Lips: Maybelline's Color Elixir by Color Sensational in "Radiant Bloom" (LE) (Spring 2014 Dare to Go Nude)

Hi everyone! I wasn't sure what post I wanted to write today, but after some thought I decided to test out a new product I picked up this week. I don't like writing reviews on products I try for the first time the same day - mostly because I can't discuss how long they last or how well they perform. This time around, though, I realized a thorough review wasn't necessarily required. Or possible, really.

Maybelline's limited edition spring 2014 collection, Dare to Go Nude, is starting to pop up in the drugstores. What I mainly wanted from this collection was one of the Color Tattoo eye shadows, and I was thrilled to find all of the colors intact at my local Duane Reade. What I didn't expect to pick up, though, was one of their limited edition Color Elixirs in "Radiant Bloom."

Color Elixir by Color Sensational is a new-for-2014 addition to the permanent Maybelline line, and one that I didn't plan to try. I used to be all about lip gloss, but lipstick is my new thing. And I rarely, if ever, find myself purchasing a lip gloss, regardless of how new or exciting it will be. Why? Because I simply won't use it enough.

But when I saw "Radiant Bloom," the only thing that could happen to make me buy a lip gloss was exactly what happened: I saw a color so gorgeous and so up-my-alley that I decided I'd wear it just for that. I've been hearing good things about the Color Elixirs lately anyway, so it couldn't hurt to have one, right?



To summarize, Maybelline claims that the Color Elixir by Color Sensational will provide "the color of a lipstick, the cushiony care of a balm, and the glass shine of a gloss" (taken from Maybelline's official website here).


Name: "Radiant Bloom" (110)
Net Wt.: 0.17 fl. oz./ 5.0 mL
Price: ~$9
Finish: Glossy

Color Elixir by Color Sensational is like a short, stubbier version of the Color Sensational High Shine Gloss: it has a mirror-like cap and a clear rectangular tube that reveals the actual product inside, making it easy to know which color you're purchasing.

The canister that holds the product itself within the tube is shaped like a lipstick bullet. As such, if you flip the tube upside down, it almost looks like a lipstick bullet is within the tube rather than an actual gloss with a sponge-tip applicator. This seems to be Maybelline's nod towards the fact that this product is meant to provide the "saturated" color of a lipstick.

The tube resting upside-down on its cap to show the lipstick bullet canister inside.

The bottom of the tube contains the usual product name and number, and the side of the tube contains a sticker (which is also meant to seal the tube) that mentions the product's net weight and its limited edition status.

LEFT: The bottom of the tube.
RIGHT: The sticker/seal on the tube. "Limited Edition" is printed in the cluster of black text near the cap.

Onto the last bit of packaging, we have the sponge-tip applicator I mentioned before. It seems that every brand of lip gloss is trying to modify the original doe-foot applicator so that it hugs the lips better or applies color more evenly - whatever. The sponge-tip applicator of the Color Elixir is much like the tear-shaped applicator of the L'Oreal Colour Caresse Shine Stain - only more triangular.

The sponge-tip itself is also at an angle with the wand, as opposed to being a straight extension of it, and it does have some flexibility to it.

The scent of this product is awful. It smells like the contrast fluid (this thick, milky, minty-pepto-bismol-ly fluid) I had to drink before an ultrasound a few years ago and actually made me nauseous. It is incredibly strong and left such a terrible, lasting impression on me that I can't get the smell out of my head even now, hours later. This is the worst smelling product I have ever encountered.


In the tube (see above picture), "Radiant Bloom" (110) is this gorgeous, pastel pink with a hint of peach in it. Intense fuchsia used to be the color I reached for all the time, but I've been experimenting with lighter colors lately and the one I saw in the tube of "Radiant Bloom" was a color I fell in love with instantly.

With one swipe on my hand, the color in the tube remains intact, albeit nearly peach-less. But once you spread the color out, it becomes extremely sheer and almost nonexistent. Take a look:

LEFT: A single swipe of the product.
RIGHT: The product once it's been spread out.

Since the light in the above picture totally washes out the spread-out swatch, I took another so you can see that there is a hint of color present:

Look how sheer that is, though!


