makeup

current drugstore making i’m loving–featuring undone beauty, maybelline and covergirl

click photo to shop products

this post will be part one of many, i’m sure! i’ve been trying out loads of makeup from the drugstore, and while there’s been a few misses, on the whole i’m so excited about the things i’ve found! y’all know that if something doesn’t work for me that i won’t share it with you, and i pride myself on giving realistic reviews about makeup i try! so sit back, enjoy, and let me know if you are currently using anything i share or if you pick some of these things up during your next drugstore run.

bronzer + highlighter palette

undone beauty warm up 4-in-1 radiance bronzer from target, $10
vegan, paraben-free, cruelty-free
2 matte shades, 2 shimmer shades
natural coconut extract for radiant glow

swatches (no edits)-left to right
2 shimmer shades, 2 matte shades

my review: i think this gives the most beautiful color to your skin. here’s the trick though–you have to swirl your bronzer brush around and pick up all 4 shades at once before applying to your cheeks! by doing this, you will get a kissed-by-the-sun look with a hint of shimmer on the side. i usually prefer a creamier bronzer, and while the two contour colors are matte and powdery, combining with the butter shimmer shades really help create the perfect texture. plus, you can add a little more glow to the top of your cheeks if you so choose. i would highly recommend this palette for eyeshadow, too!

lip gloss with hyaluronic acid

maybelline lifter gloss with hyaluronic acid, $6.99
hyaluronic acid smooths and hydrates lips
large wand to enhance lip contour
high gloss
available in 10 shades

swatches (no edits)-left to right
ice, amber, petal, stone

my review: off the bat, i picked up this product because it looked SO similar to kylie’s lip glosses, and i was like wait, am i seeing things? lol (such a cute component for sure) when i buy a gloss, i’m looking for a product that isn’t sticky, has a high shine finish, and color that has just the right amount of opacity. after re-reading that last sentence, i sound like a lip gloss snob. anyways, i bought four of these glosses because they are REAL good. the formula glides on, your lips definitely look smoother, and the colors are noticeable enough but buildable should you want more! my only gripe is that they smell faintly of chemicals and sunscreen, but that smell goes away quickly. if you have very dry lips like me and enjoy a no-fuss lip product, add this to your must-haves list!

face products for oily-skin

covergirl clean fresh pressed power (light), $8.99
vegan, paraben, cruelty-free
light weight, non-cakey
reduced shine

maybelline dream fresh BB cream (medium), $7.49
hydrating 8-in-1 skin perfector
hydrates, brightens and protects skin
natural coverage, great for oily skin
contains SPF 30

swatches (no edits)-left to right
covergirl power + maybelline bb cream

my review: this picture doesn’t do the covergirl powder justice. the powder photographs on my arm very lighty, but in person it’s more of a neutral-medium color. i am picky with pressed powders and my bar is unreasonably high as i’ve tried a bunch but they never seem to work. i didn’t think much of this one when i purchased it, but wow, i am blown away. it kept my skin matte for 10 hours, wasn’t heavy, and didn’t enhance any texture on my face! the only con is that the shade range is a bit hard to choose your right shade from. i’m not normally able to wear a light shade of products, but that’s the one that works for me in this line. to be safe, i’d say pick the shade by the photo, not by the name. “light” looks like medium. “fair” looks like light. and this BB cream is dreamy. i love that it’s light weight, but covers well. and the fact that it has SPF 30 in it is a huge plus! we all need to be wearing SPF, gals. i used a damp blender to blend the BB cream out, and that’s definitely my preferred way to apply it. if you have oily skin like i do, this combo of powder and BB cream will be an awesome option for you! here’s what they look like on my skin–

8am makeup (no filter)
11pm makeup, no filters + no touch ups

final thoughts: if you are looking for more affordable makeup options but are a little overwhelmed with everything that’s on the shelf, i hope this blog post helped you! my intentions are to share what works for my skin-type and maybe inspire you to try something new. makeup is a fun way to get creative, and i love being able to share this passion of mine with you! please leave a comment or message me if you try any thing i recommended–i love hearing from you!

