After my dramatic experience with the Deceit Duo - I think I'm probably still recovering - I confess I decided to take a brief break from testing out Pat's LiquiLUST 007 kits. Alright, full disclosure: I may have been otherwise preoccupied with picking up a rather generous array of Tom Ford's new Private Shadows - for sampling purposes only, of course (translation: for the benefit of The Beauty Blackout's much valued readers.) Oh yeah, and I bought one of the new mascaras too, also for your benefit, but it turned out to be the wrong one - so I guess a return trip is in the cards!
Having gotten my fix of the Tom Ford Private Shadows (I managed to walk away with a mere eight singles), and having mostly recovered from the sight of myself wearing Deceit, I returned dutifully to the task of reviewing Pat McGrath’s LiquiLUST 007 Lip Kits. Today’s review will focus on the Skin Show Set. This was a decision made mostly in light of popular demand, but also partly to quell my fears of coating my lips in black tar once again. No possibility of that happening with a trio of nude liquid lipsticks, right? I mean, what could possibly be safer? Well...turns out I underestimated what Pat McGrath had in store for me. But I mustn’t get ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.
The Skin Show Liquid Lipstick Kit
Unlike the Deceit Duo, which containes just one LiquiLUST lipstick (albeit a very formidable one), the Skin Show Kit includes three different shades: Divine Nude, Slay-OMI, and Possessed. Each tube contains 5ml of product. Folks, I'll break it to you now: there's no KY Jelly in this kit - apologies for any disappointment caused - but there is a jar of 'Crystalline Micro-Fine Pigment in Gold 007' and a 13g tube of 'Clear Vinyl Gloss'. In addition, I discovered that Pat had once again helpfully included an instructions booklet, which I naturally did my best to follow. Commitment is my middle name - what can I say?
For my gripping review of the Skin Show Kit, simply scroll on. Warning: there are plenty of pictures ahead covering every single step I took in my attempt to follow Pat’s instructions to the very letter.
The Instruction Manual
Already familiar with the imperative to 'Use Without Caution' as well as the ominous warning that 'Wicked wilfulness and consensual corruption may result with prolonged use', I skipped ahead to the ‘Hedonistic Hues’ section of the manual. Save for one addition, the gist was essentially the same as it had been for the Deceit Duo. The only difference was Pat's extra promise here that ‘the chromatic climax of beautifully rich colour takes you from the night before to the morning after.'
Advance apology: I did not test this claim out, so yeah....Sorry about that. I should have been more committed, I guess? Or maybe Rachel could take over this aspect of the job. Thoughts?
Divine Nude Liquid Lipstick
Described as a ‘cool mauve pink’, I immediately took a liking to Divine Nude. Per the instructions, I applied Divine Nude with 'the locked applicator' which was, at least to my eyes, no more 'locked' than the applicator of Deceit. (If anyone wants to shed any light on the meaning of 'locked', be my guest.)
I mean, I think it’s pretty clear why I like Divine Nude. It’s almost the exact same colour of my lips, which is a huge PLUS in my book. I admit that I like to play it safe sometimes, but don’t we all?
By the way, Divine Nude is not - in my option - a particularly pale nude. So for those people worried about looking like a TB patient (always a legitimate fear with nude lipsticks), I say fear not. As I’ve stated before, Pat’s lipsticks - liquid or bullet - run dark and my experience with the Skin Show Set was consistent with that observation. I've included a comparison swatch set below for reference.
Divine Nude + Crystalline Micro-Fine Pigment
To be honest, I’d have been satisfied with Divine Nude on its own but Pat’s insistence on 'Illicit Iridescence’ made me chug on dutifully. I got out my little pot of Crystalline Micro-Fine Pigment and, reading on, took note of the very high bar Pat promised my jar of gold glitter would help me meet : “Evoke the envy of the glitterati as you inject your look with an instant dose of illicitly iridescent crushed diamond sparkle.” As an established member of the glitterati, I can’t possibly assess this claim independently - I'll have to leave that task to the hoi polloi amongst Pat’s fans.
