Check Out These Pythons!

Published on March 1, 2018 by   ·   No Comments

Drugstore brands are doing a much better job of keeping pace with their luxury counterparts, both in terms of producing high quality products and in producing items that respond to trends and new preferences in makeup.  For those who aren’t born with it, Maybelline recently released a number of lip duos that provide swipes of bold color with a gorgeous shimmer ombre effect.  I had these for a couple of weeks before I started writing up the review, and wouldn’t you know it – the day I’m finally writing the post, and I see that Jackie Aina posted a video this very day on these.  That, and she got 8 shades!  I bought all 5 shades that were available from Walmart, and I haven’t seen them pop up at CVS yet, but I will definitely be on the lookout for Snakebite (because green, duh!) and Wild.  I’ll include her video here so you can see them on her lips – they really do look stunning!

Here are the 5 shades that I bought:

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I love, love, love that a consistently pretty good quality drugstore brand like Maybelline is doing a collection of lip shades with colors this vibrant and edgy.  This ain’t your grandma’s Maybelline…and if it is, I want to party with your grandma!  Passionate is sort of a pretty basic red pairing and Provoked is a nude cool-toned brown sort of shade, so nothing really edgy, but all three of the other shade selections are pretty bold.

Now, let’s get this out of the way right away: this is nothing new.  I’m a drag queen, and I’ve been putting shadows on top of my lipstick for many a year.  I actually like to put shadow on an ombre look or if I’m wearing a traditional tube lipstick instead of a liquid lip because it helps set the product and keeps it from disappearing.  I’ve moved away from this technique the last couple of years because of the proliferation of matte liquid lipsticks, but it’s nice to see Maybelline serve up some pretty traditional drag queen eleganza!  Now if they just had a shade called “Hunty” or “Yaaasssss” or something like that.  Think about it, Maybelline.  Just think about it.


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Passionate is a pretty basic cool-toned red that tends to sheer out and go pink, especially around the edges, when applied with a finger.  These are a hot mess to try to apply to the lips with a finger anyway – get yo’self a lip brush!  I hate using a lip brush, mainly because I suck at it, but if you want to get on this train, you’re really going to need it.  Trust me.  The shimmer shade…I still don’t know exactly what it is, and I’ve swatched it and tried it out on my lips.  It’s sort of creamy, but also has some fallout like a shadow.  I think it’s some sort of cream-to-powder hybrid.  The packaging doesn’t really explain it.  The shimmer shade can really warm up this red nicely, so use more of it if you want to push it that direction, less if you want to keep the look mostly cool.  If you’re not sure about the bolder looks, this is more of a “traditional” bright color that more people will consider an everyday sort of color.  Taylor Swift probably approves.


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Why doesn’t the world have more cool-toned brown in it?  Seriously!  I love this brown and I think it’s a really gorge dark taupe sort of brown.  The shimmer shade is silvery and keep the look sort of silvery and delicious.  I have enough warm-toned stuff that I don’t use.  Serve me up those lovely cool tones!  This one applied really nicely; the swatch looks a little patchy, but again that’s a finger swatch.  You’ll have much less problem using a brush.  Once you’ve tried the red, this is another less “confrontational” color to ease yourself into the boldness.  You could also wear the brown alone with a lot of your more neutral/nude looks.


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This is where shit gets weird, and I’m all the way here for it.  Venomous features a bright, deep blue lip color (already edgy for a drugstore brand!) and then includes as a topper a goldish brown with green shift.  When you mix the two, the gold in the base of the shimmer makes a green, and I thought this one had the most unique combination of the shades that I tried.  From watching her video, Jackie had a similar experience with Snakebite, where the yellow gold mixed with the green to make an interesting fade, and I’m jealous af that Walmart let me down with not carrying it!  This is lovely, but it’s definitely an adventurous combination.  I think you could get a lot of different looks based on how much of each you used and how you mixed/blended it.


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This is another oddball.  You don’t notice it as much in Jackie’s video because she layers the shimmer directly on the lip color and I swatch them out separately and blend them, but the shimmer shade here is almost a peachy kind of base with silvery shimmer.  I love the combo and if you look at the blended swatch on the right, it almost gets a sort of silvery pink hue right in the middle where it’s blended the most.  You could paint the purple on the outside perimeter and leave the center bare.  Then go in with that shimmer in the middle and work outwards.  I think that would be so fab!


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Maybe it’s lighting where she was filming, but Jackie said that she thought the sleeve image on this appeared more peachy than the product itself.  I think that it’s a little darker, but my preview image doesn’t look peach at all.  The top coat is goldtone, so that maybe contributed as well?  This is definitely a tan nude with hints of mauve, and then the goldtone shimmer can warm it up significantly.  I like it, but I don’t love it.  I love color, and this is a little too nude for me.  I think it’s stunning, and this is a really great combo for people to ease into or who want something more everyday for their corporate 9 to 5 situation, but it’s just not me.  Want an easy combo to rock at a variety of different scenes, but not feeling the bold red of Passionate?  Here you go!

Absolutely, for these to really be worth your while, you’re going to have to get comfortable with using a lip brush.  I played around with a finger, and it just wasn’t a good situation.  I didn’t get a clean or precise application, and it tended to sheer out and look uneven.  For the shimmer, you’ll get different results or looks if you pat the shimmer on top versus painting it on (where it will mix more and affect the underneath shade).  I don’t think either one is right or wrong, just depends on preference, but if you don’t like the look you’re getting don’t be afraid to try a different application technique to see if that makes a difference.

So what do you think: are these a fantastic way to easily break into the world of metallic and ombre lips?  Is it a gimmick that you think should sashay away?  Or is this something that you’ve already been doing with your own lipsticks and shadows?  Tell us in the comments below!

I’m actually a big fan of these, even if they do make me break out the dreaded lip brush.  The colors are fun and saturated, and there’s hardly a neutral to be seen!  I may have a fear of snakes, but I’m showing some serious love to these Pythons.  Life is a contradiction.

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

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