Onto the actual lip crayons. In short, I would recommend them if you're on a budget and looking for something very comparable to the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils. I bought them for $6 each on sale (40% off), but the normal price of $9.95 is affordable. They each contain 2.49g of product, about the same as NARS (2.44g). They're very richly pigmented, but can be applied according to your desired pigmentation. I find they're much more "wearable" and fresh-looking when a small amount of product is dabbed on with the fingers, rather than drawing directly onto the lips with the crayon. They all look slightly frightening when I filled the lips in completely with the pencil. I find them neither drying nor hydrating (probably more on the slightly drying side). None of them seemed to leave any significant stain, in that I was able to wipe them completely off with some lip balm and a tissue without noticing my lips changing in colour.
Maybelline Intense Velvet Lip Pencil in In With Coral (420)
In With Coral is probably my favourite of the bunch. This one is hella neon when worn to full opacity. I definitely prefer it sheered out for a bright, but still transparent, pout. It's a typical "spring" shade that freshens up the complexion and adds a youthful pop of colour.
l-r: Maybelline In With Coral, Revlon Unapologetic, Maybelline Coral Crush, Maybelline Shocking Coral, Revlon Melonade
Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Unapologetic is a near dupe. It's so similar that you really don't need both. Unapologetic is darker, brighter and more pigmented, whereas In With Coral is comparatively more pastel. Maybelline Color Sensational Lipcolor in Coral Crush is more red. Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids in Shocking Coral is more pastel pink. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Melonade is more of a fiery orange, glossier and sheerer.
Maybelline Intense Velvet Lip Pencil in Fuchsia Desire (150)
Honestly, me and fuchsia. It's got to stop. This is still a pink lipstick, so I already failed my previous tentative ban on pink lipsticks. I keep thinking there will be something slightly different with the next fuchsia lipstick I buy to justify the purchase, but I keep being proven wrong. Fuchsia Desire has this slight pearl running through it (probably not captured in the photos) that I dislike intensely, but I guess it's subtle enough that it's not a major problem.
l-r: Maybelline Fuchsia Desire, NARS Yu, Revlon Smitten, Revlon Fuchsia
See what I mean by the same fuchsia lipstick over and over again? Only Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick in Fuchsia is slightly different to the rest, in that it's brighter and more pink. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Smitten is harder to build up in pigmentation and relatively patchy in comparison. It's darker, not as pink as Fuchsia Desire. NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Yu however, is the same bleeping colour. DUPE. If we're being super nitpicky, it has a glossier finish, is slightly sheerer, maybe infinitesimally lighter and more neon. It is definitely smoother to apply and unlike Fuchsia Desire, leaves a stain.
So this is Fuchsia Desire on my top lip only...
l-r: Maybelline Intense Velvet Lip Pencil in Fuchsia Desire, NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Yu
Just kidding. It's Fuchsia Desire on the left and Yu on the right. You can kind of tell one is more matte than the other (obvs, since Yu is a Satin Lip Pencil) and Fuchsia Desire is maybe fractionally darker/more opaque in pigmentation if we're scrutinising, but really, ain't no one looking that close. From a normal distance away, they are basically the same colour.
Which only means one thing. MASSIVE FAIL. (For me, given I have Yu already.) Otherwise, really good if you like the look of Yu but can't bring yourself to fork out the cash for it.
Maybelline Intense Velvet Lip Pencil in Berry Much (310)
Moving onto to the plummy brown Berry Much. I was tossing up between Berry Much and Pink So Chic, which I remember swatching and liking. Pink So Chic was surprisingly more of a deeper berry pink than its name suggested, so I wasn't sure which of the two I'd wear more. In the end, I had to go for Berry Much because of Lisa Eldridge. Plus, I rationalised I could always sheer out a darker colour, but a lighter shade wasn't going to get any deeper simply by applying more of it. Berry Much ended up a lot darker than anticipated. Seriously, I don't imagine I'd ever wear it with my lips coloured in completely with it. It's much better dabbed on with the fingers for an autumnal berry stain.
l-r: Maybelline Berry Much, Revlon Black Cherry, Revlon Red Velvet, Australis Foxtrot, Savvy by DB Bali
See how similar Berry Much is to Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Black Cherry? Granted, Black Cherry is still darker and blacker, but the two would be close if you didn't wear Black Cherry at its most opaque. For those that have Black Cherry, you know it's darrrrk, so that should give you a better idea of how surprisingly vampy Berry Much is. Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Red Velvet is more brick red, sheerer and glossier. Australis Colour Inject Mineral Lipstick in Foxtrot is lighter, more mauve and brown. Savvy by DB Long Lasting Matte Lipstick in Bali is a similar darkness, but brighter, more red.
l-r (top row, then bottom row): In With Coral, Fuchsia Desire, Berry Much
In summation, In With Coral = Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in Unapologetic, Fuchsia Desire = NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Yu and Berry Much = (a sheerer) Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Black Cherry. And that is why I need to take a long break from lip products.