Visée is a Japanese drugstore under the Kosé umbrella; its relaunch in Autumn 2013 caught my attention, and having been impressed with their eyeshadows in the past, I couldn't resist the urge to dabble. Just a bit. As the haul was on the *cough* epic, I'm-being-comprehensive-for-Science! side, I'll be splitting up the reviews into three categories:1. Visée, Vis-nay. :(
2. Visée, Vis-yay! :)
and 3. Visée, Vis-eh... :|
Spoiler: today's is a Vis-nay.
To recap / as a teaser, here's the haul, thanks to a colleague travelling to Japan, whom I persuaded to raid a drugstore:
|clockwise from left: Lip Balm and Gloss OR20, Smoky Rich Eyes GY-7, Glossy Rich Eyes PK-3,|
Nudy Rich Eyes BE-5, Blend Colour Cheeks OR-6
Enough lip service, let's move on to the actual lipsticks. (See what I did thar.)
Wondegondigo's rave review sparked a frenzy on makeupalley, and many others on my blogroll have succumbed, including Project Swatch, Swatcharama!, and The Consolations of Vanity. Unfortunately, I part ways with my pals on these: the high-slip, almost liquefying-upon-application formula sinks into my liplines and brings up flakes I could've sworn I'd exfoliated away. Despite being so slick that even a very thin coat creates a gloopy line between my lips whenever my mouth is closed, it's also very drying, leaving my lips painfully chapped, cracked, and peeling off in sheets within a few hours, even worn over balm. Even Creamy Lipstick's excellent pigmentation and scent-free qualities can't redeem a product that inflicts actual physical pain and bleeding, and requires days of no-lip-colour
Bitterest of ironies -- both PK804 and RD401 are wonderful, so-hard-to-find-in-Japanese-lines brights. One swipe swatches on bare skin:
On my lips, it's a case of (sorry, Byron) all that's worst of creamy and dry: gooping where my lips meet, and exhibiting a desire to wander outside my lip contour, but also worsening the appearance of every line, bump, and flake, and already starting to look patchy at the edges as it sucks all the moisture from my skin.
|one coat of Visée PK804 in (overcast) natural light|
Sun came out for full-face shots:
|eyes: Visée Smoky Rich Eyes GY-7 | cheeks: Canmake CL04 Clear Pink Joy|
Comparison swatches with some of my bright, cooler pinks: Addiction Amazing cheekstick is more blue, Laneige Serum Intense LR08 Flare Magenta is warmer, rosier and sits on a clear base, Guerlain Rouge Allure Reflex is brighter and warmer.
RD401 is slightly better in appearance (both because it has slightly less slip and because it lacks PK804's white base, which always tends to make textural faults more visible), but unfortunately kicks off the same cracking-peeling-bleeding-pain cycle. I also want to point out another quirk of this lipstick formula: it photographs really well -- deceptively well, in fact, looking far smoother and more even in pictures than it does to my naked eye. So please don't think I'm crazy for complaining about faults that are very much minimised in photos! I hope you can still see in this shot that RD401 also exhibits a tendency to wander outside my lip contours, goop between lips, and sink into every vertical lip line, and can extrapolate:
|Visée RD401 in angled sunlight|
In the minutes it took for me to transition to full-face shots, RD401 also begins to exhibit unevenness of pigmentation (darkening in patches on my lower lip), as the apocalyptic drying process begins in earnest:
|eyes: Visée Nudy Rich Eyes BE-5 | cheeks: Canmake CL01 Clear Red Heart|
The full-face shot is a bit more true-to-colour (i.e. deeper and more muted) for the lipstick as it wears: while bright in the grand scheme of lipsticks, RD401 looks noticeably softer and less vibrant than some of my favourite cool red lipsticks: Suqqu Creamy Glow 18 Karakurenai, Guerlain Rouge G Gala, YSL Rouge Volupte 34 Rose Asarine:
I think the difference between the Visée and YSL is subtlest but especially notable -- even though the YSL shade is both lighter and less saturated, it's got a clarity and brightness that just glows against my skin, while the Visée's subtle mutedness dims and sits slightly apart in a slightly jarring rather than 'popping' way. It looks much more face-brightening on Belly (whose Suqqu red preferences are also diametrically opposed to mine) and Lisa, with slightly darker, more muted skintones than mine -- and I wonder if any readers have thoughts about these minute undertonal distinctions and preferences :)