Monday, February 10, 2014

Product Review: Pop Beauty Aqua Lacquer (Shade: Splashing Scarlet)

By Randi Reed

Disclosure: I received this full-size product in my regular Birchbox subscription box, which I pay for myself. This article contains referral links to Birchbox, as well as non-referral, non-commission earning links to Pop Beauty Cosmetics. When someone uses the Birchbox invitation link to subscribe, I earn Birchbox points toward my purchases, which I use to purchase more products to review.

As we continue on our February reds theme, in light of the anniversary of the Beatles coming over to America, a red by a UK-based company seems especially apropos. In this case, it’s Pop Beauty Aqua Lacquer in Splashing Scarlet.

Pop Beauty Aqua Lacquer in Splashing Scarlet. (Photo: Randi Reed / Cosme-Haul.)

Color: The Pop Beauty Aqua Lacquer shade I received in one of my monthly Birchboxes, Splashing Scarlet, is a sheer strawberry color that’s neither too warm nor too cool. Don’t be afraid of the color in the tube: there’s not much pigment here, so on the skin it’s very sheer and not at all bright. 

Smashing Scalet on Bright White printer paper in afternoon sun. (Photo: Randi Reed / Cosme-Haul.)

Here I went over the same area several times to build the color.  (Photo: Randi Reed / Cosme-Haul.)

Texture and Application: Aqua Lacquer’s plastic paddle applicator seemed a little strange at first, but I liked its precision. The paddle also made it easy to scrape extra product back into the tube before application, and it works well with the squeeze tube design.

The consistency of Pop Beauty Aqua Lacquer is slightly thicker than most lip glosses I’ve tried, but it thinned out a bit as it melded with the skin. The key is to not use too much product. When I figured out how much to use, I found its thickness added “grab” and wearing power to this product. It felt sticky, but not as much as some glosses I’ve used, and as the product warmed onto the skin, the stickiness subsided a little and I could feel the moisturizing benefits. The texture was easy to get used to, so the stickiness was worth it for the wear.

Fragrance / Taste:
  Aqua Lacquer was virtually scent and flavor-free, which was a major plus.  There was a light hint of peppermint when the product is first applied, but it faded quickly to something very faint and far off in the distance. Loved that!

I was impressed with Pop Beauty Aqua Lacquer’s wear. For a lip gloss, it was really long lasting.
It didn’t go orangey on me, as some red glosses do. A couple of hours after application, even after a few sips of water, there was still some shine, and it still felt moisturizing, though the color was mostly gone.  Compared to other lip glosses and lacquers such as the Maybelline Color Elixir I reviewed, Aqua Lacquer also didn’t seem to migrate as much, and as long as I didn’t use too much product, I didn’t need lip liner. 
I was happy with Pop Beauty Aqua Lacquer, so it was hard to come up with minuses. The stickiness was easy to forgive because it made the product “hold on” and gave it longer shine than most of my other lip glosses. There are parabens, but in this product they didn’t irritate me, as they’re sometimes prone to do. I do wish Aqua Lacquer had SPF, though, because it would be nice not to have to remember to apply sunscreen lip balm first.

On the plus side, I liked the versatility of this shade, Splashing Scarlet: its sheerness made it a good casual daytime gloss, or as a topper for night, or to change the look of matte reds. I also liked that it’s fortified with Vitamin E and jojoba oil; on the dry Los Angeles winter day I tried it for this review, it felt moisturizing and protective. The squeeze tube and paddle applicator made for very little waste, which was an added bonus. It will be easy to get every last bit of product out of the tube, making it an especially good value for its $14.00US

Would I buy this product again? Yes, definitely. 

Score: 9 out of 10.

The Birchbox in which this Pop Beauty Aqua Lacquer arrived. (Photo: Randi Reed / Cosme-Haul.)

(Photo: Randi Reed / Cosme-Haul.)

(Photo: Randi Reed / Cosme-Haul.)

Available via Birchbox, and online at the Pop Beauty website.

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(If you use this Birchbox invitation link to subscribe, I earn Birchbox points, which are used to purchase products to review. All Birchbox subscribers receive points when someone purchases from their referral link.)

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©2014 Cosme-Haul and Randi Reed