Performance Colors Semi Matte Lipstick Lip Swatches and Review

I Purchased This Gift

When it comes to this brand, Performance Colors, I'm honestly a little surprised that they aren't more popular or talked about on blogs considering how many sales they have on Etsy. I actually didn't get introduced to the brand until Ivy of Rock, Roll, Glam! posted about them. Compared to other brands, they're rather nondescript though maybe they don't need flash; after all the brand is inexpensive and there's a great variety in the products and colors available.

I purchased samples of their undereye concealer, a full size cream eyeshadow, and samples of their semi matte lipsticks (which I'll be reviewing today). I received extra samples from each of the rest of their product lines and will eventually be reviewing the once I really like. and today I'm swatching seven out of the eleven colors available in the Semi Matte Lip Color formula. 

Performance Colors Semi Matte Lip Colors

Where to purchase: Performance Colors
Price: Samples aren't available individually but come in a set of three (each having 1 gram of product) for $3.00. Full sizes are $5.00 for one with 5mL or you can take part in their lipstick special of three lipsticks for $10.00.
Do they test on animals? I do believe they do not test on animals. 
Packaging: The sample comes a small clamshell and the full size comes in a chapstick-style twist up tube. The clamshells were a bit fiddly to get open.
My Thoughts on the Formula

These are not vegan as the formula contains beeswax.  When you first apply the lipsticks, they have a somewhat shiny finish that dries down into a satin/semi-matte finish after about twenty minutes. These are firm yet creamy with immediate and heavy coverage right off the bat while still being comfortable on the lips. They aren't sticky or heavy and I didn't find them to be drying. There is a hint of vanilla in the formula, though I do think there is a slight generic lipstick scent. 

I'm not too fond of the chapstick-style packaging though it didn't give me too much trouble with application (I still preferred applying with my fingers or a lip brush). I do think that combined with the softness of the formula, you can get a little heavy handed with the lipstick on the lips. You'll have a better wear time and look to the lipstick by smoothing the lipstick down with your fingers or a brush afterwards to better meld it to the lips. For better precision, you can definitely use a lip brush. Wear time with the lipsticks was surprisingly good and relatively resilient through eating and drinking. I got about four hours of wear (even though an oreos and milk session).

Performance Colors Semi Matte Lip Colors


The lipsticks were applied using my fingers. All swatches were photographed in natural daylight with no flash.


Performance Colors Semi Matte Lipstick in Buff

Buff: "Highly pigmented opaque flesh color" Against my skin tone, I think it is too light for me but lighter skin tones might find it more flattering! You do have to be careful to get this to look opaque because it is slightly milky.

Desert Rose

Performance Colors Semi Matte Lipstick in Desert Rose

Desert Rose: "Highly pigmented opaque light neutral coral brown" This will stain your lips though it's a bright pink stain and not a neutral color like the lip product. I think I like this color so much because it reminds me of MAC Strawberry Blonde. I don't think it's close and of course I lost my depot of it so I'm out of luck for comparison's sake. Oh well, it's still a pretty coral brown. I think this is my third favorite color of the bunch.


Performance Colors Semi Matte Lipstick in Hibiscus

Hibiscus: "Highly pigmented opaque full force bright happy warm red" This is a bold and bright strawberry/raspberry bright something color. I thought this looked similar to Milani Flamingo Pose but this is brighter and less milky. I don't really like the fruity scent in Flamingo Pose so I like Hibiscus instead.

Pink Choco

Performance Colors Semi Matte Lipstick in Pink Choco

Pink Choco: "Highly pigmented opaque neutral brown pink" This also stained my lips afterwards. I wasn't a fan of this color but I can't really put my finger on why, I think it may just be a little too milky for me.


Performance Colors Semi Matte Lipstick in Posh

Posh: "Highly pigmented opaque toned down coral color" This is more of a brighter orange-y coral type.

I thought that Desert Rose and Posh were really similar so here's a side by side so you can compare the colors. Posh is every so slightly darker while Desert Rose is a bit more pink. It's not necessary to own both in my opinion so pick whichever one you like better!

Performance Colors Semi Matte Lipstick Desert Rose vs Posh


Performance Colors Semi Matte Lipstick in Valentine

Valentine: "Highly pigmented opaque full force deep dark and mysterious classic valentine blood red rose" I think this was my second favorite color. It's a beautifully berry red with a slight hint of transluence. It's not terribly unique but still, I do love berry reds.


Performance Colors Semi Matte Lipstick in Vertigo

Vertigo: "Highly pigmented opaque dark violet brown color" I saved the best for last. The first time I wore it I got an immediate compliment so it's for sure worth getting as a sample. I have such a weakness for wine colored rose creams. I think wine tinged colors are such an easy way to wear purples without being in your face about it.

Final Thoughts

I always like trying new indie brands, especially ones that offer lip products. These are definitely very wearable colors and I'm so enthused about Vertigo, the surprise wine lipstick that I've been searching for. Compared to other lipsticks, these are softer but there's incredible payoff and a great variety of colors. I feel like most indie lipsticks have a somewhat shinier finish so the semi-matte finish is a little different. For only $5.00 each, they are worth a look  and if not, the three pack of lipstick samples is only $3.00! 

I hope you enjoyed this post. Are you thinking about scoping out Performance Colors on Etsy?


I've finished my finals and I've officially graduated from university! I'm so thankful to be done and I've got the summer off before I start grad school in the fall (only 2 1/2-3 years until I get my Masters degree >> ) I'll be attending Generation Beauty next week (a new beauty event held by Ipsy) so if anyone is going then, do tell me! If you're still in school, I hope for the best when it comes to finals week!

Disclaimer: I purchased three samples (Buff, Hibiscus, and Vertigo) and received the other four samples for free. I wasn't compensated to write this post and all opinions are my own.


  1. Hibiscus is gorgeous! Thanks for the swatches!

  2. They're really pretty! I'm checking out their site ;) Love indie makeup, ciao bella

    Barbarella maquill-Arte

  3. *suddenly craves oreos and milk* Hibiscus is my fave out of the bunch! And congrats on graduating!! I just graduated too, got an interview next week! (I seriously can't imagine another 2-3 years of school, best of luck!)

  4. They look gorgeous especially for the price. Congrats on graduating from uni and going to grad school. I'm dreading grad school myself, ack! Have fun at the Generation Beauty event!

  5. i have a lot of products from Performance Colors (Lipsticks and creams eyeshadows) love all

  6. I like the colours in this line. I'll check Performance Colors out; the eye primer looks promising.

    Congratulations on graduating university!

  7. oh my gosh, that's so exciting! I hope for the best for you!!

  8. Oooh, what other colors do you like from them?

  9. Valentine and Vertigo are so pretty! I just heard about this shop via Phyrra, but then googled for more reviews and found your post- I think I need to at least try some of their samples.

  10. What a great review, thank you! I'm having trouble deciding what colors to try and this really helped out.


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