I tend to write really (really, really) long posts here, and I know that’s not for everyone, so I’m going to answer the question posed in the title of this one real quick for you:
But also… yes. By which I mean, NO, it doesn’t last for 16 hours. But YES, it does last for a long time. But having said that… oh God, I’m not going to be able to make this quick, am I? Here’s the long version instead…
So, I bought this product in an attempt to finally resolve my “lips” problem – my “lips problem”, for those of you who don’t know, being the simple fact that I don’t actually HAVE any lips – instead, I have a skin-coloured area of my face, which I draw a pair of lips onto every morning, and then colour them in with lipstick. If that sounds like a total pain, it’s because it is: without any kind of defined lip line to guide me, I basically have to invent my own mouth every morning, and I don’t always do the best job of it. Rarely ever, in fact.
My lipstick preference is for bold colours and bold colours, as you know, require an extra-precise application. When you don’t have a lip line, however, that’s trickier than it really should be, and I frequently find myself applying my makeup, and then taking the same amount of time again JUST to do my lips – applying, then removing, then re-applying, then removing… and so on and so forth, until I have something approximating the shape of a human mouth. Then I go and drink half a cup of coffee, and almost instantly end up with a “ring of shame”, whereby my carefully-applied lipstick wears off in the middle, but clings to the edges. GOD.
Given the amount of time it takes me to apply lipstick in the first place, the last thing I want to do is start again from scratch – especially if I’m out somewhere with friends, say. I mean, I can’t just excuse myself for half an hour every time I eat or drink something, so I normally start each night out looking (relatively) normal, and end it looking like a corpse. And honestly, I’ve had enough of that, so when I found myself standing in front of the Rimmel counter when I popped to the supermarket for a pint of milk a few weeks ago (on the same trip which resulted in this purchase, actually), I impulsively grabbed a tube of Rimmel’s Provocalips Lip Colour, which claims to last for a full 16 hours. Then I grabbed another one, because if I’m going to make a mistake, I’m going to make it twice:
The red shade is #500 – ‘Kiss Me You Fool’, and the pink one is #200 – ‘I’ll Call You’. I’m wearing the red in these photos, because a) OBVIOUSLY and b) the pink looks absolutely horrendous on me, seriously. I bought it thinking it would be a natural-looking pink that would make a nice change from the reds I usually wear, but as soon as I put it on I realised there’s a reason I always wear red, and it’s that most other colours make me look like I’ve been exhumed. I’m sure this one will be lovely on some people, but on my lips it was a dark mauve shade, which was really unflattering.
The good news, however, was that I loved the red, which is a gorgeous “true” red, which is neither too orange nor too pink, and was basically everything I’ve ever wanted from a red lipstick. “If this ACTUALLY lasts for 16 hours, it will change my life!” I thought excitedly. Then I noticed that the tube was double-ended. One side, it turns out, contains the colour itself: the other contains a clear liquid, which claimed to “lock and shine” that colour. Uh-oh.
Now, I wasn’t really down with the whole “shine” thing. I don’t really DO shiny lips, and I absolutely detest lipgloss, which is always sticky and horrible, and which forces me to never move my head, for fear that my hair will stick to it. And it ALWAYS does. So I wasn’t fussed about the “shine”, but I DID want the colour to be “locked”, and it seemed I couldn’t have one without the other, so I applied the – predictably sticky – gloss from the other side of the tube, then sat around with my mouth open for five minutes to let it dry. Then I went downstairs for dinner, and to put the lipstick to its first big test.
I can’t remember what I ate that night, but I do remember I could actually see the lip colour coming off on my cutlery, which REALLY wasn’t a good sign. It also ended up all over my teeth, which was another not-so-good sign: as clumsy as I am, I don’t think I’ve ever had an issue with lipstick on my teeth before: in fact, I’ve always been a bit puzzled when I hear people talking about that, because how do you get lipstick on your TEETH, I wondered? Well, now I know, and it wasn’t pretty. Neither were my lips, for that matter, because the colour hadn’t just come off – it had come off in patches, leaving me looking like I was slowly decomposing. I know, lovely image, huh? It was WAY worse than the wear you get from a regular lipstick, an d I was just about to throw the thing in the bin, when I decided to give it another go, only without the gloss.
I had to wait until the next day, however. Because the colour may have come off in patches, but the bits that were left didn’t want to come off AT ALL, and had to be removed with makeup remover that night. It was very puzzling. Undaunted, however, (Well, actually, I WAS slightly daunted, to be honest. I didn’t have anywhere to be that day, though, so I figured it was safe enough to spend the day with zombie lips, if that was what happened…), I applied the lipstick, but this time I left the gloss alone, and just applied the colour, which I allowed to dry for a good long while before attempting to eat or drink anything.
The application of this isn’t the greatest, it has to be said. As with most of these very long-stay lip colours, you put it on with a sponge applicator, which I find makes it really hard to get a precise application – even more so if, like me, you don’t have a lip line. It’s also quite gloopy and sticky – both with and without the accompanying gloss – and I found that it looked quite messy close-up. I think a more subtle colour would be much easier to use, but with a bright red, you really need a steady hand and perfectly outlined lips (or I think so, anyway), and I found it hard to do that with the sponge applicator – in fact, I ended up having to use a lip brush to get it looking a bit neater.
Once it was on and dry, I again decided to put it through a Trial By Food, so I went downstairs and ate a chicken salad, followed by a particularly juicy slice of melon, a glass of orange juice, and, OK, a couple of squares of chocolate. Then I headed back upstairs to inspect the damage:
As you can (hopefully) see, the lipstick is still mostly intact, although there’s definitely some wear in the centre of the lips. There was only one way to really demonstrate this, though, so please accept my apologies for the cringe-worthy photo:
The things I do for you, blog. Anyway, embarrassing photos aside, it’s not looking nearly so good now, although, to be fair, I don’t normally walk around with my lips pursed, and it WAS a really juicy slice of melon: my usual lipstick wouldn’t have lasted anything like as well as this, and because it’s just the very inside of the lips, it would be easy enough to patch it up without having to spend 30 minutes trying to line my non-existent lips again. I didn’t re-apply it, though. Instead, I drank a giant mug of hot coffee, and…
… there was really no difference: the lipstick looked exactly the same after the coffee as it had before it. I stopped taking photos after that, partly out of pity for those of you having to read this, but also because I realised that nothing much was going to change: it seems that after that first chunk of colour had gone from the centre of the lips, the rest wasn’t going to budge, no matter what I ate or drank after that. It stayed pretty much the same until bedtime, when, again, I had to take it off with cleanser, so while it didn’t last for a full 16 hours (or not looking exactly as it did when it was fresh on, anyway), I still think it was a pretty good result.
The downside, as with most longwear formulas, is that it’s a bit drying on the lips – I find this much more comfortable to wear than some I’ve tried, and it actually doesn’t dry my lips too badly (and I have quite dry lips to start with), but it’s definitely more drying than a regular lipstick, so that’s something to be aware of. I also find that it continues to feel slightly sticky long after it dries, which is a little annoying, although not a deal-breaker. I probably won’t re-purchase this exact colour, purely because I find it too messy to apply accurately, but I do recommend it if you’re looking for something that will stay in place all day, with minimal top-ups – and as I said, I think a less bold colour would show even less wear than this one did!