Product Review: Lipstick Queen Chinatown Lip Gloss Pencil in Pink Bluff


Time flies. I can’t believe it’s been four-and-a-half years since I reviewed Lipstick Queen’s Chinatown lip gloss pencils for my dear friend Annie’s beauty blog, Blogdorf Goodman (one of the first! one of the very best!). In that review (which you can read here), I raved about Chinatown’s smooth application and sophisticated, sheer shine.

I still love the Chinatown formula and pencil design, but my tastes have shifted and I don’t wear such bright colors anymore. That’s why I was glad to read this release last year:
“The original chubby lip pencil that inspired a thousand imitations, Chinatown is the pioneer of gloss-on-the-go, combining effortless application, a deliciously moisturising texture and sheer shades in vibrant brights. Now and right on time for the new season’s pastel trend, Lipstick Queen presents three new Chinatowns in ultra-wearable, soft pinks and nudes.”

Chinatow2n pink bluff

The three newer shades are Cameo, Catalina, and Pink Bluff. Pink Bluff feels made for me — it’s a “sheer earthy nude-pink” that leans slightly cool. It’s natural-looking, but not “nude” in a way that gives the wearer Silly Putty lips. It actually looks a little bit too rose-y in this photo, but at least you can see the Chinatown packaging, which has stayed the same.

Chinatown pink bluff 1

Here is the other side of the pencil, which reads “Lipstick Queen” in, of course, Chinese. I like to use the tip of the pencil as a liner, then the flat side of the point to fill in color. That way, I only need to sharpen it every few uses.  (A custom sharpener is also included with each Chinatown.) Again, this shot makes Pink Bluff look a little too deep and pink. It’s actually more subtle. This natural-looking color, plus the balm-like texture, make Pink Bluff a quick-and-easy, no-thought-required kind of beauty product.


Here’s a swatch of Pink Bluff on my arm, in daylight. This is truer to the real-life color, which is really a perfect balance of dusty pink and nude. You can also see the sheer texture here. In both color and semi-transparency, Pink Bluff reminds me of Laura Mercier’s Sheer Lip Color in Baby Lips. It’s a healthy, pretty look for everyday use — the definition of “my lips but better.”

As much as I appreciated the punchy sheer brights of the original Chinatown collection, I’m glad that these more subtle shades have been added to the line-up.

Product source: I purchased this product at Barneys about six months ago.

Images: Chinatown logo via Lipstick Queen; product photos by Tinsel Creation.


11 thoughts on “Product Review: Lipstick Queen Chinatown Lip Gloss Pencil in Pink Bluff

  1. I just bought my first Lipstick Queen lipsticks a few weeks ago. The texture is a lot like a balm and the colors are sheer. I haven’t tried the Chinatown ones. I do like the lipsticks I bought. I wish a store near me carried them because buying lipstick online is so hard.

    1. Did you get some Saints? I like the sheerness of those. Saint Rose is my favorite. I agree — so difficult to choose when you can’t see them in person. Fortunately, LQ seems to have wider distribution these days and is still expanding!

      1. No, I got a Butterfly Ball, Medieval, and Jean Queen. Jean queen is the most lipstick-like. The other two have color but there a sheerness to them that makes them somewhat idiot proof.

  2. Can you actually sharpen those? They look like plastic. I was told recently that “what you see is what you get” – so I didn’t get a glossy stick that I wanted because I thought that it was too expensive for that small visible part. Now I’m thinking… maybe the one that I was looking at also was meant to be sharpened?

  3. It was me that told Undina that, so now I’m wondering if I was misinformed. So you sharpen the entire pencil (i.e., the black part shaves away)? I expected the pencil to twist up to reveal more gloss/lipstick, and when it didn’t, I googled and found a lot of people (who got it in the Glossybox) saying that the product only consists of the gloss/lipstick portion that is visible when you purchase it. Ugh. Now I feel like a moron.

    1. You are absolutely right — and, of course, I got that right in my original review on Blogdorf Goodman, but stupidly mixed it up here. I will correct it above. Thanks, KS!

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