Armani Lip Magnet review – liquid matte lipsticks gone high-end
The new year is barely ten days old, and I’m already breaking the rules I set for myself in my bucket list for 2017. This exact rule I’m speaking about is steering clear of the wishy-washy high-end incorporations of matte liquid lipsticks, always watered down versions of the real thing. But then, I stood in front of the Armani counter, saw the new(ish) Lip Magnets and curiosity got the better of me.
I got No. 601, Attitude, a dark mauvey and muted plum and have now road-tested it a few times. Astrid also got one of the Lip Magnets when they came out and was completely disappointed. She struggled a bit with the application and told me to be very careful not to press my lips together after applying until the formula had dried down completely – otherwise, it’s patchiness-central. She also mentioned that it doesn’t last as long as other mattes on her, and doesn’t fade evenly. So I should be warned, right?!
The background – it’s an innovation! (Or not.)
A bit of backstory first, though. Armani is often on the forefront of technical discoveries in the beauty world. When they created their ‘serum’ foundation, Maestro Fusion Foundation, they drew upon the discovery of fast-evaporating silicone oils that would leave the mixed-in pigments in an incredibly light and even layer on the skin. They used the foundation of this discovery for their Eye Tints that we love around here, and now they’ve used it again for the Lip Magnets that operate on the same principle. If you now picture some nourishing oil formula – nope. Not at all. Silicone oils aren’t moisturizing or nourishing at all. All they do is make sure that the liquid is easily spreadable and leaves an even layer of pigments on your lips.
- binds with the lips for a long lasting, no-migration magnet effect
- ultra-thin film
- incredible colour intensity
- extremely fine texture and unparalleled feeling of weightlessness
- non-sticky formula creates a bare-lip sensation
- chic matte finish
- 18 colours, 38$, 27£, 37€
How they feel on my lips
So let me get this one out of the way – of course, your mileage may vary, but this is not a non-drying formula, nor is it in any way comfortably moisturizing. What Armani say about this ‘creates a bare lip sensation’? Truer words have never been spoken. This absolutely feels like you’re wearing nothing on your lips, and you’ve to decide if you like that or not. I’m the one who always, always wears something on her lips, even when I’m just lazing around in my old bathrobe. Chapstick, lipgloss, some lip treatment, or lipstick – my lips are never bare. I actually don’t like that naked feeling on my lips, especially right now when the cold and heating make it a very drying environment for lips and skin. So. Not a fan of that. But I can easily imagine people liking it. If you do or you don’t, it’s something to keep in mind regarding the Lip Magnets.
Non-sticky? Check. Ultra-thin? Check. Long-lasting and no-migration effect? Hm. Not really. This is kinda long-lasting, meaning if you neither eat nor drink (because people, keeping it real – oil removes lip products. So, if your drinks or snacks contains any fat, chances are that your lip colour is going to suffer.) it holds up well. My caramel latte made it fade in the centre of my lips significantly, and it’s destroyed by my lunch of spaghetti with pesto.
It also transfers on glasses and people (hm, kissproof this is not). But! It leaves a pretty significant stain, which hides the fading and transferring and everything else a bit. And this stain does not come off easily, let me tell you. Even my oil cleanser was a bit intimidated and couldn’t erase every last bit. Oh, and matte finish? Check. (Even if it doesn’t look like it in my swatches.)
The texture is thin and gel-like and feels cooling on the lips. It’s neither too thin nor runny, and yields an even result with just one coat of colour. It also doesn’t feather on me. Armani makes much of the applicator, which is thinner and pointier than a regular doe-foot applicator and reminds of a calligraphy quill.
It is super easy to paint your cupid’s bow with the triangular end and then fill in your lips with the wide paddle-shaped side. The formula dries down quickly. One word of caution though – re-appliance, like with all liquid matte lipsticks, is tricky. You can certainly do it and it doesn’t look awful, but I personally don’t like it and would rather remove everything, prime my lips and reapply. Also, topping it with a gloss demands a bit of attention (don’t glob it on), but then works fine.
Not too basic, not too boring, while those looking for a classic red or a modern nude or the usual pink will find something they’ll enjoy. I definitely like my colour and find it rather complex – dark but not vampy, neutral but plum. That’s some feat!
All in all, I can’t find fault with them, thus showing that all those resolutions for a new year are meant to be broken sometimes.
You’ll like this if…
… you like matte liquid lipsticks (or matte lipsticks)
… you like the feeling of wearing absolutely nothing on your lips
… you struggle with a precise application when you use regular doe foot applicators
… you like non-sticky formulas
… you like a matte finish that is somewhat forgiving on older lips and isn’t so dry that it cracks
You won’t like this if…
… you don’t like the feeling of wearing nothing (and I mean nothing!) on your lips
… you want an ultra-matte finish
… you want a longer wear time (+5hrs)
… you want a line-up with unusual colours