Sheer Lipstick Heaven: Lipstick Queen, Rouge Bunny Rouge, CANMAKE

Since this is my first proper blog post, time to confess which makeup rules I follow. The big one is “either a statement eye OR a statement lip, but not both.” In general, this rule makes sense with my face. I have prominent lips and eyes, and with both emphasized, the whole becomes too overwhelming. When I create bold eye looks, which is fairly often, I balance them out with sheer or nude lip products.

This post is about three of my favorites in the sheer lipstick category. I find that glossy lipsticks on the red to berry spectrum make my lips look especially juicy.

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They might not look like much in swatches, but it’s not like we buy products just to swatch them, do we?

Lipstick Queen Medieval

I’ve had this tube since forever ago, hence it looks quite beat up. The lettering is bound to be worn down to mysterious runes.

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Why the name Medieval? Lipstick Queen spins a macabre tale about actual medieval women defying church rules against lipstick and rubbing lemons on their lips to bring out a bloody tint. Um… sounds painful, no thanks. There are products on the market that mimic that kind of blushy effect, but fortunately, Medieval is much richer and oilier than those.

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In the pic above, I’m wearing Medieval with a cranberry-ish eye look (TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Trimony palette) and the Milani Luminoso blush.

Of all the lipsticks I’m covering today, Medieval is the reddest. Depending on the lighting, it might show up as an airier version of tomato red, or as a nondescript my-lips-but-redder color. In my review of Medieval published on Instagram on 2015, I mentioned that the red pigment doesn’t apply evenly (i.e., it balls up). However, I haven’t had that problem in a while, probably because my lips are now in a better condition and there are no dry patches that would cause uneven application.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Relish of Heaven

The whole Rouge Bunny Rouge concept reminds me of the Japanese “Mori” fashion, girls dressing like dreamy woodland creatures. I want to listen to Alison Goldfrapp’s first album, Felt Mountain, when I put that stuff on my face. (Yea, I became a music fan in the late 1990s.) Everything about the UK-based brand is whimsical and delicate, down to the product names. The sheer lipstick range is called Succulence of Dew, and other shades have names such as Jasmine-Weighted Air and Perfume of his Gaze. That’s all right, Rouge Bunny Rouge, I forgive you for these naming conventions, because the products are pretty damn solid.

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Relish of Heaven looks warmer in the tube than it does on the lips, at first I even took it for an orange red. In reality, it has more of a reddish berry tone. It feels less oily than Medieval, and creates a vinyl or jelly finish. It’s also quite pigmented and wears down to a noticeable stain. When jelly-like lipsticks or glosses are on the pigmented side, there is an expectation that they might slip and slide, but Relish of Heaven is satisfyingly grabby.

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The look above also features warm eyeshadows from the Too Faced Semi-Sweet palette and a green eye pencil (Urban Decay Mars).

One thing I dislike about RBR lipsticks is that their tubes’ caps fly off like nobody’s business, and furthermore they don’t sit tight enough. I’ve had a few Wet’n’Wild lipsticks get moldy or smooshed due to craptastic caps, and I am worried for the fate of my RBRs, especially since they are not easily obtainable in the U.S.

CANMAKE 05 Dark Raspberry

If Rouge Bunny Rouge brings to mind the Mori style, Japanese drugstore brand CANMAKE is full-on princessy, as this lipstick’s packaging demonstrates.

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Well, it’s not technically a lipstick, but a Jelly Gloss Stick, a lipstick/gloss hybrid. Of the three swatches above, Dark Raspberry is the most reflective. I’ve become enamored with wet, balmy finishes on my recent trip to Japan, where this kind of lip look is mainstream and heavily promoted by beauty magazines.

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The Japanese lip look also goes great with the all-American Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette.

The Jelly Gloss Stick is so dainty and emollient, it literally starts to melt in the tube on contact with my lips. I’ve never had such a thing happen with any other lip product! (It hardens back after application.) Moreover, per Citrine’s Blog, the brand recommends twisting up just a little bit at a time, or else the lipstick might get destroyed. Should I also wrap it in a blankie and bring it a cup of hot chocolate, while I’m at it?

Oh well, I guess I’ll be gentle with this bad boy–in addition to being easy on the eyes, Dark Raspberry brings back sweet memories of Japan.

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SWEET, SWEET memories. This is what my hubby and I ate in Tokyo.

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