Tara’s Red Lipstick Test (Part 2)

I only wear red lipstick. Truly. Only red will do. This wasn’t always the case (there were the ‘nude’ nineties) but now I feel undressed without it, and my skin tone looks washed out. Red lipstick is my ‘red steel’. With my lipstick on, I am ready to take on the day. For this reason, I take my reds pretty seriously.

A lot of my readers love red, but believe they ‘can’t wear it’. I think it is only a matter of finding the right one to suit you and your needs.

With that in mind, here is my long overdue follow up to Tara’s Red Lipstick Test (Part 1). In my last red lipstick test I tried out Lindy Charm School’s Russian Red, MAC’s Russian Red and Clinique’s Red-Y To Wear. The Clinique didn’t cut it for me on colour or staying power  (sorry). The other two performed really well. This time I am testing 2 long wear lipsticks – Kat Von D’s Outlaw and Lime Crime’s Red Velvet, as well as the ever popular Bésame Red. All three of these have been strongly suggested by my readers, and in this blog I will share my findings.

Below: Bésame lipstick, sitting up in gold, the Kat Von D and at the back, Lime Crime.

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The Colour:

First up, let’s examine how they look.

The Kat Von D Outlaw is a semi-matte brick red, with an orange or brown undertone.

The Bésame Red is a satiny red, with a pink/fuscia undertone.

The Lime Crime Red Velvet is a crisp, matte red with a blue undertone.

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These colour options and different undertones will suit different skin tones, outfits and seasons. All three can come across as a ‘classic red’ but in fact vary in tone. In warmer weather, I might go for the satin lightness of the Bésame or the matte strength of the Lime Crime. In cooler weather I might opt for the brick-toned Kat von D, particularly with golds, browns or rust colours, or the Lime Crime for a bold, classic red. The coolest tone is the Lime Crime Red Velvet, while the warmest is Kat Von D’s Outlaw. Whether this suits you or your outfit will depend on what tones work on you.

Below: A beautiful, satiny red, Bésame Red.

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Wear and Staying Power:

The Bésame can’t really be compared to the long wearing formulas on staying power, for obvious reasons. It has been designed to work like a real vintage lipstick. I have grouped these three lipsticks together in this blog, however, because they have been consistently recommended to me by my readers, and I have been wearing each of them in recent months for different reasons.

To test these three lipsticks I did the glass test, below, as in my first red lipstick test. Though this is hardly scientific, I attempted to repeat the same procedure with each lipstick. Now, each of the long wearing lipsticks obviously wear very differently than the  Bésame Red, and that is very clear in the image below. All three prints are on the glass as I am holding it, and you can see that the others are essentially invisible prints. Thet did come off, but it was so faint it was not worth trying to photograph more clearly.

The upside of this staying power is obvious. The long lasting ones will still come off in a romantic clinch (well, if you are doing it right), but are unlikely to come off on your glass, or from light kisses. If this is your priority, look for a long lasting lipstick like those tested.

If a non-drying, satin feeling classic lipstick you can take off easily, or re-apply through the day is your goal, the Bésame is the way to go. It is also considerably easier to apply, as you can make mistakes and fix it, while the long wear lipsticks go on almost like a nail polish, with little margin for error. This one gradually fades to a stain on me, as the hours pass, and can then be reapplied beautifully. The Lime Crime Red Velvet has more of a tendency to ‘flake off’ on the inner part of the lips from eating or drinking (which can look shocking, because it is so bright, and the difference between your natural lip and the lipstick shows as a big ugly contrast). A lot of my readers complain that you ‘can’t touch up’ this lipstick well. Red Velvet can be touched up, but not easily, in my experience. Layering over existing lipstick does not work well. The Kat Von D Outlaw is less drying, and can be reapplied more easily than the Lime Crime, in my experience, though the applicator wand is a touch longer than I would like.

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Above: The glass test. The long lasting lipsticks really stay on. A classic lipstick does not.

Now for other important considerations, specifically ethical concerns, cost and availability.

Ethical concerns:

Bésame: 

Bésame’s website states,’We use only the highest quality ingredients in Bésame formulations, including natural waxes, oils and extracts. Our products work well with sensitive skin and have not caused reactions with our customers. Bésame does not test on animals at any level of production and uses natural responsible ingredients in all our products.’ Their lipstick does contains beeswax. Bésame specifically recreates vintage reproduction products and I am very impressed with the results.

Kat Von D:

The Outlaw lipstick I tested is vegan. The website explains, ‘Although the FDA hasn’t established a regulation for what it means to be “vegan,” we define it as as a product that does not contain any animal products or by-products, and has not been tested on animals…Kat Von D Beauty never tests on animals—and never will.’ This is a new brand to me, I like it, and I am interested in trying more of the range.

Lime Crime:

This is a tough one. The product itself has been listed as cruelty-free, and it wears beautifully. Their website states, ‘All of Lime Crimes products have been cruelty-free since its inception in 2008. While many of the products were also Vegan from the very beginning, in 2012 Lime Crime reformulated the rest to meet Vegan standards.’  This having been said, there are some concerns about the company and its standards, including some credit card fraud, which led to Cruelty Free Kitty taking Lime Crime off their list, among others. Do your research and decide for yourself. (If you are from Lime Crime and would like to tell me more about the brand and respond to the controversy contact me at Victory@Victorylamour.com and I will be happy to include your comments.) I was introduced to this lipstick by a makeup artist who has since moved on from the brand. With all this in mind, I believe I may follow suit.

Cost and Availability:

  1. Bésame Red, $28.00 AUS from Bésame Australia online, plus shipping, or from local retailers. This brand is carried in a lot of my favourite vintage and pin-up boutiques, and other stockists. A list of stockists can be found here. This is the least expensive of the three, by $2.00.
  2. Kat Von D, Everlasting Lipstick, Outlaw, $20.00 US plus shipping, or $30.00 AUS at Sephora, Australia.
  3. Lime Crime Velvetines Red Velvet, $20.00 US plus shipping. I am not aware of local retailers stocking this product.

Conclusions:

These are all good products for colour and wear, and I can see why my readers recommended them. In terms of ethical concerns and availability, Bésame and Kat Von D impress, while Lime Crime leaves some questions for the reasons mentioned above.

I’ll be interested to hear your experiences with these lipsticks, and what brands and shades you would like me to try next.

Go forth and wear your red boldly.

Tara AKA Victory

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Above (and at the top of the blog): A deep, long-lasting brick red – Kat Von D’s Outlaw.

  • Photographs copyright of Berndt Sellheim.
  • Note: This blog has not been sponsored. 

5 Comments

  1. Hi Tara

    I too only ever wear red lipstick and have done since 1988
    . I’ve tried a lot. But my faves are Ruby Woo (MAC) as it had staying power. When it eventually wears off in the middle of my lips I use some lip balm and it continues to look good. Then Russian Red (MAC) but this doesn’t stay on as long.

    Also the best (if you are happy to reapply a few times) is Hourglass Icon. This I have found is the perfect red to wear for photos. Worth a try.

    Kind Regards
    Gaina

  2. Leisa

    I recently visited the Besame store in Los Angeles whilst on holiday and picked up the Besame Red. I’m loving the colour, even the slow even fade over the day until I refresh it again. I think I’ll be dipping into more of their reds in the future. Loving your articles. 🙂 Leisa

  3. Rosie

    There is nothing like a red lip! I am definitely a fan of the long wearing lipsticks and used to use Lime Crime. I have now moved on to Jeffree Star in the shade Redrum, which I cannot recommend enough!

  4. Emma

    I love my besame lippie, but I’m keen to try cult brand Jeffrey star

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