There’s A NEW Swamp Queen: Lena’s Lashes Swamp Pop Glosses Are The BOMB!

Published on September 8, 2017 by   ·   No Comments

BunnyOk, no shade to Bunny (also known as YouTube’s grav3yardgirl, who I genuinely adore) but I think we’ve got a new Swamp Queen snatching the crown.  Some of you may remember last year’s Swamp Queen palette collab with tarte – it was such a raspberry that I didn’t even bother reviewing it.  The whole You-Tuber collab thing is getting pretty tired now (benefit recently did a “collab” where it just released several of it’s regular old products – no changes, no new colors – with new packaging featuring YT heavy hitters like Jeffree Star, Manny MUA, and Laura Lee.  Seriously, benefit?  Did you even try?!) but this palette came out when these partnerships were still kind of a big deal, especially from a big Sephora brand like tarte.  That the palette was a chalky mess was a huge disappointment, and you can’t help but feel a little sorry for Bunny who, in a sea of money-obsessed YouTubers doing anything to rake in some extra coins, is one of the good ones.

So what does all this talk about the tarte palette have to do with this review?  Not a whole lot, except that the products share the “Swamp” descriptor – and to remind you that if you’re getting all of your makeup recommendations from the big names on YouTube, you’re probably missing out on some pretty fantastic products from indie brands that can’t pay the premium fees to collab with major content creators or flood Sephora with the same products over and over again (I’m looking at YOU, Too Faced!).

One of those great indie brands is Lena Lashes.  In addition to a wide array of mink and synthetic lashes (I haven’t reviewed any of those products yet, but I’ve been wearing them almost exclusively since last winter and I adore them!), they also carry a variety of makeup products including liquid lipsticks, the amazing Lemonade highlighter palette, and the subject of this review: the Swamp Pop lip glosses.

Swamp 01There were 14 shades available when I placed my order: left to right is Suga Cane, King Cake, Meenoo, Beignet, Shae Bae, Gris, Boude, Cajun Spice, Rouge, Rougarou, Praline, Roux, Bayou, and Nawlins.  Definitely sign up for Lena Lashes’ email newsletter because they are always having amazing sales and special including lip products for as low as $1 ( most of the lip products are normally around $15 each) and the Lemonade palette for as low as $5!  As with any brand, colors come and go so if you see something you like on special definitely snatch it up!  The shipping is usally under $10 and it ships reasonably fast for an indie brand.  If you’re shopping when they have a big sale expect a small delay, but nothing unreasonable.  And if it’s just a regular time I’ve placed an order on Monday and had it show up before Friday so they are no slouch on getting your products out the door and into your hands.  There are some other small brands that could learn a thing or two from them!

Overall, I was impressed with the quality of the swatches except for Nawlins which was overly fussy.  I didn’t feel like rubbing my lips raw so I only did lip swatches on half, but that was enough to convince me that these products are the real deal – a quality lip gloss with a punch of pigment and great coverage.  They would be great to jazz up a lipstick underneath, or can be worn on their own or with a liner.  Again, Nawlins was the only color I ran into problems with but it was the exception to the quality rule!  I’m not wearing any liner or other lip products for the swatch photos, but I was wearing some Too Faced BB Cream in Vanilla Glow and because I was feeling a little bit extra I also did some cupid’s bow highlight with Side Piece from the Urban Decay After Glow palette.

NAWLINS

Swamp 20This shade photographs really gray, and it sheers out quite a bit when you put it on.  The color tends to collect at the edges, which happened a little bit with all of them but this one showed it the most.  In other shades the pigmentation seemed more even, so even if you got some collection at the borders it wouldn’t be as noticable.  It also separates when you put your lips together so that’s not great.  If you’re going to use this one, I would recommend wearing it with a liner and color in the whole lip, or wear it with a lipstick shade underneath.  I just don’t trust it enough to be worn alone.  It’s a pretty shade, teal green with a good amount of pigmentation, but it’s the one that has the most challenge when it’s on its own.  I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it – and for a green cosmetic product, that says something!  Now that we’ve got that bit of negativity out of the way, let’s focus on the rest of the gorgeousness!

SHAE BAE

Swamp 25I love hot pink.  I don’t care what you think, I don’t care what your mom thinks, I don’t care what your Sunday school teacher thinks.  I know that it’s basically hooker mouth, and I’m ok with that.  This is a gorgeous blue-toned pink that has a great punch of pigment.  It’s not all the way over into the realm of fuchsia which I like.  It’s 80s Barbie pink and it’s everything I need in the world.  This one would benefit from a liner or a lipstick underneath to really get full coverage, but the application is even is it is colorful enough that you could easily wear it on its own.  It’s got a subtle blue reflect in it that didn’t get picked up in the photos but is really lovely.  Pretty typical for this sort of shade, but if it ain’t broke why fix it?  If you are a bright pink fan, this is definitely a color for you to add to your stash.

