One Shade, Three Finishes
What’s more classic than rocking a red lip during the holiday season? I love ruby hues all year round (as evidenced by a lipstick drawer filled to the brim with nothing but slightly different shades of the same colour), but there’s something really special about the way a red lip dresses up a little black dress when the party season rolls around. A vibrant red is universally flattering, and playing with different finishes easily takes the look from office-appropriate to party-ready. At least, that’s what I’ve read in countless beauty magazines over the years. I put that theory to the test with the Clarins Joli Rouge lipsticks, a popular range of twenty shades that comes in three different finishes — original, shine and matte.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been testing the Clarins Joli Rouge lipsticks — trying the three finishes and seeing how each one wears. I was sent the shade 742 in the original, shine and matte finishes, but the Joli Rouge lipsticks come in twenty shades that are available in each of those finishes. That’s 60 options to pick from, so there’s a shade for everyone!
Clarins Joli Rouge, Original Finish ($29)
The original Clarins Joli Rouge formula is ultra-pigmented and just a liiitltle bit messy to wear, in the way creamy lipsticks with intense colour payoff tend to be. One swipe straight from the bullet leaves a thick and slightly slippery coat of red behind, but I found that blotting thoroughly worked well for me. The colour still shows nicely, but it tones down the shiny satin finish and prevents lipstick from getting everywhere. The formula is enriched with mango oil to condition the lips (perhaps that’s where the nice fruity smell comes from? JK, it’s fragrance), so the lipstick is moisturizing and comfortable to wear.
The Clarins Joli Rouge in the shade 742* is a true red, one of those rare shades that look gorgeous on everyone because it doesn’t lean too warm or too cold.
Would I wear it again? It’s the finish I’m the least likely to wear again, partly because it’s messy, partly because I’m not keen on the ‘wet’ look of satin finishes.
Clarins Joli Rouge, Brillant Finish ($29)
The Clarins Joli Rouge Brillant formula is my top everyday pick from the bunch. It applies sheer, can be build up to a medium coverage, and it’s a delightfully easy option. I love being comfortable above all, and the Brilliant finish offers plenty of hydration and a lovely cherry colour that fades gracefully and requires minimal upkeep. Again, a quick blot helps set the lipstick properly.
The Clarins Joli Rouge Brillant in the shade 742S* looks a little brighter on the lips than the original Joli Rouge formula.
Would I wear it again? Yes! I like how hydrating it is, and it’s fuss-free. I like one sheer swipe for a little pop of colour during the day.
Clarins Joli Rouge, Velvet Finish ($29)
The Velvet finish is the newest addition to the Joli Rouge line. I naturally gravitate towards matte lipsticks, especially when it comes to reds, so I was pleased to get my hands on the Clarins Joli Rouge Velvet in the shade 742V*. The application is easy thanks to the creamy, pigmented formula. It wears well, though it’s not transfer-proof, and it’s quite comfortable for a matte lipstick. I found that I could eat and drink as normal while wearing it. The final look is chic, long-lasting, and will transition well from day to night with a quick change of outfit.
The Velvet version of this shade is the kind of matte red that will suit everyone, and it’s a great addition to your lipstick roster, whether you have five lipsticks or fifty. There’s nothing special about it, but that’s exactly what makes it great. Just a lovely, easy to apply, reliable matte red lip. The kind of red lip, classic thing that Taylor Swift sings about.
Would I wear it again? Obviously. I never met a matte red lipstick I didn’t like, and this one is a winner. I will keep it in my party clutch this holiday season.
I tested one shade of red lipstick in three different finishes. I liked the Clarins Joli Rouge Brillant in the shade 742S for its sheer, everyday finish, but the brand new Velvet version is worth stashing in your clutch this holiday season. I loved the creamy application and the comfortable wear. It’s not special, but it’s a good, reliable matte option.
This post features products that were provided for editorial consideration.