big corporate website, getting obviously mass produced email notifications, and touch and go customer service (I’m looking at YOU Too Faced – I haven’t forgotten that Sweet Peach debacle!).
When someone mentions a “gold standard,” they are talking about a benchmark of quality and value against which other similar things can be judged. Gold Label Cosmetics definitely represents a sort of gold standard for what you should expect from an indie brand: great products, competitive prices, great customer service, but also a couple of places to grow and improve. I know I’ll be back to check out more of those fabulous lip shades and I just can’t wait to see what else they have in store for those of us who love simple, classic elegance!
As a special bonus, when shopping at Gold Label Cosmetics, you can connect through the link above or enter the affiliate code STONER at checkout for a discount on your order!
Now Go Forth & Get Painted!
(For funsies, here’s a little 80s Gold nostalgia for you, courtesy of Jem!)
Tags: 1978, 2006 Malbec, Black Owned Makeup Brand, BOMB Challenge, Champagne Dreams Productions, cosmetics, Dark Children, Days of Our Lives, Days of the Dead, drag art, drag king, drag performance, drag queen, drag show, drag troupe, Evil Twin, Glitter and Gold, Glitter and Gold Jem, Glitter n Gold, Gold Label Cosmetics, Gold Label Cosmetics Lipstick, Gold label Lipstick, Janessa, Janessa J, Janessa J Champagne, Janessa Jaye, Janessa Jaye Champagne, Jem, Jem and the Holograms, lipstick, liquid lipstick, makeup, makeup forum, Marlena Evans, Miss Jaye, Sephora, Sephora Inside JC Penney, Style Section, tarte Maracuja Oil, Tyra Beauty, Tyra Pop It Clean, World of Champagne