ROUGE

Swamp 10This one is a bit of a gimme – I mean, if you can’t get a red gloss right, what are you doing with your life?! – but I still love it.  I’m forever bummed that OCC discontinued their shade Harlot which they described as “neon popsicle red” and I am forever trying to find dupes for that shade.  This one is pretty close!  It’s a bright red that definitely calls to mind cherry popsicles – yummy!  This is a lovely red, and I think it would look lovely on any skintone.  This has enough pigmentation that I’m confident it would show up amazingly on darker sintones, and it’s going to pop like crazy on us pale beasts.  It’s not a subtle red, so if you don’t want big, slick, shiny DSLs, then this is most definitely not the color for you, hunty!  But who doesn’t want that?  Can I meet them, and try to understand where things went wrong in their life?

BAYOU

Swamp 17Even though I love bright, crazy colors I had to try out at least a couple of the nude/neutral selections in this group and I was just as impressed with these as with the vivid shades.  Bayou is a deep cool-toned brown – more taupe than chocolate – and it goes on smooth and the pigmentation is flawless.  I didn’t notice any streaks or patchy areas once I had this on.  If you want a slightly warmer option, Roux is also lovely and has a milk chocolate sort of feel to it.  I didn’t swatch that shade because these two are pretty similar except for the undertone and in general these have been playing out on the lips pretty similar to how they looked when swatched on my arm so I’m confident that you could get some pretty good coverage with that shade as well.  But if cool-toned browns are your jam, then you better run, don’t walk to pick up this shade.  I don’t even really like brown lip products that much and I’m living for this.  Stunning.

ROUGAROU

Swamp 22Ready for some orangey citrus goodness in your life?!  You look like you need some vitamin c and this lip gloss will definitely give it to you…or at least look like it will.  It didn’t photograph that well (my phone has this “beauty filter” that sometimes messes with colors in pics) but this is like gorgeous fresh-squeezed orange juice all over your lips.  It looks a little bit coral in the pic (again, technology is my nemesis!) but it’s definitely a bright orange.  For some reason I really want to put this over Lime Crime’s Zenon, the metallic gold liquid lip.  Maybe in an upcoming post…

Anyway, if you are looking for a gorgeous orange gloss, this is a wonderful option for you.  It’s another bold lip look, so the timid need not apply as this is vibrant and bright.  This one defintely got the most janked by my camera.  If you look at the swatch image, you get a better idea of how this actually looks, maybe a little lighter when spread out over the lips, but definitely orange and delicious!

KING CAKE

Swamp 13I decided to do one of the purples, and I decided to do the one that was most similar to Nawlins to see if the problems with that shade would repeat here.  I’m excited to say they did not – the pigmentation is consistent and lovely.  If you were as disappointed as I was with the hot brick mess that was the Too Faced Melted Latex shade Bye Felicia, this is actually a great dupe for that shade, and the performance is worlds ahead!  The purple is blue-based, which I love and covers pretty evenly.  There were a few spots where I could have finessed a little more and gotten a slightly more even look, but overall I was pretty impressed with what I was able to do with this shade.  If you want a slightly more red-based purple, look into Beignet or check out Suga Cane if you like your purples in the pastel variety.  All 3 of these purple shades are lovely and perform well, so I think you’ll be happy with whatever you choose.

PRALINE

Swamp 05Finally, I’m ending this review with another one of the nudes: Praline, and it’s as yummy as the name suggests.  Even Mama Champagne was seduced by this rose-tinged nude.  It has the slightest hint of pink, and it’s light enough to match a lot of natural lip shades for lighter skinned people.  The application is consistent and perfect and I love the color.  This would be perfect to pair with a bold eyeshadow look – it’s nude enough to let the eye look really shine without just being a boring beige lipstick.  Try this lip with something using the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette or even the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette – gorgeous!  It’s also neutral enough that you could wear it with a cool-toned eye look so don’t think you have to go super warm for this.  It’s right in the middle and would look great with cool, warm, or neutral eye looks.  Again, I’m not the type to usually rave about a nude lip color, but this is the real deal and I’m 100% here for it!

Lena Lashes is a black-owned makeup brand and they are consistently killing the game.  If you haven’t discovered them yet, I recommend you get over to their site and take a look at what they have to offer.  The lashes are gorgeous and come in a variety of sizes and styles for “nearly natural” all the way up to insanely ginormous.  My personal favorite are the Dolapo style, a mink lash that is legit HUGE!  Their packaging is definitely on the cheaper side, so if you’re a packaging whore you’ll probably be giving them some possibly-deserved side eye, but the products inside are what you’re actually going to slather all over your face and that’s where the brand really shines.

So while I also enjoy a trip down the YouTube rabbit hole, remember that there are a ton of great indie brands out there who deserve your attention, and even some of your hard-earned coin!  Just because they aren’t collabing and pushing someone’s personal brand at you doesn’t mean that they aren’t delivering a quality product that will keep you looking straight up snatched.  And at the end of the day, isn’t that what really matters?

(NOTE: The first five people through the door at Miss Jaye’s Friday Night Frights on October 13 will receive a gift bag, inside of which will be two randomly selected shades of Lena Lashes Swamp Pop Gloss!)

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

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