Annabelle TwistUp Retractable Lipstick swatches, descriptions, and recommendations

To wrap up our #24Days of TwistUp series, here are arm and full-face lip swatches of all twenty-four shades, as well as some pretty wordy descriptions of each.

The lip swatches have been going up every day this month through theNotice’s Twitter and Pinterest accounts, but I wanted to gather them all up & put them into a post for future reference (and for those of you who aren’t into social media! I feel you, ladybro.) Enjoy the swatches!

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Nudes & Browns

Annabelle TwistUp in Naked - swatched on lips

Naked is a little drier than most of the TwistUps, but goes on without settling into lines. It’s surprisingly peachy, and looks incredibly natural on fair to light-medium skintones. It’s lighter, peachier, less pink, and more neutral than Havana.

Annabelle Havana swatch - TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Havana is noticeably drier than many of the other TwistUps. Darker than Naked, it’s fairly neutral with both brown and pink undertones. It looks a little obvious on me, but would be lovely on light to medium-dark skintones.

Annabelle Absolute swatch - TwistUp Retractable  Lipstick

Absolute is a cream-finish warm pink with yellow undertones. It’s a on the sheerer side, making it a pink-nude that’s a little (okay, maybe a lot) easier to wear.

Annabelle TwistUp in Tease swatch

Tease is another sheer TwistUp, this time with strong orange undertones and plenty of shimmer.

Annabelle Romance swatch TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Romance is a gorgeous nude with mauvey-brown undertones. It looks incredibly natural on my fair yellow-olive skin, but might look a little chalky on darker skintones.

Annabelle Divine swatch - TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Divine is a… I want to say “tomato nude,” but I don’t know if that’ll make sense to anyone. It made me think of a slightly redder version of Eva’s Nude, which leads me to believe it would make a gorgeous nude on darker olive skintones — but on my complexion (in real life), it wasn’t a hit.

Annabelle Vamp swatch TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Vamp pulls surprisingly brown on me (I was expecting more of a rich purple), and doesn’t read quite as red in real life as it appears on film. It’s not quite opaque, shimmer-free, and very bold. Vamp is the greyed brown-purple to Cherry’s red-purple, and it’s definitely more of an oxblood than a berry or red.

Oranges & Corals

Annabelle Kiss swtach TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Kiss is a medium-sheer orange with very warm undertones. I hated this on me.

Annabelle TwistUp in Mimosa - swatch photo

Mimosa is a sheer orange with a hint of gold shimmer. Lighter than Kiss, it’s also easier to wear, especially on neutral and cool skintones. Uh… I hated this one on me, too (oranges and I don’t really get along). But I did hate it less, so that’s a good thing!

Annabelle Bubble TwistUp lip swatch

Bubble is a charming pink with yellow undertones. Just shy of full coverage, it makes me think of a fluo-pastel.

Annabelle Sorbet swatch TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Sorbet is a medium watermelon shade that sits well between Bubble and Orange Pop. It’s opaque, but falls just short of fluorescent. The bluest of this category, and quite wearable on cooler skintones once applied — the pink really comes through on the lips.

Annabelle Orange Pop TwistUp swatch

Orange Pop is a stunningly vivid orange with strawberry-red undertones. Similar to Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Heftiest Hibiscus, but noticeably more fluorescent (yes, really!) and red.

Annabelle Mai Tai swatch TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Mai Tai is a medium-sheer orange with just a hair of a pink lean. It’s rather juicy-looking, but settles and blots nicely into a less glossy finish — perfect for summer.


Annabelle TwistUp swatch in Breeze

Breeze is a sheer mauvey pink with hints of violet and yellow. Between the opacity and the shade, it’s one of the easiest TwistUps to wear — definitely one to reach for if you, like me, aren’t big on statement lips.

Annabelle Bazooka Pnk swatch - TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Bazooka Pink, on the other hand, is definitely a statement lip. Opaque and very bright, it’s a sort of “barbie lip” colour: a blue-pink with a pinch of white (for that punchy-pastel feel).

Annabelle TwistUp Fuchsianista

Fuchsianista is a fuchsia that leans a little closer to its pink roots than its blue ones. Though it does have some blue in it, it’s also a little yellow, which makes it read a little less shocking than it could have been. Go with Fuchsianista for a vivid pink lip that’s a little less partyyyy! than Kinky Pink. (A little. A very little.)

Annabelle Plump It Up swatch Twistup Retractable Lipstick

Plump It Up is a cross between Fuchsianista and Royale: opaque and creamy, it blends a pink-yellow with a grape-y blue, and delivers bold colour that’s a little less girly than Fuchsianista.

Annabelle Royale swatch - TwistUp lipstick

Royale is a beautifully wearable violet — bright and grapey, it’s somewhere between medium-sheer and almost-opaque, and creates a surprisingly summery fall lip.

