Part I: Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipsticks – Swatches and Reviews. A chemist’s view on why some colours work better than others.

For a long time, I had lost all hope for liquid lipsticks. No matter what brand or colour I would get they all ended up having some major flaw. Most of them were super drying, some of them were even so drying that they felt heavy. Others dried so much they started falling off in pieces and some even accentuated by lips’ natural creases so much so that I didn’t even know there were that many creases on the lips. It was like my lips aged 20 years. I blamed my dry lips for this and gave up on liquid lipsticks. However, the problems extend further than the “the drying effect”.

On top of these drying issues, some were even not transfer proof and came off, to an extent, not completely, when eating or drinking. As far as I understand, liquid lipsticks should not do that, otherwise why not just use a normal lipstick? What would be the point? For all the above reasons I went through a phase, for a long time, where I just hated liquid lipsticks, no matter what brand, they were not what I imagined them or wanted them to be. To this day I still think that liquid lipsticks have a long way to go and that’s acceptable as they are a relatively new product in the cosmetic market. I expect that the formulations will eventually get better and the problems above will not be as bad.

After months of refusing to use liquid lipsticks, some ray of hope came to me randomly and I ended up buying one of the Too Faced Melted Matte Liquid Lipsticks to try out. The colour I went for was “Queen B” which is a soft mauve colour. Almost like a pinky, soft purple, nude type colour. I put it on in the morning, before leaving the house, and I honestly didn’t feel like there was anything on my lips. They didn’t feel any more dry than they already are (I have super dry lips) but neither moisturised. The lipstick felt almost undetectable to me. I had breakfast and lunch and it was still intact and looking nice. I was obsessed. Couldn’t believe it. There might be hope for liquid lipsticks!

The packaging is as always Too Faced super cute, looks and feels expensive but the applicator wand is just the standard lip gloss/lipstick wand. It works well though and with some patience and practice you can be fairly accurate when using it, so it’s not a negative in my eyes.

Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipsticks 5.jpg

As you can imagine, I went back and bought a few more colours. I went for “Child Star” a perfect pinky nude, “Cool Girl” a natural pinky brown, “Bend & Snap!” an intense pink with a little violet in it and finally “Lady Balls” a pure intense red. All have a matt finish. See swatches below.

Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipsticks 2.jpg

All colours look lighter when wet and oxidise, or perhaps dry, to a little more dark as they become more concentrated after drying. Nothing too major, you might not even notice. I didn’t really mind the slightly darker colour after they dried, I actually manipulated this to my advantage. After applying one layer and letting it dry for a while, I applied a second but this time a little bit further inside, leaving a tiny thin untouched line from the first application untouched, which looked slightly darker and therefore appeared as if I lined my lips with a pencil and gave them so much more definition.

Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipsticks 3.jpg

Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipsticks Swatches.jpg

Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipsticks Wet vs Dry Swatches.jpg

Unfortunately, the quality was not the same in all colours. This is very common with lipsticks in general, some colours, especially the lighter ones, are very difficult to stabilise and get the formulation right and most of the time have some issue. Often, light colours are streaky. While none of these were streaky, they had other flaws. So I wasn’t surprised, just a little disappointed.

Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipsticks.jpg

 

Individual reviews – in order shown in the pictures:

Child Star: Too Faced describes this colour as a “matt soft nude” and that is spot on. It is a pinky nude but does get a little darker as you wear it longer. Almost like it gets a little dirty. Still love this colour though.

This one was more dry than the “Queen B” but it was still of good quality. I tried all sort of lip preps to get this a little less dry, including the Estée Lauder New Dimension Fill Expert Lip treatment, which makes my lips as soft and smooth as a baby’s bum, lip scrubs, lip balms and even the Too Faced Lip Insurance. Nothing helped. This is just a a more dry lipstick. It doesn’t transfer, I only noticed tiny dots on a drinking glass which is acceptable.

The strange, and good thing, is that it never felt dry or heavy. In fact it really felt completely weightless. I could see that it looked a little dry but it never felt that way. I think the fact that the colour is light, exaggerates the lip creases more, than a darker or more intense colour would, which makes it look more dry than it is. It’s nothing too major, it is still perfectly wearable, just more drying than “Queen B”. Because of that it might look better if every few hours or so you take it off and add a new coating on. If you add a layer on top of the one you are wearing it becomes even more dry and slowly starts being detectable on the lip “heavyness and dryness scale”. So I suggest you take it off and add a new layer.

I also tried putting the lipstick on, letting it dry and then applying lip balm or gloss over it. It keeps it wet throughout, so it never looks matt dry or feels dry, but that also means that it is never actually dry so it comes off on glasses and bottles when drinking, if you kiss anyone, touch your lips or eat. Comes off…a lot! I personally don’t mind leaving lipstick traces behind or reapplying often, but in my opinion this beats the purpose of a liquid lipstick. Why not just use a lipstick then? So this was not an option for me.

I am a little annoyed about “Child Star”, the nude colour, not working as well as the others because it is actually the colour I would use the most! But it still works and it is still way better than other liquid lipsticks I tried so I guess I am happy I found a liquid lipstick I can work with. Rating = Good.

