Sunday, July 31, 2011

Laura Mercier Crème Lip Colour in Sparkling Pink


Laura Mercier's Crème Lip Colour in Sparkling Pink ($22) is the kind of lipstick that could be just about anyone's go-to nude, especially for those who do not care for nude lipstick. Quiet, elegant, and understated, Sparkling Pink does not get the attention it deserves, where it is continually overshadowed by NARS Dolce Vita and the like.



Sparkling Pink is described as a "cool rose pink." Not quite. It's not very rose, and the pink is strongly tempered by beige with infinitesimal gold shimmers. The end result is a kind of pinky beige grey whose mauvish rose tones are quite understated, even muted, unless you look at the color in direct sunlight.

Direct sunlight
Indoor lighting, no flash
I prefer the lipstick's previous name, Pink Champagne, which truly resembled pink-tinted golden champagne, where the tiny gold shimmers could almost be envisioned as bubbles. This lipstick is certainly more complex than it appears. At first glance, it looks like any pinkish-beige lipstick, with perhaps a slight grey undertone, but on my lips, it becomes a velvety-soft pink with a whisper of warmth to keep it in the natural range. Outdoor lighting, however, is where this lipstick really shines as that's when the gold emerges.

Direct sunlight
Indirect sunlight
Indoor lighting, no flash
This is a full-coverage lipstick, not at all sheer. Like all Laura Mercier lipsticks in the Crème formulation, the texture and finish are outstanding. Soft, cushiony, and smooth. For a mere $22, this lipstick rivals many of its competitors, which sell for $10 more or, um,  more.

I originally assumed Sparkling Pink would be too nude for my medium-rose pigmented lips, especially when I first saw it in the tube. I had really hoped for a MLLB shade, but unfortunately it tones down my natural pigment just a bit, so it's not my best color. Still, it is beautiful, and it requires little thought or planning. The color lasts about 4 hours, and when it fades, it does so evenly--no crumbly bits at the corners or unsightly rings around the edges.

Can you see the gold? It was really hard to capture it.


Though I prefer more contrast, brightness and clarity in my lipstick, I do have a small handful of softer, lip-matching pinks. Here are some comparisons to Sparkling Pink:

Natural, indoor light, no flash
Don't be put off by Prescriptives Rose Mystique, which is described as a dusty rose. It appears almost orange-red next to the others (and it's in the B/R category), but my camera is playing tricks. It really is a very soft rose with gold microshimmers. 

I couldn't find NARS Dolce Vita for comparison (and I forgot to swatch Chantecaille Rosewood), but if memory serves, Dolce Vita is cooler and more sheer than Sparkling Pink, which looks greige compared to all the others..

Direct sunlight
Bottom line: An all-purpose lipstick, which at $22 and 4g is a total bargain.

All photos mine

16 comments:

  1. I agree, "Sparkling Pink" doesn't seem like an appropriate name for this shade - I think of something much more bubbly and bright and glittery. This is a lovely color, though! It's so gratifying to find the perfect color for one's self in a color family.

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  2. I wonder if they tweaked the color a bit when they changed the name? I was given Pink Champagne to try on at Nordstrom and it was a dull (really dull) nude pink on me. It looks great on you!

    I'm still a Dolce Vita girl. :)

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  3. I have never tried a LM lipstick yet. Must rectify that now!

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  4. I'm interested to see how this compares to NARS Dolce Vita, will definitely do next time I'm in store. This looks like an awesome nude pink--- I'm finding most of my nudes to be too light lately (my fault since I'm addicted to those colors). Thanks for the great review and comparisons!

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  5. Oh, I'll have to look this one up the next time I'm looking for a lipstick! Looks great on you - might be too pale on me - but it sounds great!

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  6. Veuve, I had both colors at one time, so I don't think they changed the colors. The formulation has improved since the original one, though.

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  7. Tracy, the textures are to die for. Two other favorites are Amaretto (very complex) and Bing Cherry.

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  8. Dovey, if you bring a camera, take a photo of the swatch, lol! If I recall, SP leans more nude than DV, but I would not call it a light nude unless your lips are super pigmented and your skin is deeper than medium.

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  9. Liz, it's almost too pale for me. Given my love of brights, it is most certainly bordering on my comfort zone, but I like a lipstick that conditions my lips, adds a little something, and doesn't require a mirror to apply!

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  10. I was wondering if they tweaked it too as I have the original and didn't see any gold in it. I do like it though.

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  11. This looks really pretty and unexpected on you!

    This color is within my comfort zone for sure.

    Thanks for the review xx

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  12. Wow! I think you may have found the perfect "nude" for me! What a lovely color. I'm starting to collect more and more Laura Mercier. Her products are so high-quality yet relatively inexpensive (and yes, I know how crazy it is that I'm calling $22 lipstick inexpensive, but you know where I'm coming from.)

    Great review!

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  13. Jeanie, I knew for certain that this color would be in your comfort zone!

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  14. Shannon, please do try it on first. I know you like more vivid lip color (as do I) and you have more contrast than I, so I'd hate for this to be a disappointment.

    And, yes, I do know exactly where you're coming from. I used to think $22 was a lot to pay for a lipstick, and then I balked at paying a whopping $29 for an Edward Bess lip product (back when they were only $29), and then I swore I would never pay more than $30 for a lipstick. *sigh*

    One thing's for sure: I can safely say I will never pay $75 for a lipstick (a la Serge Lutens) or its bargain-basement $55 refill! Of course, you'll have to check back with me in 2 years, and we'll see where I've ended up. ;)

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  15. This looks really pretty on you. I haven't tried any lip products from Laura Mercier for a long time, but I'm always tempted to give them a go again after reading your reviews. The colours you swatch always look lovely (I'm still lemming Sweet Cherry) and the formulations sound great! Will have to test a few of the shades next time I visit Space NK. I also really like the look of Bobbi Brown's Rose Petal in your comparison photo and Tea Rose looks Beautiful! Thank you for the swatches.

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  16. Nat, I think you would really like Sweet Cherry! Rose Petal is also quite pretty. It's more pink than Sparkling Pink and has a touch of shimmer. Tea Rose is, well, it's Lip Chic. 'Nuff said. <3

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