Impulse Control, Part 1: Warm Fuzzies From Impulse Cosmetics

Published on March 3, 2018 by   ·   1 Comment

Impulse ControlOnce you’ve known me for about 5 seconds, you’ll learn that I have a problem with impulse control, especially when it comes to makeup shopping.  I have had more than my share of trips to the Dollar Tree to do my grocery shopping because one or more of my favorite brands had a major release or I discovered some great new brand and simply had to try…everything!  The struggle is real.

Such was my introduction to Impulse Cosmetics.

I was wondering around the interwebs looking for new cosmetic treats to add to my collection when I stumbled across the Impulse Cosmetics Duochrome Lip Lacquer.  I’m an absolute sucker for anything duochrome!  I love the shifty colors and the unexpected combinations, and these look really good.  I mean REALLY good.

So good that I decided to pick up an even dozen.

The good news is that Impulse has some crazy reasonable prices: each of the lipsticks was only $10.99!  So my order, with free shipping, wasn’t that far past $100.  I’ve spent way more to get way less, that’s fo’ sho’!

I decided to break this review up into two parts.  For this first installment, I’ll be reviewing the warm shades that I picked up:

Impulse 02
L to R: Lilly, Centerfold, Heretic, Sleigh Ride, Slander, Haphazard

All of the Duochrome Lip Lacquers are listed as limited edition, so if you are falling in love with any of these shades make sure you head to the site using the link above.  Even when I placed my order, there were several shades that were already sold out (including a Halloween selection that looked to die for, and made my shriveled little heart ache for what might have been!).  here’s a rundown of the shade descriptions from their website:

Lilly: light, peachy pink shade with a gold duochrome effect
Centerfold: coral pink shade with a shimmering gold duochrome efffect
Heretic: true red with a green duochrome effect
Sleigh Ride: red shade, with a metallic sheen and a gold duochrome/color-shifting effect
Slander: dark brown shade with a teal duochrome effect
Haphazard: bright orange shade with a lime green duochrome effect

Before I show off the swatches, I just want to say that this is a weird review for me to write because on the one hand, I feel like the products in person don’t really live up to what they promise on the website.  Despite that…I actually really like them.  Here is a gallery of the images from the Impulse Cosmetics websites so you can see the official promo looks:

The duochorme shows up much better on their images than they do on my swatches.  Part of it is my lighting and my ineptitude with my camera, but I also found that in person they just don’t have as much of the shift as they appear to have in these images.  Haphazard is the biggest oddball – it claims to have a lime effect, but I don’t see it in my swatches OR in the picture from the site!  I’m not sure what’s up with that, but I was really drawn in by how many of the colors on their site had a green duochrome effect.  I love me some green, and some of the combos were really interesting.

Here’s my swatches, top photo without flash, bottom photo with:

Impulse 01
Lilly was the only one that didn’t care for out of this group.  The formulas weren’t entirely consistent between shades, and this was the thickest and the hardest to work with of the bunch.  This doesn’t surprise me as it’s the lightest and would need the most white pigment to achieve.  I also didn’t get much of any type of duochrome from this one.  It dried down pretty flat, unlike the others that had at least some shimmer or sparkle.

MAC Paradisco

MAC Paradisco eyeshadow, image and review at Temptalia

Centerfold did have a little bit of gold effect to it but I thought it could have been a lot stronger.  I loved the finished color though!  It’s a beautiful bright pink and it’s a staple of the kinds of colors I wear.  The little bit of gold warms it up a bit so you can use it with a variety of other shades.  In the tube it reminds me a little bit of MAC’s Paradisco shadow (why do I find myself making that comparison so much lately?  I swear, I must just be buying the same colors over and over again!) but the finished effect is much more pink.  I bet if you topped this with a little bit of Paradisco though, the results would be fire!

Heretic looks the least like the website image, but I still kind of love it.  It’s supposed to be a bright true red with a green duochrome.  I got maybe a little of the green, but it blends in with the base color and it looks more gold than green.  Still, this dries down to a nice deep reddish pink and I love the color.  I love shades that toe the line between pink and red and this is a great option – it looks especially pink swatched right next to Sleigh Ride which has a much redder base.  I wish I had one that looked like the promo image for this, but I’m still happy with the shade that I got.

Sleigh Ride is a very cool-toned red, and I didn’t really get much duochrome from this at all, but it’s still a nice basic red to add to your collection.  It paints on really, really red, but as it dries down the effect gets a little more subdued, so don’t be overwhelmed by the first swipe.  Again, I wish it had more of the shimmer and sparkle of the promo image, but it’s a great red option if you want something bright that isn’t full on fire engine red.

MAC Temptalia

MAC Club Eyeshadow, image and review at Temptalia

With Slander, I’m about to make another comparison I make a lot: MAC’s Club shadow.  I love brown shadows that have a blue or teal or green duochrome effects.  I had high hopes for this one, and though the teal effect isn’t as pronounced as I would have liked, it’s definitely there and I think you could layer it up or even top it with a shadow to get some really beautiful results.  I definitely want to use this in a photo look to see how it performs.

And now for our little oddball.  As I said above, I get zero lime from this – all of the sparkle in the tube and in the swatch looks gold to me.  It’s a bright macaroni and cheese orange, and if you love vivid colors you will love this!  Because it was so light and bright, I was worried that I would have the same problems I had with Lilly, but this one swatched smooth and consistent.  This one is bold and not for everyone, but I love it.  Who knew squash could be glam?!

THE PROS:  Even though a lot of these don’t look like their promo images and the duochrome could be stronger, I really do love these colors.  Most of them have a nice, smooth application and just need a little finessing to get a good, solid coat.  As I mentioned, I only did one coat for these shades, but I did play around with one of the cool shades (coming up in my next review!) and do 2 coats and I found that they layer really nicely.  I also love the price – $10.99 is not a bad price for these, and the range of shades is truly astounding.  And this is only one of their many product offerings!  I didn’t even spend much time on the rest of their site.  After spending over $100 on these lippies, I figured I should quit while I was ahead…or at least before I did any more damage to my wallet!  But I will definitely be back to get more products for test and review.

THE CONS:  The formulas aren’t totally consistent.  Lilly was a dud, and some of the shades are much thicker than the others.  The thicker the formula, the more trouble I had with them.  If you want shades that look exactly like their promo images, you will probably be disappointed.  These are not the strong duochromes that they show, and while the shades are pretty they could be a disappointment if you are a true duochrome freak.  The packaging is also kind of cheap: generic silver-topped tubes with printed stickers applied to the tube and the top.  The stickers don’t have a very strong adhesive, and I’ve had some problems with them peeling.  Obviously the packaging doesn’t impact the performance of the product, but if you are into the “whole package” these will definitely be a sore spot for you.  I’m a sucker for high end packaging, but if a product is good I can overlook almost anything – and overall these were pretty good!

So let me know in the comments: are you a fan of duochromes, or do you think it’s just the current recycled trend in the makeup world?  What are some of your favorite duochrome products?  Have you ever tried this brand?  What did you think?!

And don’t forget to come back tomorrow when the second part of this review publishes with a selection of six gorgeous cool-toned shades!

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

(Just for funsies, I thought I would include this fun YouTube video all about great products that are duochrome from Bailey B.!)

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Readers Comments (1)
  1. Mallukas says:

    Oh yeah, I love Option #2!! I swatched a bit last night

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