Max Factor Elixir Lipstick Challenge by Helen
A couple of weeks ago, Sheenie and I were invited to attend a masterclass led by UK Max Factor ambassador and make-up artist to the stars, Caroline Barnes. After learning some great tips of the trade, we were set a challenge. Caroline wanted us to blog about seven new lipsticks from Max Factor’s Elixir range, and to talk about our experience of wearing a different colour a day.
Now, as someone who never wears lipstick (yes, you read that correctly), this was a huge ask for me. Up until now, I owned precisely one lipstick. A nude Chanel one (I can’t remember the name). It’s about 15 years old though. I have a multitude of glosses, balms and stains, most of which lie neglected in a drawer as I just prefer nude lips. Maybe it’s because I prefer to do big eye make-up so perceive lipstick as being overkill, maybe it’s because I don’t like the feeling of greasy substance being applied to my lips, eventually drying out and going a bit crispy. I also went out with a (nasty) boy who refused to go anywhere near me when I had lipstick on, so I stopped wearing it altogether. Then he ran off with a lipstick-wearing slapper any way. Hmm.
So, this was an interesting week for me. Fortunately, the Max Factor Elixir lipsticks were a good place for a luddite like me to start. The formula is lovely. Smooth and slippy without feeling fatty or gelatinous.
Applied either with a brush or straight from the bullet, they smooth on easily and I tell you, what, they stay put for a good long while. And I experienced no flaking, drying or peeling, which is something I live in fear of. Who wants little blobs of lipstick-covered dry skin all over their mouth? Not me. Thankfully, no such thing happened here. Let’s take a look in more detail, shall we?
First up, Bewitching Coral. Sorry about the slightly blurry photo. This is one HOT coral. It is seriously bright and made me kind of self-conscious. But I like it. I think it suits my colouring well and also I only needed to apply it twice in the day as it left a nice base stain. Nobody pointed and laughed at me either. Yes, perhaps this wasn’t going to be so bad after all. (I think the eye make-up in Nars Okinawa, not that you can see it that well).
How about a bit of Burnt Caramel? Let’s not focus on the massive dark circles under my eyes for a moment (this was taken at 6:45am as I left for work and my face hadn’t quite adjusted itself to the day yet). This one reminds me of Rimmel’s Heather Shimmer from the early 1990s. Very easy to wear and I forgot I had this on. About three of the men at work complimented me at work when I was wearing Burnt Caramel, telling me that they didn’t know what was different about me, but that something was, and I looked nice. Blimey. (eye make-up is New CID Amethyst)
Next up was Mulberry, seen here with my favourite grey smokey eye (Nars Paris). I was expecting Mulberry to be a lot vampier than it turned out to be. On me, it appeared more fuschia-like, with a lot of shimmer. I really thought this was going to be an Autumnal matte wine shade. Still. It’s pretty. But you can tell how self-conscious I am about wearing this from my slightly nervous face in the photo. Hmm.
English Rose was one of the trickier ones for me. It is a super frosty, “mum-in-the-80s” type shade. Despite priming my lips with a foundation base, the frosty shimmer embedded itself into the grooves of my lips and kind of stuck there. It reminds me of a million of OPI’s rose coloured nail varnishes. Very popular, but not me. Oh and the eyes are Nars Eurydice if you’re interested.
Ahhhh Angel Pink. The nemesis of all my fellow Elixir challenge bloggers. A very pale Playboy style pink frost, I’m not entirely sure who this would look good on. Very pale blondes, perhaps. Or Nicki Minaj. I applied a really light touch here as layering this on thickly would have been disastrous. I don’t think it looks too appalling on me, but the husband didn’t like it and said I looked a bit dead. Oh and by the way, my hair isn’t greasy in these pics – I’ve just had a keratin treatment done and it makes it super-shiny! I think the make-up is Nars Paris.
Pink Brandy actually looks better in the photos than it did in person. It’s a really nice shade, but unfortunately one that served to make my teeth look yellow. It’s also picked out the pink tones in my face and I think I look a tad blotchy here. Shame as it’s a lovely colour and consistency. Oh and yes, nars Paris again. I wore a lot of grey smokey eyes last week!
Finally, on the last day of the challenge, I brought out the big guns with Ruby Tuesday. I was terrified by the prospect of wearing red lipstick, and felt that my lips entered the room about a day before the rest of me followed. I was so self-conscious and felt that everyone was looking at me. They weren’t. But it still took guts. I can’t really explain this to you, I just felt it took every ounce of my bravery to go out like this. It’s quite a pink-toned red. But red none the less. (I think I’ve gone back to Nars Okinawa on the eyes by the way. Needed to give poor Paris a rest).
So, there we have it. I survived, although I was a long way out of my comfort zone. I had to think about whether it would go with my eye makeup and blusher, which was a bit stressful at 6am. I’m thrilled to have learned that I can wear lipstick and won’t get laughed at.
However, there were a couple of things that I could live without, like the pathalogical checking to make sure I didn’t have it all over my teeth. And secondarily, it actually changed the shape of my face. Normally heart-shaped, my face suddenly looked a lot squarer, as attention was focussed on the bottom half, rather than just on the eyes. I didn’t like that, not least because it made me realise that my neck could do with losing a few pounds.
Having said all that, these lipsticks performed really well. I’m quite low-maintenance when I get out of the house and am definitely not one of these women who take a whole suitcase of make-up around with them on a daily basis. I liked the fact that re-application was kept to a minimum and that the pigment left a good stain so I didn’t have to think about maintenance. So, I might be keeping one or two of these lipsticks in my every day handbag, just for when I feel brave again. What do you think? Which one is your favourite?
To find out more, visit the Max Factor website here. There are 15 shades in all (I’m tempted to check out some of the nudier ones), and all the lipsticks contain avocado, aloe and shea butters and white tea, an anti-oxidant. Oh,and they smell nice as well. Vanilla-ish. The lipsticks retail at £7.99, although all Max Factor’s Elixir products are on a 3 for 2 offer at Boots at the moment, and Superdrug are currently offering £2.00 off the lipsticks. Bargain.
Check back on Friday for Sheenie’s take on the Max Factor Elixir Lipstick Challenge!