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.”
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.
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.