Urban Decay managed to hook me with that 24-shade sample pod thingy that everyone and their mother got last year. There's no way I would have given Rock Steady a second glance if I hadn't tried it on--and there's no way I would have bothered to try on what looked like a basic dark red--without that sample. But it turned out to be one of the most flattering lipsticks I've ever put on my face. You know those rare colors that seem to just light up your complexion? And harmonize seamlessly and look somehow natural even though they really aren't at all? Rock Steady is that, for me. But I was sure that in all my reds and burgundies and berries, I had to have something that was a dupe, or close enough. So I decided to do some comparison swatches.
And then I thought, what the hell, I should just go ahead and compare the rest of these samples to all the lipsticks I have. That could be fun. (As you may suspect, this has now become one of my longest posts ever, so buckle up. Or settle in. Or something.)
To do that, I had to pull out all of my lipsticks (both bullets and liquids) and pile them on my bed. Then I had to divide them into color categories: reds, rose/mauve/MLBBs ("my lips but better"), nudes, pinks, berries and fuchsias, corals and oranges, vampy shades and purples, and browns. Once they were all laid out like that I couldn't help but count them. 57! That's too many. Ugh. Mind you, that number includes minis as well as a bunch that I don't wear but have been stuck in a drawer for swatching. It doesn't, however, include anything in a pan, like my So Choix samples.
(Um, and I've bought a few new lipsticks since I finished swatching these. But no more money will be spent on lipstick in the foreseeable future.)
I didn't count individual categories, but by far the largest were the MLBBs and the reds. The MLBBs make sense, because I wear them more than anything else. The reds on the other hand . . . how did that happen? I guess it's in part because I think I should wear red more, and in part because when you get a freebie lipstick, it's almost always red. (And here I am writing a post a post about coveting another red lipstick.) The smallest categories were nudes, browns, oranges, and pinks. Like pinky-pinks, not berry or fuchsia or magenta.
On to the swatches! Not everything in my hoard has been swatched here, because I chose things based on how similar they were to the Urban Decay samples. I'm not going to review these lipsticks, Urban Decay or otherwise, unless I feel particularly compelled. I didn't swatch Urban Decay samples if I had nothing comparable, like Big Bang, which is basically a clear base with lots of pink glitter in it. Also, the swatches here are meant simply to compare colors and, to some extent, finishes. You shouldn't draw any conclusions about opacity or anything like that based on my photos alone, because I swatched the UD samples with a q-tip in most cases, but the others were applied directly from the bullets.
My main purpose here was to see if I had any dupes in my hoard, but as you'll see, there weren't too many. Nevertheless, I hope this will still serve as a useful point of reference for some of you, because you may be able to see how these things compare to lipsticks you already own. It was a valuable exercise for me.
Since Rock Steady was where I began . . . it's where I'll begin. As you can see, I actually didn't have anything quite like it. It's a dark red wine with a bit of berry in it. On my lips, it looks like strawberry jam. Rock Steady (cream finish) and Gash (cream finish) are quite similar, in fact, with Rock Steady being just a touch brighter. If you are not a makeup person, then all of these variations of red probably look pretty close--but (a) I chose the ones I had that were most similar to compare, and (b) you are probably a makeup person if you're reading this. You know, then, that red lipstick is a bitch and so slight variations can mean the difference between perfectly flattering and totally off. For instance, the "universally flattering" Nars Cruella (5) looks awful on me.
1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Rock Steady; 2. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Gash; 3. Bite Beauty Scarlet (reviewed here); 4. Maybelline Creamy Matte in Divine Wine (reviewed here); 5. Nars Cruella; 6. Urban Decay Bad Blood; and 7. NYX Matte Perfect Red.
From here on, I'll just proceed through the sample card above starting at the top left. Except I didn't have anything to compare with Seismic, so we'll move right along to Menace (comfort matte finish). Warm pinks are not my thing, so I don't have a lot to show you here.
1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Menace; 2. Wet N Wild Silk Finish Lipstick in Nouveau Pink, and 3. Revlon Balm Stain in Lovesick (reviewed here).
Next: Pandemonium (mega matte finish). Because I don't have any true purple lipsticks, I went into my So Choix samples to compare this to Esteé Lauder Shameless Violet. I would highly recommend the latter over Pandemonium, which was horribly slippery and patchy. A complete fucking mess. Avoid it.
1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Pandemonium; and 2. Esteé Lauder Shameless Violet (reviewed here).
Here's Jilted (cream finish). It's a warmer cousin to Urban Decay After Dark, except that it's not matte. They both have a subtle blue shimmer in them, which doesn't show up in my swatches, but adds a little dimension on your lips.
