Well, it seems like fun, at least at first: the matryoshka-esque packaging of Benefit‘s latest addition to its make up line, Hydra-Smoooth Lip Color is, as to be expected from this brand, beautifully designed and well-made. Speaking from beneath another of my hats, that of a graphic designer, the richness of the detail on this little cardboard tube is really impressive. It is adorable and Art Deco at the same time, and ‘adorable’ is not necessarily an adjective I would assign to the design style. Art Decorable? Hmmm.
The outer tube slides off easily enough. Despite having designed graphically for a number of years, I never did any package design. I guess there are standard tube sizes or whatever? Much like there are standard page sizes? No idea, and if not, I hope the design team had fun figuring this out. I suspect they had about a million tiny little strokes, actually, because it’s not just about the sliding, it’s about fitting in the lippy itself…
And also fitting in the piece of paper that tells you that this is a lipstick, and that you should use the angled bit to apply it to the shape of your lips. I am paraphrasing, but: seriously?
Anyway: the delight of the packaging, apart from the silly paper, continues to … delight. Look! The lipstick itself is like a tiny little sceptre, a little piece of art decorable royalty. The integrity of the design is pretty impressive, and I am, duly.
And, yeah, okay, the angled top is actually useful. Not that I was giving out about the angle itself, but rather the instruction as regards how to use it.
This is air kiss, and it falls into the sheer finish category; there are shades that are medium and full finish, an example of the latter shown here, towards the end. This is from the bubblegum end of the spectrum, and even though autumn is nigh, it’s a lovely shade.
It feels great on: I am certain that the ‘hydra’ has to do with moisturisation, not Medusa. There’s shea, mango butter and Vitamin E involved, and the texture feels light as a feather, which is terrific if you hate the feeling of gunky, heavy lippy. That famously angled tip means you can apply like a lipgloss, i.e., without looking.
The top of the wee sceptre/container, though… it doesn’t feel like it’s going to survive a sojourn in your make up bag, much less your handbag. It feels a bit fussy to me, to have to mess with that tube; as one who routinely shoves sticks and glosses into all manner of pockets, this inspires anxiety.
But I do love this shade, and will use again… so it seems I’ll be happy enough for that cardboard tube, after all.
€22/£15/$19, available in September — oh, wait, IT IS SEPTEMBER.