New shades of #BLKtravels: A mini collector’s dream come true?

I am absolutely weak for minis (see Exhibits 1, 2, and 3). Since I like lugging my beauty essentials around, collecting travel-sized skincare and makeup has always been my happy pill. Recently, I swooned over the new shades of blk Cosmetics #blktravels when I spotted them on Instagram. Paris, Los Angeles, New York, and London are bold additions to their initial collection of MLBBs and more classic hues.

The new shades come in sets of two sold at P399 each. Each tube has 1.4g of product as compared to the full size 3.4g which retails for P299. That’s a 60% increase in peso per gram but I understand that the packaging took the bigger chunk of the cost. I’m okay with that: the bright, rectangular tubes are totes cute with different stamps of animal silhouettes! blk Cosmetics partnered with the World Wide Fund for Nature for this collection, so a portion of the proceeds of #blktravels will be donated to the organization.

Similar to the original formula, the lippies are enriched with Vitamin E and camellia oil for non-drying wear. This was my first time to try the blk lippies and I agree with Tellie’s review. The All Day Intense Matte minis are comfortable mattes that glide on smoothly without skipping. All shades apply with a bit more shine than I’d prefer for a matte, and the sheerness of the formula requires several swipes to achieve a richer application. Even then, the lipsticks are never fully opaque and may require a foundation/concealer/lip liner base for a more even look if you have pigmented lips like I do.

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Paris is a cool toned red that gives me strong Marilyn Monroe vibes. It’s my favorite of the bunch and is the best shade for faking pearly white teeth.   

Los Angeles is a cool pink with blue/orchid undertones. It looks warmer and more wearable under natural light but this sheer shade can look too cool and off-putting under fluorescent lighting. It’s like The Should-Look-Good-But-Doesn't Pink which I suggest you avoid if you have warm, golden skin.

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New York is a bold brown that would have fit well with their BlkToThe90’s line. It’s a more daring #girlboss shade but one with enough warmth to be friendly for everyday use.

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London is a warm, hot-sauce red that works well to brighten the complexion. This shade is also the sheerest of them all.

The bold, bright hues had me thinking they were pigmented at first swipe but a closer look told me otherwise. To test, I swatched the lipsticks over a streak of eyeliner. The lipsticks reached maximum opacity at four to five swipes but that still wasn’t enough to hide the eyeliner underneath. I also swatched the Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Matte next to the blk Travels All Day Intense Matte Lipsticks for comparison. Two swipes were all it took for Maybelline to fully cover the eyeliner, and I discovered that Maybelline’s Nude Nuance is a close, slightly darker dupe for blk’s New York.

The All Day Intense Matte Lipsticks transfer a ton throughout the day and are extremely unfriendly for kissing. I only get about four to five hours wear at the most but they do leave a nice even stain that extends the wear time. There is also a major drawback you should to note if you want these minis: remember not to roll it up all the way because the lipsticks are soft to the point of breaking! Granted, they are tiny and don’t have much girth to contribute to their stability, so roll up slowly and apply with caution. I unfortunately broke London while trying to layer it for maximum opacity on my lips.

While these were a cute addition to my collection of minis, the formula of these new shades aren’t at par to what was supposedly the same lipstick formula from different collections (K-beauty and BlkToThe90’s). I feel like blk Cosmetics has yet to master consistency for their lipstick releases so overall, the blk All Day Intense Matte Lipsticks can be hits or misses, depending on the particular shade or collection. P200 for a mini is not at all a bad price point, but considering how competitive the drugstore beauty scene has become, this formula of the new blk travels pales in comparison to other lipsticks in the market. If you’re not a fan of minis, Anne, or blk Cosmetics, the hard truth is that these four new shades aren’t collection must-haves. It would be easy to find them from a different brand with a better and possibly cheaper formula. Part of the proceeds go to the World Wide Fund for Nature though, so it’s not a bad buy all in all.

These are all swatches of Los Angeles, as displayed on blk’s site and social media

These are all swatches of Los Angeles, as displayed on blk’s site and social media

P.S. I noticed an inconsistency with the blk Cosmetics online swatches of Los Angeles while I was shopping for the lipstick. While I understand that lipsticks can pull differently on different skin shades and undertones, these photos are just too different for what appears to be the same skin color to be within the normal, acceptable range IMO. I reached out to their Facebook page and received the below response. Better safe than sorry, so try to swatch and buy in store if you can.