However, this made me super intrigued as a chemist. What is the difference between the one that worked so well (“Queen B”) and the one that was the most dry (“Child Star”)?Strangely enough, and unless not all the ingredients are shown, the only difference is an extra ingredient in “Child Star”, “Talc” and one of the pigments contained while it was missing one of the pigments contained in “Queen B” (see ingredient comparison at the end of this article). Every other compound is present in both lipsticks. However, it is possible that there is difference in the amounts of each ingredient present in the two lipsticks, as the exact amounts are never stated on product lists so that people can’t copy the recipe so easily. It is likely though that the difference is just the change of one pigment and it makes all the difference here because it is a different molecule and therefore the whole mixture ends up being and interacting differently. Real shame though and a real problem for formulation chemists. I feel the pain both as a consumer and a chemist.

As a chemist and beauty junkie, I always look through the ingredients in products, most often out of curiosity, especially products that worked really well. Since the Too Faced Melted Matte Liquid Lipstick colour Queen B worked so well for me, where a lot of others and other brands failed, I decided to look into its ingredients in detail. I wrote this down in case this is something that helps or interests you too, with explanations on what each ingredient is doing in the lipstick. This way you can get a better idea of what is doing what and why this lipstick works or doesn’t for you. You don’t need to be a chemist or scientist to understand, I am hoping that I explained everything to be easily understandable by anyone during a coffee break. Grab a coffee, it is a long list of ingredients, and have a look at my “Part II: Chemical X-ray – Too Faced Melted Matte Liquid Lipstick Colour Queen B – What is inside and what does it do?”. If you like this concept let me know and I will make this a Chemical x-ray series on products that I think work well or are holy grail for me. Alternatively, let me know which products you are interested in having a closer look at!

 

Cool Girl: This is a natural pinky brown. Too Faced describes it as “matte true nude”. I don’t think this is a true nude, it is a soft enough colour to be a nude but it’s more brown than what I would call nude. Details!

It stayed on for hours, survived two meals and a couple of drinks. As “Queen B” it is almost completely transfer proof, there was literally only one dot of lipstick on my glass and it came from the corner of the lip, where the lip gets wet the most. Completely acceptable. Works well if you apply a second layer over it as well.

It looks a little dry (a lot less than “Child Star” but more than the other colours) and emphasises the lip’s creases slightly but it is still very wearable. Because of its light brown, natural colour the creasing doesn’t look too bad. It’s not as charming as a red lipstick creasing but it is not as bad as a lighter colour creasing, as it happened with “Child Star”. Again, I think it might actually be the colour that makes it look a little dry because it dries darker than the others. I definitely didn’t feel any dryness on my lips, in fact I couldn’t even feel that I was wearing a lipstick.

Out of all of them, this one was the one that survived the longest, even on the inside of the lips where the lips touch the teeth and saliva the most. Rating = Very good to great!

 

Queen B: This is a soft mauve colour. Too Faced describes it as “matte soft mauve” and it’s completely spot on. As I mentioned above this worked perfectly for me. It stayed on the lips and survived two meals without even having to retouch. It didn’t feel drying or heavy. In fact I didn’t feel like I was wearing a lipstick at all.

It worked well when I applied a second layer over it after wearing it for hours and it didn’t crack or feel heavier. It didn’t transfer except from a little on the side corners of the lips, where the lips get wet from saliva or water. It did wear off from the inside of the lip, where our lips touch our saliva and teeth the most, but that happens with any lipstick or liquid lipstick and I am not sure that it will ever be possible to keep that bit intact. If it bothers you, you can reapply a small amount on the inside lip and it will look as good as new. I had no problems adding layers on top of the ones I was wearing for hours.

The soft mauve colour is beautiful, quite on the natural side and I will be wearing this quite often! Rating = Great!

 

Bend & Snap!: This is an intense pinky purple (magenta) colour. Too Faced describes it as a “matte pink raspberry” but I think that makes it sound more pink than it is. It is a true magenta colour, not a pure pink. This one worked perfectly for me. Only traces of dots, literally, came off on the glass when drinking and again where just from the corners of the lips, which is acceptable. It survived eating and drinking without any changes in it’s texture or colour intensity, however, it did come off on the inside of the lips after eating. This is acceptable though, there are some things like “mechanical wear/friction” from eating that you just can’t avoid no matter how good the lipstick is.

Gorgeous colour and amazing quality. Doesn’t feel like there is anything on the lips. It was equally as good as “Queen B”. This liquid lipstick was thinner than the other lipsticks but in a good way. This was the easiest to apply and make crisp, clean lip lines and it dried much faster than the other lipsticks too. The pigmentation of the colour is so intense that it didn’t need a second layer, even though it was thinner in consistency than the other lipsticks! It lasts for hours, survives eating and drinking and works if you apply a layer over it after hours.

The only negatives I noticed were that you do apply a second layer over the old one, after wearing it for hours, it does feel a little dry but nothing major. Still feels quite weightless and it doesn’t actually look dry. Just feels a little more dry on the lips. Probably one of those things that only the wearer will notice. Rating = Great!

