Adventures with the Ballet Monster – Lancôme Lip Lover in #321 Rose Contretemps (Plus Full Set Swatches!)

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!

Lancome Lip Lover Full Set Swatches New Zealand

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:

Lancome Lip Lover Full Set Swatches New Zealand

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… 😀

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!

 Rose Contretemps

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.

Lancome Lip Lover Full Set Swatches New Zealand

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.


Lancome Lip Lover Full Set Swatches New Zealand

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.

Lancome Lip Lover Full Set Swatches New Zealand

The Ballet Monster gives a seminar on gloss application!


Lancome Lip Lover Full Set Swatches New Zealand

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.

Lancome Lip Lover Full Set Swatches New Zealand

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 Lip Lover Full Set Swatches New Zealand

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.lancô (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…

44 thoughts on “Adventures with the Ballet Monster – Lancôme Lip Lover in #321 Rose Contretemps (Plus Full Set Swatches!)

    • Ehehehe. Every time I see a coral, I think of you and Sunny immediately. If it’s a taupe, Auxiliary Beauty. If it’s a Khaki, Melissa again 😉

      You should check the range out! I’m not sure what they’re charging for it in Europe though…at least it should be a bit better than here, LOL!


    • It’s pretty hard not to love her, really. She sits beside me while I write my thesis, so if I need an emergency cuddle, I can get one, LOL! She’s basically my equivalent of the cat so many other bloggers have 😉

      And I am indeed rather partial to this colour!


  1. I love the colour. I have a Lancome Rouge in Love lipstick which would go so well with this shade.
    And you’ve just made me go on a yt Monty Python loop for the nth time. 😉


    • Welcome to The Painted Rogue, Xuvious! 😀

      The colour is gorgeous – I keep forgetting how much I like Lancome lip products, and then something like this pops up and I am reminded once more…

      Ah, Monty Python… #sorrynotsorry 😉 I did a whole holy grail foundation post based on Monty Python, actually. I should do another one sometime soon ^_^ Muahahahaa!


  2. I just loved this post-it made me smile all the way through. We should totally have met in Dubai, absolutely kicking myself for not suggesting/arranging it.

    This looks amazing on you but I bought two and wasn’t so successful. Like you I found that they made rubbish lips look even worse. And the thing is I REALLY wanted to love them so much because the colours are amazing. I have Lip Lover and Ambre Arabesque. It’s very annoying that Lancome decided to launch different colours in different countries. Why oh why??

    Also, soooo expensive in Middle Earth non???


    • Don’t be too sorry – I was going to bug you about meeting up, actually, but almost as soon as I got to Dubai, I realied that I was coming down with a rotten chest infection. I got my conference presentation over with and that was it, LOL! I decided to spare you my germs 😉

      Maybe we can meet up sometime in the future – I’m probably going to wind up in Europe for my postdoc, so that’s a bit closer than Middle Earth! 😉 I can see it now – a makeup-fuelled bender through the Continent, Stacey and Syl style 😀 I can only imagine it would involve many, many pretty and sparkly adventures!

      I remember your post! It’s kind of a pity that the formula is so tricky – at least with this particular colour, when it works, it’s totally worth it! I have grave suspicions about the darker ones, though.

      Yes, Middle Earth is hard on a beauty adventurer’s pocket. I try not to think about it, and shamelessly exploit my friends in the US instead… (just wait till you see the loot I got from Sephora via Jaa…) >_<


  3. Hey Syl, I actually DIDN’T realize the names are ballet-related!!! Thanks for explaining them to me! I looove how this shade looks on you! It’s such a delicate shade of pink! ❤


  4. You have quite a stash of loot there!!! HA HA ENJOY IT!!! I will be right over with mine and we can compare notes!!! 😄😄😄💃💃💃😎😎😎😍😍😍😜😜😜 I think a dance is a good trade off for the gloss, smart monster, 😉😉😉😏😏😏, who is very cute by the way, I’ll take her!!! 😄😄😄😊😊😊


    • Hehe, isn’t she just the most adorable thing ever? She keeps me company while I write my thesis, in case emergency cuddles are needed any my husband is doing other importnat, wizardly things (like avoiding his own thesis, LOL!)

      Oh, just you wait til you see the loot I recently amassed via secret (not really) allies in the States, from the Sephora sale… >_< can't believe how much you can get for the NZ price of 3 Revlon lipsticks! But I just finished 8 different lip products, right? I have to replace them! I must fill the void! 😀


      • YES YES OF COURSE!!! You must fill the void!!! 😄😄😄😄💃💃💃💃😁😁😁😉😉😉😉😄😄😄 I am glad you have connections here in the United States and was able to take advantage of Sephoras VIB Sale! I did myself, not that I really needed anything, I just can’t help myself when I hear the word SALE HA HA so I indulged. I just love all the colors, whether it be eyeshadows, lipsticks, etc. It’s hypnotic!!! 😄😄😄😜😜😜😉😉😉 I seem to be obsessed with lip products lately, so that’s what I indulged in, and my second latest obsession is Memebox from Korea, you really get a nice bang for your buck, and really nice products, some with organic ingredients too!!! 😄😄😄💃💃💃. You pick your own box. I just got my second one last week and it was loaded with full size products!!! You should check it out! The skincare products smell sooooooo nice!!! Very soft!!! Most of my Sephora stuff is coming today! I am very excited! I can’t wait to see what you got!!! I know you will enjoy it!!! I love getting presents!!! 😄😄😄😍😍😍💃💃💃🎁🎁🎁🎉🎉🎉


      • Hooray for lip products! 😀 They’re always the first thing I look for in any store/website/sale section, you name it!

