Lip stains are a tricky category. Too often they're very dry, too sheer, or not true to the promised color. But the brilliant Ellis Faas seems to have cracked the code. Hot Lips, the new range of lip color from Ellis Faas is a velvety full coverage liquid lipstick that coats the lips evenly, gives a matte(ish) finish and stays on through thick, thin, drinks, snacks, and bad weather. Seriously-- you get hours upon hours of wear without even feeling that lightweight texture. While the swatches above were done quite heavily (it was my first experiment with the Hot Lips formula), when applying the color you need a minute amount of product to cover the lips in a nice and opaque coat. Basically, each of my swatches holds enough product for three uses, as I discovered when actually wearing Hot Lips.
The other surprise was that this Ellis Faas formula, unlike most lip stains on the market, does not dry the lips. At all. Not even a little.It isn't moisturizing, so your lips need to be in a nice shape prior to application, but if they are -you're golden. The unique formula can also be mixed with various balms. I'm still experimenting, but I can tell you that I loved blending a drop of L401 with some Nuxe lip balm (the famous Miel one), because as pampering as it is, Nuxe has a matte finish, so it doesn't take away from the velvety Hot Lips. It won't last quite as long as the Ellis Faas lip color on its own, but it's an interesting option.
The colors I've tried are L401 (the classic Ellis Red, perhaps the most flattering red lip color on the market), L406 (a voluptious rose), and L409 (a nude color that goes everywhere). The red and rose were an obvious choice that I knew would be perfect. I didn't expect to love the nude L409 as much as I do. It's perfect for "Le No Makeup" look and doesn't give me that weird corpse lip appearance. L406 is a day to night color that perks up the face on a dreary day. L409 is drama and sex appeal in the best possible way. Devotees of Ellis Red in any of the other formulas will not want to miss this new version and it may become a favorite.
Hot Lips comes in the familiar Ellis Faas pen applicator with the sponge tip. Not everyone likes it, and I know I had to get used to this format back when Ellis Faas first launched. It's worth it, though, as these products are among the most beautiful and most flattering on the market.
Bottom Line: a game changer.
Ellis Faas- Hot Lips ($35 each) come in 9 colors. Available from ellisfaas.com. The products for this review were sent for my consideration by the company.