I am a lip product person. My lips have very little pigment and are naturally pretty dry, so while I will go out without blush I am never without lipstick or lip gloss. But there are many times when I can’t just whip out my lip gloss and my compact, like when I am giving a presentation or in the middle of a meeting.
The concept of long wear liquid lip color is fantastic, but I never found one that really worked for me. I always thought the look was dry and harsh. One of my colleagues used to exclusively wear a long wearing lip color, and her lips always looked like they were about to crack into a million pieces. The super dry, matte look was so aging and unflattering. Plus, this type of lip color can look horrid when it wears off, and putting an extra coat of color on top can make the lipstick ball up and feel like grains of sand.
Despite my previous experiences, I was hopeful when I tried Aqua Rouge ($24, sold exclusively at Sephora), Make Up For Ever’s answer to the long wearing lip color. Like most long wearing lip color, it is dual-ended with the liquid color on one side and a clear lip gloss on the other side. It is available in 12 colors ranging from nude to red. I tried two of the lip colors: Iconic Red (#8) and Light Rosewood (#14).
Iconic Red Aqua Rouge
Light Rosewood Aqua Rouge
The color side has a foam doe-foot applicator, and the lip gloss side has a polyester bristled brush that doesn’t splay. I was pleasantly surprised to find that color side goes on wet and very creamy. While it dries down to a matte finish, it is not even close to being as drying as other long wear lip colors that I have tried. The color is, of course, extremely highly pigmented. The clear lip gloss is very shiny with great slip and mouth feel.
Gloss side of Aqua Rouge
On me, the color wears off from the middle out, but the gloss sort of smudges the color back in and makes that initial application last longer. Because the color is so intense, you want to apply it from the center of the lips outward. That also helps the color wear longer. You can also use a Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip Waterproof Lipliner Pencil ($18) first, which works great with the Aqua Rouge lip color. I found that if I wasn’t eating super oily or greasy foods, my color lasted about four hours before showing signs of wearing off. Eating pizza or a greasy cheeseburger will make the color disappear pretty quickly, but other than that it really stays put. Oooh, now there’s a great reason to stick to your diet!
As for the colors I tried, Iconic Red (#8) was created by celebrity make up artist Gina Brooke as the official red lip of the MDNA tour (which kicks off in the US on August 28th). Here is a pic of Madonna wearing this color:
photo credit: Getty
I am very picky about my red shades because I have such thin lips. A very dark, harsh color makes me look like I am really, really pissed off. Also, because of my skin chemistry most red shades pull extremely fuschia on me. But this color is a revelation.
Iconic Red applicator
Iconic Red without gloss
Iconic Red with gloss
I feel like Sally Field, but it works! It really works!! It’s a true cherry red. It is bright but even I can pull it off. So that means it’s pretty likely it will look good on anyone.
Make Up For Ever Iconic Red
I also tried Light Rosewood (#14). This is a soft, pretty rose that looks great with or without the gloss. It’s a darker shade of neutral.
Light Rosewood applicator
Light Rosewood without gloss
Light Rosewood with gloss
Make Up For Ever Light Rosewood
I definitely want more shades, and am especially interested in the Pink (#15) and Raspberry (#10). If you love long wearing lipsticks, or are trying one for the first time, I think this is the best option out there.
And I don’t know about you, but I am SUPER excited that Make Up For Ever is the official makeup partner for Syfy’s Face Off, the special-effects make up competition series!
The winner of Face/Off will be given the opportunity to become a guest lecturer at the MAKE UP FOR EVER ACADEMY in Paris and New York. And take note, there is going to be a dedicated MAKE UP FOR EVER challenge airing on September 25th, so be sure to set your DVR. – Lisa
Aqua Rouge Ingredients:
Dimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Cera Microcristallina (Microcrystalline Wax), Paraffin.
Isododecane, Polyisoprene, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Silica, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Parfum (Fragrance), Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-t-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Tocopheryl Linoleate, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Limonene, Citronellol, Geraniol, Linalool, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, [+/- CI 15850 (Red 6, Red 7 Lake), Mica, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), CI 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), CI 45410 (Red 28 Lake), CI 77492 (Iron Oxides)].