Annabelle Kinky Pink swatch TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Kinky Pink is also almost-opaque (though it’s got a touch more pigment than Royale), and makes me think of fuchsia on steroids. Shockingly blue, it’s striking and glossy, with a very vibrant feel to it.

Reds & Almost-Reds

Annabelle TwistUp Monroe lip swatch

Monroe is an unexpectedly orange red. From the name, I was expecting something a little more classic, but I suppose Marilyn did wear a lot of orange hues in her day! It’s very bright and just shy of opaque. Think of it as a lively red that leans quite far into both strawberry and tomato.

Annabelle Fizz swatch TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Fizz is an incredibly sheer red with a heavy dose of gold shimmer. It’s actually a little mauvey-purple, but in the best way possible — because it lets so much of your natural lip colour shine through, its tint works to add redness & amplify your natural lip colour.

Annabelle Red Carpet swatch - TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Red Carpet is the truest of TwistUp reds. With a great balance of red, and blue, it applies as a glamorous, classic red. It’s less glossy and a touch more orange than Clinique Mightiest Maraschino.

Annabelle TwistUp Flirtini swatch

Flirtini is a light violet-berry; the most understated of the “reds”. It’s a little less opaque than Monroe; medium-opaque and a great almost-red.

Annabelle Cherry swatch TwistUp Retractable Lipstick

Cherry turned out to be my unexpected favourite of this entire range. The texture is a little drier than the rest, and it gives the most beautiful, velvety finish. The only word I can think of to properly describe this one is opulent: both in formula and colour. It’s a very rich berry shade, with blue undertones, a little purple, and just the right dose of red.

Recommendations, favourites, & comparison swatches

Annabelle TwistUp review - nudes and browns

Annabelle TwistUp swatches – nudes and browns, from L-R: Naked, Havana, Absolute, Tease, Romance, Divine, Vamp

My must-have TwistUps are Naked and Cherry. Seriously: Naked is an awesome nude if your skintone is sort-of like mine, and Cherry is an absolute must-have no matter who you are. It’s more of a stunner than all of my YSLs combined, you guys.

I also quite liked Fizz (particularly on film; less so in real life), and surprised myself by actually really Royale and loving Sorbet. Kinky Pink is another one that took me by surprise: it’s bright, but manages to skip past Barbie-doll to slam right up into holy hotness, Batman. I didn’t love Vamp as much as I thought I would, but it’s definitely gorgeous — and a great pick for the fall.

Annabelle TwistUp review - oranges and corals

Annabelle TwistUp swatches – oranges and corals, from L-R: Kiss, Mimosa, Bubble, Sorbet, Orange Pop, Mai Tai

Annabelle TwistUp review - pinks

Annabelle TwistUp swatches – pinks, from L-R: Breeze, Bazooka Pink, Fuchsianista, Plump It Up, Royale, Kinky Pink

The easiest TwistUps to wear are Absolute and (depending on your skintone,) Romance and Breeze.

I personally really hated Kiss and disliked Mimosa, but that was no surprise — I’m not a big fan of oranges. (Skip these if you’re pale, cool, and/or olive!) My surprise-dislikes were Tease, which looked really dated with its dated undertones and frosty finish, and Bubble — there was something too synthetic about the colour for me.

Annabelle TwistUp review - reds

Annabelle TwistUp swatches – reds and almost-reds, from L-R:  Monroe, Fizz, Red Carpet, Flirtini, and Cherry

What are your favourite TwistUps? And, seriously, how badly does Annabelle need to make their online store international? ;) 

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  • I'd agree, Cherry is definitely the stand out colour for me, it's beautiful
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  • Great post! I'm definitely interested in getting Fizz and Cherry now! How moisturizing are these? Thank you for all the swatches – it really helped me make up my mind on which ones I like!
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    • Depends on the shade! They feel a little dry right before I reapply (around the 3 hour mark), but don't seem to actually strip my lips of any moisture — even when worn without any balm beneath or on top. Is "neutrally moisturizing" an option? :p

  • Lovely swatches Rae :) I adore these lip pencils – the formula and pigmentation are amazing!
    My recent post Review | Annabelle TwistUp Lipstick Crayon

    • Thank you, Stephanie! :) I'm glad you're enjoying the TwistUps, too!

  • You make all these colors look amazing!
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  • Lily @ChloeAsh

    I need Cherry!!! I've been looking for a darker red for ages!

    My recent post Modbox Review: Sampling Within Your Control And Budget

    • Lily, you totally do. Let me know if you want me to CP you one!

  • m

    this was really helpful! i'm surprised how much you dislike oranges–i don't think they look bad on you at all!
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    • Lol! Thanks, I think — I haaaate the way oranges look on me, but I'm not actually sure if ANYONE else shares this sentiment :P

  • Delia

    You've got gorgeous lips. : )

  • Cherry is my favourite. If I had your lips, I'd never stop wearing lipstick.

