Lisa Eldridge released her third wave of lipsticks for pre-order on the 3rd of November to an audience of loyal devotees. The website was bookmarked, her pre-launch Youtube video was watched in 1.5 speed for efficiency, and fingers were poised on Add To Cart amidst the hysteria that is a True Velvet launch.
Despite Lisa’s assurances that this would be a larger drop than previous, some shades had sold out within days of the pre-order, which is a stunning example of the passion people feel for Lisa’s creations. This release of Lisa Eldridge lipstick, True Velvets – a matte formulation with an incredible velvet-looking texture on the bullet – introduces six new shades from nudes, smokey pinks and berries, to browns. The nude-brown sphere definitely isn’t my personal comfort zone when it comes to lip colour, so I had to ask myself why I was so crazed about purchasing them. In fact, matte lipsticks in general aren’t my holy grail – so what’s all the fuss about?
I think what separates Lisa Eldridge lipsticks from other brands is the creator herself – Lisa – and her passion for makeup that she shares through her lipsticks. That’s not to say that other makeup brands with beauty genius behind them (i.e Nars, Laura Mercier, Surratt, etc) don’t have passion. But when was the last time you purchased a lipstick that was sold with a description of the inspiration behind the shade? Or heard the brand discuss the work that had gone into selecting the unique undertones? When have you heard a lipstick being referenced to a painting, or a photograph, that inspired its creation?
Each Lisa Eldridge lipstick has a story, they have an intention, which is completely unique amongst a sea of new beauty releases. Each lipstick has it’s own identity, and it’s for this reason that I found myself ordering every single shade rather than just the colours I would traditionally choose for myself.
It is also a unique joy to be so connected to a brand founder through her Youtube and Instagram platforms, whereby customers (read, fans) are personally responded to by the brain (read, heart) behind it all, who’s passion for makeup (both current and vintage) is truly contagious. It’s Lisa’s ability to combine makeup with art, history and culture, and her creativity and passion that has me so excited to try this third wave of lipsticks.
If you’re new to the Lisa Eldridge lipstick game, the first release was a collection of just three red lipsticks – the original True Velvet collection – that started it all. A follow-up release swiftly sold out, and these three iconic reds have now happily been re-released. Next came a summer collection of four beautiful pink lipsticks – two matte, two lucent – including one, Go Lightly, thought to be Lisa’s take on Audrey Hepburn’s famous Breakfast at Tiffany’s lipstick shade. All but the latter have been re-released along with the new True Velvets this month, but Lisa has assured followers she has plans for it next year.
And now to the beautiful new six shades – I group them by the three pinkiest (and my personal faves) first, followed by the brownie-deeper shades.
I urge you to read Lisa’s own descriptions on her website as no-one can describe them better than the creator herself. On me, Velvet Muse is a really interesting nude brownie pink. Referring to it, as Lisa does, as a smokey rosewood seems to fit the bill perfectly. It’s a real chameleon of a colour and some moments appears more brown, some more pink.
Velvet Beauty was always going to be one of my favourites. I love this colour, that was inspired by the rosy lips in pre-Raphaelite paintings. At first glance the bullet leaned more mauve than expected, but on the lips it is just the most beautyful blue-toned, berry pink that leans almost crimson. While a deeper tone than I was expecting, it’s a pretty, uplifting and lively pink while being wonderfully wearable. Love.
Velvet Myth is a stunning, stunning, vibrant berry tone. It’s the perfect festive mulberry colour that was inspired by a vintage kimono Lisa bought on her first trip to Japan. It appears a deeper berry-red in the bullet, but swatched the payoff leans more pink on me. This particular tone makes your teeth appear extra white, thanks to the cooler blue undertones, and would just look good on absolutely any complexion. If you need inspiration for a Christmas Day or Holiday Party makeup look, this lipstick is it. Not too pink, not too purple, not too red – it’s perfect.
Shades like Velvet Fawn traditionally scare me even more than the darker, vampy colours, as they tend to leave me washed out and dull. It’s safe to say that 90s brown isn’t my favourite era of beauty and one I hadn’t expected to come back in fashion quite so quickly. But, I was surprised how non-scary Velvet Fawn looked against my fair complexion. It’s not so light and flesh-toned that it makes me look a little under the weather, nor too orangey, and there’s enough richness to define the lips well. Perhaps there’s even a very slight touch of smokey pink to bring life into the face – or is that just my hopeful imagination? On complexions warmer than mine, I imagine this would be just a beautiful, beautiful nude, and for those who love the 90s look you’ll love this.
I imagine Velvet Decade will be the shade getting the least love from me over the following months. On fair skin, it’s not what I would personally gravitate to, but if you’re a fan of brown lipsticks this is an incredibly rich, chocolate colour, and it really makes the eyes pop. Inspired by hand tinted sepia fashion portraits, you can sheer it out so that it’s just a your lips but better reddish-brown. On Lisa’s own beautiful models this is shown on deeper skin tones where it looks absolutely stunning and appears to have an ever so slight blue and red-berry tinge to it.
Let’s finish up with Velvet Midnight. This lipstick looks so rich and deep in the bullet you might think it’s black, and is incredibly hard to photograph to give you a true representation of it’s colour. It’s a wonderfully rich, plummy blackberry shade that on my lips appears more purple than expected. I never expected to love this shade of lipstick as much as I do. Don’t be frightened off by the look of the bullet. I personally love it dabbed on really lightly on top of a balm, whereby it gives a ‘my lips but berrier’ look, but applied intensely it’s a strong, vampy tone.
At writing this, Velvet Fawn, Decade and Midnight are still available but if you’re keen I would be adding to cart without delay as Lisa Eldridge lipsticks never hang around for long. Her previous collection of red lipsticks have also been restocked, and the pink collection is also available. It’s a run, don’t walk situation. As with the previous True Velvet lipsticks, these are a matte formula but they’re extremely comfortable on the lips. They don’t feel overly powdery and aren’t drying at all. In fact, from the feel alone I forgot I was wearing lipstick, only to be pleasantly surprised when I caught my reflection in a mirror hours later – a full, pigmented wash of Velvet Beauty was adorning my lips. I’m almost a matte lip convert.
This third wave of Lisa Eldridge lipsticks come beautifully accompanied by a deep red, plush velvet pouch – which by some miracle is also still available for purchase. I know a lot of people who are kicking themselves for not picking up the original black velvet pouch, which is now scarcely hard to come by. Like the vintage makeup she herself collects, Lisa Eldridge products seem to be destined to be collectable, covetable pieces that will be tightly held by beauty collectors and makeup lovers for years to come.
Find Lisa Eldridge lipstick on Lisa’s website or sign up to her newsletter for future releases.