Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Review: Kat Von D Studded Lipsticks (Hexagram & Vampira)

You know I can't resist a bold lip, & I've had my eyes on the Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick collection for a while, but with so many great shades to pick from I was torn. In the end I went for two shades I knew I'd get wear out of & I've been loving them so much I just had to write a post.

The outer packaging might not be to everyone's taste but I think it walks the line well between being appropriate for the high-end price tag & still in-keeping with the brand's rock & roll image.

Speaking of price, these lipsticks retail for $21, which is around £14 - however, since the easiest place to buy them is Sephora, you'll need to factor in shipping & customs charges on top, meaning they do work out more expensive than say MAC. That being said, my experience with the Studded Kiss collection is that the quality is at least comparable, & potentially higher, than MAC & therefore if you can afford to spend a little bit more, they're definitely worth considering.

The inner packaging is where things really kick off: black studs, the Kat Von D logo embossed on the top, & the prerequisite colour stickers on the base. This is not a lipstick to be applied subtlety, but it will make you a shit ton of new friends if you whip it out in a club bathroom. On a more practical note, I'm also a big fan of the closure - it feels super secure, & I've carried these round in my work bag for days with no issues.

The bullets are the classic tear-drop shape which you really need with lipsticks as pigmented as these in order to get a crisp line. I personally don't use a lip liner, & I don't think you need one, but if you prefer to use one finding colour matches - for these two shades at least - shouldn't be an issue.

The first shade I chose was Hexagram, which is a true blood red, similar to MAC's Ruby Woo. It does lean slightly cool-toned although possibly not as much as it appears in the above photos (thanks dour Scottish weather).

The formula is super matte (yes!) & I found it much easier to apply than MAC's retro mattes, so if application is something that's put you off matte lipstick in the past, these are definitely worth a shot. The texture is creamy & I didn't find this shade drying at all (Vampira is a slightly different story which I'll come to in a second). 

In terms of longevity, Kat Von D claim it's 10 hours, & that's possibly true if you don't eat, drink or talk during that time. If you're a human who does those things then you're probably looking at closer to five hours, although reapplying it is so easy that it's not really an issue.

Hexagram has quickly become my go-to red lipstick, & I'd absolutely recommend it if you're a fan of bold, matte lips.

Vampira is a slightly different story. Don't get me wrong, I love that deep burgundy colour, but in terms of application, it's just not quite there. 

Whereas Hexagram's creamy formula can cover a multitude of lip-based sins, Vampira is totally unforgiving. Any patches of dry skin are multiplied a thousand times, leaving it looking patchy &  faded just seconds after application. If this were a lighter colour then it might be ok, but because this shade is so dark, any inconsistency is painfully obvious.

I recently purchased Lush's Mint Julips lip scrub & that has helped massively, so I don't think this lipstick is irredeemable, it just requires some prep & prime before application (unless you're some kind of smooth-lipped goddess, in which case apply away). To a certain extent this is to be expected with dark, matte colours, but it's just something to be aware of when you're picking your shades.

On the bright side, once applied, I actually find Vampira more long-lasting than Hexagram, & have come home from work several times & been surprised to find it still clearly visible on my lips, & with minimal smudging.

Overall, I'm a big fan of these lipsticks. They're certainly pricey & the application might require some practice, but the super pigmented, matte, & long-lasting formula makes them a winner in my book, & I'm already eyeing up a couple more shades to add to my collection.

Have you tried Kat Von D's Studded Kiss Lipsticks & if so, what did you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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