Be prepared, this is one lengthy post.
From a wishlist to reality, that’s how I (try to) roll. It wasn’t an easy decision, you know. I don’t just buy a USD 50 lipstick in a snap like I have a money tree to pick onto. I need to have that sizzling chemistry going on before taking the plunge. After going back and forth, I (finally) decided on a shade.
Without further adieu, Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope in Private Party.
“I was inspired by the golden years of Hollywood when glamour was in every detail. This is the lipstick of the red carpet, the people, the places and the personalities that glide past the Velvet Rope and into the night.” – Poppy King, Lipstick Queen Founder.
Pictures say it all, Velvet Rope is CHARISMATIC. It’s not just gorgeous or beautiful, it’s seductive.
The box is midnight blue velvet with lettering on top that turns metallic cobalt blue when it hits the light. I posted a quick video on my Instagram of the box packaging to show you how it looks. I haven’t seen a box as electrifying as this for a good long while. Makes me wonder what’s inside and gets me jitters in my fingers.
Of course I know what’s inside, just trying to convey the gesture here..
The inside is one heck of a job well done. A block of gold, no, it reminds me of one of those flashy art deco buildings. Lines, I see many lines. Straight, sharp lines. The top is engraved with the brand’s name, in the same style as the box’s. It’s magnetic, figuratively and literally. That snap action is sensual. As a fan of gold metal, this sits in my preferred zone. Not too red and definitely not that gaudy yellow shade.
When I picked up the box, geez, this thing is heavy! And so for the sake for this post, I went on and weighed this. It’s 58 grams, people. After weighing my other lipsticks (Burberry, YSL, Givenchy, etc), they are all below 50 grams, Tom Ford sits the highest at 48. With the exception of one: Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait being the heftiest of them all, reigning at 98 friggin’ grams. I’ve always said this ‘bullet’ doubles as a weapon when needed, though I hope that day will never come.
Anyway.. Upon inspection, the cap is the culprit. It weighs 38 grams, almost twice the bottom which encases the 3.5 gram of the actual lipstick. In all honesty, it feels a little imbalanced for me. Lopsided. I don’t have that much to grab onto the bottom casing, so I need to be careful not to drop it when pulling the cap off.
That peppermint scent whiffed out when I opened it the first time. I totally forgot that the Velvet Rope formula has peppermint oil. I was hesitant, because I’m not a fan of peppermints or anything minty (but I like the colors associated with it). This reminded me of that time where I was sent the wrong Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm (I wanted Lemon & Chamomile but received the Original instead). That being said, the lip balm now sits in my HG status for really moisturizing and prepping the lips before any lip product application. Albeit, I have to bear with the scent, but goodness, mint really does a fantastic job at plumping the lips! Anyway, again, I’m happy to announce that the peppermint scent and sensation in Velvet Rope doesn’t bother me in the slightest. It doesn’t linger and dare I say, it feels invigorating.
When Lipstick Queen says “the way this lipstick glides weightlessly onto your lips needs to be experienced to be believed!“, believe it.
I was in the car, on my way to my high school friend’s wedding reception that night, contemplating between wearing this or Tom Ford Diabolique. The only reason that I didn’t want to wear Private Party was only because I won’t be able to see the actual color, due to the funny lighting these receptions usually use. But, heck it, I’m just going to wear it. *opens up the cap* and I squealed and yelled and shrieked. And the boy just shook his head.
I will brag a little here. I’m very accustomed at applying red lipsticks and whatever-color-that-needs-steady-hands in a moving vehicle. I acquired this skill because I’m one indecisive little brat who could never decide which lipstick to wear until I’m very near to the destination I’m heading to. While I’m very good at it, I still need to spend a little more time to get that crisp line. With Velvet Rope Private Party, I need less than one minute. From blotting, layering, down to the finishing touches. One minute.
The credit goes to the stellar pigmentation that covers up my lips the moment I swipe the bullet. There is no tugging whatsoever, none, nada. The bullet is also cleverly designed to apply the color efficiently, including lining the lips and enhancing the cupid’s bows with it. It feels incredibly lightweight on the lips. No matter how many I’ve layered, it retains the feather-like feel. There is some shine in the initial application but it gradually changes to a matte finish, not the powdery, super dry matte kind, but the velvety kind.
It’s hard for me to say this, but this is probably the least drying matte lipstick I’ve encountered so far. I do not know how Lipstick Queen does it, but I believe the Vitamin E and Apricot Oil in it are doing a really good job at moisturizing the lips and there’s some smart silicone ingredient that seals the moisture in. With other traditional matte lipsticks, the biggest issue for me is that my lips often feel somewhat restrained when I move them around. Not with this though, I’m happily chit chatting and laughing away in conversations.
Private Party is described as “the hottest pink” and I was honestly underwhelmed with that description versus the actual color. It’s definitely not “hot” as in bright, it’s quite tamed. To me, it’s more like a deep reddened pink, that annoyingly prefers to show its red tone more than of the actual pink. It’s probably my chameleon-like natural lip color that’s causing this. Sometimes it’s mauve, sometimes it’s rose, sometimes I don’t even know. But, I’m ecstatic to see the pink tone when my lips are behaving nicely and the light is just right.
In different lighting..
I hope you can see the alluring matte finish that is in no way flat or dead. I DIG IT.
As far as staying power, it’s really good. It wears down beautifully too. Usually with other mattes, it could get a little tricky to adjust or blend the color with my finger after a meal; I usually would use a little bit of lip balm to help. The emollient formula of Velvet Rope enables me to just spread the color like I would with regular satin/creamy lipsticks. No reapplying needed necessarily because Private Party stains my lips. Uh huh.
The only issue (and I know we all could share the sentiment here) is that the lip color tends to wear off first in the middle, leaving the inner rim to be disconnected from the rest. But, no biggie. Just blot that area with a tissue before reapplying and it’s good as new.
I’ve mentioned in the previous wishlist article that the problem with getting an expensive lipstick is when the formula turns to be in your favor. And this is what’s happening to me. The whole experience from applying, how it feels and the finish result is new and unusual for me. I do not know that matte could be this comfortable and effortless, walking together hand-in-hand, until this came along.
Do I want another shade? Heck yeah. I’m curious to see how the other shades fare in this formula or whether they share the same characteristics.
Wish me luck? ;)