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I have recently been trying out some cosmetics from the budget brand 2true. When I first bought them the brand was quite new and I didn't rate the products too highly. It is a different story with the products I have used more recently though, so I have been taking advantage of their long running "any 3 items for £4.99" offer to try some new things out. The products all cost just £1.99 each even when not on offer. Having looked at reviews online, I shortlisted their relatively new Colour Drench Lipstick as something to try as a priority. That is because a couple of brief reviews stated they thought it was as good as MAC lip colours. Quite a bold statement considering the price difference between the two! Anyway, I bought the 2true lippie in shade number 5, and this is what I thought of it..
There are several lipstick lines made by 2true, and Colour Drench is the newest. There are only 5 colours available which is a disappointingly small number compared to other brands, but I suppose it is partly because they have other lip ranges too. The colour I have looks fuchsia pink on the 2true website, but it appears quite different in the flesh. It is darker - more of a plummy-cerisey pink. The lipsticks are supposed to offer "intense dramatic colour", a vibrant finish, and "moisturising and conditioning properties." They contain both vitamin E and a sunscreen.
The lipstick comes in a silver coloured tube, which looks smarter than I expected at the price. It feels a bit flimsier than some tubes but I haven't had any actual problems with it. It twists up easily and has stayed in one piece despite finding it's way to the bottom of my handbag on several ocasions. The lipstick itself has a neat contoured top which makes the application easy until I have got the end shaped to fit my lips. The one thing that really got my attention was the surface of the lipstick. It isn't smooth but looks as though there are little grity bits sprinkled all over it. I do remember using another lipstick that looked like this, and that was supposed to offer exfoliating properties. There is no mention of that on the 2true website, and I would in any case rather exfoliate my lips before putting on my lipstick if I am going to. I presume the" beads" must have something to do with the moisturising properties but I am not sure what!
APPLICATION AND AFTERWARDS
I wasn't sure I would enjoy putting on the lipstick, and it does feel a bit unusual. You can feel the gritty bits slightly, but it isn't actually uncomfortable to apply. It feels as though the lippie is a bit rough in texture which just takes getting used to. I prefer smoother, creamier feeling lipsticks in general, but I can put up with this one. For me the worst bit is the taste of the lipstick. It reminds me of wax crayons, and I can taste it for some time after application. It smells similar but not very strongly. These points would be more annoying if the colour wasn't so good. The pigment really is excellent. I did wonder if the little bits, whatever they are, would be visible on my lips. I didn't want to appear as though I had put my lippie on in a sandstorm! Thankfully they seem to disappear, both visually and to touch once on. The finished look of my lips is smooth and subtley glossy. I love the colour, as it is bright and really defines your lips without being too bright. I blot and apply 2 layers to make it last longer, although one layer would do just from the point of view of colour. I was really impressed with how long it lasts too. I can have a drink without it completely vanishing, although if I have several I would definitely need to re-apply. Otherwise it lasts from morning until after lunch without fading.
In terms of the MAC comparision, I would say the two are equal as regards quality of colour when first applied, but MAC has the edge on longevity. It lasts longer both in the tube and on the lips. On the other hand it is also more expensive! I have got through the 2true lipstick faster than I expected, it seems to soften over time and wear down quickly. The little "bits" in the surface are still visible as I am nearing the end of a tube, but they are less obvious now.
Although the lipstick is supposed to offer moisturising properties, that wasn't obvious to me. My lips didn't feel dry after using the lippie regularly, but that is quite different to them actually feeling moisturised. They seem just in the same condition as before - no softer or smoother.
WOULLD I RECOMMEND THE LIPSTICK?
I don't rate the taste or smell of these highly, but they are not so bad that I am put off using the lipstick. I like the colour that I have bought a lot, as it really is better pigmented and more intense than I expected at the price. I am not sure about the bitty texture, but it is O.K once you are used to it. I would recommend the lipstick happily, given how cheap it is, providing you can find a colour in the very limited range that you like. I wouldn't buy it for it's so called conditioning prperties alone, as they were not that obvious to me. I have settled on a 4 star rating because the low price takes away the impact of the lippies negative points for me, and I really do like the colour.
[This review is also on Ciao under my user name.]