lipstick queen’s shine hard core lip gloss

My product for today scared me at first. Really scared me. But I knew I had my cousin’s wedding coming up, and that would be a really great time to test it out, but how was I going to pull it off for my everday wear test? Babes, I was nervous, but babes, I was happily surprised.

What could it be, you wonder, that had glossgirl shaking in her stilettos – and her flip flops?

Well, I’ll tell you. Lipstick Queen’s Shine Hard Core Lip Gloss in Black Tie Optional. Wow, that’s a glossy mouthful. Essentially, it’s a black lip gloss. Yes, black.

Lipstick Queen is a brand that was created in Melbourne, Australia in 1992 by a woman by the name of Poppy King, who, as an eighteen year old was searching for an ideal matte lipstick (it was the 90s after all!). She went on to create an entire line of products, work in the New York cosmetics field from 2002, until last year when she went back to her true love – creating high quality and high pigment lip products. Check out her story, she reminds me a little of Bobbi Brown, but in a 1940s, glamour girl way.

[glossnote: I found their website and their branding to be a teensy bit unclear. I’ve tried to include direct links to specific pages, but they aren’t always direct. If you visit the site, use the navigation that is on the top of the site. It’s pretty self-explanatory from there. Don’t want to confuse my glossbabes!]

One of her new products is the Shine line of “hard core gloss.”

As the name may imply, this is not a gloss for beginners, let me state that up front. It is also not a gloss that doesn’t need some getting used to – the way it treats lips and layered colors, and even simply applying it. It takes some time to “get it.” At least it took me a little time, but that is why I spend the time I do with the products I review. Some of them are more complex than others. Who knew, right?

Per Poppy, the gloss can be used either right on your lip, which will create a more dramatic, deeper tone your natural lip color, or over another gloss or lipstick to deepen the tone of the product underneath. I tried it a couple of times around the house before the wedding get a sense of how it worked. At that point, I was still a bit skeptical. The gloss was very sticky, had a habit of moving around on your lips and winding up on the outer edges so that it resembled a black lipliner, and at first made my lips looked muddy. And it was very hard to apply with your finger. It got everywhere – even the side of my cheek – which took me ten minutes to see, and was hard to wipe off your finger after application.

I stuck with it though, and wore it to the wedding over one of my everday, known-it-all-my-life-sticks. I was watching it on the foldout mirror in the car on the way to church. Still a little worried. Still messing with it.

I wore it to work for two days last week, alone. It did, again, take a little getting used to because it does darken your natural lip, but as I got used to it, I really liked it. And I tried applying it with a lip brush as opposed to my finger. That really helped.

And then it clicked. I got it. And I loved it. The trick is to lightly apply and leave it alone. Don’t smoosh your lips together and move it around. Put it on, and let it settle into the color underneath and your lip. You have to have some patience with it at first – something glossgirl is “working on”, if you get my glossy drift. You can play with it a little, but try not to. And if you have to use your finger, (I am a finger gal), tap it on instead of smearing it. That seems to work better.

This review may be a little longer than normal, but I needed the extra words to tell its story properly. Like I said, this is not a beginner’s gloss, but with some practice and some patience, you will become a glossy expert in not time!

Shine comes in a clear plastic, screw top-lidded pot that runs $22.00 for .494 ounces. It’s available on the Lipstick Queen’s product section of her website (click on Products and then scroll all the way down) and from high-end retailers such as Barneys and Henri Bendel and boutiques across the country. Poppy posts a list of local retailers on the website too. Just click on Stores.

[Full disclosure: I got this product as a free sample at a QVC event. Although I got the sample for free, I did an admission fee to the event. QVC does carry Lipstick Queen products, but not this one.]

As for the gloss-nuts and gloss-bolts. The pot itself, for me, was a little big. Especially since I had to stash it in my small wedding clutch. It was a little bulky. I might suggest that the size be reduced in further runs.

The gloss itself is fragrance-free and taste-free. A little goes a long way and I would suggest using it as sparingly as possible, at least until you get the hang of it. It lasts a long time on, especially when used directly on your lips, but doesn’t fell heavy or over-sticky. It doesn’t tout itself as longwear, but I would definitely put it in that category, which, for me is extra glossy! Like I say about, try it out, be patient, and let it settle. Hopefully you will be as glossily surprised as I was.

Black Tie Optional is one of 7 colors in the Shine Hard Core Gloss line, which, like some of Lipstick Queen’s other lines, are broken down by “saints” and “sinners”. I would love to try the Clear Sinner gloss, and most likely will at some point.

For the record, Lipstick Queen products are not tested on animals and are gluten-free. No mention of SPF, though.

All in all, I thought this product was a really inventive and complex product. With a little practice, you can easily work this gloss into your world and enjoy it both during the day and at night. I would have rated this five out of five smacks if it wasn’t for the difficulty level. For now, though I am rating Lipstick Queen’s Shine Hard Core Lip Gloss in Black Tie Optional four out of five smacks… great and glossable!



smooches and smacks,

Originally published 5/2/2009.



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