xoxo, em



makeup

matte lippie varieties 

  
Infallible pro matte gloss in Fuschia Amnesia, $7.99

  • Glossy matte finish
  • Smooth formula that doesn’t dry out–stays glossy
  • Larger doefoot applicator that is a little big for my small lips
  • 4 out of 5

Vivid matte liquid in Rebel Red, $7.99

  • High gloss matte finish
  • Smooth formula that is very moisturizing 
  • Doesn’t dry so it can seem slick at times
  • Nice sized doefoot applicator 
  • 3.5 out of 5

Ultra HD matte lip color in Devotion, $7.99

  • Semi-matte formula that is very comfortable on the lips
  • The longer it’s worn the more matte it becomes
  • Easy application and longevity is good
  • 4 out of 5

NYX soft matte lip cream in Cannes, $5.99

  • Semi-matte formula that isn’t very pigmented
  • Looks nice at first, but a ring develops in your inner lips after a while 
  • Not a huge fan
  • 2 out of 3

Colourpop ultra matte lip in Stingraye, $6.99

  • Bold matte lip formula
  • More drying than the others, but it’s a true matte lip product 
  • I can get 2-3 hours of wear before I need to dust off any “crust” and reapply
  • Best formula at a drug store price
  • 4.5 out of 5
makeup

E.L.F. haul

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products

  • retractable lip brush, $3
  • blending brush, $1
  • matte lip color in berry sorbet, $3 (part of a gift with purchase)
  • eyeliner and shadow stick in plum, $3
  • moisturizing lipstick in razzle dazzle red-berry kiss-black berry, $3 each
  • baked blush, $3 (part of a gift with purchase)
  • clear brow and lash mascara, $2 (part of a gift with purchase)
  • intense ink liner, $3
  • mineral infused mascara, $3 (part of a gift with purchase)
  • baked eyeshadow palette in nyc, $10 (part of a gift with purchase)
  • long-lasting lustrous eyeshadow in festivity-gala, $3 each

swatches

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[left to right]

  • gala lustrous eyeshadow
  • festivity lustrous eyeshadow
  • moisturizing lipstick in berry kiss, black berry, razzle dazzle red
  • matte lip color in berry sorbet

thoughts

  • moisturizing lipsticks (20 shades)
    • glides on easily and is enriched with shea and vitamins a/c/e to hydrate your lips
    • swatches from online match up very well to the actual in-person color
    • applies slightly patchy. i would recommend taking the time to coat your lips a couple times with this product to achieve a more even look
    • shiny finish
    • longevity is pretty fair for a $3 lip product
  • matte lip color (12 shades)
    • easy to use automatic lip crayon
    • doesn’t tug when applying but you will need to take a little bit of time to ensure even application
    • is not too creamy so it doesn’t smudge easily
    • longevity is surprisingly good. it does stay on your lips pretty well but as with most matte lip sticks, you can see a patchy inner ring on your lips as the product wears off
  • intense ink liner
    • this is MY FAVORITE felt tip liner on the market. better than kat von d. it is black, glides on easy, lasts, doesn’t flake or dry too quickly, and the felt tip doesn’t fray or dry out–and it’s $3–like, that’s hard to wrap my head around because it’s THAT awesome. if you haven’t tried it, i’m telling ya you’re missing out!!
  • lustrous eyeshdaow (7 shades)
    • whipped formula consistency
    • can double as a liner and lid shadow
    • long lasting–like seriously lasts forever
    • does contain a little more chunky glitter than i prefer, but you can build upon this shadow with pigment or powder shadow to counter act the glitter
  • eyeliner and shadow stick (5 shades)
    • one end is a liner, one end is a shadow
    • colors are paired together for best results
    • shadow is creamy and blend-able
    • liner doesn’t tug and glides on
  • baked shadow palette (4 shades)
    • i haven’t swatched this yet but i am definitely going to use these shadows wet. i’ll apply mac fix plus to my shader brush to enhance the pigment. it seems like they swatch a little chalky and light when used dry.
  • mascara
    • i haven’t used. i’m actually giving this away to a friend!
  • baked blush (4 shades)
    • when i swatch this, it comes off very light and not pigmented which leads me to believe that i’ll be using it as more of a highlighter
    • again, you can use wet or dry depending on the intensity you want
  • brow and lash mascara
    • haven’t used this yet, but willing to give it a try.
  • brushes
    • lip brush is soft and dome-shaped for easy application
    • blending brush is soft, doesn’t shed

