My friends, I have an important announcement to make; I am now a woman who wears lipstick. I know, this is a shocking turn of events, but it's true. To start at the beginning of this lip journey, a few weeks ago I purchased the Kaja Beauty "Lookin' Like a Snack" set from Sephora. Kaja Beauty is a Korean makeup brand and since lately I've lost my mind binge watching Korean drama series, I was very curious about this makeup line. I definitely need to properly write up my thoughts on the whole set because I ended up loving every single product in there, but that's not what this post is about so I'll save it for next time.
This post is about the Kaja Beauty Cushy Vibes High-Pigment lipstain. The color that came in the set was #05 Chiffon, which is labeled as a cool raspberry. I didn't expect much from it but it turned out to be a my lips but better color on me and incredibly natural looking. I loved it so much I immediately went back to Sephora's website and ordered two more shades, #01 Satin Sheets (a blue red that I'd describe as cherry) and #02 Velvet (rich wine that's definitely blue-based as well). Sadly my iphone can't quite pick up the colors of these very well, but in person they're beautiful and quite vibrant.
From left to right- #05 Chiffon, #01 Satin Sheets, #02 Velvet
But what's so exciting about that? With so many brands and shades available for sale nowadays, color (even a good color) isn't anything to get to hyped about. No, what really stands out for me with these is the texture and wear of the formula. Sephora describes this product as a "highly-pigmented lip stain with a comfy, cushion finish", with a further description of the color as a matte formula. I'd say that's pretty spot on! The stain these provide is really great and doesn't budge- I can talk, drink, eat, and go about my day for hours at a time with hardly any loss of color! After some time has passed, a quick swipe of lip balm (without need for a mirror) is enough to move the color around enough to make everything nice and even again.
Wearing #05 Chiffon
This silly pout picture is to illustrate how nicely the Chiffon color and formula blend on my lips. I love the idea of prettily colored lips but I hate how with lipstick you'll get a very clear demarcation where the lipstick end and the inside of you mouth begins. It's a strange thing to think about as this isn't visible when smiling normally or talking, but when you make a kissy face you can notice that line right away. With the Kaja lip stain, that transition is very faint and subtle.
Wearing #01 Satin Sheets
Even with a less natural color like bright cherry red, posing with a pout doesn't betray me with that unsightly line. It's possible many people don't notice or care about this small detail but personally, even though makeup is entirely artificial enterprise, I always prefer to have it look as natural as possible. Even if one doesn't go around doing the duck lips pose (which I'm pretty sure I don't), there is a practical point to this detail, as this inner lip area is the first part to wear off as time passes after initial application. The better and more seamless the blending in this area when you first apply your lipstick, the better your lipstick will look even as it inevitable fades.
The Kaja formula is also very non-drying. As I've mentioned before, my lips are sensitive and usually matte formula lip products have me feeling parched and uncomfortable so quickly that it's pointless for me to try using them. I apply lip balm at the beginning of my makeup application and by the time I get to my lips the balm has sunk in enough to make a good base for this lipstain. I would say that the finish of this lipstain is a true matte, but because the formula is so moisture preserving it doesn't look like any other matte lip I've ever tried. I feel like the look and texture of my lips is like a velvety rose petal, soft and velvety without any appearance of dryness or enhancement of lip lines. Ahhhh I love it so much! The texture also result in minimal color transfer to coffee mugs, teeth, and any cheeks you happen to smooch. I can sip my tea and kiss my husband, and I haven't caught myself with red on my teeth (which I presume means nobody else has either).
In my opinion the doe foot applicator is somewhat large and clumsy if you're looking for a really precise application. Luckily for me a precise swipe of color is not what I prefer with these- I like to dab three dots on the center of my upper and lower lips and then use my ring finger to blend and diffuse the color outward. The drying time is quite fast so blending quickly is essential, but once it dries it doesn't move. I do add lip balm on top throughout the day as needed (but I'd be putting on lip balm regardless, wintertime is dry with or without a matte lip), at which point the color is more vulnerable to transfer to cups and children, but once the balm absorbs I would say the stain is stable and minimally transferring.
Ever since I got these I've been wearing them nearly every day I haven't changed my mind of my initial impression of beautiful color and excellent comfort, which means despite the fact that two of the shades are red, I'm not returning any of them. An unexpected outcome to an impulse beauty purchase but I'm definitely not sorry!
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