The jar of Crystalline Micro-Fine pigment, btw, is small and by small, I mean micro-small. Don’t impatiently start shaking it up and down to get it to dispense the ‘crushed diamond sparkle’ or this may happen:
For ‘sensually surreal lips’, I took my finger and tried my best to gently apply the generous amount of gold glitter I’d accidentally shaken out of the jar. I tried to replicate the ombre effect shown off so mesmerisingly in Pat’s Instagram teaser videos. This can be achieved by taking the glitter and patting it onto the lips, ‘starting in the centre and working outwards’. I’ll let my readers be the judge of whether I succeeded in creating a show-stopping ombré effect:
Quick note: apparently my reading skills are not what they once were (coughscored800ontheSATvocabsectionfirsttrycough) because I missed the last couple of steps in the Illicit Iridescence section. No “iridescently gilded eyes or holographic highlighting” were either attempted or achieved, in other words.
But back to the Micro-Fine Crystalline Pigment. Guys, I don’t know how to explain this - perhaps it’s because I’m a member of the glitterati, who knows? But I genuinely liked the ‘custom couture’ effect I got from patting the gold glitter that I'd spilled all over my desktop on top of Pat's (already awesome) Divine Nude liquid lipstick. As you will see further on in this review, the 'custom couture' effect gets less subtle the darker the lipstick is, and I definitely liked the glitter best when paired with Divine Nude. This isn’t a big chunky sort of glitter either. This is finely-milled gold dust - heck, crushed diamond dust - and I sort of wish that the jar included in the set contained more than 1g. That's right, I can see myself actually using this stuff. Finishing it. I would have absolutely zero issues wearing Divide Nude topped with ombre gold glitter out of the house. It needn't be saved for nighttime ocassions. This combination works in broad daylight. It’s.... subtle. Sounds crazy but I swear it is. And, damn, is it ever pretty.
Grade: A+, Pat.
Divine Nude + The Micro-Fine Crystalline Pigment + The Clear Vinyl Gloss
To be honest, I could have stopped with the gold glitter and been a happy girl but there was one last step of Pat's to complete: the Liquid Luxury step. The instructions here are essentially identical to the instructions for applying the KY Jelly in the Deceit Duo - the sole difference is that, now, I’m promised a ‘luxurious three-dimensional plastic effect’ (as opposed to a non-plastic one) on my lips. I submit the following photograph for your perusal: plasticky? Yes? No? Let me know in the comments!
Final comment: Divine Nude is a win, best paired with just the gold glitter, because yeah, the gloss is sort of an ‘overdose’ imho.
Slay-OMI Liquid Lipstick
As a huge fan of Omi MatteTrance Lipstick, I had high hopes for Slay-OMI. This shade is described as a “warm cinnamon brown”. It is by far the darkest in the set. If you’re thinking, "uh oh….dark".you’d be right. Slay-OMI is dark - TOO dark. Not Deceit level dark, true, but Slay-OMI was actually made worse by the fact that I found this MOFO impossible to apply. I don’t know the exact reason, honestly. I just know that I attempted to apply this about 3 or 4 times, each time achieving a postprandial Hannibal Lecter-like effect, before I finally was able to keep Slay-OMI within the perimeter of my lips, and not smeared all over my lower face. My advice: Do NOT use without caution. On the contrary, exercise the utmost caution as you “coat the curves of your lips” using “the locked applicator”. (Perhaps mine was defective/insufficiently locked? I don’t know).
