Saturday, July 11, 2015

Quest for Coral, the Sequel (and my first Korean makeup purchase)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a commission from purchases made through those links.
My original quest for a wearable, affordable, bright coral lip-something failed, and I was ready to admit defeat, though I had made some interesting discoveries along the way. Then I got so many helpful recommendations that I felt compelled to give it another go. In the end, I kind of (sort of) took a couple of the suggestions I got, and I am pleased with my success. I've compiled all the recommendations I got in the comments of the post, on Instagram, and on Tumblr, at the bottom of this post for any others who undertake a similar journey. Thanks, everyone!

That sounds a bit dramatic when we're talking about lipstick, but whatever.

I actually ended up buying two things that no one suggested, but they worked out very well. The first is a Wet N Wild MegaSlicks Balm Stain Moisturizing Lip Color (insert obligatory complaint about the long name here) in Coral of the Story. I bought this without very high expectations, but I needed a new tube of my favorite Wet N Wild eyeshadow primer, after the two other primers I had left proved practically useless, and CVS had a BOGO sale on WNW. So I grabbed this bright coral-pink crayon, which otherwise would have cost $3.

Wet N Wild MegaSlicks Balm Stain in Coral of the Story
Wet N Wild MegaSlicks Balm Stain in Coral of the Story
This stuff is surprisingly great! It is indeed both moisturizing and a stain. It feels like a balm, is quite opaque, and yet isn't patchy or smeary like a lot of other corals. It's exactly the color I was looking for - a coral that's a bit closer to pink than orange or red. Victory on all counts. I can't really think of anything to complain about, and you know how much I like complaining.

Here it is on my lips. The color really brightens up my face. I forgot to take a full face shot, but I'll post one on Instagram soon and link it here. There's also an arm swatch later in the post, if you prefer that.

Lip swatch of Wet N Wild MegaSlicks Balm Stain in Coral of the Story
Lip swatch of Wet N Wild MegaSlicks Balm Stain in Coral of the Story
At the same time, I had my last round of Birchbox points to use up, and I decided to spend them on something weird and fun. I redeemed them for two things: an expensive lipstick that I will review soon, and Peripera Peri's Tint Water in Mandarin (#4, since I've seen multiple names for this shade out there)By buying this stuff, I was partially taking two suggestions I had been given when I wrote about my omgstruggles with coral before: to try mixing orange and pink lip products and to try Benefit Cha Cha Tint. Of course, the idea of mixing was to make do with things I already had, not to buy more shit, and Cha Cha Tint is already coral, not orange, so I pretty much violated the spirit of both suggestions. But they inspired me nonetheless.

I generally avoid buying beauty products on the basis of pretty packaging, and therefore I avoid photographing the packaging for the most part. But since I wanted this Tint Water anyway and I was photographing it anyway and it happens to be adorable in the typical Korean beauty fashion anyway . . . please enjoy this packaging photo:

Peripera Peri's Tint Water in Mandarin #4
Peripera Peri's Tint Water in Mandarin #4

This stuff is a lot like the Benefit tints, except that they have a spongey doe foot applicator instead of a brush. I think the sponge tip works better with this formula. As the name suggests, the Tint Waters are very thin and watery.

Peripera Peri's Tint Water in Mandarin #4
Peripera Peri's Tint Water in Mandarin #4
The Mandarin Tint Water is definitely, definitely orange, with a lot of yellow in it. It is not coral. I don't find it unflattering on me, exactly, but mostly it looks like I just ate an orange popsicle, not like I deliberately applied makeup to my face. I know that's a look that people go for, and you can certainly achieve it with the product if you want to. You can see below how it stains the inner part of the lips more than the outer part, for whatever reason. This type of orange doesn't look very good on me when used as a blush, but I also find liquids like this difficult to blend smoothly on my cheeks, so no big loss there. I was planning to use it on the lips.

Swatch of Peripera Peri's Tint Water in Mandarin #4
Lip swatch of Peripera Peri's Tint Water in Mandarin #4
Because it's so thin, it will bleed into lines around your lips, if you have any.

What I really like it for is layering with other lip products, especially with the Wet N Wild Balm Stain. It amps up the brightness and makes it look juicy. I've tried it with a few other things too - it's fun to play with.

Wet N Wild MegaSlicks Balm Stain in Coral of the Story layered over Peripera Peri's Tint Water in Mandarin #4
Wet N Wild MegaSlicks Balm Stain in Coral of the Story layered over Peripera Peri's Tint Water in Mandarin #4
Isn't that nice? Because the Peripera is more saturated in the center, it's created a subtle ombre look, without any actual effort on my part. Perfect - better with another color than alone.

Here are swatches on my arm of both (in slightly different lighting). Next to Mandarin, Coral of the Story just looks pink, but it's definitely a coral-pink (the kind of thing that is sometimes called "watermelon") when compared to a true pink.

Swatches of Wet N Wild MegaSlicks Balm Stain in Coral of the Story and Peripera Peri's Tint Water in Mandarin #4
Swatches of Wet N Wild MegaSlicks Balm Stain in Coral of the Story and Peripera Peri's Tint Water in Mandarin #4 (heavy and blended)
So I consider my quest for coral complete. Now I have a lot of things to play with for the rest of the summer, and I never, ever need to buy any more makeup for the rest of my life. The End.

Oh, except here is the list of recommendations, which I am not at all also tempted to try:

Revlon Coralberry
Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Audacious
Revlon Kiss Me Coral
Maybelling Creamy Matte in Craving Coral
Avon Kicked Up Coral
Benefit Cha Cha Tint
Lip Bar in Kiss Me
NYX High Voltage Lipstick in Rags to Riches
Colour Pop in Frida
Colour Pop in Fancy

Anything else we should add to the list?


  1. The Audacious formula is shit, and CP Frida looks like a nude pink. Fancy looks good. Just warning you. ;p

  2. I tried Coralberry a few years ago and was really turned off by the frosty gold shimmer. I'm not categorically opposed to shimmery lipsticks, but this particular one looked a bit dated. I've heard great things about the Maybelline matte formula, though I've never tried it. I *can* vouch for Milani's new matte formula, and there's a coral-orange called Matte Passion in the line. My own favorite coral (I can't remember if I've mentioned it to you before) is Maybelline Vibrant Mandarin.

    I love the Wet n Wild coral-pink on you, by the way!

    1. I still do want one of those matte Milani lipsticks, but since I barely wore the Maybelline ones I bought in the fall, I should probably hold off. That may just be because they were "work" colors, and yet I rarely wear opaque lipstick to work, since I'm afraid it will wear off in a weird way when I lecture. I need to figure that out. And thanks!

    2. I thought I was the only one! I hated Coralberry. Even though it was supposed to be a moisturing formula of sort, it dried out my lips. To make matter worse, the shimmer in it sunk into my lines, and the color faded, fast. In only a couple of hours, I was left with dried, peeling lips with shimmery lines all over them. I had to give it away because I couldn't even bear the sight of it. My friend loes it however, even though I can clearly see it does the exact same thing to her lips as it did to mine.

  3. Coral of the Story looks perfect! I have that Peri tint and it's soooooo orange. I actually like orange, but it's not for everyone. Anyway, layering it is an interesting idea - I'll have to try that.

    1. I like orange, but it doesn't always like me. This one is fun to play with, though!


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