Review: Estee Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick

By Voxy  

vieux montréal [old montreal] 8.30.08 - 20 by laura padgett.Wasn’t it just the other day that I said that the lip color swatches on Lancome’s website were about as accurate as your average entry in a “how-many-gumballs-in-the-jar” contest? I really didn’t think it could be worse than that, but I am ruefully amused to report that if I’m sticking to my metaphor, then the Estee Lauder website lip color swatches are the equivalent of the same person guessing how many jellybeans are in the jar while wearing a blindfold, facing the other direction, and being on another planet.

Meet Estee Lauder’s website swatch of Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick in Sangria:

And here it is as photographed in my light tent:

And here is how it appears on me, in the same light:

Right. So. I think there is no doubt that whatever you want to call this color, it is most assuredly NOT the cool berry purplish color on Estee Lauder’s website.

As it happens, I didn’t find out that that was what was on their website until I went to write this blog entry, because I bought this at an Estee Lauder counter and so I saw it in “real life.” A few months ago, Estee Lauder was having a free lipgloss giveaway, but it turned out that in order to get the gloss, you had to let their sales associates do a mini-makeover on you (and therefore try to sell you products, naturellement). So I thought, “what the heck,” and I sat in the chair and the Estee Lauder woman gave me the single worst makeover I have ever had. As a friend of mine in grad school would have said, I looked like a PW, which stands for Painted Whore. She put navy eyeliner on me and wasn’t even within spitting distance of my lash line (not that I would have wanted her to spit on it, but you get the idea), she made my eyelashes crunchy and spiky like spider legs, and she put a blush on my cheeks that was so bright and blotchy that they would have thrown me out of clown college.

As she kept showing me my reflection in the mirror, I had a harder and harder time keeping myself from laughing. Really, I looked completely ridiculous, and I think she interpreted my giggling as pleased approval. So it comes time to do the lips, and she said, “what color lipstick do you usually wear?” and by this point there was no saving the makeover, so I said, with cynical amusement, “you know, I’m tired of wearing what I usually wear. Why don’t you pick something out for me?” — and Sangria was what she came back with. (Imagine my surprise when I actually liked it! Amazing.) Another sales associate came over and said, “oh! you look so pretty!” and it was all I could do not to give her the Glare of Doom. Come on, lady, we all knew I looked like a five-year-old had put makeup on me while I was asleep.

But at least the five-year-old (in the body of the sales associate) had picked a good lipcolor. It must have been blind chance. I don’t quite know how to describe the color. It has the brightness and intensity of a coral, mixed with the depth of a slightly cool red. It is not the color of any sangria it has ever been my pleasure to drink, but whatever. At this point, they might as well be naming lipsticks Green Grass and Blue Sky for all the accuracy they have. It has a silky feel and glides on nicely; it is a good idea to make sure lips are well-moisturized before applying this, as it will stick to little bits of dried skin — sorry, I know it’s gross, but it’s also February, so it’s dry-lip season. There is a very slight fragrance to this, but it’s relatively clean-smelling and is not intrusive (are you listening, Lancome?).

It provides pretty full coverage with one coat and two coats will definitely get you all the way there. One coat plus a gloss makes a nice look, especially if you want to either warm it up or cool it down. For me, a simpler gloss works better with this: clear or a translucent color, minus shimmer or sparkle. There’s enough going on in the lip color as it is, so adding sparkle kind of puts it over the top for me. It does not feather, but it does fade faster than I would like. However, reapplying the gloss will revive the color somewhat, so you can get away with that for awhile instead of reapplying the base coat all the time (I hate that caked-on feeling that can sometimes come at the end of a day of reapplying lipstick).

So, this gets a Foxalicious Paws-Up, but definitely buy at the counter rather than from the website. Try to avoid the five-year-olds, though, unless you enjoy the experience of scrubbing your face at the sink in a mall bathroom.


Estee Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick: $22

Provenance: Purchased

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Good

Purchase again? Yes, but it seems unlikely I’ll ever reach the end of the tube I already have!

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

Photo: / CC BY-ND 2.0
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One Comment

  1. avatar Inthelab
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 9:39 am | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve liked the other Pure Color products; will have to check this out at the counter.


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