1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Jilted; 2. Urban Decay After Dark; 3. Wet N Wild Megalast Lipstick in Sugar Plum Fairy (reviewed here); 4. Revlon Balm Stain in Lovesick (reviewed here); 5. e.l.f. Essential Lipstick in Gypsy (reviewed here); 6. Tarte Lip Creme in Heartfelt; and 7. Wet N Wild Silk Finish in Nouveau Pink.
Next we have Sheer Anarchy. I was kind of surprised that I had similar shades to this, since it's not something I would expect to pick out of a lineup.
1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Sheer Anarchy; 2. Revlon Balm Stain in Lovesick (reviewed here); 3. Revlon Balm Stain in Smitten (reviewed here); and 4. Wet N Wild Silk Finish Lipstick in Nouveau Pink.
A more berry pink: Firebird (cream). Like Jilted and After Dark, this one contains some subtle blue shimmer/pearl. And in this case I'm surprised I didn't have something closer.
1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Firebird; 2. Wet N Wild Megalast Lipstick in Sugar Plum Fairy (reviewed here); 3. Tarte Lip Creme in Heartfelt; and 4. Revlon Balm Stain in Smitten (reviewed here).
Psycho is the comfort matte formula in a strawberry pink-red. And I'm going to call it: finally a dupe! Or at least UD Psycho and Revlon Cherries in the Snow are the same color; Psycho, however, is more matte and contains some subtle shimmer. The shimmer isn't very visible when it's on your lips, but it creates a sort of velvety quality.
1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Psycho; 2. Revlon Cherries in the Snow (reviewed here); and 3. Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Sour Cherry (reviewed here).
Now I'll show you swatches of the middle section of the sampler, except I've already done Rock Steady and Gash. So we'll start with Blackmail and Disturbed (comfort mattes). Ignore the messy swatch of Blackmail--it's not quite that bad. I've seen Blackmail on other people, and it looks like a very dark purple (like it does in the swatch), but on me it was just plain black. So beware if you have my coloring. Both of these UD vampy shades are much darker than any of my kindergarten vampy lipsticks.
1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Blackmail; 2. Urban Decay Disturbed; 3. Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche in Jam (reviewed here); 4. Bite Beauty Scarlet (reviewed here); 5. Bite Beauty Mulberry (reviewed here); and 6. Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipstick in Divine Wine (reviewed here).
Manic (cream) is a rosy plum that's nearly identical to e.l.f.'s Posh, which is one of my favorite cheap lipsticks. Manic is more opaque. (Posh isn't available on e.l.f.'s site anymore, but you can get it on Amazon for $5.) So while I loved Manic, I was happy to find that I had a near-dupe for it already.
1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Manic; and 2. e.l.f. Essential Lipstick in Posh (reviewed here).
Next let's look at EZ (cream), an orangey-red. It's a bit more red than my other orangey-reds.
1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in EZ; 2. Revlon Fire and Ice (reviewed here); and 3. Wet N Wild Purty Persimmon (reviewed here).
Now the only classic red lipstick in the sampler, 714 (mega matte). The formula of 714 is much better than the other mega matte in the sampler, Pandemonium. 714 is a dupe in color for Lord & Berry 20100 Lipstick Pencil in Scarlet, though more matte, of course.
1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in 714; 2. NYX Matte Perfect Red; 3. Mirenesse Glossy Kiss in Flirty Kiss; 4. Paula's Choice Lip Crayon in Currant (reviewed here); 5. Yves Saint Laurent Vinyl Cream Lip Stain in Rouge Vinyle; 6. Lord & Berry Scarlet; 7. Stila Liquid Lipstick in Fiery (reviewed here); and 8. Urban Decay Bad Blood (reviewed here).
(Holy fuck, I've been working on this post for 3 days and I'm only two thirds through the sampler. Someone come save me please!)
Snitch is another sheer, in a peach-coral this time.
1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Snitch; 2. NYX Butter Lipstick in Little Susie; and 3. Wet N Wild Balm Stain in Coral of the Story (reviewed here).
Ok, I've finally got to the third panel of the sampler, which contains the more neutral shades. Here are Conspiracy and Amulet, two browns in the metallized finish. They're similar to one another once they're swatched, though Amulet is a little lighter. As is often the case with metallic lipsticks, these are pretty slippery and don't wear very long. Mirenesse Glossy Kiss in Angel Kiss (3) is the most similar lipstick I have to either of them, but it's somehow more flattering on me. Maybe because it's a bit warmer. I can't really do neutral or cool brown lipsticks. (By the way, judging from these swatches, if you miss Revlon Fig Jam, you might be able to get the same effect by sheering out Maybelline Maple Kiss.)
1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Conspiracy; 2. Urban Decay Amulet; 3. Mirenesse Glossy Kiss in Angel Kiss; 4. Revlon Lip Butter in Fig Jam (reviewed here); and 5. Maybelline Maple Kiss.
