I swear to god every time I go to ColourPop’s site to see if they have like ONE THING back in stock, I see a NEW THING, and decide on an utter whim that I need it right nowwwwwww. That happened a week or so ago when I checked to see if they had any more shades of the creme gel liner back in stock — they did not. But they DID have a new collection of “Crushed Crystal” liquid highlighters and lip balms, and I am bad at self-denial.
I picked up the Crystal Liquid Highlighter in “aquamarine” ($9/.85oz) and the Crystal Lip Balm in “amethyst” ($5/.11oz) because … well, because I like shiny things. The whole line contains crushed/powdered versions of whatever stone is in the shade name, which I care about not at all. Having worked with a lot of ground/powdered rocks in my day, I can tell you that once you get them down small enough to be viable in makeup, they basically just look white. And I think I don’t have to tell you that trying to pitch me on any kind of healing/mystical properties inherent in glittery silicate dirt-bits is gonna get you a HARD eye-roll. But, again : shiny! So LET’S TAKE A LOOK.
Okay the lip balm is NICE. The case is thick satin-finish white plastic with a brushed-silver metallic inner sleeve, and it’s hefty, sturdy, and clicks closed securely. This is by far the nicest packaging I’ve seen from CP and I’m down with it. The label on the bottom of my “amethyst” balm is lavender, which I’m going to assume means they’re color coded, which is a thoughtful touch.
The balm itself feels fairly thick and plush and creamy — it’s exactly the kind of texture I like, as it clings pretty well and doesn’t immediately soak into (or evaporate off of) my lips. Obviously it’ll wear off with eating/drinking/etc, but otherwise it feels pretty good for a few hours. Also, bonus points for not containing whatever the ingredient is in Lip Smackers and MAC Lipglass that I’ve developed an allergy or sensitivity to.
The finish has a definite pink-leaning violet shimmer/sheen, but it’s not so dense that it reads as “frosty” when heavily applied. And, tho it does contain both mica and titanium dioxide (which can supply opacity and whiteness), it doesn’t really whiten your lips. (Which, if you want a weird and hilariously unflattering sheer-ish white lip balm? Go grab a Sprite-flavored Lip Smacker.)
There’s only ONE aspect of this balm I’m not super crazy about. Can you guess what it is? CAN YOU? (I bet Finch is bouncing in her chair with her hand raised, Hermione-style.) THAT’S CORRECT, IT IS THE SCENT. I would’ve expected unscented. I would not have been surprised at something flowery or perfumey. Watermelon, however, threw me for a loop. Are all four shades watermelon-scented? I don’t know. But this one DEFINITELY is, and while it’s fine — not revoltingly sweet or screamingly strong — it’s still not my fave.
DO YOU NEED IT? Do you like lip balms? Do you like shimmery sheer lip things? Are you keen on Watermelon Jolly Ranchers? Then this is the five-dolla lip balm for you.
UPDATE : AUGUST 21 : Okay I just put this on again — it lives on my office desk and I’ve applied it probably 10-20 times? And it broke at the base, right where the bottom of the bullet goes into the shallow plastic base thing. :( SADNESS. I’m guessing the product is a little too soft for a traditional bullet, and should be in a standard twist-up lip balm tube? Or it’s possible that I just got a defective one — so if you get this, be gentle with it! I’ll probably continue to use mine as-is for a bit, and then scrape it out of the bullet base, dump it in a tiny glass bowl (soy sauce dish!), microwave to melt it, and pour it into a standard balm tube. (You could also mash it into a jar or pot, but I dislike applying lip things with my fingers.)
Crystal Lip Balm Ingredients : Diisostearyl Malate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, C10-18 Triglycerides, Polyethylene, Lauryl Laurate, Silica, Amethyst Powder, Diamond Powder, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Momordica Grosvenori Fruit Extract, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Potassium Sorbate, Glycerin, Sorbitan Isostearate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Tribehenin, Tocopherol, C12-16 Alcohol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Water, Palmitic Acid, Betaine, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Sodium Benzoate, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid, Flavor, Mica (Ci 77019), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).
The Liquid Crystal Highlighter is also pretty nice, BUT. This has a fairly thin creamy texture which has a LOT of slip and feels even thinner and more watery as you rub it in / blend it out. The shimmer is easy to disperse smoothly, and on my skin it reads as a pearly violet sheen with with sparse (and tiiiiiiny) blue sparkles. While the color is quite nice, it’s definitely not really “aquamarine.” I’ve got two other blue highlighters already, both of which have a violet sheen or flip, so I was really hoping this one was going to read more blue-turquoise. Still, if you’re into Shimmery Alien Face, this might be a great choice for you.
The pump on this (glass) bottle has a pretty short spring, so it’s fairly easy to only dispense a tiny amount if you plan to just pat it on your cheekbones and blend. Which, if that’s your jam, this yields a pretty nice look! Even applied with a kinda heavy hand, this didn’t look “metallic” or otherwise bring any kind of hideous emphasis to pores and lines and other Textural Issues. (In the photo above, I’ve already rubbed some over the back of my hand very sheerly – you can see a few of the tiny blue-violet specks catching the light.) On dry-down, it has a silky-smooth and very slightly powdery feel, which I quite like.
But! the formula also lends itself to mixing in with your foundation or primer for an allover glow spiel. Which … I love you guys, but I’m not going to try this. I read the ingredients and saw Cyclopentasiloxane and Silica, which are two ingredients common to primers and mattifiers, and which I suspect make me break out in absolutely tragic cystic acne. I’m sending the bottle to Finch, so maybe she’ll give it a test drive, as those ingredients don’t make her face erupt in some kind of angry zit-based revolutionary coup.
DO YOU NEED IT? Maybe! If you’re into liquid highlighters, particularly of the variety like Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquids that can be combined with your foundation or primer, these are probably worth a shot (assuming you don’t have issues with heavy silicones, as I do). I mean they’re nine bucks for nearly an ounce, and I feel like the balance of shimmer vs sheen/pearl is really nice.
Liquid Crystal Highlighter Ingredients : Cyclopentasiloxane, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Lauryl Laurate, C10-18 Triglycerides, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Octyldodecanol, Silica Silylate, Silica, Pentylene Glycol, Aquamarine Powder, Polyethylene, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Tin Oxide, Water, Glycerin, Xanthan Gum, Aquamarine Powder, Sodium Benzoate, Lactic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Mica (Ci 77019), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).
Tried either of these yet? Adore / despise? Discuss!