This lipstick did not appeal to me when it came out a year or so ago. I find "universally flattering" claims to be both tiresome and grossly overstated, and I was not interested in a sheer lip product. However, after recently noticing that matte, pigmented lipstick makes my aging lips appear thinner, I renewed my efforts to find a MLBB* shade in a less opaque finish. Out of the depths of my subconscious bubbled up a memory of Lipstick Queen Jean Queen ($18) lipstick.
I began reading reviews and asking around. "Universal" colors are almost always too warm for me, and all of my intended MLBB purchases have been failures, ending up too muted or too light. Why was it so hard to find a sheer, clear rose? I wondered if Jean Queen might be similar in value, saturation, and finish to Lipstick Queen's Medieval, a formula I like but whose color is too warm. A friend thought I might not like Jean Queen because it wasn't clear, but I wonder if she formed her impression based on the darkish color in the tube and did not swatch it.
I bought it, anyway and prepared myself for disappointment. When it arrived, however, I felt a little jolt, that inner woo hoo I think we all know about. What I saw was a mid-toned rose. Could this be it?
I also liked the clean and spare blue metallic tube, which feels weighty in the hand.
I'd call Jean Queen's color a rose that contains equal amounts of blue and yellow undertones. The color appears so rosy cool in the tube, even dark, but when swatched (and worn on my lips), I detected a moderately-bright, sunny clarity that lends the pigment some warmth--but not so much warmth I cannot wear it (no orange or brown).
|Sheer rosy goodness|
The lipstick is unscented and the finish is sheer, silky, and does not sit on top of my lips. It applies with plenty of shine but no shimmer.
Jean Queen wears about the same as Medieval and most lip glosses. The shine lasts 30-45 minutes, very much like Chanel's Rouge Coco Shine formula. What made me happiest is this lipstick is not drying over time, as many lipsticks can be that start out moisturizing. For three days, I wore nothing but Jean Queen from early morning to just before bed, and my lips felt great. Lipstick that is drying is my #2 deal breaker, right after an obviously bad color match.
I also bought Jean Queen Lip Gloss because it was all I could initially find. It does not appear cooler than the lipstick, as some reviews claim, but it is more pigmented, which I find perplexing. The goo is dispensed through a squeeze tube. I see the same clear rosy color, decent pigment, and not too sticky a finish, generally unobjectionable if somewhat redundant. If you prefer lip gloss over lipstick and are interested in this color, the Jean Queen Lip Gloss formula is the way to go.
|Jean Queen lipstick and lip gloss comparison|
|Lipstick Queen Jean Queen -- lipstick only|
Bottom line: A natural, juicy color that's an obvious choice year round. Rosy and not too vivid, think of Jean Queen as a tinted lip balm, only much much nicer. Jean Queen is double plus good.
* MLBB = my lips but better
All photos mine