Edward Bess Ultra Slick Lipstick in Midnight Bloom ($32) is often called a "true Hollywood red," but it reminds me more of the red lips you see on chic European women whose eyes and cheeks are played down. A red that denotes casual, unstudied elegance.
Upon opening the tube, a burst of fruity fig fragrance is almost overpowering. For those of you who are scent averse, you'll want to skip this brand for lipstick.
Slightly blue based, Midnight Bloom does not turn fuchsia on my rosy-mauve lips. The formulation is silky and wears extremely well without drying my lips or bleeding. I don't usually wear lip pencil other than Lipstick Queen's clear pencil. Color wears very well, from 4-6 hours.
Here is Midnight Bloom compared to the other red lipstick by Edward Bess, Eternal Passion. While both lipsticks lean cool neutral, Midnight Bloom is a deeper navy red, while Eternal Passion is a bright Popsicle red, the warmer of the two.
In the following swatch, I have added Laura Mercier Bing Cherry to the mix. The Mercier shade is slightly warmer and has plummy-brown undertones.
Karla Sugar has swatched the entire Edward Bess lipstick line (excluding the newer Fall 2010 trio), and she shows a side-by-side comparison of Midnight Bloom and Eternal Passion. Also, if you are interested in Edward Bess product and do not live near a retail location, you will not want to miss The Beauty Look Book's Guide to Edward Bess.
Bottom line: Not particularly unique but a worthy new addition among competing makeup brands.
All photos mine.