As beauty editors, we get bombarded with a ton of new products every day (we know—tough life). Reviewed is a series where we report on some of the best products we’ve tried. Whether it’s a drugstore lipstick that lasted all day or a hand cream that saved us this winter, you’ll find all of our favorites in this column. Enjoy!
Contrary to what my dating history in New York might imply, I have high standards—especially when it comes to lip products. I’m not a creature of habit in any aspect of my life, but in regards to lipstick, I know what I like (tinted balms, velvety matte formulas) and what I don’t (anything especially pigmented with a high-shine finish). Thus, I tend to avoid any products that have “lacquer” in the name—I’ll leave that for my nails and walls, thanks. But Lipstick Queen’s newest launch, Rear View Mirror Lip Lacquer), surprised me. I usually gravitate towards compact, portable lip tints that don’t draw attention; I know my type, and this skinny, silver twist-up pen wasn’t it (skinny creative directors with silver hair, on the other hand…). But something about it intrigued me, and sure enough, I was a goner after one, buttery swipe.
Unlike other lacquer products, there’s not an ounce of stickiness to the finish. It’s not especially high-shine, either. Instead, it gives off a slight, subtle sheen—think silky slip dress, rather than new-car paint job (regardless of what the name might imply). The formula delivers a punch of pigment without requiring you to layer multiple coats and comes in nine super-flattering shades that range from a dusty rose to electric purple. Drive My Mauve, a cool-toned pink, is the perfect my-lips-but-better shade, and I’ve been wearing it every single day (it’s the shade I’m wearing in the photo above). I usually apply it straight from the bullet, then pat it in with my finger to diffuse the color and make it look more natural. Even though the color payoff is amazing, I never actually have to use a mirror because the formula is so blendable.
Once it’s on, it ends up feeling more like a lip balm than a lacquer or gloss—as in, supremely hydrating. If you love the intense color pigment of a matte lipstick but hate the caked-on-your-lips feeling, you’ll love this formula. Plus, the sheen slowly fades throughout the day and turns into a flattering tint. In other words: no weird ring around your lips that looks like a failed lip liner job. The final thing that secured this as my new favorite lip color was when a fellow Byrdie editor complimented me on lip color and demanded to know what I was wearing. What can I say? I’m a Leo, and compliments fuel me. I currently have three shades of Rear View Mirror Lip Lacquer in my purse and rotate between them throughout the week depending on my mood. The rest of the shades are at home, patiently awaiting their time.
This unassuming lip lacquer—sleek, shiny and the complete opposite of my usual type—made me reconsider everything I thought I knew. But honestly, isn’t that how all of the best relationships start?