Along with seeing my family and friends, I was also super excited to return to the US from Italy so I could finally try out xoBeauty’s new lipstick launch! Read more to see swatches and my first impressions on two shades – Limerence & Laotong!
After what seemed like forever abroad, I’m happy to report that I made it back to the USA, where I’ll be spending a few months before returning to Italy in September to start my Master’s classes! It was nice to see my family and friends again after these long months, but it was also nice to finally be able to try out some of the makeup I had ordered during my stint abroad – it was like coming home to another round of Christmas!
Of everything I ordered, I was most excited about what I’ll be talking about in this blog post – xoBeauty’s new lipstick launch. When I saw Shaaanxo’s video about the launch with swatches of all the products earlier in May I knew I had to try them out because 1.) I love Shaaanxo and have been watching her for years; 2.) The shades were amazing; and 3.) I have a little bit of a lipstick obsession.
I promptly ordered 2 shades on the May 15 launch date – one of her Matte Lipsticks in “Limerence,” and one of her Luxe Liquid Lipsticks in “Laotang,” which are what I’ll be showing you swatches and my first impressions of!
Despite my love of Shaaanxo, this was actually my first time ordering anything from xoBeauty, and I was pleasantly surprised by how fast the shipping took, given that New Zealand and the east coast of the US aren’t very close to each other. As mentioned, I placed my order on May 15 and according to my tracking info (since I wasn’t home anyway), it was delivered on May 25. Shipping was $12NZD, which was approximately $8.26 at the time of my order (I’ll get into conversions in a second) and I don’t consider that too unreasonable – especially for the time it took when considering the distance of the shipment.
The lipsticks were also really well packaged for shipping – they came in a standard shipping envelope, but were wrapped in bubble wrap and then packaged tightly inside a separate cardboard “tube” as well, so the boxes the lipsticks came in themselves weren’t even squished!
Before we get into it, let’s talk about $$$. xoBeauty is based in New Zealand, so all the prices are based off the New Zealand Dollar. Each lipstick is priced at $26NZD, although the website gives you the option of picking your currency. Since I live in the US, I appropriately chose the USD option upon ordering.
Since the prices are “fixed” on the NZD, depending on the exchange rates, the prices for you could differ based on your chosen currency. When I first ordered on May 15, the price in USD was around $17.90 (according to this website the USD units per NZD at the time was ~.688, which I then, of course, conveniently popped into Excel to make the calculation) ; however, as of today (June 20), the price would be $18.79USD. If you’ve read my Sephora: USA vs. Italy post, you’ll remember I did a whole exposé on exchange rates and came to the conclusion that perhaps the gold standard really was the best standard.
Ok, now that I’ve got my daily mention of Excel out of the way, let’s get on to the actual lipsticks themselves:
Ok, sorry, one more thing – although I’ve previously mentioned how much I do really love Shaaanxo and given xoBeauty is her company, all my opinions are completely honest and I’m trying to give a very un-biased first impressions! I’ve purchased these products on my own and both Shaaanxo and her company have no idea who I am (although xoBeauty DID repost one of my instagrams and I had a bit of a fangirl moment and had to screenshot it…)
1.) Matte Lipstick – Limerence | $26.00NZD ($18.79USD on 6/20/17)
All of xoBeauty’s lipsticks come in really cute white boxes with gray polka dots and pink writing. The “regular” lipsticks have your standard lipstick bullet applicator with a chrome finish and the name of the shade itself on the bottom, as well as the finish. I personally am not that big of a fan of the chrome finish because it’s super prone to fingerprints, but Shan acknowledges this in the video I keep mentioning and says that you can easily take a cloth and wipe off the prints, which I tried. Yes, the prints are easy to get rid of, but I wish they weren’t so easy to leave in the first place!
Fingerprints aside, this does snap shut pretty securely, which is always nice since I have had lipsticks of the bullet variety come un-snapped in my purse, which ruins the lipstick AND my purse, which is not fun for either of us, so bonus points for that!
