I really held off on buying and reviewing these lipsticks, didn't I? To be honest, I already own a large number of super-bright lipsticks (since they're kind of my favorite thing), so I didn't want to get any duplicate colors, and a number of the shades in the Maybelline Vivids line looked similar to stuff I already own. And I already know, from experience, that I strongly dislike the formulation of Maybelline lipsticks; the only one I've ever put up with is Pink Please, and that's because I've yet to find a good dupe.
But on the other hand, I am a self-styled bright lip connoisseur, and this is one of the first drugstore lipstick lines devoted exclusively to brights and neons. Isn't it kind of my duty to give them a try?
Probably not, but eh, let's pretend.
While a number of the lipstick shades appealed to me, I tried to go with the colors that would be the most unique in my collection, 860 Pink Pop and 870 Shocking Coral. The labels on the bottom are color-coded and are fairly accurate to the actual lipstick shade.
Beyond that, the packaging icks me out. I have absolutely nothing against plastic packaging, but why does Maybelline have to make their Color Sensational line look so bulky and TACKY? Don't get me wrong, I'm a function over form person at the end of the day, but these are some of the cheapest-looking drugstore lipstick bullets I've ever seen. And why did they have to use this odd neon-ish coral color for all of the tubes? It's a bit too similar to those super-sheer jelly/pop/shiny/whatever lipsticks they did for last summer; I actually walked right past them the first few go-rounds because I thought that's what they were. On the bright side, the packaging DOES stay shut pretty tight, and they fit in to my lipstick holder.
The real question, of course, is: are they vivid? And I can definitely say YES, they are! As an admitted Maybelline lippy non-fan, I was pleasantly surprised when the lipsticks applied opaque in one swipe. The formula is absolutely saturated with pigment, meaning you'll get that bold, glossy, vivid color straight out of the tube, but it's also incredibly creamy, unlike most bright lipsticks. Now, for some people, that's a bonus, but it's a hindrance in my book. While the Maybelline Vivid lipsticks don't exactly feather or "slide right off," they aren't particularly long-wearing and will start to fade or blot off as you go throughout your day. I found that the lipstick wore off almost entirely after eating, or after about 3 hours of wear. I'm not against reapplying my lipstick, but I really hate being out and about and realizing far too late that I've been walking around with half of my lipstick missing. Furthermore, while they apply creamy and smooth, I find that they dry my lips out. It's no worse than the matte lipsticks I wear, but as I've said before, if you're going to dry my mouth out, the least you can do is be pigmented AND long-wearing!
To make matters worse, the taste and smell and very off-putting to me. These lipsticks look almost plasticine in the tube, and they taste and smell the same, almost like a very waxy candy with a bit of fruit flavoring.
And yet...I would actually rate these lipsticks quite highly. No, they're not for me; I dislike the smell, they don't wear long enough for my tastes, and they dry my lips out a bit. But I understand that a lot of that is personal preference. Plenty of people prefer smoother lipsticks, the pigmentation is amazing, and not everyone is going to experience the same dry-out that I did. What's more, the price can't be beat: I paid about $6.50 per lipstick. As the slightly shame-faced owner of dozens of bold lipsticks, I'll be giving this line a pass in the future, but people who want to try a vivid lip color for the first time without breaking the bank should give these a chance.
Swatches! Pink Pop really did turn out to be quite unique, a sort of bright, light pink that pulled quite mauve on my lips. I thought it might be close to MAC Petals and Peacocks, but P&P is actually darker and more purple; Lavender Whip is far more pastel. Shocking Coral was a bit easier to dupe. While it looks closest to Viva Glam Nicki I in swatches, VG Nicki has a very strong white base, and it shows on the lips. Force of Love is more coral. On the lips, Shocking Coral looks the most like MAC Impassioned, but Impassioned is still a hair darker and more pink. Still, it's a decent dupe.
RATING: 4 out of 5