Sometimes it takes me a while to hear about a new makeup product that I ostensibly would be interested in because 1) due to Covid, I’ve only gone into a drug store twice in the past 2 years, and 2) I hardly ever scroll on social media anymore, because it never shows me the accounts I actually follow, so if Robert Welsh isn’t mentioning it in one of his videos and I’m not seeing it in an ad on my feeds, I’m likely not hearing about it. When I was on the Superdrug website recently, however, I noticed a promotion for £5 off £20 spent on Bourjois Paris, and out of boredom I clicked to see what sort of products they had on offer these days. I was genuinely surprised then to learn that apparently Bourjois hasn’t even been available in the UK for the past 3 years?? Literally news to me. So, they’re back, exclusively at Superdrug, and they’ve released a new matte liquid lipstick.
Back when I was a baby pinup first getting used to wearing bright lip colours the Bourjois Velvet Matte Rouge Edition were my jam for a good year or two there. Soft and plush on the lips, they felt comfortable and had decent staying power, so I was obsessed with them until I switched to matte liquid lipsticks, from which I have yet to retreat. These Rouge Velvet Inks claim to be a ‘tattoo-like liquid formula (which) remains lightweight and comfortable for 24 hours, leaving lips touchproof and transferproof.’ I would’ve given them a go just to see what they felt like as a matte formula, but the fact that they’re making bolder claims than Maybelline’s Super Stay Matte Inks, my Holy Grail of 5+ years now, got me curious enough to order 4 shades to do a full review for y’all. So let’s see if these babies live up to their own hype!
Available in 12 shades, these lipsticks come in a gold-capped packaging that certainly looks more luxe than any drugstore liquid lipstick I’ve tried. For us vintage lovers, they make for a more impressive sight on the dressing table or pulled out of a handbag for a touch-up than the Maybelline Matte Inks do, by far. The applicator is a thin wand, designed to be precise enough to function similarly to a lip liner during application. I did prefer it as an applicator to the standard rounded-tip doe’s foot wand most brands use for their liquid lipsticks (Maybelline’s more pear-shaped wand works equally as well for me.)
The formula itself is very similar during application to the Bourjois Velvet Matte Rouge Edition lipsticks I mentioned before. It has the same soft, thick, plush feel while applying, but it dries down to a full matte touchproof finish within a minute. It’s lightweight once dry, surprising given how thick the formula feels when wet, and you can expect to give a simple kiss and touch your mouth without transfer during wear. Like all liquid lipsticks, it isn’t completely infallible, something I doubt anyone truly expects, so it does break down on the inner lip from eating anything creamy or greasy, and will wear away slowly with repeated drinking over time.
If we treat the Maybelline Matte Inks as a liquid lipstick benchmark of 100% pigmentation, then these Velvet Inks are more like 80%, needing a little more finesse during application to get an even layer of colour. I only bought 4 of the 12 shades, Fuschia Cha Cha, Coquelic’Hot, Rouge A Reves, and Re(D) Belle, of which Coquelic’Hot, the orange shade, needed a little more build up in application to get a solid colour compared to the other shades.
Fuschia Cha Cha
My favourite shade of them all, this bright hot pink is my perfect pink, and fills the gap missing in my Maybelline Matte Ink collection because they have yet to produce such a vibrant hot pink.
A bright, warm toned orange. May red as an orange toned red on some skin tones.
Rouge A Reves
A blue toned medium red, for a classic red lip on all skin tones.
A purple toned wine shade, it’s a great berry lip for all skin tones.
In terms of wear, they perform well. The transfer-proof claim that Bourjois makes is true up until you get your lips extensively wet or warm from eating, drinking, or, let’s face it, making out. Reapplying to areas that are worn away from those activities is easily done, with no clumping or thick feeling of building up layers at first, but I did find that for a full day’s wear after the second re-application the formula did feel noticeably more dry on my lips. On a first application I would say they feel less drying and heavy than Maybelline’s Matte Inks, but after reapplying twice it hit a similar benchmark of discomfort after several hours of wear.
To remove, you need to use a dual oil-water makeup remover to get them off in the most thorough and gentle manner, like all good liquid lipsticks.
(Tip: if you’re out of the house and forgot to pack the right makeup remover with you to get a liquid lipstick off, applying a lip balm will soften and begin to break down the formula enough that you can wipe it away with a tissue. You’ll have to repeat that process of balm, wipe, balm, wipe, a few times to get it off completely, but it’s better than trying to scrub at your lips with any other product that isn’t capable of breaking through the longlasting formula)
You can see below how Rouge A Reves performed for me throughout a day’s wear. Please do note, however, that I don’t adapt how I eat or drink at all when wearing lipstick, with no delicate peeling back of the lips to avoid cutlery or any similar dainty behaviours, so I’m sure careful and lipstick-conscious eaters will find these perform better than my wear tests suggest–consider this a worse case scenario for the lipstick’s performance, really.
I wore this lipstick for a couple of hours before taking photo 1, which shows how it looked after drinking a Pepsi Max through a straw and snacking on a packet of crisps/chips. Photo 2 is after reapplying following said drink and snack. Photo 3 is after eating a burger for lunch and drinking a glass of water. Photo 4 is after reapplying following that meal–which looked good, but felt drier and thicker on my lips than the earlier reapplication, and felt more uncomfortable than I remember feeling with my Matte Inks typically by that point in a day. To be fair, there isn’t a huge difference between them, so I think it might come down to personal preference and how the formula performs on your lips, as a person’s body chemistry can make a big difference in how products perform for them compared to other people.
My overall verdict is that these are great, a solid 4 out of 5 stars. The packaging is much prettier than my lipstick Holy Grail, Maybelline’s Matte Inks, and the product performs pretty much on par with them, with a slightly lighter feel on the lips up until they’ve been reapplied a couple times. If I was going to a special event where I thought it would look nicer to pull the Bourjois out of my bag for reapplication, compared to Maybelline’s plastic white-lidded Matte Ink, I’d probably opt for the Bourjois Velvet Inks purely for ~*aesthetics*~. If I was going to be out somewhere for a long day in which I expected to eat 2-3 times as well as drink consistently, I’d probably still opt for the Maybelline just because I’m so used to them and how they feel on my lips even after 8+ hours of wear. In all other scenarios, where I would expect to one only once, or just drink consistently, or not consume anything at all, I would happily wear these Bourjois Velvet Inks just as often as I would my Maybelline Matte Inks.
The Bourjois Rouge Velvet Inks cost £10.99 each here in the UK, and as previously mentioned are exclusive to Superdrug. They’re currently on offer in a ‘buy one get a second half price’ promotion.
Thank you for checking these out and posting this review. I’m happy to stick with just my Maybellines for the most part for now, but hot dang that RedBelle shade looks phenomenal on you and I can’t off the top of my head think of any such intense cranberry red in the Maybelline shade range – massive though that is, lol! I think most of the berry Maybelline ones are more
on the plummy/purple side,, and Voyager – the Maybelline dark red – has more of a brownish undertone than this,…. RedBelle in these shots looks more like the colour of red wine just about, and it’s really gorgeous with your skintone.
Perfect shade for going into Autum, of course!
Voyager is definitely a brown russet red, it’s very vampy on me, and lots of their other shades do pull purple, so I agree that Re(D)Belle is more wine in comparison.
every shade looks amazing on you!
Why thank you!