Naked (cream) was a surprisingly flattering color on me. For some reason this made me think of an early 2000s nude (but not concealer) lip. Does that sounds right to anyone else? Unfortunately the formula is abysmal. Very patchy and settles immediately into lip lines. Wet N Wild Rose Bud (3) is close enough, even if it's not a dupe, however, that I'm satisfied. Actually, I bet if I mixed L'Oreal Choco-Lacque (2) with Rose Bud, I'd get an exact dupe for Naked.
1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Naked; 2. L'Oreal La Lacque in Choco-Lacque (reviewed here); 3. Wet N Wild Megalast Lipstick in Rose Bud; 4. Lord & Berry Lip Crayon in Intimacy; and 5. Marc Jacobs Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
And then there's Rapture, which I already had in the Revolution formula. The new Rapture might be a touch cooler, but close enough. Make Up Forever Artist Rouge Rose Wood (4) is basically a dupe for Rapture, though it's unfortunately not cheaper--it is a bit more opaque, however.
1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Rapture; 2. Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Rapture; 3. Bite Beauty Matte Crème Lip Crayon in Glacé; 4. Make Up Forever Artist Rouge Lipstick in Rose Wood; and 5. Maybelline Creamy Matte Touch of Spice (reviewed here).
Backtalk (comfort matte) was one of these lipstick samples that I really, really liked. You can see, however, that even though I don't own an exact dupe for it, I have more than enough lipsticks that fit into the same basic niche that I won't be buying it any time soon. I suspect that Backtalk a pretty close dupe for Tom Ford's Pussycat (which you can also dupe by mixing Maybelline Touch of Spice with Maybelline Lust for Blush).
1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Backtalk; 2. Bite Beauty Matte Crème Lip Crayon in Glacé; 3. Bite Beauty Pepper; 4. Maybelline Creamy Matte Lust for Blush (reviewed here); 5. Maybelline Creamy Matte Touch of Spice (reviewed here); 6. Revlon Balm Stain in Honey (reviewed here); 7. Make Up Forever Artist Rouge Lipstick in Rose Wood; 8. Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien; and 9. L'Oreal La Lacque in Choco-Lacque (reviewed here).
Stark Naked (comfort matte) is the kind of brownish-nude that doesn't suit me.
1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Stark Naked; 2. Model Co. Party Proof Lipstick in Kitty; 3. Burt's Bees Lip Crayon in Sedona Sands; 4. Maybelline Creamy Matte Touch of Spice (reviewed here); and 5. Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien.
Still with me? I'm barely here anymore. But we've made it to the last one--I didn't swatch Gubby (metallized), because I didn't have anything similar and it's basically invisible anyway.
ZZ (cream) is such a pretty color, and sadly it looks awful on me. I guess that explains why I don't have anything really comparable. It ends up turning into a sort of pastel lilac shade on my face (i.e. the purple in it really comes out), and it's very stark and jarring. Someone with cool-toned skin, please send me a picture of yourself wearing this so that I can admire you! Just to add insult to injury, the formula is excellent too.
1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in ZZ; 2. Revlon Berry Haute (reviewed here); 3. L'Oreal La Lacque in Choco-Lacque (reviewed here); and 4. Maybelline Creamy Matte Lust for Blush (reviewed here).
That's it from the sampler, but since I also own Sheer F-Bomb, I'll show you that too. As you can see, it's so pink that it's most similar to Revlon Cherries in the Snow (4). I'll write up a complete review of Sheer F-Bomb some time soon.
1. Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Sheer F-Bomb; 2. Revlon Balm Stain in Romantic (reviewed here); 3. NYX Matte Perfect Red; and 4. Revlon Cherries in the Snow (reviewed here).
I didn't swatch every lipstick I own, because for some of them there was no Urban Decay counterpart. I think this is a pretty good demonstration, nonetheless, that I have too much fucking lipstick.
Also, I think the selection that Urban Decay decided to include in this sampler to introduce people to their new lipstick line is a bit odd, don't you? Two almost identical, almost black shades, but no real orange? Gash and Rock Steady are almost the same, too! One of only two "mega mattes" included is the complete garbage Pandemonium? Not a great way to introduce that new formula. But then again, they did get some money out of me with this thing, so I guess it's not such a bad idea.
I hope all of these swatches will be useful to someone someday. It was fun for me to do, even though it took me about a million years. I don't know how bloggers who buy every shade of everything and swatch them all do it!
What do you think of the Vice lipsticks, if you've tried any? I've bought both of the ones I own from the Urban Decay site, because with their Beauty Junkies program (more information here), it seems like that's now the best place to shop for UD. (Oh yeah, I ended up buying Rock Steady.)