Today I'm going to be reviewing the em michelle phan Creamy Color Matte Lipstick in Cuddling. When I first heard about the EM Cosmetics line, I was so so intrigued by it. They were having a sale (and they're having a coupon code out now where you can get 30% your purchase until the 30th with the code IPSY30) so I bought two, the matte lipstick I'm reviewing today and the creamy color classic lipstick in Nude Lace I'm reviewing later.
I've got a lot of pictures and thoughts to say so I'm putting a cut so your bandwidth won't be eaten up if you're on my blog's front page!
Where to purchase: EM Cosmetics
Price: $16.50 for 3.5 grams/0.123 oz
Do they test on animals?: The company itself does not conduct testing on animals. However keep in mind that they are a L'oreal subsidiary and L'oreal as a whole does conduct testing on animals.
Packaging: The lipsticks come in a metal tube with a metal cap painted white and printed with the em michelle phan name and words starting with "em". I know people have mentioned that the lipstick packaging looks cheap but when you see and hold them in person, they're not. The lipstick cap isn't thin or lightweight and the tube itself feels hefty. They also close with a nice click so you won't have to worry about the cap falling off.
The color Cuddling is a midtone strawberry pink, kind of reminiscent of strawberry milkshakes. Thinking about it now, it actually reminds me of pepto-bismol! There was no color description given on the website.
Here's a full face photo so you can get an idea of how the color looks on my skintone and a lip swatch of the color so you can see details. As always, the photos were taken in natural daylight with no flash.
Something to keep in mind is that when you're looking at it in the tube, the shine on the lipstick makes it look darker but it will apply lighter on the lips. I do think though that the color itself is still off from the website (I was expecting a lighter, more neutral pink and I think the color is darker and brighter)
Formula and Wear Time:
The website describes the lipstick as having a "smooth texture, true color quality, and a velvety, non-drying matte finish".
I thoroughly enjoyed how smoothly and evenly the color applied on my lips. Unlike other matte lipsticks there was no dragging or tugging. The lipstick is indeed very creamy, did not feel heavy, and was not drying at all. After taking the lipstick off, I found my lips to feel pleasantly soft and smooth. I wouldn't call the finish matte though, it does feel and look more like a semi-matte. I'm not exactly sure what they mean by "true color quality" though. As it is a matte lipstick, be sure to exfoliate your lips before applying the color.
When it comes to wear time, the color lasted about four to five hours on the lips but I did notice some lines of demarcation that showed up around the seam of my lips due to my lips pressing together. This may just be the nature of the slightly milky strawberry pink color.
The scent is sort of sweet, maybe an amped up vanilla or cupcake scent? Thankfully I couldn't discern a taste.
Regarding the product photography:
Something to keep in mind for the matte lipstick(s) is that the shine makes it look darker in the tube so once you apply it on, it does lighten up when worn. Unfortunately the photos are obviously photoshopped. I've gone back and forth about whether this is something I should hold against the brand since other brands are just as guilty of this but nonetheless this is something you want to keep this in mind before you purchase. I know they have arm swatches available on the website (and I commend them for swatching on three different skintones) but none of the swatches are labeled so it is difficult to tell which lipstick is which.
Is it worth it to purchase?
Compared to drugstore brands, $16.50 is pricey but compared to mid-end brands (like MAC, Clinique, Stila, LORAC, Tarte), the price is on par. I do think it is expensive, especially considering her youtube channel's audience. Compared to other matte and semi-matte lipsticks I've tried, I think this lipstick has a good formula. It's not drying, draggy, or heavy on my lips. I do wish the finish was slightly more matte though.
I've been trying to figure out whether I like the lipstick formula enough to pay for it and I think it is easy to be skewed everyone else saying the products are expensive; if I put the brand aside and thought about whether I'd pay for the formula and the packaging, I would. However I would not repurchase this specific color because I don't think it's flattering on me and I had expected to be different.
For some $16.50 is a lot to be paying but I think if you're into semi-matte or matte lipsticks, it's worth picking one up just to try once especially considering some of the reviews I've seen on their eyeshadows. They seem to have sales or a special deal every week or two so I think it's unlikely in the near future that you'll be paying full price anyway! (Use the code IPSY30 for 30% off until the end of the month!)