Return Of The Vice: Urban Decay’s New Lipstick Is Liquid…But Is The Performance Solid?

Published on February 20, 2017 by   ·   No Comments

I was absolutely blown away by Urban Decay’s massive Vice Lipstick launch last year – 100 shades launching in one day, for under $20 a pop?  Sign this bitch up!  So when I heard that they were going to be breaking into the liquid lipstick game, I couldn’t wait to check it out.  Well, who else would come along and poop at the party but the professionally polarizing Jeffree Star – here’s his video reviewing the lipsticks with Nikita Dragun:

JStar and Nikita had some not so very kind words for the Vice liquid lipsticks.  I was ready to call “Shade!” on that shit – after all, Urban Decay is one of the most consistently high quality brands out there fam! – but I decided to limit my purchase to two shades so that I could give it a quick going over and see if there was anything to these fierce reads.  I picked up a matte shade (Menace) and a metallic (Trap Queen) about a month ago and they’ve been sitting in my “new products” drawer waiting for a review.  In a recent order, I had the opportunity to pick up a deluxe mini of another shade, Amulet.  The sample packaging doesn’t indicate if it’s a metallic or a matte and even I’m undecided!  It has a sheen or sparkle to it in the packaging, but not nearly as reflective or glittery as Trap Queen.  UrbanDecay.com had it listed under the comfort mattes and I guess that doesn’t surprise me – the meaning of the word matte has long been abandoned by the cosmetics industry.  Here’s some hand swatches:

Not great.  If you look at the swatch of Menace it applies really patchy – the color definitely tends to settle out to the edges and it dried with some skin showing through in places.  The swatch of Trap Queen is a bit more even, but it took two layers to get to that consistency.  The first go round was super patchy.  There’s a lot of pigmentation, but it doesn’t spread out evenly.  Amulet had the most consistency, but because of the small wand on the sample bottle, it was also the hardest to apply.  Overall I wasn’t super impressed with the swatches; part of what made it hard was the wand.  These lipsticks have a doe foot applicator, but for some reason it’s super long.  It is at an angle on the wand, but otherwise the entire surface is flat.  That’s why the swatches were so large – I was using a flat surface to apply product to a mostly flat surface.  When I tried to make a smaller swatch, I just kept making a mess of it.

UD Wands 01

I’m not sure if having the extra long cap is a help or a hindrance, I’ve gotten so used to my small caps on Jeffree Star and Makeup Monsters that this one seemed a little odd.  I didn’t notice a real difference with the application per se, but I suppose it could have thrown off my application game a little.  Of course, I always draw all over my face like a shaky clown, so why look for an excuse this time!  Here’s the application:

SIDE NOTE: I also recently got a deluxe mini of the Milk Makeup Blur stick that everyone has been shitting the bed over lately, so while I was playing with these lipsticks I decided to give it a try.  I can definitely see a difference – I’m wearing it in the photos above for Menace and Amulet, but not for Trap Queen.  I definitely feel like having that on, even with nothing else, made my skin photograph much better.  In fact, I was going to redo the application photo of Trap Queen, but as I describe below the removal process really put me off it.  I didn’t love how it felt going on – sort of clay like? – but it didn’t take very long for it to melt into my skin.  I dogged Milk Makeup in my previous review, but this product wasn’t too bad.  Maybe not good enough for me to rush out and buy it, but I’ll definitely keep it in mind for when I’m doing more product application shots.  Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this mini-review-within-a-review; we now return you to our regularly scheduled programming!

The lipsticks actually went on much better than I anticpated – the flat brush was a mess when applying to the back of my hand, but it worked better on my lips.  Definitely not my favorite shape, but it wasn’t awful.  The product still had a tendency to collect around the edges of my mouth, and the application was definitely still streaky the first time around, but with a second coat I was able to get pretty good coverage and rid myself of most of the “ridges” of collected product.  So far so good.

Where things really went wrong for me was in the removal phase.  Jeffree and Nikita both indicate that the product is hard to remove, but I wasn’t prepared for this.  The swatch video above, the second one with the janky lighting?  I mentioned that swiping a Tyra Pop It Clean wipe over it revealed the glitter in the formula; what I didn’t mention up there was that the wipe was 100% clean.  That’s right: I went over the color with regular makeup-wiping pressure with a remover cloth, and it pulled up absolutely zero color.  I knew I was in trouble.

I wiped the swatches vigorously with my Pop wipe.  Nothing.  I put some Josie Maran Argan Oil on top and then wiped.  Nothing.  I put some more argan oil on top and let it sit for a couple of minutes before wiping.  Finally I started to see some traction, but it took a lot of time and some significant muscle to get the colors to remove, and I still see remnants of the swatches as I’m typing now.  So you can imagine the trepidation I felt when it came to applying to my lips.  The first application was Trap Queen, a gorgeous ruby red with glittery sparkle.  When it came to removing, I put some argan oil on and waited, slightly terrified.  Here’s the result of the first attempt:

UD Red Removal

I know.  Tragic.  It took two more rounds of argan oil and scrubbing to get them back to clean.  I almost didn’t try out the other two shades, but I’m intrepid.  Beauty before comfort, bitches!  So I forged ahead and tried out the hot pink shade.  This time, as I was getting ready start the scrubbing ritual, I remembered that I had a LipSense remover that was sent to me by my friend Charmaine (review on that product coming soon!).  I figured it couldn’t hurt, so I grabbed it and put it on.  Luck was on my side, and whatever dark magic that stuff is made of, it melted the lipstick right off and I was able to remove the color with minimal scrubbing.  I used that to remove both Menace and Amulet and I had the same experience both times.  I almost reapplied the red to see if it would work on it as well (red pigments can be very…aggressive!) but I decided that my lips had had enough punishment for the day.

So as much as I wanted to prove Jeffree Star wrong and love these lipsticks, they’re just…disappointing.  They look lovely on, and I didn’t notice nearly as much patchiness in the application as they did.  Maybe it had something to do with the shades selected, or maybe they didn’t shake them enough before applying?  Whatever it was, I felt the color payoff, while not perfect, was better than what I saw in the video.  But the removal was stressful as fuck.  If I didn’t have that LipSense remover handy, I’d probably still be scrubbing that stuff off my face!  I appreciate wanting to have a liquid lipstick that’s transfer proof, but I do want it to eventually get the fuck off my beat face!

I’m sure I’ll work these into my rotation to give them a couple more tries, but I don’t see myself picking up a bunch of additional shades.  This vice is one habit that won’t be hard to break.

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

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