Monday, August 4, 2014

Skip It: Sephora Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color (Fig Luster + dupes)

Come on, Sephora. Why must you throw so many words into your product names. It's like you're trying to fill another page of essay but have nothing more to say. "Matte! Luster!" a Sephora executive exclaims, hitting his fist on the conference table. "Dammit, Jimmy, we need more words!"

This product isn't inherently terrible. It's not even 'awful'--but it sure as hell isn't worth the $16.

Why? you ask your screen, looking befuddled. Well, fellow reader who most likely googled 'sephora review' and was redirected here, I'll tell you.

When I buy something 'high end' I like to think I'm paying for 3 things: packaging, product, and exclusivity. If packaging didn't sell, then perfumes would be pretty ugly looking. And of course if I'm paying $16 for something so tiny, I want it to work better than a $10 drugstore thing. I also don't want to buy something that I already have duplicates of.

For me, Sephora's Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color in Fig Luster get's a big old "Nooope" on all 3 points.

1. Packaging

This packaging is terrible. I'm not even going to sugarcoat it. It looks cheap and it screams drugstore. Imagine a MAC lipstick. Looks nice and sleek and heavy. Now imagine the opposite. Or, you know, just look down. 

Why does the Sephora $16 product look cheaper than the $7 Revlon lipgloss? Let's break it down.

The big chunky words on the cheap-feeling "matte" cap look juvenile. Revlon has a luxe-looking gold band under a shiny, dense cap. Sephora's got those unappealing black letters on the body--while the Revlon is totally clean. The Sephora Luster Matte reminds me of those little lipglosses my 9 year old sister plays with.

All in all, the packaging doesn't scream "I'm high end, I'm $16" to me.

2. Product

This was the section that most tempted me to keep this thing. "But it's $16! It's better than drugstore! I should keep it!" I rationalized.

It's ok. It's decent. It gets the job done.

L-R: wet, 'dry', Clinique's Long Last Lipstick in Heather Moon, $15
With flash version for the picky.
It goes on really smooth and light-weight; I can hardly feel it. Nice. I find liquid products hard to manage, but I did an ok job.

Check out my disembodied lips. I didn't feel like doing a full face of makeup for a B- product.

No flash.

It doesn't really dry though. The Luster Matte isn't sticky either--but it still feels wet. If you're planning on drinking, plan on subtly and sneakily wiping off your cup. No bonus points for that.

The wear time is ok. You eat, it starts to come off on your food. You'll have to do some touch ups. Meh. I have drugstore products that give me the same effect, but with more of a true matte.

3. Exclusivity

I don't have a huge lip collection. I still managed to find colors that were close to this one.

First off, look above for the Clinique Long Last Lipstick in Heather Moon. Entirely forgot to add that one to the list below.

L-R: Sephora Luster Matte in Fig Luster, Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Sultry, Covergirl Lip Perfection in Romance, ELF Matte Lip Color in Tea Rose, Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in Iconic Iris.

Same, but with Flash.
When I brought home the Sephora Luster Matte and slapped it onto my face I already knew I had a shade that gave me the same effect.

Revlon Matte Balm in Sultry ($9) is one of my favorite shades: it gives the same pleasant end result but is just more pink. And it's a matt crayon. Come on, it's great.

The Covergirl Lip Perfection in Romance ($7) is a really really close dupe to Fig Luster. It doesn't seem like it on my arm, but in natural light it actually looks quite similar.

ELF Matte Lip Color in Tea Rose ($3) is my favorite shade. Like, out of my whole collection, next to aforementioned Sultry. You should definitely go buy it. In comparison to Fig Luster, it's cooler and more purple.

The last one I included is Revlon's Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in Iconic Iris ($10) since it's the other liquid product. This one is more of a shimmery brown-red that basically lasts forever. This line of liquid lipstick isn't for the weakhearted. I have to manually scrub this stuff off. The swatch on my arm is still shimmery, too.

So, I have colors that I prefer to the Sephora Luster Matte Fig Luster. It's a nice color, but I don't need it.

3.5: Prices

So I guess here's a bonus category.

Sephora Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color retails for $16 for 0.14 fl oz ($114.28 per fl oz). In comparison, OOC Lip Tars are $19 for 0.33 fl oz ($57.57 per fl oz). The Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick is $10.99 for 0.1 fl oz ($109.9 per fl oz).

If you're thinking "But Veronica: I really like that shade, I don't really care about packaging. The formula sounds good too." Then you're in luck. Run down to Sephora and try it. There are far more exciting colors than Fig Luster that might be original enough to make me and you overlook the ugly tube.


Here's some pictures of this blog's namesake trying on Fig Luster.

Check out that Revlon swatch still chilling on my arm.

She's sulking because that's never coming out.


  1. You're funny! Very enjoyable review and THAT BUN THO! ADORBS. I love the color of this one but like you, probably have several dupes. The packaging is not the swankiest. "Damn it, Jimmy, we need more words!" LOLOL! :D

    1. Thank you! She may be cute, but she's touchy.
      Whenever I see Sephora brand items, I think the pricing is mid-range, but the packaging is drugstore. Dammit if I'm paying $16 for a lipstick, it better not look like a baby lipgloss.


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