Pretty svelte packaging, huh?
The shade Icon is a blue-based red that isn't too bright (much to my glee - I find bright blue-based reds tacky on me), and I think it would be flattering for a multitude of skin tones and shades.
The first thing I noticed about this product besides the tiny amount of product for $10 was that the applicator was really flexible...
I wasn't kidding. It was a bit of a "wait, wut?" moment, but I actually ended up liking it after getting used to it. The product went on thinly and weightlessly with a glossy finish and opacity that stunned me... but that is pretty much where my happiness with this product ended.
This thing is supposed to dry down to a velvety matte finish, but I ended up with a feeling that could only be described as a sticky chalkboard. Hourglass recommends letting this product dry for 30-60 seconds for optimal staying time, but even after sitting with my mouth open like a slack-jawed idiot for a minute and a half, my lips still felt like a Kindergartener's desk. So much for a velvety finish.
Another thing that really irked me about this is that no matter how long I let this stuff dry on my lips, I was still unable to press them together without the product sticking to itself and causing little worn off patches on my lips... which then later led to pilling. Extended wear my flat, white ass. I tried varying the amount of product on my lips to try and combat it (2 coats, a regular coat, and a thin coat), but neither yielded a pilling or patch-free post lip press. Grrrr.
One positive I would like to add though is that, for a matte liquid lip color, it wasn't super drying. With the exception of product buildup and patches, it was actually quite comfortable.
Price: $28 (full sized), $10 (mini)
Size: 0.10 oz (full sized), 0.03 (mini)
Availability: Sephora, Bloomingdales, hourglasscosmetics.com, various retailers
- Excellent opacity
- Not as drying as most matte lip colors
- Drying time is painfully long
- Doesn't dry down completely/uncomfortable tacky texture
- Transfers on itself, leading to patchiness and product pilling
- Painfully expensive for poor performance
Cruelty free: Unknown, presumably not.
Final thoughts: I essentially ended up with a far more expensive and slightly more tolerable (although still bad) version of the Wet n Wild MegaLast Liquid Lip Color. The color opacity is spot on, but I can't deal with the weird, tacky feeling and the horrible post-lip-press patching and pilling. Needless to say, I WON'T be buying the full size.