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When I think of lip lacquers, I usually think of opaque glosses – though I’m not even sure if it’s correct. However, these from 3CE were really so different to what I expected; but in a good way. In fact, they are exactly everything I wanted the Velvet Lip Tints to be and I’m a big fan of these!
This review is on the 3CE Soft Lip Lacquer that released a while ago. I eyed them for a while but mostly wrote them off because I thought they would be similar to the velvets – which are nice but too soft in pigment for my own preference. However, when I was looking through the StyleKorean website, I decided that I did want to give these a go. They sent me two shades in this – Perk Up and Midnight Bottle; two of the darker shades in the range. I generally gravitate towards these colours because I’m not a fan of how most nudes or pinks look on me.
These are currently selling for USD$11.70 on StyleKorean (on sale from the full price of USD19.50) which is a pretty decent price – on par with the Velvet Lip Tint, and cheaper than the normal lip sticks. If you like soft looks, then the Velvet is the formula for you but if you are like me and you prefer your lip make up to be bolder and matter – then this is going to be perfect!
Here’s the review!
The 3CE Soft Lip Lacquer is a matte finish lip colour that comes in 10 various shades – ranging from nude peaches, to classic reds and even fuschia/purple. Compared to a lot of standard kbeauty brands, this product has a fairly good shade range; although it isn’t a lot, they all seem very different and so anyone can find something to suit them.
According to the StyleKorean website: “Once it touches your lips, 3CE soft lip lacquer imparts ultra-intense yet weightless [colour] payoff that remains impeccable throughout the whole day.” It has four general claims:
- Classic matte with luster that won’t slide off
- Non-sticky & Lightweight second-lip texture
- Highly pigmented coverage with colour versatility
- Flawless colour payoff in a single swipe
In comparison, the Velvet Lip Tints claimed a sherbet-like texture with a subtle colour pay off – much like a MLBB product. In my opinion, I would consider this the bold, rebel/loud personality counterpart (and, look, I love being a rebel).
When selecting my shades for this product, I went for the two that looked the darkest (and most like my style) – Perk Up which is a deep red with a pink tinge, and Midnight Bottle, which appeared to have a more mauve purple shade. Out of the two, only Perk Up was really true to colour.
The lip tints came packaged in colour coded red boxes, much like all of the Mood Recipe lines that 3CE has released in the past. I wonder if they are discontinuing all of their previously black packaging? Either way, I like this because it has a very bold and trendy look, while not being too ornate. It speaks well to the brand and it looks right for the audience – which is generally young, in their early to late 20s, and fashion conscious.
Opening it up, the tube of the lip lacquer is transparent with a frosted finish. Both it and the cap have a soft matte feel, which works well for this product. It’s a fairly simple and standard design, but the good quality plastic makes it feel a little more luxe without being dated. I like the clear tube because I always like to see how my product looks and also because looking at the actual shade is much more accurate than the cap.
The tube is shorter than the Velvet Lip Velvets and do contain a little less product (45g, instead of 50g) but I feel like you apply less of this product anyway. It has a standard doe foot applicator which works well for what it is.
Application & Formula
For formula of this really surprised me because I thought that it would be a lot thicker but this is actually super lightweight – they weren’t joking about it! The lip lacquer is almost a bit too thin so if you want to apply a full lip, then you need to wait for it to dry properly for it will run and smear quickly. Once it dries though, the formula is matte and almost feathery on the lips. There is some transfer, but not a lot of it.
Comparing it to other products, I actually feel like this is almost a dupe for the NARS Powermatte Lip Pigments – which is a big statement because I really like those. It has the same watery light formula, which has the potential to be a bit messy but gives a very beautiful finish. The pigmentation is a fraction softer and, while it doesn’t last as long as the NARS, it fades more naturally. These are also a little more hydrating in comparison, but I will still prefer to wear a balm underneath or a gloss on top.
The longevity of these are pretty good! They are much better than the Velvet Lip Tints (as is the pigmentation); while it will fade when you eat a proper meal or something, it doesn’t leave any patchiness and it is fairly easy to reapply. My lips feel a little bit dry after using this for a few days but it isn’t too bad!
Swatches: Perk up (Left) and Midnight Bottle (Right)
Overall, I really like these Lip Lacquers – way more than I did the Velvet Lip Tints. I’m also really excited that these seem like a great Korean dupe for the NARS Powermatte because, while those have a great shade range and are super long wearing, they’re also pretty expensive. My only disappointment here is that one of the shades didn’t look how I expected it to – it’s pretty but no where near the official swatch.
Perk Up was close enough to the official swatch for me to pass it but Midnight Bottle went from being a deep mauve/purple to a fuschia! It is still flattering on me, and I do like to wear it, but it really wasn’t what I had expected. I feel like a lot of these brands need to work harder to ensure their official swatches are more accurate – the Velvet Lip Tint were also a lot less pigmented than the photos showed.
And so, here’s the verdict!
SO WHAT IS IT?
A lightweight, matte finish lip colour
- Trendy but simple packaging
- Transparent tube
- Super lightweight on the lips, feels like nothing on
- High pigmentation and almost 100% opacity with a single swipe
- Easy to blend out if you want to gradient your lips
- Decent wear time but also fades without patchiness
- Easy to reapply
- Watery formula can be messy
- Can run on edges of lips
- Inaccurate official swatches
- PACKAGING | 5/5
- PRICE POINT | 3/5
- PIGMENTATION | 5/5
- LONG WEARING | 4/5
- HYDRATION | 3/5
- FINISH | 5/5
OVERALL RATING? 8.3/10
WOULD I RECOMMEND?
I would highly recommend this Soft Lip Lacquer for people who want a high pigmentation, matte finish and lightweight liquid lipstick – as well as for those who are looking for a NARS dupe. I think that whether or not you like this product will really come down to preference. Consider your own make up style when you’re choosing between this or the Velvet Lip Tint.
WHERE TO GET IT FROM