Ganda With a Bang: Vice Cosmetics x Bang Pineda makes edgy accessible

While comparisons to similar celeb-preneur labels such as Kylie Cosmetics and Jeffree Star abound, there’s no denying that Vice Cosmetics - much like its famously unkabogable founder - is a brand all its own. Formulated based on the #GandaForAll philosophy, Vice Cosmetics’ debut launch promised luxury quality at mass-market friendly prices, and featured true-matte shades that were simultaneously trendy and wearable. Still, while this first launch definitely brought fashion-forward mattes to the mainstream market, there was a conscious effort to “tone down” on the hues and finishes: to be “relatable” instead of reflecting Vice Ganda’s trademark edgy style.

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This is not so with Vice Cosmetics’ newest drop, the Vice x Bang Pineda lipstick collection, which trades the standard matte “lip kit” for something a little more glitzy and of the moment. Created in collaboration with Vice’s long-time stylist, fashion designer Bang Pineda, ViceXBang features Vice Cosmetics’ trademark lightweight liquid matte formula, but with an attention-grabbing twist: matching iridescent liquid “toppers” that range in pigmentation from barely-there shimmer to eye-popping shine!

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The collection features four kits (which are just P395 each!) that reflect, in Vice’s trademark turn-of-phrase, the more “fashion-forward” nature of the collaboration. Saveeeh is an MLBB nude with a terracotta undertone, paired with a glossy, copper-pink topper. Rrrahmpa is a moody dark plum wine topped with a striking, iridescent pink-to-blue shimmer. Mowdel is a demure, peachy nude paired with a bold, Barbie-pink glitter. Finally, Fashown is a vampy, dark-burgundy color paired with a space age blue-violet topper that feels simultaneously punk rock and glam.

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Those familiar with Bang Pineda’s glam-grunge, street-style fashion line will definitely feel his touch in the shimmering toppers, which trade bold, vibrant hues for a moody iridescence that feels less “entertainer” and more “rockstar.” However, one might be forgiven in not knowing where Vice ends and Bang begins, as in their Q&A portion, the collaborators explained how they were indeed a perfect match as creative partners. Their personal aesthetics of glam and grunge blended perfectly to create a collection that, in Vice’s own words, screamed power: “Lipstick is power. Yun yung gusto kong i-inculcate sa minds ng mga tao. I believe that lipstick is power, because the moment you wear lipstick, it gives you that power to believe in yourself, the power to be confident, and the power to affect people with your smile.”

Formula-wise, the ViceXBang liquid lipsticks are true mattes with a thin, non-sticky consistency that over time are, admittedly, a bit drying. Prepping the lips with exfoliation and serious hydration is a must, but once these lipsticks are on, they hold up to the transfer test quite well. The toppers look glossy, but apply much like the matte lipsticks, with a slight tendency to deposit the bulk of their glitter where they’re first applied. The workaround for this would be to concentrate one’s application on the center of the lip, as these toppers dry down and can become streaky if moved around too much.

Like many other dark matte formulas, the two deeper hues Fashown and Rrrahmpa can be a bit patchy, with a tendency to grab on to the lips and dry fast, so it’s advisable to try and get as thin an initial layer as possible when applying these shades. To get the full color-change effect, it’s important to wait for the initial matte layer to dry before applying the topper.

 Fashown with a light application of topper. Had to wear this the moment I saw it!

Fashown with a light application of topper. Had to wear this the moment I saw it!

Fashown is my favorite of the collection, with its moody burgundy delivering on grunge while the “dark unicorn” blue-violet topper gives off serious glam rock vibes. If this collection is about power, then Fashown definitely makes me feel powerful. Also, a pro tip from the stylists at the event: the toppers can be used as gorgeous liquid highlighters, for that extra-terrestrial glow!

 Wearing Fashown

Wearing Fashown

 Swatches, from left: Fashown, Saveeeh, Rrrahmpa, and Mowdel

Swatches, from left: Fashown, Saveeeh, Rrrahmpa, and Mowdel

These products are out NOW, being released across Watsons stores nationwide and available on the Vice Cosmetics website, which also sells a ViceXBang Boxed Set (P1,995) featuring all four kits plus an exclusive ViceXBang Pineda shirt.

Which shade are you most excited about? Sound off in the comments below!