Beauty Battle: We tested five velvet matte lip colors under 1000 pesos and we have a winner
Mattes are on the way out, and velvet lips are the new trend. Though originally popularized by K-beauty, the past two years have seen many brands releasing their own versions. In fact, Revlon just released their new Ultra HD Matte Lip Mousse which Liz swatched in a live video! When any of the major drugstore brands starts investing in a trend, you know it’s legit.
Velvet lipsticks are lip products that come in either bullet or liquid form. They are touted as having a matte yet comfortable finish. They are rarely as fully matte as a retro matte (which are completely shine-free), but they are much less drying and tend to add a bit of volume to the lips so they look more lush. Personally, when the product matches this description but doesn’t clearly state “velvet finish” in the label, I look at the ingredients list and any form of silicone in the top three will usually indicate that it was intended to have a velvet finish.
In this “velvet-off”, I compare velvet liquid lipsticks from 3 Korean favorites and 2 local brands to find the best balance between quality and price.
First up is the blk Soft Matte Lip Mousse in Carnation (P379 for 3.5ml at blk Cosmetics). This lip tint is part of Anne Curtis’s second K-beauty collection, and is available in 4 soft, natural shades that are pretty easy to wear for most Pinay skin tones. It has a really soft and creamy texture, which makes it a breeze (and a joy) to apply on the lips.
Carnation is a dusty rose shade that offers the most opaque pigmentation among these 5 contenders. However, full pigmentation tends to look too striking, and the velvet trend is supposed to look a bit softer – with descriptors often being in the lines of faded, gradient, cloud-like, or lived-in. It’s not a bad thing to offer pigmentation, but strictly speaking, it’s not on-trend.
My lips look lush and pillowy upon application, but the product eventually dries down and crumbles throughout wear. It lasts me about 4 to 5 hours before it starts to look super dry or gets patchy.
No-brainer color curation
Great texture upon application
Dries up and becomes more of a retro matte throughout wear
Opaque pigmentation is not cloud-like
Vice Cosmetics Phenomenal Velvet Liquid Lipstick in Vulevu (P295 for 3ml at Vice Cosmetics) is the only contestant to come with a lip liner (in automatic format.) I find it unnecessary as clean lines are not part of the velvet lips trend, and I do suspect this was added as a way to piggyback on the popularity of Kylie Lip Kits, rather than as an ideal product combination. Velvet lipsticks (including Vice’s formula) are pretty easy to work with, even for creating straight lines since they don’t tug like retro mattes do. The liner helps with longevity though, as this is Vice’s weakest point, clocking in at about 3 to 4 hours of decent wear.
The Phenomenal Velvets also offer a bit more shade variety with 8 color options, that tend to run bolder and deeper than blk. The shades are more wearable for medium to deep Pinay skin tones, but they can be a bit problematic as some have cool tones.
Vulevu is the best-seller, and it is a pretty no-brainer nude orange shade. The matching pencil is slightly brighter than the lipstick, though it only minimally alters the final output – if at all! While creamier than most lip liners, the lip liner still detracts from the nice, creamy texture of the lipstick. Vulevu is also the “wettest” velvet contender, and looks moist throughout weartime. While most velvet lipsticks have minimal to no transfer issues, this was a pretty bad offender that stained my straws and cups pretty heavily. I suspect it’s due to the fact that it stays wet and doesn’t set.
Accessible and affordable
Deeper color curation is more morena-friendly
Transfers the most
Full pigmentation and wet finish are not cloud-like
3CE Stylenanda Velvet Lip Tint in #Going Right (P974 for 4g at Sephora) kicks off our Korean contenders. I will just come out and admit that I’m a sucker for Stylenanda, and am heavily biased towards this product. The packaging and branding has me a slave over this brand, but I will be honest and admit that there are some points for improvement.
3CE has 24 shades that offers a good selection of wearable pinks, oranges, berries, bolds, and nudes. Hands down, this brand has the best color curation of all, capturing the nuances of what truly and easily compliments Asian skin tones - not too blue and more on warmer hues. It also has the most unique texture: it’s creamy yet dry at the same time! I love how consistent it looks from start to end with about 8 hours of wear, even with eating and drinking.
However, I concede that this is not the perfect velvet lip tint because there are streaking issues in the darker shades. Despite it being easy to spread and not quick to set, the pigmentation of this tint tends to pool in certain areas of my lip despite doing my best to apply even pressure across the applicator. Smacking my lips together normally fixes this common issue with velvet tints, but not for 3CE.
Perfect and wide range of colors
Consistent texture throughout wear
Clio Mad Velvet Tint in 06 Butternut (P930 for 3.8g at Club Clio) has a rich, creamy, and very spreadable texture. The color curation available locally is a bit limited at only 4 shades. I actually got Butternut from a trip abroad.
