“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.” -Gwyneth Paltrow

Sephora Rouge Cream Lipstick--The Red 04

Image Courtesy of Me

We are off and running with another red lipstick review, ladies! This time, it came from one of my wonderful employees, who I had complimented a couple of weeks ago on her lovely lipstick. Lo and behold, she arrived at work today with a Sephora bag in hand with a nice little lipstick inside! Some days, I really love my job. 

As I already have so many reds, it's getting hard for even me to differentiate between them, so I've started to become very picky in my choices. There has to be something different about the lipstick, be it the color, the formula, the lasting power, the pigmentation, etc., to really get me excited these days. Today, the draw was value!....

Sephora has an entire line of lipsticks known as the Sephora Rouge Cream Lipstick Collection. Having had mixed results from Sephora's various makeup items in the past, I have always steered clear of the lipsticks, not being willing to take a chance on them when I have so many fantastic choices out there. However, this collection is "new and improved" and is supposed to be creamier, longer-lasting, and more densely pigmented than the former line (which makes me wonder what the heck was going on with that other line if it needed that much improvement!)

Sephora's testers scare me a little, so I was especially happy to receive this as a gift. I didn't even wait to get home before I was test-driving it!

Image Courtesy of me

The Red 04 is a true red, and is quite bright. It definitely makes a statement against my pale skin and on my pale lips.  I will say that it was toned down considerably when I took it to work and had some of my employees with highly-pigmented lips try it on. I just have very pale lips and am a blank canvas for any lip color. What you see is what you get. If it pulls at all, which I really don't think it does, it pulls just slightly blue on me. The lipstick is very highly pigmented, I'll give it that. One coat was enough to give me a nice, even coat of color. 

Anyhow, on to The Red 04. The consistency is slightly thick and heavy for my taste, dragging somewhat on the lips. It does feel creamy on the lips for about the first hour, after which it dries down and becomes sticky. Yes, sticky. I was literally talking and my lips felt as if they were getting stuck together. I had to apply a gloss on top to fix the problem. It was quite an odd sensation, and not a pleasant one. However, I removed the lipstick, applied some Chapstick, reapplied The Red 04, and it worked out much better. Just be warned that you will need some sort of lip balm under this one or you'll regret it. Despite the Chapstick issue, I will say that this lipstick wore fairly well. It faded evenly over time and lasted a good 4-5 hours, during which I was talking to employees constantly. There was some feathering, though. I did not use a lip liner, but did use a lip brush, and always test new lipsticks this way to see how they stand up to feathering. The Red 04 was adequate, not outstanding. 

Image Courtesy of Me

Overall, this is a lovely red lipstick that has some shortcomings which may turn out to be deal breakers for you. First of all, it dries down very quickly rather than staying creamy, so there is a need for lip balm underneath. Second, there was some fairly significant feathering, which I later alleviated with a lip liner, but it goes to show that the lipstick itself is migrating...something the better lipsticks out there do not do. 

All that being said, this is also a $12 lipstick. For $12, you are getting a very highly pigmented lipstick in a wide array of colors including a beautiful signature true red. This is definitely one of the prettiest reds in my arsenal, and because it is such a true red it should look good on most everyone. For example, one of my employees is Venezuelan and The Red 04 looks stunning on her...and trust me, her skintone is nothing like mine. It's probably NC40 with yellow undertones, while I'm NW15 and neutral. This is definitely one that could be marketed as "universal". Despite its shortcomings, it's a beautiful lipstick and well worth the price.

Grade: B


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