Look! A real review! I've been bogged down in work stuff and cat nursing (which you can read a little about here if you missed it), but I'm settling into more of a routine now, so I've finally found time to write more than a couple of sentences.
Remember when I had too many sheer red lip products? Probably not, but I did. Because I had so many, I gave some of them away. And then a few of the ones I kept went off, because I have too much shit, and I got bored with these reds for a while. In the end, I was left with just Revlon Balm Stain in Romantic, which is a formula that I love (and one that seems to last forever without going bad).
I decided ultimately that I needed a new sheer red, because the right one can liven up a look without being too dramatic or competing with my eye makeup like a fully opaque red might do. Yes, I know I could just apply an opaque red in a sheer layer or mix it with some balm, but I was feeling impractical and lazy. In the end, I should have used something I already had, because my new lipstick was a bit of a letdown.
I ended up buying Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Sheer F-Bomb, which is described as "sheer, classic red," toward the end of last year when I had a $10 credit burning a hole in my Beauty Junkies account. I hesitated a bit before getting it, because in close to half the lip swatches you see when you google it, it looks more pink than red. Makes sense, right? Light red is pink, after all, and if you sheer out red over pink lips, you're going to get pink-red, logically. But I still hoped for the best.
Well, you can guess what I got. Though the bullet (above) looks completely red, but on my lips it looks like a fuchsia pink.
And here's Sheer F-Bomb compared to Stila Convertible Color in Poppy, which is more opaque (and which I never wear on my lips, because I find it too drying).
All is not lost. If I layer Sheer F-Bomb over Romantic, I get the neutral true red that I had in mind all along. Mind you, it's less than ideal to own two lipsticks that aren't great on their own, but at least I have something that I like here. (I don't mind a sheer pink, but I own enough of those already, and that's not what I was looking to add to my hoard with Sheer F-Bomb.)
As for the formula and performance of Sheer F-Bomb, I'd say it's fine. Decent. It's nowhere near as lasting as a Revlon Balm Stain, though it does leave a light pink stain behind. It's also not as moisturizing as I've found most other Urban Decay Vice (and Revolution) lipsticks to be. Very slightly drying for me, in fact. It's a notch or two higher on the pigmentation scale than a Revlon Balm Stain. Oh and I hate the shotgun shell cases of the Vice lipsticks. So edgy. Blah.
It may be that if your lips are less pink than mine to begin with, you will get a lip color out of Urban Decay Sheer F-Bomb that's closer to how it looks in the bullet. Then again, the swatches on my arm are quite pink too. If you've been dreaming of a sheer version of Cherries in the Snow, you've got it--but you're probably better off not being as lazy as I am and just sheering out your favorite red lipstick yourself.
In conclusion: sheer red lipstick is tricky.
Are you into sheer lip colors, or are you strictly all about the opacity?