No judgment please. Let’s just say this wasn’t a case of ‘Slay-OMI’ so much as it was one of ‘OMI Slayed Me.’ Below are a set of comparison swatches for reference:
Slay-OMI + Micro-Fine Crystalline Pigment
I did not appreciate Slay-OMI any more with the addition of the Crystalline Micro-Fine Pigment. I’d liked the subtle ombre effect of the Gold 007 pigment dabbed atop the cool pale-pink hues of Divine Nude. But here, the effect was…less than subtle. I'm not confident that the 'look' in the picture below falls under the category of “scintillatingly surrealist ombré”. I think ‘hot mess’ sums it up much more accurately. Agree?
Slay-OMI + Micro-Fine Crystalline Pigment + Clear Vinyl Gloss
I can say unequivocally that Slay-OMI was infinitely improved with a generous slathering of the Clear Vinyl Gloss. I’m not sure it improved the effect aesthetically (thoughts?) but I can tell you that Slay-OMI topped with glitter was not the most hydrating combination. By the time I finished snapping a few photos, my desiccated prune-like lips were so desperate for moisture that, for once, I took Pat’s advice to 'elevate artistry with lips dripping in sparkling opalescence' to heart. Behold my 'dripping lips':
Is this a great look? Um, maybe don’t answer that. Is it better than Deceit? I know, I know, I set the bar real high. But I have to be honest. While Slay-OMI was improved with the subequent dose of “liquid luxury”, the “illicit iridescence” was so uncomfortable I can’t in good conscience recommend it. And - honestly - I don’t love this colour. Who exactly could wear this as a ‘nude’? I’ll ignore any raised hands and jump on to our last liquid lipstick - Possessed.
Possessed Liquid Lipstick
Thank the Lord, another wearable shade! Possessed is described as a ‘muted rose’ - two words I love, especially when combined together, and especially, after my harrowing experience with Slay-Omi.
To be perfectly honest, Possessed is sort of a generic shade - a rosy MLBB colour that I can’t help but feel would be more suited to a bullet lipstick than a tube of gooey liquid with a ‘locked applicator’ (seriously, though, what does this mean?) It’s sort of oddly named - there’s nothing ominous or horror-like about Possessed. You could wear it to meet your future in-laws (sans glitter and gloss perhaps) and feel fairly confident about them not recoiling in horror at the sight of you.
Unsurprisingly, I think Possessed works perfectly fine on its own. It doesn’t need the extra “couture contraband” included in the set - it’s like gilding the proverbial lily. Nevertheless, I had made a commitment to test out ALL the variations of looks in the Skin Show Kit and having come this far already, what harm could there be in bedazzling my lips with crushed diamond dust once again?
Possessed + Micro-Fine Crystalline Pigment
Perhaps my lips were still recovering from Slay-OMI. Perhaps I applied the Crystalline Micro-Fine Pigment too enthusiastically. All I can say is that the ‘titillating texture’ of Possessed topped with Gold 007 pigment would - in a nutshell - more accurately be described as dry-looking. So dry my lips appeared to be on the verge of cracking. It wasn’t AWFUL, I suppoae. It just wasn’t very good. Again, I noticed the drying effect, which Gold 007 seemed to have on my lips and so again, I reached hastily for the Clear Vinyl Gloss to give my extremely parched lips the (plasticky) moisture that I knew the gloss would deliver.
Possessed + Micro-Fine Crystalline Pigment + Clear Vinyl Gloss
As you can see, I really didn’t hold back with the Clear Vinyl Gloss - I don’t know if my lips appear to have a perversely prismatic shine, per se, but if they don’t, it isn’t due to a lack of effort on my behalf. I really went for the ‘dripping' look here - I guess you could say that I was finally ready to (in Pat McGrath parlance) 'surrender, succumb and submit' to 'salacious, softcore luxury infused with hardcore decadence.'
Did I manage to reach that lofty bar? How many of the looks above would you personally consider 'museum-worthy lip art masterpieces'? Let me know in the comments section below! Also, which LiquiLUST set do I tackle next? The Blitz Brights or the Femme Moderne Duo? I'll go by popular vote, people, so don't stay silent.