Greetings from an adorable, pink fluffy dungeon, fellow rogues!
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a blogging rogue in possession of a large pile of loot must be in want of time to review it all.
As part of my continuing quest to make it through all the lovely things I collected in Dubai, I’m bringing you a rather late, but nevertheless hopefully still relevant review of Lancôme’s (relatively) new Lip Lover gloss, in the shade Rose Contretemps! I also have some special treats for you – full swatches of the shades released in NZ, a rousing story of makeup-adventure with the adorable ballet monster, and some ballet videos to match the names of the glosses! So strap on your bandoliers and pointes, fellow rogues, here we go!
The Lancôme Lip Lover line is (as far as I can tell) essentially Lancôme’s offering at the same altar Dior laid their Fluid Sticks, Maybelline their Color Elixirs and YSL their Glossy Stains. Sort of a hybrid of lipgloss, liquid lipstick and (theoretically) lip treatment. In essential terms, however, what the Lancôme lip lover is is a thick, non-sticky, lip-coating and slightly lip-plumping gloss. Some of the ones in the range are very pigmented, others not so, as you can see in the swatches I’ve made here of all the shades that we got in NZ:
Swatches of all the Lancome Lip Lover shades available in New Zealand (except Rose Ballet).
As you can see, they’ve made the whole set more or less ballet themed, which of course wins instant brownie points with me! What loses brownie points with me is that they chose not to bring the shade Violette Pirouette to Middle Earth… *grumble* ;-) In case you’re interested, I’ve compiled a little glossary of the ballet terms used in the names (some of which I’m sure everyone already knows!). If you’d like to skip directly to my story and review of Rose Contretemps (not actually available in Middle Earth either – I got mine in Dubai), it is a little further down!
The links are to pictures or videos of the step :-)
Adage: A slow sequence in ballet, one famous example being the Rose Adage from Sleeping Beauty.
Nymphes: Well, nymphs, in French. But nymphs (or variations thereon, like sylphs) are quite an important staple in many classic ballet stories. A nice example is the ballet Ondine.
Manège: Interestingly, this (literally) means ‘riding school’ or, refers to a circus ring. The connection to ballet is the ‘ring’ part, such as in the step jeté en tournant en manège, in which a guy (usually) travels, jumping, in a wide circle.
Cygnes: Swans. I think we can all guess a good example of where this comes from, eh? ;-)
Casse-Noisette: Nutcracker. I think this one might be an easy guess too!
Cabriole: A step of elevation, in which the dancer jumps up, then beats the ankles together with the legs out straight in front or behind, before they land.
Pas de Prune: OK only the ‘pas’ part is really ballet – it means ‘step’, and turns up in most things defined by a specific ‘stepping’ movement, such as pas de chat, pas de cheval, pas de bourrée etc. The whole name ‘Pas de Prune’ cracks me up, because I can’t hear ‘step of the plum’, only ‘step of the prune’. Which is presumably very fast. In the direction of the bathroom… :-D
Arabesque: my favourite thing ever in ballet :-D. Standing on one leg with the other raised up behind. You’ll know it when you see it!
Etoile: means ‘star’, but it’s ballet related in that it is the highest dancer rank of the Paris Opera Ballet.
Contre-temps: Against time – used by the French School for beats done against the time of the music.
Attitude: A position in which the working leg is bent – can be in front, or behind, or at the side, or turning…
Pirouette: A spin! May be done passe, à la seconde, en attitude, en arabesque, fouetté…
Pointe: Another no-brainer perhaps ;-) If you’d like to see a review of a pair of pointe shoes, you can do so here!
Alright, after that little excursus into ballet terminology, I expect you’re interested to see what Rose Contretemps has in store, yes? Well, there’s a story behind that one… I was doing a little bit of solo adventuring one day when I came across a surprisingly pink and fluffy dungeon. There was tulle stonework, and sequined stalagmites, and somewhere in the background you could hear Tchaikovsky. While I wasn’t particularly threatened by this environment, a good rogue never lets her guard down! I was just checking for traps amongst a pile of pointe-shoe shaped mushrooms when I heard some scuffling from the deep fuchsia shadows. Before I even had time to react, the rare and adorable ballet monster chainée’d out of the corner, and came to a halt at my feet.
