...aka: Emily is (Over) 20 LuxeTrance Lipsticks In and There's NOT A SINGLE DUD to report, folks!
Before I dive into this review, a quick PSA to all readers: Part 1 of the Beauty Blackout's Multi-Part Review of the LuxeTrance lipsticks has been updated to include lip swatches of all shades discussed. You can find the updated post here. While you're at it, check out part 2: Blitz Brights and Vicious Venoms here.
Readers, I would be lying if I didn’t tell you straight up that this post has not turned out the way I'd originally planned. What I'd intended it to be was a sort of snarky, sort of silly, ‘now look what happens when you blind buy 20 lipsticks’ kind of post. You know...a post where FINALLY the beauty blogger gets served! (Seriously, I’m not the only one who sometimes wishes this would happen....just occasionally....right?)
But seriously, the prospect of reviewing two uniquely atrocious products actually had me pretty excited. Yes, ‘uniquely atrocious’ is how I initially summed up Pat McGrath's LuxeTrance lipsticks in the shades, 'Lust Angeles' and 'Madame Greige'. When I first tried these on, I literally burst out loud laughing. What else can you possibly do when you realise you’ve paid $38 a pop for the cement like-sludge you've just smeared across your lips? And, btw, it wasn’t just me who thought these two shades were honest-to-God ugly MOFOs. I'm not kidding - they looked so bad that everyone I sent pictures to (yep, my need to share in these sort of situations is positively overwhelming) responded with variations of “yikes”, “um, that’s not very flattering” or, mostly, "OMG! LOL, DYING!" I didn't take offence at all; quite to the contrary, I was whole-heartedly on board with all these sentiments.
As a result, the subtitle of this (probably not final) instalment in the Beauty Blackout's multi-part review of Pat McGrath's LuxeTrance Lipsticks had to be changed from the "The Duds" to "Emily's Now 20 Lipsticks In and There Isn't a SINGLE Dud, Folks." Here's a gratuitous picture of me in Madame Greige.
I have no idea what magic Pat McGrath worked into the LuxeTrance formula. However, I do own enough of these lipsticks to say - unequivocally - that the formula consistently scores a 10/10 across the entire spectrum of shades (in my collection, that is). In particular, I'm more than a little blown away by just how good the 'Skin Show' shades are. These days, MLBB and nude lipsticks are a dime a dozen. So to be really wow-inducing, a lipstick in this category has got to to be extraordinarily good. Every one of the Skin Show shades is THAT good. Really.
The one common thread that weaves the Skin Show shades together is that they have a very neutral base. It isn't a white base (at least not in most cases - we've written about the possibility of Sextrology and Valletta being white-based in Part 1 of this series). Also important: the Skin Show shades are neither overly warm nor overly cool. They often lean slightly warm or slightly cool but, regardless of shade, they share a softly muted quality.
Still, I'm hard pressed to explain how Lust Angeles and Madame Greige ended up being - possible - wins for me. I don't think they're the most flattering shades on me, don't get me wrong. BUT, I can wear them. In public. Without donning a big-ass pair of sunglasses like I do post-facial. (By the way, if you disagree/think I'm profoundly deluded in giving Lust Angeles and Madame Greige a tentative okay, please make me aware - respectfully - in the comments section. I'll be indebted to you. You may also get on board the you-look-awesome-in-greys train, if that's your stance.)
So, lengthy intro out of the way: time for me to shut up and show you what I know you're all dying to see. Swatches. Lip swatches. I'll start this review with Madame Greige. I'll be saving Lust Angeles (the one that REALLY made me look like a dying TB patient) for last.
*A number I have now, btw, exceeded. Over 20 LuxeTrances in, guys. So...there's more in store is what I'm saying.
** Disclaimer: it is possible that this is just wishful thinking and I really do look every bit as terrible as I initially imagined in these shades. If so, while I do apologise for any shock/horror/retina-scarring/overwhelming nausea that you may experience from looking at these images, I will not be held responsible for any such harm or suffering that you may experience. Consider it punishment enough that I am stuck with these lipsticks.
The Grey-Toned Nudes
For the longest time, I spelled ‘greige’, ‘griege’ which is something I blame squarely on Troy Surratt. (I love his Griege eyeshadow, by the way. I’m just partial to its cooler cousin, Ombré.)
With that perhaps unnecessary non-sequitur of an introduction out of the way, onto Madame Greige. This shade is described as a ‘violet based beige’ on Pat McGrath's official website, which I would say is a fairly accurate description. I'm afraid my comparison switches will be of rather limited use here as I simply don’t own many greige lipsticks. They don’t tend to be very flattering.