thoughts

i love elf. honestly, i have used this brand for several years and have found a LOT of gems. of course, there are always some misses in drugstore brand products but at the price point elf sells, it’s hard to beat. my favorite products are their lip sticks and their felt tip eyeliner. i have repurchased them over and over because of the quality and price tag. things i tend to stay away from are their baked products, simply because they aren’t very pigmented. this causes problems for me because they tend to be patchy, chalky, glittery and just not worth the effort. all of the baked products i featured in today’s post were sent as a free gift with purchase pack, so i’m not complaining!!

if you aren’t subscribed to elf’s email blast, you should do that after you finish reading this! elf does so many different specials and features that you’ll get first access to. i bought all of this stuff for $25, qualified for free shipping AND i used a promo code for the free gift with purchase pack. crazy! not to mention that elf has amazing customer service, and their shipping process if quick and easy.

makeup

october boxycharm

october boxy charm

“like the phases of the moon, a part of us is always hidden. this month, embrace who you are and let the enchanting beauty of all of your “faces” show. remember, you can always be whoever you chose to be-the stars will align in your favor. let your light illuminate the darkness, charmers!”

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products

  • palmetto derma rejuvenating antioxidant mask-full size, $64 retail price
  • doucce punk volumizer mascara-full size, $24 retail price
  • bellapierre cheek and lip stain-full size, $19.99 retail price
  • lord & berry line/shade eyeliner-full size, $18 retail price
  • cult cosmetics nail polish-full size, $12 retail price

deets

  • palmetto derma rejuvenating antioxidant mask-“the soft clay in this mask gently purifies the skin and cleanses pores by absorbing impurities.” it also claims to defend the skin against free radicals so it can help reverse skin damage. directions say to apply this to the skin for 15-20 minutes, and wash off with warm water.
    • first impression-unfortunately, i haven’t used this product yet. i will use it tonight and will update this section tomorrow!
  • doucce punk volumizer mascara-“the punk volumizer mascara’s XXL brush features both long and short bristles that work to separate, lengthen, and add extreme volume to your lashes!” directions say to apply this to your lash roots, and swipe it back and forth to coat your lashes while still giving them a curled effect.
    • first impression-i tried this mascara as soon as i got my boxycharm as i am admittedly a mascara maniac. the formula was pretty good, but it didn’t provide much results for me and i don’t agree with the price tag of $24. i get 100% more volume and length with my 3D+fiber lash mascara by younique, and it’s only $5 more.
  • bellapierre check and lip stain-“use this light-weight oil free cheek and lip stain to add a subtle flush to any look!” directions say to apply using brush of your fingers to the apples of your cheeks and/or your lips.
    • first impression-i loved the peachy coral shade of this product, and was immediately drawn to it. i do not like cream blushers, so i decided to use it as a lip stain. i noticed that the formula was very smooth, but not too creamy and it did fall into the cracks of my lips, which isn’t ideal. the color was very nice on my lips and stayed for a couple of hours. i wouldn’t consider this a “stain” more a cream lip balm. overall, i wouldn’t pay $19.99 for this duo product but i will continue to use it!
  • lord & berry line/shade eyeliner-“achieve eye-opening intensity with the line/shade eyeliner pencil. formulated with kajal and kohl to provide rich, consistent color.” it should be noted that this eyeliner claims to be waterproof.
    • first impression-i have used this pencil before as it was included in one of my birchboxes a while back. honestly, this pencil is just like any other old school pencil eyeliner. it’s black, it’s pretty easy to smooth out, and it doesn’t smudge too badly. i do wish that it was an automatic liner because that would really set this formula apart.
  • cult cosmetics nail polish-“cult polishes bring you the latest in style and color so you’re always on-trend with their vegan-friendly ethically products.”
    • first impression-this grey shade applies more of a grey-green shade on the nails. the polish is easy to apply to the nails, and layers up well. it did already chip on me and i haven’t been wearing it for 24 hours yet–womp womp.