The Ballet Monster, complete with her weapon of choice.
When she stopped spinning, she sat down with a little ‘phew’ (her eyeballs were still spinning a little), resting her weapon in her lap. Instantly I was intrigued – it looked like a coral-pink gloss artifact I had heard rumours of in the tavern. I wondered how I might get her to part with it – there was certainly no way I was going to take a dagger to her (unless she pulled a Monty Python on me), so I was going to need CHA rather than DEX here.
The Ballet Monster offers up the Scared Lip Lover of Rose Contretemps. Or something.
Fortunately for me, I didn’t even have to ask: as soon as she got her breath back, she offered the tube up to me, on one condition: that I would dance a pas de deux with her. The fluffy ballet dungeon was a pretty lonely place, it turned out, since the last male ballet monster had left in a huff over the colour scheme. Perhaps this was going to be a DEX issue after all! As if to convince me, she showed off the snazzy features of the weapon: the nifty push-button opening mechanism, and shiny window that lets you see the colour of the product, and the interestingly shaped doe-foot applicator.
The Ballet Monster gives a seminar on gloss application!
The not-really-a-doe-foot-more-like-a-flipper-actually applicator!
The curved side of the applicator is supposed to hug the lower lip, while the pointy end is intended to help with precise application to the top lip/around the lip edges. It certainly does this well, and the amount that comes out on the applicator from one pull is enough to coat the lips (in my experience). Pigmentation (on this shade) is excellent, giving a nice, nearly opaque jelly-like finish. There are a couple of caveats, however. This gloss isn’t sticky at all, but if you don’t like the feeling of your lips being ‘coated‘, you may have reservations here. I happen to love that feeling (for whatever reason), so I’m all in! Secondly, and this might be partly because of the pigmentation on this shade, I found that if my lips were not in good condition before application, things got a little streaky and clumpy. It was nothing that couldn’t be fixed by a little extra spreading, but it is technically tedious. I suspect darker pigmented shades are even worse for this.
Lip and arm swatches! I think these convey nicely the ‘coaty’, gel-like nature of this gloss, and the very, very subtle shimmer…
Isn’t this thing gorgeous though? When my lips are happy, application is a dream, and the gel/jelly finish and the colour all make my heart go pitter pat. I forgot to take a photo of my bare lips here, but regular adventurers will tell you that they are essentially the same colour as my face. #zombielips. Technically, there is some kind of plumping thing going on. I don’t feel a tingle, per se, but more the frisson of a fizz. Unlike most lip plumpers, it’s extremely gentle, and the effect is rather nice.
Lancome, really? You couldn’t stretch to an actual name on the item? The little box has the name on it, but who keeps those?
How did that pas de deux go? Quite well, actually, once I got down low enough to be useful to a ballet monster who is less than a foot tall. ^_^. She certainly seemed happy, tossing the Lip Lover into my hand, and bourée-ing away into the chiffon-draped depths of the dungeon. When I get back to town, I might see if I can find a gnome cobbler who can make her a pair of pointe shoes… ;-)
What do you think, fellow adventurers? Have you tried any of the Lip Lover line? Have you ever met a ballet monster? What’s your take on lip-plumping?
The practicalities: Lancôme Lip Lovers cost NZD$49 each for 4.5 ml / 0.15 fl oz, are permanent, and may be acquired from Lancôme counters around the world, as well as from www.lancôme-usa.com (and other international equivalent websites).
Until next time, fellow adventurers, don’t forget to check for traps!
I am an adventuring rogue, not a mercenary for hire, and as such, all opinions expressed here are my own, based on a genuine fondness for/interest in this product. If you have any queries or suggestions, please do not hesitate to pin your parchment to the board (contact me) at thepaintedrogue [at] gmail [dot] com., or use the contact form provided! All images and text on this blog are the property of The Painted Rogue unless otherwise stated. If you nick off with any of it, be prepared to find that your morning hot beverage tastes a little…different than usual. Didn’t the rogue say something the other day about that new poison that makes your innear ear itch maddeningly for the rest of your life? I think she did…