In the LuxeTrance range, Madame Greige is perhaps closest to Donatella, a shade which did work on me. However, Donatella didn't scream ‘GREY’ straight out of the tube, like this one did. I approached Madame Greige with trepidation this time around since the first time I'd tried it on had been right after Lust Angeles. I'd thought it looked marginally wearable but...what wouldn't have after Lust Angeles? Oh, and there were a few other significant things I did this time around: for example, putting on a bit of makeup, venturing outside into the daylight instead of attempting to take desk-side selfies while bathed in the blueish glow of my computer monitor (always flattering!). I may even have brushed my hair too.
Verdict: Not too terrible, right? (Of course, comment below if you disagree. We encourage (respectful) discussion on The Beauty Blackout. Also, I'm not in the least overly sensitive about my appearance coughliescough.)
Still, I’m going to be honest here. Madame Greige is unlikely to be a shade that I reach for everyday. But you know what? It's totally different from any other lipstick I own (a truly impressive feat) and I have zero regrets about purchasing it.
So, if you’re cooler-toned as well as into the slightly-corpse-y-but-chicly-so look, I say go for Madame Greige. Just as long as you don't mind lipsticks that are slightly different. I knew I’d cave on this one eventually, if only out of sheer curiosity. I'm happy to report that it all seems to have worked out.
According to Pat McGrath’s official website, Lust Angeles is a “brown beige”. Personally, I think it would probably have been described more accurately a “very grey brown beige". Let me be clear: grey undertones ARE a defining features of Lust Angeles. I do think that this shade pulls cool rather than warm, which is something to keep in mind. I don’t doubt that it is probably one of the more difficult LuxeTrance Skin Show shades, and it will not be suited to everyone. Don’t pick this randomly as a Christmas gift is the gist of it.
The very first words out of my mouth after swiping Lust Angeles (tentatively) on were “ohhhh man, this is really bleeep grey!” Rachel did her best to boost my morale, via Skype. “But grey is better than ochre, right?" she said encouragingly. Now, this is definitely true. Grey lipsticks > ochre lipsticks, any day. But there’s grey and there’s…well….straight up GREY. I was not a happy camper, “I look like a decomposing corpse!” I whined. Now, in hindsight, I probably just looked like someone who hadn't slept in over 36 hours, was running on nothing but a steady stream of caffeine and had barely taken their eyes off their computer monitor. Still, it was hard to believe that a little rest, a little concealer and an admittedly healthy amount of bronzer/blush were able to transform a lipstick monstrosity into this:
I actually think I prefer Lust Angeles to Madame Greige. I can see myself wearing it once in a while. Daylight makes the grey tones less pronounced and more taupe-y; however, this remains a cool brown lipstick. I’ve discovered I like these rather cool browns, but you may feel differently. I do find the name a little bit of a head-scratcher. This isn’t a very carnal-feeling lipstick - it’s got an ‘editorial’ feel. Certainly, there’s nothing ‘erogenous’ about it (nor is there anything very erogenous about the eponymous new Tom Ford lipstick, I might add).
But if Lust Angeles = Hollywood (and, to non-denizens of LA, I think that’s a fair enough assumption to make); AND if grey = ambiguity, predominantly of the moral variety, although far be it from me to deny that are many, perhaps even fifty, shades of grey….well, maybe Lust Angeles isn’t such an odd choice of name for this lipstick. Think of it as a little dig at the extreme unsexiness of the 'Fifty Shades of Grey’ series. (Book or film version, who cares? I’m equally unfamiliar with both and, in any case, making sweeping generalisations about trash is a specialty of mine.)
And as for the inherent ambiguity of grey (in all of its many shades) - I’ll be honest. Part of me wonders if posting pictures of me wearing this lipstick is such a great idea. Am I just deluding myself about its wearability? A LuxeTrance lipstick isn’t cheap, after all. Maybe, Lust Angeles really is that bad.
…but I don’t think so. That's just me though. As current events have revealed, the *reaL* Los Angeles/Hollywood is truly a cesspool of waste, where lust apparently does go unchecked, unpunished and untrammelled. Let me know *your* opinion on Lust (and/or Los) Angeles in the comments section below.
PS: I’m constitutionally incapable of resisting Pat McGrath’s LuxeTrance lipsticks, it seems. Stay tuned for at least one more instalment. Till next time, everyone.