shiseido rouge rouge lipstick – a welcome break from the hype
So, yeah. Shiseido Rouge Rouge lipstick. At first I was going to start this post off with something along the lines of “OMG why is no one talking about these?!?!?” but the more I thought about it, that’s not really a hard question. Anymore it seems like the makeup scene (online, at least) is all Instagram brows-YASS QUEEN-beauty guru drama-Kylie everything, so I’m completely unsurprised there’s no hype train for an elegantly understated brand like Shiseido.
There really should be, though.
Sure, there’s no flashy packaging, no holographic finishes, no easter egg colors and (gasp!) it’s not even liquid, but still – these are some of the best lipsticks I’ve tried in a while. In fact, Shiseido sent me two shades to try out for review, and I ended buying another one for myself. So what’s so great about them?
The packaging doesn’t steal the show here, and that’s fine. The slightly off-round shape keeps it from feeling boring, and there’s enough heft to it that it feels luxe without weighing your purse down. The lid snaps on using small magnets on the sides of the lid and the base, which is kind of a double-edged sword. It closes securely and is easy to open, but you do have to have the magnets aligned correctly if you want it to snap shut. Overall I don’t feel the need to gush about it, but it’s perfectly functional.
Unlike some lipstick ranges where I feel the need to hoard every single shade, the Rouge Rouge lineup has a different, simpler vibe – finding the perfect red for you. All in all there are 16 shades, all in variations on red and pink:
- Ruby Copper (RD501 – vivid, warm bright red
- Real Ruby (RD502) – glowing brownish red
- Bloodstone (RD503) – intense, rich, brownish red
- Rouge Rum Punch (RD504) – intense brown/red violet
- Murrey (RD305) – cool, reddish coral
- Liaison (RD306) – subtle red with an orange note
- First Bite (RD307) – bright, burned orange
- Toffee Apple (RD308) – sweet and bright warm red
- Coral Shore (RD309) – delicate, warm coral
- Burning Up (RD310) – fresh, peachy pink
- Crime of Passion (RD311) – warm, reddish coral
- Poppy (RD312) – classic, clear bright red
- Hushed Tones (RD713) – warm, pinky brown
- Sweet Desire (RD714) – rich, reddish brown
- Rose Crush (RD715) – subtle, pinkish brown
- Red Queen (RD716) – formal, pinkish red-brown
Since they’re clearing sticking to a core color group here, the differences between some shades are subtle. Like, really subtle, but enough variety to make sure there’s one that really flatters your skin tone. That definitely appeals to the part of me that feels like I should be a lot more minimalist than I actually am.
The colors I got are Toffee Apple, Red Queen and Liaison. Toffee Apple and Liaison are pretty close in color (that’s what I get for ordering without swatching, oh well) – both are vibrant reds but Liaison has just a hint more orange to it. Red Queen is just what it sounds like, a slightly brown-based pink that’s not terribly far off from my natural lip color.
The thing I love about these shades is they have some depth to them. They reflect light without having obvious sparkle particles, and it’s not one of those flat, single-color pigment jobs. The ones I’ve tried, at least, come off as very sophisticated.
Formula & Finish
This right here is why I think we really need that hype train – choo choo baby! I’ll readily admit that I have an embarrassing number of lipsticks and Rouge Rouge is one of the most comfortable formulas I’ve ever tried. It’s a blend of oil and wax with hyaluronic acid in the mix. End result? Lips that are moisturized even after a bike ride in 25-degree weather. The texture is creamy without slipping around, and covers well without gathering in lines. The slightly glossy finish isn’t quite as long-wearing as matte liquid formulas, maybe 5 hours or so (including at least two cups of coffee) before it starts to fade noticeably. I consider all the pros to be a very fair tradeoff for re-applying at lunchtime though.
In Short: If you’re building a capsule makeup wardrobe, this needs to be in it.
Two of the lipsticks in this post were provided by the brand for me to review; the other was purchased by me.