 

Lady Balls: This name truly suits the colour. It is an intense, true red colour. Too Faced describes this as a “matte true red” and it’s spot on. Absolutely gorgeous. This one also contains “Talc”, so I expected it to be less perfect and more drying than the “Queen B” and I was concerned that it would be as drying as “Child Star”. It obviously also has different pigments so strictly speaking, “Talc” is not the only difference. It could also have different amounts of each ingredients, as I mentioned before we don’t know this.

It was definitely more dry looking than “Queen B”, but nowhere near as bad as “Child Star”. I could tell that it emphasised the creases of my lips a little, but actually with a colour like red, this effect can look quite sexy. It never felt dry on the lips though. It felt quite light and I often forgot I was wearing anything. It lasts a long time and survives meals as well, but again not as perfectly as “Queen B”.  It is also transfer proof, unless you wet your lips considerably with food or drink, then it does transfer a little but nowhere near as much as a normal lipstick would.

The biggest negative of this one was that it did bleed a little under the lower lip. This is common of intense colours, especially reds and it wasn’t major but I noticed random red dots and once a random red thin line under my lips after eating. So even though it doesn’t need too much care after a meal, you might wanna make sure that the crisp, straight lip line you created is still pristine and take away any colour bleeding with a little foundation or concealer.

I am obsessed with the colour, I will be wearing this a lot too! Rating = Very good to great.

 

Decreasing order of lipstick quality (best first, worst last): “Queen B”,  “Bend & Snap!”,  “Lady balls”, “Cool Girl”, “Child Star”.

 

*IMPORTANT NOTE* All lipsticks mentioned here completely felt apart to absolute unwearable standards when I had a yogurt or a coffee with milk. Some survived better than others and followed the same quality trend as mentioned above. There is something in the milk products, perhaps the acidity of milk, that completely destroys this formulation. The lipsticks become super dry, flaky and even start falling off the lips! Do not have milk, or remove and reapply after having milk products! *IMPORTANT NOTE*

 

General summary – comparison of the ingredients vs lipstick behaviour

“Lady Balls” was not as bad as “Child Star” but both contain “Talc” and both are more drying than “Queen B”. As a result, I was initially inclined to believe that “Talc” does make these lipsticks a little more dry (which makes sense as talc is a drying powder) but it is not the only ingredient at fault for the drier nature of “Child Star”.

Perhaps one of the different pigments in “Child Star” also contributes to the drying result. The pigment “Red Lake 30 CI 733360” is in both “Lady Balls” and “Child Star” and only in those two, so it might also contribute to the “Lady Balls” slight drying look. The only difference between “Child Star” and “Lady Balls” is that “Lady Balls” contains the pigment “Red Lake 7 CI 15850” whereas “Child Star” contains the pigment “Iron Oxides CI 77492”.

“Cool Girl” didn’t contain “Talc” and even “Lady Balls” that did, wasn’t as dry as “Child Star” so it definitely seems that “Talc” is not the only ingredient at fault, although it still looks like it could be the one of the troublemakers. The pigment “Iron Oxides CI 177492”  is present in both “Child Star” and “Cool Girl” and could be part of the drying effect as well, but as “Cool Girl” is nowhere near as dry as “Child Star”, it definitely means that the higher dryness of “Child Star” is from a combination of ingredients not just one. Perhaps it is the combination of “Talc” and “Iron Oxides CI 177492” and the fact that it is a lighter, less intense colour so it is prone to look more dry.

Important note: All this is based on the assumption that the amounts of all the common ingredients are the same. If they are not, then we are simply comparing apples and oranges here.

Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipsticks 4.jpg

 

Here’s a list of the ingredient differences between the 5 lipsticks:

Queen B

(soft mauve)

Child Star

(nude pink)

Cool Girl

(nude brown

 pink )

Bend & Snap!

(pink purple)

Lady Balls

(pure red)

Red Lake 7

CI 15850 (pigment)

x x x

Manganese violet CI 77742 (pigment) x x

x

Iron Oxides

CI 177491 (pigment)

x

x

Iron Oxides

CI 177499 (pigment)

x

x

Titanium dioxide

CI 177891 (pigment)

 

x

Manganese Violet

CI 177742 (pigment)

x x

x

Red Lake 7

CI 15850 (pigment)

x x x

x

Talc (absorbent, anti-caking) x x

x Red Lake 30

CI 173360 (pigment)

x x

x

Iron Oxides

CI 177492 (pigment)

x

x

x

x x Carmine

CI 75470 (pigment)

x

x x x Red Lake 28

CI 45410

(pigment)

x

 

I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.

 

 

 

15 responses to Part I: Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipsticks – Swatches and Reviews. A chemist’s view on why some colours work better than others.

  1. Love your blog a lot WOW what a post learned ALOT and thanks so much for the recent like on my page, just started to follow you with interest, great posts & I’d be very grateful if you might follow me also I’m really new to this just 2 weeks so am keen to learn, thanks and have a fab weekend tamara x p.s again FAB post great work!

    Liked by 1 person

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