This season is all about velvety liquid lipsticks with an opaque finish and an indestructible hold. These lip colors give a very elegant and fall-appropriate look, are easy to apply and travel well. Hourglass Cosmetics have released their own version, and as usual with indie California-based brand they knocked it out of the water.
Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick is exactly as the name promises: an opaque lip color. It dries down within seconds and remains on the lips for very long hours without flaking. I wouldn't say that the lipstick has a 14 hour longevity-- even the wizards at Hourglass can't protect it from frivolous activities such as talking and eating, there's enough pigment there to survive a quick lunch, but there's also a lot of transferring when drinking a hot beverage. My favorite thing about Hourglass Rouge Opaque is that it's the least drying product in this category I currently own. I hear that there are slight variations in texture and performance between the shades, but as far as Empress and Ballet go, this is a very easy-on-the-lip formula.
Now, just as it the case with any intensely pigmented lipstick, Rouge Opaque requires happy and healthy lips as a canvas and some prep work such as a sheer/nude liner. The built-in Hourglass applicator is a flat sponge that does a great job but it can be a bit tricky at first, especially in the corners and narrow areas of the lips, so you might want to consider a small brush.
The colors you see here are pretty dramatic. Empress is a burgundy shade that requires a light hand and preferably also a perfect skin. Ballet is probably the pinkest lip product I have at the moment and I confess I usually top it with a red gloss to make it more "me". The two colors also blend well together. One point of note: the colors of both Empress and Ballet look less intimidating once they dry on the lips, so don't freak out and rule them out the second you try.
Bottom Line: Icon and Rose are now on my "to buy" list.
Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick ($28 each) is available from Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys and Sephora. This review is based on press samples that were sent to me free of charge by the company.