In all of my 20 something years on this planet, I've only encountered two things capable of catapulting my confidence to brazen heights; a couple of shots of vodka, and a killer lipstick. You can't begin to imagine how many times I've successfully dissipated the heavy dullness of a day, by just slapping on a startling shade of scarlet across my lips. A gorgeous lipstick with a brilliant formula, is my magic bullet for curing the ailment of self-doubt, and shopping for a new shade, my version of going out on an adventure. Simply put, if there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I take my lipsticks pretty damn seriously.
Ever since I became old enough to explore the world of makeup on my own terms, I've tinkered with more than my fair share of lipstick formulas, finishes, shades and brands. And while my preferences and priorities have undergone revisions over the years, these days I find myself reaching for more natural, chemical and cruelty free lip products. So, as someone who believes in being thorough with her research, I've spent hours furiously searching for lipsticks that fit my tastes and sensibilities. And Paul Penders as an all-natural, vegan, environmentally-friendly beauty brand, has been on my radar for a considerable while.
So, when I woke up this Monday morning to a package of Paul Penders products sitting at my doorstep, I was obviously beside myself with joy. First thought? This day can't possibly get any better. Oh, but it could. Because tearing open the box revealed, amongst a host of other things, two lipsticks in two beautiful looking shades. Ok, I'm gonna pinch myself. Ow, it's real!
Without rambling on any further about arbitrary details, I'll jump straight to my review for the two Paul Penders lipsticks I got to try this week. I received two handmade cream lipsticks in the shades (a) Raspberry and (b) Rosewood. Tried and tested each, and here's a summary of what I thought.
Let's start with Raspberry.
My first impression, what a flattering shade. Especially considering my dusky complexion. This shade is a slightly darker variant of red, leaning towards plum, with hints of brown thrown into the mix. Well, I tend to shy away from bright orangey reds, because frankly, they can make me look like a bit of a clown. So, in terms of complexion and shade fit, if you have a skin tone ranging between wheat-ish to dusky, this one is a shade worth getting in your beauty drawer.
Now, let's talk about the pigment of the lipstick. To be entirely honest here, the product exceeded my expectations in this category. It could be because of my own preconceived notions, but given its chemical-free and organic nature, I didn't think the shade would lead to a dark tint. Surprise surprise, it did. Although I must admit, it was lighter than what it looked like in the tube, but negligibly so. The lipstick also didn't feel dry on my pout, and on the contrary, it actually seemed to be moisturising. So a big win there as well, Paul Penders. That being said, it did bleed just a smudge outside my lip outline, but nothing a single tissue dab can't fix. Lastly, as a personal preference, I tend to go for inky jet-matte lipsticks, but this one was somewhere between satin and creamy-matte. Then again, it kept my lips feeling hydrated, so it's kind of fitting.
Next up on stage, the shade of Rosewood.
I was slightly sceptical about this one, simply because I think darker shades of nude complement my skin tone better. Rosewood leans more towards a light blush-pink nude variant, with warm undertones. Nevertheless, I put a layer on, and I've gotta say I was pleasantly surprised. While I wouldn't ordinarily pick this colour from a store-stock, it genuinely didn't look half-bad. In fact, if I was going for a makeup look that features heavy, smoky eyes, Rosewood on the lips would look quite smashing in my opinion. Still, I'd particularly recommend this lipstick shade to women with complexions that are more towards pale or fair.
With regard to other parameters like pigment, feel and finish, it was pretty much on par with Raspberry. For some odd reason, I thought Rosewood was more matte in finish than the former, but perhaps, that could have something to do with the lighter shade. Additionally, the shade was certainly lighter than what it looked like inside the tube. More so than Raspberry.
Last but not the least, I wanted to evaluate both the shades against one criterion I tend to judge lip products on the most - transfer-resistance. I did the tissue-dab test to see how long the lipsticks by Paul Penders would last. Now again, please bear in mind I love my inky mattes. So relatively speaking, the lipsticks weren't extremely enduring. That being said, the hue continued to stay on my lips, even if it did get a bit lighter after the tissue-test. Also, I'd like to remind you, these are made of completely natural and organic pigments devoid of any chemical whatsoever, so when you take that into consideration, the resistance of the product is more than fair.
All in all, I'd highly recommend Paul Penders lipsticks. Especially if you like your products to be just as great for the environment, as they are to your skin.