        I’ve heard a lot about the Memebox stuff – it seems like they have a really great variety of boxes to choose from, too!

        Hehe, I’m super excited for my loot too. What did you get? 😀


      • I got Bite Beauty Mix and Mingle Set and also the 4 piece lip crayon set. Two of the Sephora VIB Bite Beauty colors in a hot pink and cool red, of course! 😄😄😄 Urban Decay Full Frontal Set, singles in Catfight, F-Bomb, and Jilted. The Sephora Holiday Give Me More Lip Set Sampler, and the Sephora The Eyes Have It Mascara Set Sampler. I think that’s it!!! HA HA WHEW! I am set now!!! HA HA. I CANT WAIT TO SEE YOUR LOOT!!! HA HA 😁😁😁😄😄😄💃💃💃😊😊😊😎😎😎👀👀👀🎆🎆🎆💥💥💥😜😜😜


    • Isn’t she? 😀 I agree, Casse-Noisette est très intéressant! (turns out, according to the Lancô website, that this gloss is a ‘perfecteur de lêvres’ – so it’s actually ‘Monsieur Casse-Noisette, LOL!)


  5. cool! wis +1 from the ballet lesson! i have framboise etoile and i’m quite fond of it.

    have you played diablo 3? there’s a dungeon where all the attacking mobs are unicorns and teddy bears! and sometimes the rainbows have gold if you search them!


    • Haha, glad you liked my random ballet vocab splurge!

      I haven’t played Diablo 3, but I love Path of Exile! There are no teddy dungeons, sadly, but it is free, extremely high quality and from NZ developers! I’d like to give Diablo 3 a go though!


  6. I had no idea the names were ballet-themed! Suddenly I have interest where I had none before. 🙂 That soft rose shade looks beautiful on you. I grumble because they just look boring and nude against my colouring, but thank you for pointing out a few enticing shades that I never noticed before!


    • Eheheh! They didn’t make it obvious, really. I mean, none of the promotional material had ballet themes, as far as I saw, and they used some really quite obscure (to the non ballet-obsessed) terms.

      Pretty much everything stands out against mah vampire face! This is a double edged sword, to be sure, but I do get to benefit from these soft rosy corally shades. I hope you can find a nice one in the range – I feel like the US got some more of the bold ones (does Canada get the same ranges as the US for stuff like this?), so perhaps you can find a winner!


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    • Hah! Yes – maintaining your own ballet monster at home is a non-trivial exercise. The amount of tulle and strawberries that they require to stay healthy is really quite astronomical. What are you going to do when strawberries are out of season? 😀


  8. I had no idea all these names are related to ballet! ^_^ Don’t you just love that push button thing!! LOL! So much fun!

    And my, Rose Contretemps really does look SO juicy and plumping on your lips! Perfect color, too! Sephora is having a set of 3 of these Lip Lovers for sale right now… I’m thinking maybe I should splurge! 😀

    And send me that Ballet Monster right NOW! I WANT!!! I’m the sorceress! Obey! LOL!


    • The push button is ridiculously fun. It’s like the Guerlain Rouge Automatiques – I just can’t get enough of pseudomechanical robod lip products, really 😀

      I totally want the holiday set of 3 Lip Lovers. I was loitering over it in Smith and Caugheys the other day!

      Muahahaaha! Fortunately my WILL is high enough to resist your sorceressy powers! LOL! But only just. I think everyone should have an adorable ballet monster in their lives. Did I mention I actually have two? A pink girl one and a purple boy one? He hasn’t made his debut on the IG stage yet…


  9. This is so cool! 🙂 I was dreadful at ballet and gave up very quickly (I am an ungraceful heffalump lol) but it’s a beautiful art. I loveeeeeeeeeeeee these glosses and have about 5 already, if they sell this one in the UK I definitely might have to pick it up 🙂 My only quibble with the line is there is no red- why no red?! But Orange Manege was my colour of the summer 🙂 xxx


    • Hi Bex! Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply to your comment T_T 😀

      I’m sure you’re not as ungraceful as you think, LOL! You’re probably just in the same boat as me, where you think things are OK, then you look in the mirror and think WTF? How did my arm get there? 😀 There’s definitely a lot of ‘persistence in the face of heffalumping’ involved…

      Ooh! 5! I haz the envy 😉 Orange Manege is really tempting, actually – I’ve been wanting to get into orange as a lip colour, and I feel like something translucent is probably a place to start…especially now that we’re heading into summer down here in Middle Earth…


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