On the website itself, Limerence is described as a “deep, rich, reddish orange” (if you want to check it out in the video, skip to 11:30!). It’s one of the matte formulas (the other variation is creme, which I don’t own any of), so, naturally, it has a matte finish. It’s decently pigmented on one swipe on the arm and has a very sweet, vanilla/caramel scent (this one leans more caramel than vanilla), which I personally like. If you’re sensitive to scents, I wouldn’t say that this is overly strong, but it’s pretty prominent, although you can’t detect it on the lips.
I’m a sucker for bright reddish orange lipsticks, and this definitely fits the bill. On my lips it took about 2 coats to become fully pigmented, and although this is a matte formula, it feels very creamy. I enjoy how lightweight it is and it doesn’t seem very drying, although I haven’t worn it for long enough to report on that aspect of it or its wearability!
2.) Luxe Liquid Lipstick – Laotong | $26.00NZD ($18.79USD on 6/20/17)
Laotong is a Luxe Liquid Lipstick that comes in a tube with the same chrome finish as their regular bullet lipsticks. It has a nice little “window” on one side of the tube to show you the color itself.
In terms of the applicator, I’d say this one is pretty unique. I’ve come across a few liquid lipstick applicators that have one completely flat side (i.e. Milani’s Amore Matte Metallics), but never really any with two completely flat sides. I guess this is nice because you can just flip the wand over to use the other side instead of dipping the wand back into the tube, although I’m not sure how much time or product that saves. I’d say that the application is pretty easy with this wand, but the jury is still out on whether or not it’s any easier or better than the “standard” doefoot applicator!
On the website, Laotong is described as being “a bright, neon creamy peach” (skip to 14:39 if you want to see it in the video!), which I’d say is a pretty accurate description. It’s very opaque in one swipe on the arm and although it has a caramel/vanilla scent like Limerence does, I’d say this one leans more vanilla than caramel, unlike Limerence, which did the opposite.
On the lips, this is equally as pigmented; however, due to the “milkiness” of the formula, it takes about two coats to get rid of any streakiness. It also has a bit of a slip to it, so you kind of have to take your time when applying. This doesn’t “dry down” like your traditional liquid lipstick, but Shan explicitly states that these are not matte liquid lipsticks, but are instead “semi-matte/semi-glossy.” The website says that it dries down to a “comfortable, cream finish,” which again is a pretty accurate description.
You can see how neon this color is, and even though it’s a really cool shade, I’m… not exactly sure why I chose it. I have a history of disliking milky, creamy peaches, and although that’s what I knew I was signing up for, I went and did it anyway. If you’ve read my first impressions on the Colourpop Nectar Collection, you’ll know that these kinds of colors make me feel like some kind of neon clown baby, and I’m definitely serving some NCB realness in this shade.
I think I’m just really trying to make peach lips on me happen, and I really need to stop trying to make peach lips on me happen. It’s not going to happen. I feel your pain, Gretchen Wieners.
OVERALL FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Overall, I’m pretty pleased with these lipsticks. Limerence is a beautiful color and just what the Doctor ordered (actually, I hate doctors, so scratch this), and although Laotong isn’t a color I typically like (again, why the heck do I keep ordering these colors?) it is super fun and unique and I do like the formula, so I could probably work with it.
Are these lipsticks revolutionary? Well, no (even though the Luxe Liquid Lipsticks have a unique applicator), but these are still really nice and a good way to support one of my favorite YouTubers! Plus these are cruelty and paraben free and most shades are vegan!
Also, just for fun, here are the definitions of the two shades I ordered (since the whole collection has really cool shade names and I have no idea what the heck any of them mean):
“Limerence” (from Wikipedia):
Limerence (also infatuated love) is a state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person and typically includes obsessive thoughts and fantasies and a desire to form or maintain a relationship with the object of love and have one’s feelings reciprocated.
“Laotong” (from Wikipedia):
Laotong or LaoTong (in English: old sames; written: 老同 in Mandarin) is a type of relationship within Chinese culture, which was practised in Hunan, that bonded two girls together for eternity as kindred sisters… For Chinese women, the Laotong or “old-sames” relationship was the strongest and most precious bond of female friendship. This was a more rare and formal relationship between women. A woman could only have one Laotong, and the intensely unbreakable bond was for life.
*Disclaimer: I purchased all above product(s) with my own money and am not affiliated with or compensated by any of the brands mentioned (I wish!). As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own (unless stated otherwise)!