NYX Transylvania Soft Matte Lip Cream swatches, review, photos

NYX Transylvania review swatch photos

The product: NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream in 21 Transylvania 

Man, it has been a LONG time since I reviewed any makeup! I feel like I just haven’t had the time or energy to wear any recently – my everyday face consists of tinted moisturizer (Rodial foundation and Clarins Beauty Flash Balm), a light brow (Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner, of course), and like, nothing else.

Lather, rinse, repeat; day in and day out. So, a couple weeks ago, I decided to change things up a little.

NYX TRansylvania soft matte lip cream review

NYX Transylvania review photos swatches

The formula: Alright, so I’m just gonna stick my head out there and say it: I don’t like the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream formula. I can see why other people like it, but I just don’t.

It feels light and airy without too much transfer, which I like. And it smells like cupcake batter, which I also like because I’m not a monster. And it’s way more comfortable than a retro matte, so that’s nice too.

But my lips are DRY, you see. They’re not just dry; they’re Alberta-dry. They have dry patches galore, all of which this lipstick catches on, and after half an hour, my lips get uncomfortable. So I fidget and press them together to compensate, and this lipstick (which never truly sets) heads for my lipline faster than an ex who can’t get away from you fast enough.

NYX Transylvania Soft Matte Lip Cream swatch

NYX Soft Lip Cream in Transylvania swatches – after 15 min

The colour: In the tube, Transylvania is gorgeous. It’s this beautiful “matte deep violet” (description right from the NYX site), and it looks like it’s going to turn you into an instant Bad Grrl, with capitalization totally necessary.

On my lips, though… Transylvania is yet another dark, moody red. And don’t get me wrong; it’s still totally gorgeous! But in everyone else’s swatches, it looks like it’s going to be this mind-blowing eggplant shade, and I just couldn’t get it there without plum or black liner underneath (which is totally cheating.) Even with three layers, it was just red, red, red on me.

A sexy red that’s totally ’90s (Faith would have worn the hell out of this shade), but still. With my naturally red lips, this wasn’t purple on me at all. 

NYX Transylvaia with lipliner

NYX Transylvania overtop of nude lipliner (left) and eggplant liner (right)

NYX dark violet matte lipstick review

The verdict?

I think that Transylvania looks killer on most humans, but my lips aren’t having any of it. The formula seems to only have medium opacity, so unfortunately, the colour of my reddish lips bled right through it.

Would I buy a different Soft Matte Lip Cream, though? Well… Probably not. (Make Up For Ever does a way more comfortable soft matte). But I’d definitely try a shade like this one again; maybe in the NYX Full Throttle or Liquid Suede formula instead!

Availability: $6 USD/$9 CAD at Nyx Cosmetics, Shopper’s Drug Mart, Rexall, and London Drugs.

NYX Soft Matte lip cream review photos swatches

The NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream ingredients:

Isohexadecane, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Dimethicone, Beeswax, Glyceryl Behenate/Eicosadioate, Talc, Cyclopentasiloxane, Propylene Carbonate, Silica, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Rosin/Colophonium/Colophane, Barium Sulfate, Phenoxyethanol, Flavor/Aroma, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal.

+/- Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Yellow 6 Lake (CI 15985), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 (CI 15850), Red 28 Lake (CI 45410).

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  • esharp1978

    Does Clarins Beauty Flash Balm have silicones in it? I could have sworn it did! I just looked it up and it doesn't… huh. I might have to sample it.
    My recent post Rodney Strong 2014 Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc

    • Nope, not a single one!! Their popular primer-balm thingy (Instant Touch Perfecting Touch) is full of silicones if I'm not mistaken, but their Beauty Flash Balm is not. I was really surprised to find out, too!

  • shireenplatt

    LMAO at the ex reference. LOL! Onto the product, NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams are generally not forgiving on dry lips. I have to exfoliate and really hydrate my lips before wearing one. Transylvania is a very dark, vampy shade, I'm not sure I'm able to pull it off.
    My recent post BRAND SPOTLIGHT: Jarvis Cosmetics

    • I think you totally could! That formula, though – it's SO much harder to pull off a dark lip when you know it'll get all messy the second you move your lips.

      I recently tried out the Liquid Suede range, and I liked those a lot more. The one I have still felt drying after a while, but held MUCH better (and with way better opacity) than the Soft Matte.

  • rocaillewrites

    I've tried one of those in Monte Carlo (a blue red) because Transylvania was out of stock at my Ulta at the time. I didn't like the formula either. I absolutely agree that it catches on every single flake and dry patch, and gets very uncomfortable after the first 15 minutes. I also tried a matte liquid lipstick from Bourjois and didn't like it either, so maybe my lips are just too dry for those liquid mattes? I'm still half tempted to try the new bareMinerals mattes though.
    My recent post My Nail Polish Collection and One Last Declutter

    • I'm a little glad to hear that I'm not the only one! Everyone just keeps raving and raving about how moisturizing these are (even the darker shades); it's super confusing. I miss the days when beauty bloggers were more than just Instagram idols & got super upset when the products they bought (with their own $$) underperformed! :(

      I've tried a couple of mattes this year that have really surprised me with how wearable they are, but I definitely do find that liquid mattes are still uncomfortable. They're not as "oh god, my lips; my lips!!" as they used to be, but I feel like the industry promised us that lipsticks would be so much better than this by now :P I want my hovercraft & comfortable matte lipsticks, darn it! It's the 21st century!

  • I really love these, I have two of them and I wear them all the time. Not dry on my lips and the formula is good, I have tried others that were extremely dry and I just couldnt handle them, so these are so nice for me! :)

    My recent post Do it yourself – the most beautiful sandals for the beach – DIY

    • Can I ask what shades you have, Yiota? (As kohimiruku mentioned below, I hear that the lighter shades tend to be more moisturizing!)

  • kohimiruku

    I actually really like the Soft Matte Lip Creams, even WITH my dry lips (allergy meds, ugh), BUT–an important but–this formula is so not consistent between shades. Their darker shades almost always streak and feather, and I ended up trashing my Transylvania years ago because it never sat right (its berry sister Copenhagen is mildly better, but *only* mildly). I had much better luck with Stockholm and the newly-released Rome; their nudes and mid-tones on the whole are pretty good and actually feel soft, not gritty or drying. But YMMV obviously :P

    • Whyyy, NYX! I hate it when that happens – reliability is one of those things that's really important to me, and if a product performs well BUT ONLY in certain shades, it totally ruins it for me. If I wanted to take a gamble every time I purchased a new lip shade, I may as well just be buying from different product ranges or brands!!

      Thanks for letting me know about this phenomenon. I haven't tried any of the other shades yet, but it's a good thing to know!