Colorbar liquid lipsticks – the unsung heroines

Review: of the Colorbar Kiss-proof Lip Stains in three shades – Rustic, Royal Pink, and Haute Latté

The History

There are some really praise-worth, affordable drugstore brands that get swept under the carpet for the sole reason that nobody wants to talk about them because nobody ever talks about them! Colorbar USA is one such brand. I have never heard an influential beauty blogger review them, speak about them on social media or work in collaboration with them. And, honestly, I’m not sure why.

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I have been a huge fan-girl of Colorbar USA ever since I ventured into makeup in my adolescent years. One of my early favourites used to be the perfect match primer that I used for many years and still consider worthy (though I have discovered other better ones). It was the first ever primer I tried (on recommendation from the SA at the Colorbar Kiosk in the mall), and never looked back after that.

Over the years, I have experimented with a lot of products from their range — the super pigmented, bold blushers; the exhaustive range of nail laquers; the intense, precise feline eye liner; the extreme comfort-wear matt lip creams; and the smashing selection of lipsticks in so many finishes and colours (‘Tangerino‘ being my most loved lipstick, a real fluorescent, bright orange).

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Makeup look wearing Colorbar Kiss-proof lip stain in ‘Rustic’

Their packaging is always fabulous, their prices are fair and their quality is as good as it gets for a drugstore brand of their calibre.

As it goes, the Colorbar liquid lipstick was the first ever liquid lipstick I bought, and I wasn’t disappointed. In comparison to the drugstore brands that retail in India and sell liquid lipsticks, these are by far the most superior in pigmentation, colour range, non-drying formula and lasting power (the L.A Girl Matt Flat Finish Pigment Glosses and the Wet n Wild MegaLast Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipsticks come closest to these). Not everyone can (or wishes to) spend two grand on a trend liquid lipstick from Huda Beauty or Smashbox (now available in India); even if I had to buy one that is priced as such, I would rather ‘collect’ a M.A.C lipstick—without a flicker of doubt.

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Colorbar Kiss-proof lip stains in Haute Latte, Rustic, and Royal pink (from top to bottom)

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I have ‘Icon‘ from Huda Beauty sitting in my e-cart for the past 2 months and I know I’m never really buying it. I just mix and match my Nykaa Matte-ilicious lip crayon in ‘Pink on Fleek‘ with my Colorbar liquid lipstick (kiss-proof lip stain, as they call it) in ‘Rustic‘, and I’m nearly close enough to ‘Icon’. Not to sound cheap or frugal, but when cosmetics are imported to India, they get heavily taxed (close to 40% with GST!), making it really expensive for most of us to justify the purchase of products from these brands, no matter how great they may be. It’s not fair, I know.

The Review

I own the Colorbar kiss-proof lip stain in 3 flattering shades and can’t recommend them enough. They are matt, opaque in one swipe, not too drying (use a lip crayon, mousturizing lip pencil or lip balm underneath), and survive small meals. They tend to fade in the centre of the lips after a couple of hours but reapply without flaking or caking.

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Swatches of the Colorbar Kiss-proof lip stains in Royal Pink, Rustic, and Haute Latte

The colours are all wearable, with a mix of cool-toned and warm-toned shades. ‘Rustic‘, my favourite, is a complete dupe for the M.A.C matt lipstick in ‘Chili‘. I own both, and use both (call me crazy!).

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Colorbar Kiss-proof lip stain in ‘Rustic’

The cool-toned shade ‘Royal Pink‘ was my first one from the lot. It’s got a fluoro undertone and can look pale if you overlayer — but, with one coat, it’s so so beautiful. There was a time when I wore only this lipstick. Hubs hates the colour, but I don’t always go by his beauty advice. Obv.

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Colorbar Kiss-proof lip stain in ‘Royal Pink’
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Makeup look wearing Colorbar Kiss-proof lip stain in ‘Royal Pink’

However, this last one (Haute Latté) always gets me the compliments. This mauve-ish brown shade looks different on different skin tones and flatters medium Indian skin. I use the M.A.C Pro longwear lip pencil in ‘In Anticipation‘ under this lip stain, just to add a tad bit of pink to the brown. It works well for winter evenings or a night out, keeping eyes basic.

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Colorbar Kiss-proof lip stain in ‘Haute Latte’
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Makeup look wearing Colorbar Kiss-proof lip stain in ‘Haute Latte’

These aren’t super cheap, but if you are the girl who loves rocking the perfect liquid lip, then give these a go.

The Future

I personally cannot justify the purchase of luxury makeup and always stick to some of my favourite drugstore brands. As long as you know what you need, and are willing to do the research, you can find anything and everything at the drugstore level, without compromising on quality or packaging. Makeup Revolution London, NYX Cosmetics, L.A.Girl, PAC, The Face Shop, Innisfree, and Nykaa Cosmetics are some brands that make amazingly good quality, reasonably priced, trendy, well-packaged makeup that is perfectly suited to fulfil any beauty needs that you may have. Just remember to do your research; every brand has some products that exceed expectations and some products that just don’t make the cut. No one brand excels at everything, and that holds true for luxury brands as well.

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Limited edition collaborations between drugstore brands and luxury players always result in some unique, trendsetting, admirable quality makeup; this would be the time to make some handsome investments.

Most products that I mention on my blog belong to one or more of these brands and fall under a similar price bracket. I want girls to know that makeup doesn’t have to be a huge investment; almost every cult classic has a dupe that is simply as sterling as the original. So, do not be disheartened by beauty bloggers who began their own luxury makeup brands and didn’t think of you.

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Until next time, XOXO

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