Monday, August 25, 2008

Smashbox Wicked Lovely Gloss in Sultry: Making It Work







Smashbox Wicked Lovely series has beautiful, goth-inspired packaging. The whole look is intriguing in theory as long as we all remember that if you overdo it, it can get very Elvira very fast. But I'm sure we can all show the required restraint. I chose to focus on the lips.

The sexy dark look can be difficult to achieve, as I discovered the hard way. From lip gloss on my teeth to uneven color that looks like I just bled all over myself. Not pretty. Even when done perfectly, like in the promotional photo on the Smashbox site, it can scare children and small animals. I made it work, eventually, but I can't say I fully endorse this specific product, Smashbox Wicked Lovely lip gloss in Sultry.

It's not that there's anything wrong with it: the texture is pleasant and feels nice and moisturizing on my lips. Despite the glittery appearance of the tube, there are no gritty particles and the look is shiny but not disco ball. The color is very dark grape, which is theoretically pretty and does not make teeth look yellow.

The problem starts with application. Just like when using a dark red lipstick, you need a perfect canvas (exfoliated and well-moisturized lips), otherwise every imperfection would show and the pigment clings exactly where you don't want it. I have a tiny scar on my bottom lip, but regular glosses actually cover it up. Not this one. It became more noticeable. The gloss also tends to bleed if not applied just right and you need to have exactly the right amount on: too little and you get patches, too much and it comes to visit your teeth.

The secrets for perfect application are, again, taken from the red lips technique: you need to use a matching lip liner (I didn't buy the one from Smashbox, but instead used something I already had, a Lancome pencil in Raisin). Also, after you're done, use a concealer brush (and your concealer, of course) to carefully define your lips on the outside and blend it outwards. It's not just a double protection to keep the color where it belongs, but also gives a more polished look.

Now, personally, I prefer my lips to not be so dark. It's just too much and I doubt it flatters me. Since I use a healthy dose of lip balm to keep things smooth and manageable, the result is what you see in the picture below (the flash made it a shade or two lighter, but that's the general idea).




Bottom line is that this is a gloss that takes work and I'm not certain the end result is worth the hassle.

Smashbox Wicked Lovely line is available from most department stores, the Smashbox website and Sephora, where I bought mine. The lip glosses retail for $18.

Top image Smashbox.com, all the others are mine.

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