The product: Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Lipsticks in C105 Grege Beige, C211 Rose Wood, M401 Hot Red by Icona Pop, C502 Taupe Violet, C506 Dark Purple, C603 Midnight Blue by Icona Pop
When I first opened up this box of Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Lipsticks, I thought immediately of New Year’s Eve. (Well, once I was done swooning, of course.) These bold shades are the perfect pairing for a night out, and what night is bigger than New Year’s?
They’re great on their own, but for even more of a statement lip, top them with a glittery gloss or loose shimmer!
The formula: The Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist formula is thick, creamy, and opaque. They’re VERY high coverage, and most of the cream colours are packed with so much pigment that they wear like soft mattes.
Overall, these lipsticks are heavy but extremely comfortable, with a hydrating finish. The mattes in particular are very well done – just look at the way that red glows!
The new Rouge Artist lipsticks contain 25% more pigments than the old Rouge Artist Intense formula, and reportedly wear for 8 to 10 hours for the cream and matte finishes – which I wasn’t able to achieve. I saw <4 hours of wear out of these cream formulas with noticeable fading at 1-2 hours; by hour 5, all that was left was a ring around my lipline.
I know: super classy.
The best Rouge Artist lipsticks
The best of the bunch: C105 Grege Beige, C211 Rose Wood, M401 Hot Red by Icona Pop.
Like with many bold lipsticks, the Rouge Artist lipsticks vary by shade. These three are glorious: opaque in one swipe, easy to work with, and just the right texture not to move around once applied.
Grege Beige is a nude best suited for medium skintones, and Rose Wood is a somber medium-rose that was right up my alley. Both feature a tacky, heavy cream formula that feels hydrating but not slick.
Hot Red is a breathtaking super-matte bright red. It’s the kind of shade that almost seems like it’s breaking your eyes (yesss!), but it doesn’t feel heavy or chalky in the least.
Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist lipstick swatches / TOP: C105 Grege Beige, C211 Rose Wood / MIDDLE: M401 Hot Red (LE), C502 Taupe Violet / BOTTOM: C506 Dark Purple, C603 Midnight Blue (LE)
The good Rouge Artist lipsticks
Shades that wore alright: C502 Taupe Violet, C603 Midnight Blue by Icona Pop.
These two were great, but definitely harder to work with. They weren’t as opaque as Grege Beige and Rose Wood, and they suffered as a result. I couldn’t get perfect coverage with either, but they were opaque enough to pass. If these were human beings, they’d be the kind that you loved – but wouldn’t bring home to your parents.
Seriously, though: how gloriously odd are these shades??
Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist in C603 Midnight Blue by Icona Pop review, swatches
Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist lipstick swatches: C105 Grege Beige, C211 Rose Wood, M401 Hot Red (LE), C502 Taupe Violet, C506 Dark Purple, and C603 Midnight Blue (LE).
The Rouge Artist shade to skip
What to skip: C506 Dark Purple.
Dark Purple was, honesty, a mess. It’s slicker and more sheer than the rest, which makes it slide around and cling to dry patches. Even when I swatched it on my arm, it was obvious how different the texture was to the other cream lipsticks.
I would love to see a reformulated version of this, because it really is a great shade–just poorly executed. (I guess its people-equivalent would be that person in your Econ class who sits at the front and asks lots of annoying questions, but never reads the textbook and has to drop the class after midterms?)
Overall, I enjoyed these lipsticks, but they weren’t perfect. They’re beautiful and high-coverage, with an interesting, artistic shade range. I would have liked to see the full 8-hour wear as promised (I need to touch up after 2 hours, which is unusual for me), but they’re comfortable and opaque enough that I’m willing to make the trade.
There are 45 shades of Rouge Artist lipsticks. I recommend skipping slipperier cream finishes like C506 Dark Purple and snapping up stunners like M401 Hot Red immediately — I’m really hoping M401 will be added to the permanent range!