As you know, lately I’ve been on a creme lipstick kick. Out are frosty and shimmery lipsticks; in are smooth, creamy finishes. At least for me.
I’ve been feeling much love for the NYC Ultra Last lipsticks but I’ve pretty much exhausted all the options there. I decided to move on to a different brand and chose Wet ‘n Wild to explore. Or, rather, re-explore.
It’s been awhile since I looked at their lipsticks because all the Silk Finish lipsticks I’ve tried in the past have been disappointingly shimmery or frosty in appearance, although there once was a shade called 501B Tokyo-a-Pink-Pink that was the most gorgeous coral-pink shade with a creme finish. Of course, it was so lovely it had to be discontinued 😛 Since then I haven’t really looked at any Wet ‘n Wild lipsticks.
Fast forward to the present time.
Now that we’re moving into the fall I’m really into red, plum, and berry shades. However most of the reds I’ve tried from the drugstore so far have been much too bold and bright for my complexion and my personal tastes. I want something a little more sophisticated.
Normally, I wouldn’t even spare a glance at a lipstick as deep as 522A. Even the name “Dark Wine” is a turn off for me. It just looks and sounds scary and intimidating to someone who usually goes for very toned down, neutral pinks and MLBB nudes. The day I went to Duane Reade to check out Wet ‘N Wild’s lipsticks only 522A Dark Wine and a couple of other shades were left on the shelves. Everything had been picked over already. But I was feeling rather adventurous and bought Dark Wine even though my natural instinct was to walk away. (The terrible dim lighting in the store, which only served to make the lipstick look even darker, didn’t help either.)
It’s probably the best decision I’ve made recently because I’m in total love with Dark Wine!
Here’s how 522A Dark Wine looks on my very pale lips. You can see how pigmented and opaque this particular shade is and, hopefully, how creamy and smooth the finish is as well. I have a lot of lip lines — it’s always been this way even when I was a kid — and the lipstick doesn’t gather and settle in them at all.
For me, Retro Red is intimidating and difficult to wear in how bright it is. As the name suggests, Retro Red is reminiscent of the strong red lipsticks sported by ’50s pin-up girls. It’s a very bold lipstick, definitely not for the faint of heart.
Sheer Red, in comparison, is much more neutral and easier to wear. However, it isn’t sheer in a “see-through” way. When I purchased Sheer Red I thought I would be getting a lipstick that delivered a light red tint. But that’s not how NYC meant “sheer” to be taken. If you were to say “that’s sheer nonsense!” the word “sheer” in this case is a synonym for “total/absolute,” so that “that’s sheer nonsense!” equals “that’s total/absolute nonsense!” I think the word “sheer” is being used in the same way by NYC. There’s nothing shy or see-through about NYC Sheer Red. Sheer Red=Absolute Red. It’s very, very pigmented.
Compared to both Retro Red and Sheer Red, Dark Wine has more of a noticeable purple/blue-red tone. I can’t speak for others but I find berry and blue-red shades far easier to pull off than straight up reds and orange-reds. They’re not as bright and in-your-face and, in my opinion, they’re more subdued and sophisticated.
I’d be okay wearing 522A Dark Wine straight from the tube, the way I’m wearing it on my lips in the swatch photos above; however, I absolutely LURV it sheered out and worn as a stain. It provides the most perfect and lovely berry red tint as seen in the swatch pics below.
I like to apply the lipstick lightly, straight from the tube, then blot with a tissue. Then with an impeccably clean finger, I smooth the lipstick out over my lips (because when I blot somehow the tissue never gets the lipstick in my lip lines).
It’s such a beautiful shade and perfect for the Fall. Summer was all about peach, coral, and bronze for me, but now that we’re moving into Autumn I’m craving berry, wine, and plum cheeks and lips.
Dark Wine looks very similar to Jordana Easyshine in Sugar Plum. However, Sugar Plum is a touch lighter and more pinky red.