Tuesday, January 27, 2015

LORAC Kohl's Exclusive Alter Ego Lipstick Collection - Swatches and Review!

Hello! I hope you're having a great day! I wanted to take a little more in-depth look at the Kohl's exclusive LORAC Alter Ego lipstick collection that I picked up. I think I want to try to make more of these smaller, more detailed kind of posts about one or two different items instead of trying to smush everything into one big haul post. I think I'll still do the haul posts just as a big overview, but I do find these swatch/review posts fun to do, too!
Ooh, pretty! As the title states, along with the little sticker in the corner, this is a Kohl's exclusive set. I first heard about this set from the blog Nouveau Cheap and, while I thought it was nice, I wasn't interested enough to go out and purchase it. Then I saw swatches. And then I realized I had Kohl's gift cards to spend. So, I went to my Kohl's and picked it up! This was the last one left in my Kohl's, though you can order out of stock items in store from the kiosk (I actually have never seen this kiosk; there are a bunch of price checking scanners scattered around my Kohl's, but nothing that I can interact with. I think you can go to the Customer Service desk as well, and if they can't help you there, they can probably direct you to the kiosk) and get them shipped for free.
This is a really good deal; these lipsticks normally retail for $16 a piece and all five in this set are full sized; you're basically getting them for $7 each, less than half off. I haven't used many LORAC products before (I have two small palettes and I did have a lipgloss, but I didn't use it much and ended up giving it to my mom), so I figured this was a good opportunity to give their Alter Ego lipsticks a try.
The Alter Ego lipsticks are described as being "highly-pigmented matte lipsticks" and I would have to agree with that description! I know mattes are kind of the "in" thing right now, but I tend to be a sheeple and I, too, am into the matte lip look. These are more of a satin-matte finish, but I actually prefer that over the super dry true matte finishes. They all performed well and had great pigmentation, though Free Spirit performed a little less well than the other four.
I also like the packaging of these lipsticks. They do feel a little on the lighter side (for some reason, weight = luxury, I suppose), but I like the gold packaging since all my other lip products tend to be in black. I also like how the tubes say "LORAC" on one side and "Alter Ego" on the other. Also you can kind of see my reflection in this picture. I'm wearing my sweet Pokemon shirt.
In this set, you get a nice mixture of neutrals and brights. I'm trying to wear more lipstick-type products (and less glosses) but all the colors I have currently are brights or purples. I guess I just like purple lipstick. Actually, one of the reasons why I wanted this set was because of the purple. Purplepurplepurple. The first shade in this set is Duchess! This is described as a rosy nude, and it's the most neutral out of this set. It's pretty much a "My Lips But Better" color and is nice when you just want a subtle color. One thing I want to mention is that one of the ideas behind the Alter Ego collection is that you wear the color of lipstick that's named for the type of woman you want to be that day. This is supposed to be the kind of color a Duchess would wear, so you get an idea of the type of situation that LORAC thinks this color would be best suited for. Does that make sense? I know exactly what I mean in my head, I just don't know how to put the words together to express it. Hmm. Moving on.
 Next is Seductress! This is described as being a rose color (LORAC doesn't really go all out with color descriptions; it's kind of refreshing, actually) and is the lipstick color you should apparently wear if you want to be super sexy. This is another "neutral" kind of lip color and surprisingly not a color I own.
This is the brightest color in this set; this is Vixen and it's just a straight up fuchsia. I find wearing bright colors is a lot easier when they're in these types of satin-matte formulas; the finish is similar to your natural lip, uh, finish, so only the color is extreme (instead of, say, having a frosty finish on top of a bright fuchsia). This color is super bright and really pops on your lips.
 Surprisingly, this is color I was most worried about being able to wear from this set. This is CEO and LORAC calls it a dusty rose. I was worried that it would be too brown on me; I just can't get behind the brown lipstick/return to the 90's trend because I don't think I can pull it off without looking weird (and this is coming from a girl who loves purple lipstick). It's actually quite wearable, even though it does feel like it leans more on the "mature" side.
And finally, the color that called to me in this set, this is Free Spirit, a plum color (I don't think I would call this plum, though it is a darker, blue-toned purple). Surprisingly, this was least well performing lipstick out of the set; the other four were very creamy and were totally opaque with one swipe while this color took a few a swipes to build up the color and to get rid of streaks. It was a little more dry than the other colors and it has more of a true matte finish.
And here they are all swatched! These are on bare, um-primed skin. All the swatches, save for Free Spirit, are one swipe straight from the bullet. Left to right is Duchess, Seductress, Vixen, CEO, and Free Spirit (same order they are in the set). You can see how these aren't shiny or glossy so they are more matte, but they do have a creamy kind of sheen to them. As I said before, I much prefer this type of satin-matte finish over a true matte since it does look more natural and it's not anywhere near as drying on the lips.

Overall, I think this is a great set! $35 for five Alter Ego lipsticks is a great deal, especially since I can see myself wearing all of these colors. I go back and forth between if this set should have included a red or not; a red would have been a nice, staple color, but red can be kind of tricky to wear since there are so many different undertones both in reds and in skin tones. I think these colors were chosen because they do work so well with a large variety of skin tones so this is a set many people can enjoy. The formula of these lipsticks is great and they all have a vanillay scent to them, similar to MAC lipsticks. If you're looking for a true matte, you might not like the finish on these, but if you're like me and you prefer a more natural look, then these fit the bill. I'm not sure how available this set still is; I can imagine it sold out in actual stores pretty quickly and I'm not sure how many they have available to order, but it's definitely work a look if you're interested.

Thanks for reading! <3

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