Going into this purchase, I knew that the color would be sheer because I did some research online on it. But my lips are lightly pigmented, and colors that people often say barely show up on them usually show up on me, so I went with the purchase anyway.

As it turns out, the color does show up on me, even though it evidently swatches sheerly on my hand. But, of course, not without some work - and work that leads to other problems. The following picture shows my bare lips versus my lips with one layer of "Radiant Bloom":

"Radiant Bloom" makes my lips a pale, milky, slightly cool pink. There is no peach whatsoever, so this color doesn't look much like the color in the tube. With that being said, it is a pretty pink and one I was willing to work with. For the hell of it, I thought I'd apply one more layer to see how it builds up. Speaking of application, this product (at least in this color) applies extremely streakily. The triangular teardrop applicator likes to push excess, opaque color to the outline of the lips, which you then have to manipulate across the rest of the lips for even application.

Anyway, in the following pictures you can see that the color is buildable:

But what happens here is that the formula is layered on twice, and this wouldn't be a problem if the formula wasn't a problem for me but it is.

Again, lip gloss used to be my thing for some years before I stopped using makeup altogether. I feel like I tried so many lip glosses - low-end and high-end alike - that I know enough about lip gloss to write a perhaps even more thorough review than any lipstick review I've written already on here. But take my reviews on lip gloss now with a grain of salt, because I just don't like the feel of lip glosses the way I used to. I am biased! I find that I don't tolerate lip gloss formulas that were, in the past, something I expected and enjoyed, with the exception of a few. Fair warning.

This lip gloss is thick. It almost feels like silicon on the lips. It's a thickness I can somewhat deal with, but that's only at one layer. When layered twice for better color payoff, the thickness is gooey and almost syrup-y. It bunches up near the center of my mouth and pools into my lip lines in a way that, coupled with the pale, milky color, makes my mouth resemble a brain. There, I said it.

The formula highlights every line on my lips (which I have a few), and especially makes them prominent when I smile, or stretch the lines out even slightly:

Worst and most importantly of all, though, this product made my lips feel weird. Almost numb. And it got to a point where I didn't want to leave the product on past 10 minutes because it made my lips so uncomfortable. I didn't want to wait and see if I was allergic to something in the gloss, especially after battling skin problems for the past 2 years. So I can't tell you anything else about this product. I apologize for the incomplete review. I'll end this here with a full-face picture, so you can see that this color isn't so bad against the rest of my complexion, even with the terrible pooling in my lip lines:


I cannot and will not repurchase any other colors in the Color Elixir line. "Radiant Bloom," though a pretty color in the tube, was extremely sheer and, when built up, felt like a layer of thick goo. Aside from the pigment resembling that of a sheer lipstick at best, the product was no glossier than other glosses out there, and I could not comment on the formula's conditioning properties because I could not wear it more than 10 minutes due to the numbing sensation it left on my mouth. And, aside from that, there's the atrocious smell that makes my stomach turn and the streaky application. I've never had so many misses for a product, but when you try a lot of makeup products, you're bound to encounter one soon enough. Color Elixir by Color Sensational is my first completely fail product to date. 

Because I've heard that there are colors in the permanent line that are more pigmented, I'd say skip "Radiant Bloom" (LE) altogether and go for one of those if you like lip glosses with a thicker formula and aren't sensitive to scents.

Yes, I realize my main problems with this product are (a) that I don't care much for lip glosses and (b) that I had what seemed to be the start of an allergic reaction. With that being said, I think the most universal problem people will have with this product is the scentIf you're on the fence about strongly scented products, I'd suggest you find a tube that's been tampered with already and give it a whiff. If you strongly dislike scented products, pass on these. I'm usually indifferent about scents but this one was disgusting. Also make sure that you purchase from a drugstore that takes back used makeup. I actually returned "Radiant Bloom" earlier today, but Duane Reade took it back on a one-time-only basis, as apparently they don't take back used makeup. I'll keep note of that when I purchase from them again (for those that don't have Duane Reades, they are partnered with Walgreens so keep that in mind).

Thanks for stopping by! 'Til next time! ('<>')>


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