Here's something that I was pretty excited to try. Since I don't typically spend $22 on a single lipstick, I used my last stash of Birchbox points to get it. I've heard all sorts of good things about the Lipstick Queen formula (moisturizing, comfortable, easy to use, etc.), and I went with Jean Queen, because I wanted something work appropriate and easy to reapply. And that it is. That it is.
The packaging is great, if you're into that sort of thing. I'm a sucker for metallic blue, personally.
|Lipstick Queen Jean Queen|
|Lipstick Queen Jean Queen|
So with the exception of one of those things (which I will get to), I have found it to be exactly as advertised - and yet I was disappointed, so I'm glad I didn't spend 22 real dollars on it. I suppose I should have expected the results I got, because I have naturally quite pigmented lips, and sheer products tend barely to show up on me at all. That's the case with Jean Queen. It's essentially a tinted lip balm in a lipstick tube.
Here's what my lips look like with just clear lip balm. You can see that they are rather pink, but don't have a clearly defined margin and they are pretty blotchy. Those are things that I don't think anyone would notice at a regular distance (or care about if they did), but you can see them in the closeup.
And here are my lips wearing Jean Queen:
There is a slight difference, yes, but it's minimal (and enhanced by better lighting in the second photo). Definitely "gentle" and "sheer" as advertised.
I guess I would be okay with this being a very expensive tinted lip balm, on par price-wise with the Fresh Sugar balms, if it wasn't for one major problem. It's the same problem I have with the Fresh balms: it's not moisturizing. Not for me. The one thing I read repeatedly about Lipstick Queen was how hydrating and comfortable their lipsticks are. I'm sure that's true for some people. For me, Jean Queen is actually slightly drying. Certainly not moisturizing. The Fresh balms, at least, are just not moisturizing in my experience - they don't actually make things worse.
I guess I also expect a sheer lipstick to be a step up in pigmentation from a tinted balm, and this really isn't. I put on Jean Queen the other day and asked my boyfriend if he could tell that I was wearing something on my lips. He responded proudly, "Yes! They are shiny! Sort of!" But when I asked if they were a different color than usual, he just sort of squinted at me and frowned.
Below is Jean Queen compared to a bunch of other lip products I have that belong in the same rosy-pink-MLBB category. As you can see, Jean Queen is about as sheer as Fresh Sugar in Rosé. On me, I'd classify the pigmentation of Rosé as "almost nothing" vs. Jean Queen's "maybe a little something?" You can see the texture difference in the swatch as well. The Fresh balm is more emollient.
From left to right: (1) Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Rosé, (2) Lipstick Queen Jean Queen, (3) e.l.f. Essential Lipstick in Posh (reviewed here), (4) e.l.f. Luscious Liquid Lipstick in Cherry Tart (reviewed here), (5) Essence Stay With Me Gloss in Choose Me! (reviewed here/discontinued), and (6) Revlon Balm Stain in Honey (reviewed here with indoor lighting where it looks more brownish).
The color of Jean Queen and Revlon Honey are surprisingly similar, though Honey is not an exact dupe--more pigmented and not drying for me, so I much prefer it. It's a lot more reasonably priced, too, at $7-10.
In the end, I'm not going to declare that you should absolutely not buy Jean Queen, because I know there are some people who will (and do) love it. If you don't have sensitive lips that are easily dried out by lipstick, then you may find it perfectly comfortable to wear (and even moisturizing, by many accounts). Maybe you are one of those people who swears by the Fresh balms that I hate and so your lips just respond to different things than mine do (they both have a lot of castor oil in them, if that means anything). If you don't have deeply pigmented lips, then you may find the subtle tint really pretty. It is a lovely color. I just wish there was more of it. But if you have lips like mine - dry and pigmented - you might also find this a disappointing product. For $22 and all the hype, this was a miss for me. Try Revlon Honey instead.
Do you have Jean Queen? Any strong feelings either way?