No Free Friday post today – just a regular old review! I wanted to finish up with Life’s Entropy, although I realize now that the timing is pretty poor since LE just announced that they’re closing up for the rest of the month. You can still browse the site and order, though, it’s just that your order won’t be processed until the end of the month.
First let’s talk about the Particle Contour Sticks. These come in a standard lip balm tube, which makes for really easy application. You can either swipe it directly on your face and blend, or rub a bit off with your finger and apply that way. (I haven’t tried using a brush to pick up product directly on the contour stick, so I can’t say how that works.)
The texture is a bit firm at first, but once you warm up the surface it’s soft, creamy, and very blendable. I’m a total contouring noob – this is literally the first contouring product I’ve ever used, other than some ill-advised attempts to brush bronzer into my cheekbones, which: don’t do that. At least not if you’re as pale as me. That being the case, I still found these very easy to use. It’s hard to put on too much unless you have a color that’s way, way too dark, and they’re very easy to blend. They’re a true cream product, so you will have to set them with powder if you want them to last the day.
Proton:Proton is the lightest shade of the range (because it’s so positive!). Perfect for pale skin (NC/W 25 or lighter). Similar to Illamasqua Cream Shadow in Hollow.
Proton is a neutral tan kind of color, maybe leaning slightly cool. It looks warmer and browner on me than it does in the website swatch. This is a very subtle contour on my slightly tanner summer skin, and I think it would need to be a touch cooler (grey/purple) to be the perfect color for me. It does work, though, and of course can be layered. I can see this being great for a lot of super pale folks out there, and will probably serve me well in the winter. (For the record I have absolutely no idea what MAC foundation shade I am.)
Neutron:Neutron is the classic, most universal contour shade. It is the cream version of the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder in Medium.
Neutron is a warmish medium brown on my skin – more like a bronzer color than something mimicking shadow. In my inaugural attempts at contouring, I’ve been layering a bit of this on top of Proton to darken it up.
Here’s a really terrible picture of Proton + Neutron layered on my cheeks. I took this at the end of a long work day, hence the red cheeks (I always and forever have red cheeks, foundation be damned), and the contour is subtle, but hopefully you can see a little bit of it! It looked more noticeable in person (and, you know, in the morning), but my camera was having none of it for some reason.
This applies very much like an OCC Lip Tar – you need a teeny tiny amount, and it’s very saturated and opaque. Other reviews I’ve seen seem to indicate that the opacity varies a bit by color, but that’s to be expected.
Now, Lip Tars dry out my lips like crazy, and they’re also prone to wearing off in that way where you get that gross ring of product around the inside of your lips – you know what I mean. It’s not attractive. I found the Lip Theory slightly better in that regard – it still dried out my lips eventually, but it was quite comfortable for the first 2 hours or so, and the color faded evenly, with no gross ring around the lips. It goes on with a satiny finish, slightly shiny, and eventually does set to a matte finish that’s fairly transfer-resistant.
Notes from my wear test (pictured above):
1:30 pm: Applied Apoptosis over a light layer of lip balm.
(During the first 2 1/2 hours or so, it felt perfectly comfortable, hence the lack of notes.)
4:05 pm: Feeling kind of dry. Not terrible, but I’m itching to slather some lip balm on over this. (I’m not though.) It does seem to be exacerbating the lines in my lips. The color is holding up well, though.
4:35: My lips are feeling very dry.
5:05: Literally dying to put on some lip balm, JFC.
5:30: Very dry. Lips are looking pretty liney and puckery. Color has faded somewhat, but not unevenly. No bleeding or feathering. Looks better in real life, I think, and would look better with some lip balm on top, undoubtedly, but I wanted to test it by itself.
During the four-hour test it survived several glasses of water (with a straw), a bowl of mac and cheese (vegan, of course), some watermelon, and several smooches. After it dries there’s very little transfer onto anything.
As you can see, by the end of 4 hours, it did sink into and exacerbate the lines of my lips pretty badly. They also felt pretty terrible at that point. However, the color faded evenly and a good bit of it stuck around. Normally I would have applied lip balm a few times during that 4 hour period, but I didn’t because I wanted to test the product on its own.
Overall, I have mixed feelings about these. Yes, they dry out my lips. But every damn thing dries out my lips. Most tinted lip balms dry out my lips. I’m also a habitual lip biter and picker, especially when I’m stressed or nervous, so my lips are usually kind of rough to start with. And it seems to be impossible for a lip product to be both long-wearing AND moisturizing, so this outcome wasn’t unexpected.
On the plus side, I was very pleased with how it wore, dryness aside, and I think applying lip balm like usual will mitigate that somewhat. And they are less drying on me than Lip Tars, in addition to being significantly cheaper ($8 vs $18). I do plan to pick up and test drive a few more colors down the road – Coralation, Recursion, Transformation, and Big Bang Theory all appeal to me.
Since the Lip Theories are so similar to Lip Tars, I figured I’d do comparison swatches of the ones I own that looked similar. Radiate isn’t terribly close at all, but Grandma and Apoptosis are very similar. Apoptosis seems very slightly lighter and less pink, but you really have to be looking for it.
So there you have it! You can check out Life’s Entropy here if anything caught your eye.
Happy Friday, everyone! I’m so ready for the weekend. This sleepy kitten pretty much sums up how I feel right now.