    • Want to know a secret? I'm not actually that fond of my lips >.< They're built kind of awkwardly tall and narrow in real life, unless I'm making an expression with them! It's very unintentional-unflattering-pinup :P

  • Rae, can I borrow your lips for a couple of days? But seriously… CHERRY.
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  • I want them!!! Are they only available online for the US?
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    • I'm afraid so! Drugstores & online in Canada; online-only in the US.

  • Beautiful swatches (face and arm!) I'm deeply jealous of whatever lighting it is that makes your photos so lovely.
    I agree Tease was a miss for me as well, the frost and the brown was super 90s-y. I do think the oranges looked really pretty on you though!
    My recent post Recap: Days 17-24 of Annabelle TwistUp

    • Sunlight! And then LOTS OF PHOTOSHOP. Jeebus.

      Thank you, my dearling! I'm honestly starting to think that they may actually look fine on me, and it's just my crazy anti-orange prejudices that make me think otherwise :p

  • mizzjblog

    Nice recap! Can I just say that I'm in love with your cheekbones? Anyways, I think the pinks and reds look the best on you – Bazooka is actually one of my faves on you for some reason! I actually love an orange lip on myself, but I can see why you're not a fan of it personally.

    This was such a fun challenge to be a part of!
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    • *blushes* Thanks, lovely! I actually really liked Bazooka Pink on me, too, but I think it definitely made me look rather ditzy :p

  • Deb

    Hi Rae. There are 2 colors in this collection I like but I have to ask: are they as flat and dry in real life as they look in pics? I've been looking at other bloggers reviews of these and in every single pic, it looks like the lips are just crying "help me!". I prefer some gloss in my lip pencils but I see none in these. I can live with that but I can't live with them if they are as dry as they appear. Thanks.

    • Hi, Deb! No, there isn't really a gloss to most of these — they go on slightly glossy and then set down to more of a creme/satin/stain, depending on the shade and how long you've worn them for.

      Could I ask what two colours you had your eye on? (Some of them are drier than others.)

  • A couple things:
    1) Your cheekbones!!!
    2) I am obsessed with Cherry.. I think it's my favourite of the bunch. It's the perfect shade for the season & SO flattering on :) x

    • 1) Haha, thank you! I swear, it's just the lighting and contouring *blushes*
      2) It seriously is an AMAZING shade. Everyone needs this one in their stash!

  • Sylvia

    These are seriously stunning!!
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    • Right? There were only two that were duds for me out of all 24, which is really saying something!

  • Alison

    Ohh, my. Cherry is just so BEAUTIFUL on you!

  • Alison

    Also, Rae? I clicked on the "Pinterest" link at the top of your post and it led me to a post about cones! XD

    • Thank you, darling! Will fix that now — sometimes my URL finder gets a little overeager :P

  • BooBooNinja

    Cherry is stunning on you. It brings out your Snow White beauty. Oh gosh, I hope one day I'll find a lip colour as compatible with my complexion as Cherry is with yours.

    Humph. I'm irritated I can't come up with a better word than "compatible". "Compatible" is too ordinary. It doesn't convey the absolute beauty that is Cherry against your skin.

    On another note… how does one figure out if something goes well with their complexion or not? I can see how some colours worked better than others in your photos, but I seem to be relatively blind to colour compatibility when I see makeup on my own face. Do you have any tips?

    • Gah. Thank you, my darling! I'm so glad you love Cherry against my complexion just as much as I do — that is to say, A TON. It's good to know I'm not just nuts ;)

      I usually just work out compatibility by sight, by instinct — but as a general rule, if it doesn't work on me when I'm wearing nothing but foundation and eyeliner, then it's not quite right. The eyes are actually a really important thing to see, though I skipped them in this post (for a bunch of reasons). My sister loved Divine on me in just the swatch, for instance, but she haaaated it when she saw it on my full face!

      My #1 tip would be to look at a lip colour in natural light, optimally mid afternoon light, in a large mirror. The more you can see of yourself at once, the better.

      I hope that helped! I mean, mainly I just hope I didn't physically drown you with lots of words and also magic, but I do hope the buckets of words served their purpose.

      • BooBooNinja

        You will never drown me in words. Did you not see how much I wrote, girl?
        :) I love a well-crafted response.

  • nataliemrk

    These lip twistups looks beautiful! I actually really like orange lips, specifically Revlon Rendezvous. You have the most amazing lips! The shape is gorgeous.
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    • Thanks for the rec, Natalie! If my attitude toward orange ever changes, I'll be sure to check out Rendezvous ;)

      Hope you had a great Halloween!

  • Eneshai

    I think you have beautiful skin tone and lips so any lip colour suits you! :)

    • *blushes* Thank you! I've definitely met lip colours that don't suit me, though — a lot of them :p

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