August is here, summer is almost here, and all I can say is: what in the ever-loving fuck was that?!
Between Miss Rona ravaging the country, COVIDiots and tinfoil hat conspiracy theorists deciding that wearing a piece of cloth on your face was the beginning of a secret plot by Bill Gates to kill everyone, and 45 blundering ever closer to a dictatorship by deploying military forces against citizens protesting police brutality against black and brown people, this summer has been one shitstorm after another. Didn’t know you were going to get politics with your product review, didja?! Well, I didn’t think I was going to be living in a world where grown ass adults were pitching fits in the entryway of Costco, but here we are. Wear your mask and shut your goddamn mouth so we can get through this more quickly.
There, now we can get frivolous.
Gerard Cosmetics recently had a summer sale, and I was feeling some emotions that I was ready to shop out, so I decided to try a bunch of different products in a range of different formulas. There were select shades in all of their different lines that were only $8 each, so I decided it was time for a lip buffet. Here’s what I picked up:
L to R: Glitter Lipstick in Cupid and Hollywood Blvd, Lipstick in Fire Engine
Cupid is a gorgeous blue-based red with pink and blue glitter shimmer. The glitter isn’t super intense in this one, it’s almost more of a subtle metallic kind of effect. Hollywood Blvd is a peachy base with silver and copper and glitter. This one is much more intense, and it messed with the focus on my camera! I’m sure it had nothing to do with me being absolute shit with technology. Yeah, that’s it. Fire Engine, not surprisingly, is a bright blue-based red, sort of like Cupid without any glitter. It’s not fully matte, but definitely not much shine to it, more of a satin finish.
These are fine. They aren’t my favorite lipstick formula, but they aren’t the worst. I really like that Hollywood Blvd has a pretty opaque base and still gets a lot of impact out of the glitter. The glitter in Cupid, however, is definitely lacking. Fire Engine is a nice enough red, but I was hoping for more of a true red; especially with the lack of glitter in Cupid, the two red shades were just too similar to really make it worth it. In hindsight, I probably would have gotten Hollywood Blvd and skipped the other two – I have a ton of blue-based reds that I like better.
L to R: Metal Matte Liquid Lipstick in Fuzzy Navel, Double Shot, and Cherry Bomb
Fuzzy Navel is a bright yellow-based pink, a little bit of reflectance, but not a lot of shimmer. Double Shot is a metallic bronze/brown. Cherry Bomb is a bright blue-toned red with a glittery metallic reflect.
I almost forgot: Fuzzy Navel and Doubleshot were not lipsticks that I bought during the sale – I already had them and never got around to reviewing them, so I decided to add them in to this review. Sue me. These three are probably my favorites of all the lip products. Metallic liquid lipsticks seem to be a challenge, and while these are super strong on the metallic front, they are pigmented and dry down smooth and without patchiness, something that can be hard to find. I like all of these colors, and I would be willing to try other shades in this particular line.
L to R: Hydra Matte Liquid Lipstick in Honeymoon and Vintage Rose
Again, my feeling is just sort of lukewarm. These were fine. They didn’t blow me away, but there weren’t any big problems. Honeymoon is a slightly more mauve shade and Vintage Rose is more pink, but they are very similar. I was hoping for more of a bright pink option, but this is what I got. They paint on nicely enough, and they dry down pretty quickly. These shades don’t impress me, but none of the wilder shades I was interested in were part of the sale. If there was another sale, I would think about trying them again (if there aren’t other lip options diverting my attention), but it’s not something I’m thinking about.
L to R: Color Your Smile Lip Gloss in Rose Hill, Bermuda, Bahama
Rose Hill is a popsicle red, the most sheer of the trio though still a fair amount of pigment. Bermuda is a bright lilac purple, very opaque and colorful. Bahama is an icy cyan.
This sort of formula is such a thing now, and I’m not sure how to feel about it. It’s a gloss, but it’s pretty pigmented. Not pigmented enough to be like a liquified version of a lipstick, but enough that the color will show over your natural lip color (or over whatever other lip color you layer it with). It tends to clump up a bit around the edges; glosses in general tend to do that, but it’s much more noticeable when there is this level of pigment.
These also have a different kind of component: the gloss is in a square tube with a mirror on one side. When you unscrew the lid, the lid with the applicator has small LED lights that light up so that you can use the mirror and reapply…in the forest, I guess? I mean, I guess if you’re in a dark place and you just can’t live without reapplying your gloss until you get to a lighted area, these might be helpful? It strikes me as the essence of gimmick. One of mine came broken and didn’t light up, and I promise you, I’ll still be able to gloss up my lips. I’m a survivor.
Supreme Lip Cream in Blooming Hibiscus
I’m not sure what the difference is between this and the Color Your Smile glosses except that it comes in basic packaging and seems to have a light, maybe candy sort of scent? The other ones just smell like generic lip product. There is maybe a subtle bit of glitter? Maybe not? This coral pink is nice, and very warm-toned, but nothing really special.
I just…I’m underwhelmed. These products range from $16 to $24, and if I’m being honest I don’t think I would ever buy any of these at full price. They aren’t terrible, but they also aren’t special. The gold packaging is plain in a way that doesn’t quite make it all the way to elegant; truthfully, it seems maybe only a step or two up from private label packaging. The performance is ok, but not as good as other brands at the same or slightly lower prices. I don’t mind having paid $8 for these, and I will try to play around with them more, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a good chunk of these fall during the next declutter.
I’m not sure if it’s restlessness during quarantine or that I just have that much more exposure to a wider range of brands (at all different price and quality levels), but this just isn’t the time to be mediocre – and that’s what these products are to me. They are the student who gets pretty much straight Cs, with maybe an occasional B+ for something they are really interested in, but they never quite capture that A.