•about BOXYCHARM
boxycharm is a subscription box  contains 4-5 full sized products and is sent to you monthly. you are billed $21 per month on the 3rd day of each month. shipping is free, and the box arrives within two weeks of payment, give or take a little.

makeup

dupe alert–highlighter edition

dupe alert!
soo glow vs. mary lou-manizer

DSCN0161

product details

soo glow! by essence cosmetics is a cream-to-powder highlighter that is most easily available at ulta! the shade pictured is “20” and this product runs around $4.00.

  • cream-to-powder finish
  • pinky shimmer tone
  • great for light to medium skin tones
  • easy to apply, blends out SO WELL!

mary lou-manizer by the balm cosmetics is a powder highlighter that you can purchase online or at khols. it is an intense pearlized champagne color that is going to cost you $24.00.

  • beautiful shimmer
  • intense pigment
  • packing provides a lot of product in the pan, and the compact includes a mirror
  • powder finish, easy to apply and blend

dupe that

the reason i am comparing these two highlighters is because of how intensely pigmented they both are, and how they pick up and swatch on the skin. mary lou-manizer is a cult favorite because of it’s ability to literally highlight your face so it can be seen from space! and soo glow! is a brand new launch from essence cosmetics so i was excited to pick up something new. once i tried this on my cheek bones, i immediately knew it was going to be my new favorite. i want my highlight to be “on fleek”, flawless and dewy–and instead of having to spend $24, i can recommend to you a product that is effective, easy to use, and affordable!

swatch that

DSCN0164

left is mary lou-manizer and right is soo glow!

DSCN0044

oh la la! look at that highlight!!

makeup

october ipsy glam bag

alter-ego edition
ipsy glam bag

ipsy_oct

featured products

  • micabeauty cream eye shadow in bronze
  • dr. brandt skincare microdermabrasion
  • the balm cosmetics “meet matt-e hughes” lipstick
  • delectable hand cream
  • pur~lisse bb cream

first impressions

  • micabeauty cream shadow: great addition to this glam bag! texture is pretty consistent with other cream shadows, so nothing new to report there. however, this bronze shade does apply very evenly and pigmented to your eye lid. it didn’t crease or fade throughout the day. micabeauty never disappoints.
  • dr. brandt microdermabrasion: this stuff is supposed to help  brighten your skin, smooth any imperfection and wrinkles, and help fade any marks left by acne or scarring. i actually use this product on the areas of my face that have large pores aka my t-zone. it does a really good job of getting all the left-over dirt out of my pores, which leaves my skin looking cleaner and feeling smoother! only use 1-2 times per week though–you don’t want to over use this kind of stuff or your skin will get angry!
  • the balm cosmetics matte lip stick: i am a huge lover of the balm as a company, and use a couple things they offer in my daily makeup routine. this matte lipstick is a nice “your lips but better” pinky-nude color in “committed”, and it is opaque and definitely matte. but, in my opinion, it dries a little too quick for my liking. i wasn’t able to adjust it on my lips after applying before it became tacky, then dry. if it would have given me an additional 5 seconds to play around with the application, it definitely would have gotten a better rating from me.
  • delectable hand cream: what a surprisingly awesome lotion! i am so skeptical of lotions that i get in my subscription bags because they tend to be watery and slick. i live in the desert and those two things are NOT what i look for in a lotion. much to my surprise, this hand cream is nourishing, absorbs quickly and it smells just like a dang coconut-YUM! it is paraben and gluten-free, too.
  • pur~lisse bb cream: if you follow me you’ll know that i don’t wear a lot of BB creams because of the longevity of the coverage, and this is no exception. the shade of this bb cream is nice, and it blends into your skin well but it isn’t long wearing. i enjoy the moisturizing attributes of the bb cream and the SPF is always a plus, but for daily use this stuff isn’t for me. i could see this product being ideal for a quick trip to the grocery store or gas station, but not for every day, 12-hr work shifts wear.

about ipsy

from their website, “Each month, subscribers will receive a beautiful Glam Bag with deluxe samples and full-sized beauty products. Members can watch and play along with the stylists with the same products that they are using. All for only $10 a month.”

join ipsy using my referral link and become a glam bag subscriber today!!!!