The lipstick applies pretty easily and is very easy to even out. It doesn’t dry down like blk, but neither does it remain wet like Vice. It is the perfect soft-matte look that the velvet trend goes for: cloud-like but not drying or settling into the fine lines of the lips. I also find Clio to have the best level of pigment, providing an even wash of color without creating an opaque coverage on the lips.
Wear time is also pretty impressive at about 8 hours, with eating and drinking. Best of all, it fades pretty evenly, with the color just moving around until it thins out across the whole lip.
Most accurate velvet texture
Easy application, even texture, and even fading
Limited shade availability
Peripera Peri’s Ink The Velvet in 18 Update Natural Pink (P450 for 8g at Club Clio) is one of the many Ink iterations of Peripera. I did not consider the Airy Ink Velvet version, as that is intended for a sheerer color that is too different to compare with the other velvets on this list. There are 6 shades available locally, with one pinkish hue and a variety of reds.
All contenders thus far have been pretty creamy and easy to work with, but Peripera is the slickest and slipperiest in the bunch. It has the most glide upon application, and the second wettest finish of all five (with Vice looking the shiniest.) That said, it has less transfer issues, and lasts way longer than Vice at about 6 to 8 hours of wear time. Fading is also pretty attractive, with both texture and color thinly yet evenly coming off as time passes.
This product had the least opaque finish among the five, but it was still enough to coat my darker lips. Notably, it also has the most blurring effect.
Even texture and even fading
Finish is a bit too wet-looking for the velvet lip trend
K-beauty fans might be disappointed that I’m not going with the popular choice, but my personal winner is the Clio Mad Velvet Tint! It has the perfect cloudy velvet look, lasts long, and fades evenly. Sure, 3CE has an out-of-this world texture and sublime color curation, but streaking is a pretty big issue for me. Peripera is still a pretty strong contender, and the blurring finish will make it a clear winner for many. I just find it a little too shiny or wet-looking at times.
I was disappointed by the local contenders as they wore shorter than the Korean products, and tended to become crumbly and drying. While all five velvets felt luxurious upon application, the local ones tended to feel like old-school matte lipsticks as they wore on. blk only wins over Vice by a slight margin because it wears down much better.
That said, we all have different makeup priorities and you may still find other contestants as your personal winner. Which one is your favorite? Let’s discuss in the comments!
blk Soft Matte Lip Mousse in Carnation Ingredients:
Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Mica, Isododecane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Silica, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Propylene Carbonate, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Tocopheryl Acetate, Rose Hip Seed Oil. May contain (+/-) CI 15850, CI 77491, CI 77891, CI 19140, CI 77499
Vice Cosmetics Phenomenal Velvet Liquid Lipstick in Vulevu Ingredients:
Dimethicone, Disostearyl Malate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone/VinylDimethicone Crosspolymer, Polysilicone-11, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethiconol, Polygceryl-2 Triisostearate, Phenoxyethanol, Ehylhexylglycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, 1,2-Butanediol, Water (Aqua,) Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum (Japanese Knotweed) Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, May contain (+/-) Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77492, CI 77491, CI 77499), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 23 (CI 45410), Blue 1 (CI 42090.)
3CE Stylenanda Velvet Lip Tint in #Going Right Ingredients:
Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Isododecane, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Cyclohexasiloxane, Iron Oxides (CI 77491), 1,2-Hexanediol, Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Disteardimonium Hectorite, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Propylene Carbonate, Red 7 Lake (CI 15850 : 1), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Red 27 (CI 45410 : 1), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Calendula Officinalis Flower Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Rose Extract
Clio Mad Velvet Tint Ingredients:
Dimethicone, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Isododecane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Yellow 5 Lake, 1,2-Hexanediol, Natural Red 26, Iron Oxides, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E,) Gragrance, Propylene Carbonate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil
Peripera Peri’s Ink The Velvet in 18 Update Natural Pink Ingredients:
Dimethicone, Dimethicone/vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Glycerin, Red 7 (Ci 15850:1), Pentylene Glycol, Cetyl Peg/ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Butyl Acrylate/hydroxypropyl Dimethicone Acrylate Copolymer, Methyl Trimethicone, Red 28 (Ci 45410), Phenoxyethanol, Red 6 (Ci 15850), Mica(Ci 77019), Silica, Caprylyl Glycol, Glyceryl Acrylate/acrylic Acid Copolymer, 1,2-hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Propanediol, Yellow 6 (Ci 15985), Fragrance, Peg/ppg-18/18 Dimethicone , Illicium Verum Fruit Extract, Red 33 (Ci 17200), Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Blue 1 (Ci 42090), Methicone