makeup

drugstore lippies

give a woman the right lipstick, and she can conquer the world

since fall is upon us, and i’ve definitely caught the “autumn-fever”, i wanted to post reviews on some season appropriate drugstore lip products! i headed over to my local walgreens and snagged 5 new-to-me lippies and swatched them to share with y’all. enjoy!

image2 (14)

featured products

Milani

  • brilliant shine lipgloss in “berry tempting”
    • ultra glossy and hydrating
    • long wearing, doesn’t sink it and disappear quickly
    • not very pigmented on it’s on–i will be using this over a purple toned lipstick to gloss it up
  • matte lipstick in “matte fearless”
    • deeply pigmented and rich in color
    • glides on smoothly, and coats the lips evenly–not patchy
    • does smudge slightly, so i wouldn’t consider this smudge proof

Fergie by wet n wild

  • velvet matte lip color in “fashion darling”
  • velvet matte lip color in “plumgenue”
    • easy to apply, and non-drying
    • stains the lips slightly
    • can leave a residue on your inner lips after a few hours of wear

Jordana

  • easy liner for lips in “cabernet”
    • beautiful shade that matches with dark lipsticks
    • applies easily–no tugging or dryness involved
    • creamy texture so it smudges a little

image1 (32)

[berry tempting·fashion darling·plumgenue·matte fearless·cabernet]

my favorites

i can’t stop staring at the swatches on my hand–i am highly impressed with most of these products and i think they are perfect colors for fall. i do have two fav’s though–milani’s matte fearless and jordana’s liner in cabernet. they are an EXACT match of each other, which made it tremendously easy for me to pair them together. the liner helps accentuate my lips, and counter acts the lipstick from bleeding onto the skin. both total $10, which is such a bargain!! my only qualm is the longevity of the lip products, but for that price, i am willing to touch up my lipstick a couple times throughout the day.

makeup

holy grail makeup sprays

smashbox primer water & MAC fix+

image1 (31)

details

smashbox photo finish primer water is the very first thing i put on my face after i have cleansed and moisturized in the morning. my makeup application does not start until this has been applied all over my face!

  • silicone-free, alcohol-free, oil-free
  • use before your makeup to prime your skin for makeup application
  • use after your makeup to set everything in place for all-day wear

now, you are probably wonder why this is my holy grail product since there are so many other products on the market to choose from, so i am going to list the reason why this product wow’s me:

  • the spray is refreshing, and doesn’t contain silicone. most gel or cream primers have that silicone feeling when you apply them, and i honestly do not enjoy the texture of those products. some do work well, but i really was seeking out a primer that didn’t leave a greasy, or oily feeling on my face.
  • lightweight, non-sticky and hydrating. if my face has some dry patches, especially during the dry summer or cold winters, i can spritz with the primer water and almost suddenly my skin feels more refreshed and since it acts as a setting spray, it locks in my makeup.
  • two-in-one product: primer that smooths my canvas and prepares it for better makeup application AND a setting spray that elongates the wear-time of my makeup

MAC prep+prime fix+ is my makeup secret weapon. ever feel like your foundation or powder didn’t cooperate with you? do you feel like your makeup looks powdery or cakey? this is what lead me to find the fix+ product, and now i literally can’t go a day without using it. it’s a multi-purpose spray, and i love that you can use this product for many different uses!

  • contains vitamins and minerals like cucumber, chamomile, and green tea
  • hydrating spritzer
  • contains glycerin which helps makeup adhere to your skin better

you might be asking, “how is this product different that the primer water or a setting spray”? mac’s fix+ is a finishing spray, NOT to be confused with a primer or setting spray. this amazing formula was designed to help break up the cakey appearance of makeup on your face. it’s also a wonderful tool to re-hydrate your skin as the spray gives off a cooling effect. here are ways to use this product:

  • hydrates your skin before makeup
  • helps blend out cream products (concealer, blush, bronzer) more seamlessly
  • enhances the pigment of products such as highlighters and loose shadows
  • can help dilute any thick concealers or foundations that you might have
  • breaks up the appearance of a powdery face

thoughts

the primer water is refreshing, non-greasy, doesn’t leave a sticky film on your skin. it really helps your foundation to blend out and set more smoothly. and when you use it as a setting spray, your makeup is going to last all day. it really is like a veil protecting your makeup.

the fix+ spray is also refreshing, but it helps me to blend out my cream products more seamlessly, especially when i spray it to whatever tool i am using to apply the makeup–sponge or brush. you can also use your spray to enhance the vibrancy of baked products, loose pigments, and powders.

makeup

FALL makeup MUST-have’s!

“autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” -albert camus

WHO ELSE is so excited about fall? the cool weather, pumpkin spice lattes, changing color of leaves, boots, and sweaters…♥ since we are all ramping up for this amazing time of the year, we need to update not only our boots and clothes but our makeup, too! here are my 5 fall makeup must-have’s for 2015:

eyeshadows
makeup geek-top to bottom

peach smoothie-coco bear-chickadee-creme brulee-bitten-frappe

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this fall, coordinate your eyeshadow colors with the colors of the leaves! i love warm shades for the fall, and the ones i have pictured above are my absolute favorites. colors to look for: mustard’s, burgundy’s, nude’s, brown’s. i recommend investing in highly pigmented shadows that are easy to blend, because that will make the difference between a good eye look and a GREAT eye look. TIP: use a matte bone-colored shadow for your transition shade. peach smoothie is the best! transition colors make the shadow you put on top blend better, and appear more smooth.

eyeliner
tarte smolderEYES in fig

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plum colored liners have been a favorite of mine for many years. i think i favor the plum to burgundy color because they are softer than using a black liner, and they remind me of the colors of fall. you can find similar colors in different mediums as well: gel and liquid. i recommend this pencil because it has a smudger brush on the opposite end. yes, you can create a smokey eye look with this product! in a rush? TIP: keep it simple–apply a thin line to the upper lid, and use the smudger to blend the liner inwards and out. add more if you’d like and don’t worry–you can be messy with this!

cheeks
elf mineral blush in wanderlust

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time to switch out your pink and coral blushes for more season appropriate ones! i recommend finding a shade that is in the wine color family. TIP: build this color up gradually. dip your brush into the blush pot, and tap the excess product off. to apply properly, start two inches away from your nose and apply in a dabbing then sweeping motion towards your temples. imagine applying this in a triangular manner: apples to cheek.

lips
NYX liquid suede in vintage & lip liner in plum

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having the perfect fall makeup look isn’t complete until you put on the final touches–lips! my personal preference for 2015 is lipsticks that are either deep purple or reddish-brown in shade. you can use a matte or shiny lippie, both are in trend. sometimes using a lipstick shade that is dark in color can be intimidating–but it doesn’t need to be! TIP: use a liner before applying the lip product! make sure you put the liner not only around your lips, but color in your lips as well. this will help the color not to bleed on to your skin, and will ensure that your lipstick lasts!

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final thoughts

key colors: mustard yellow, wine, bone-color, purple, brown

shades: even though we are swapping our pinks or our reds, you can still find different shade tones that work with your skin–light: mauve and rose, medium: orange reds, tan: reddish browns and fushia, dark: wine and purple. you do not have to follow those guidelines either if you don’t want too, cause i sure don’t all the time!

makeup

nyx lip swatches

nyx lip swatches

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products used

  • tokoyo: NYX soft matte lip cream
  • tea & cookies: NYX liquid suede cream lipstick
  • stone: NYX high voltage lipstick
  • prauge: NYX soft matte lip cream
  • dahlia: NYX high voltage lipstick
  • vintage: NYX liquid suede cream lipstick
  • prune: NYX lip liner

image2 (13)

thoughts

i have used the soft matte lip cream line from NYX for about a year now, and have been pleasantly surprised by how much i like the lip colors and formula! the only downside to matte lip products is that after a little while of wear, the product leaves a dry ring in your inner lips that isn’t very cute. the high voltage lipstick goes on your lips like butter, and is ultra shiny! i was impressed by the smoothness and pigmentation. also, the liquid suede collection is a winner, too. it’s kind of like a mix between satin and matte on the lips, but is not one bit drying. be careful though, none of these are smudge proof minus the soft matte’s. for the price, NYX has dynamite products and they are a cruelty free brand!