Today I was trying to make some sense of my giant makeup hoard when I ran into this little guy that I got for sale at Ulta. I thought this might be an interesting thing to review since there are so few of them out there (I tried looking for some beforehand and there wasn’t much so I just went ahead and bought it), and I haven’t done a review for a while anyways. Also, it’s somewhat thematically appropriate for Halloween, so let’s do this. Meet the Nyx Vamped Up lipstick topcoat ($6).
I bought this because I had a bunch of bright and colorful lipstick that I bought before I was aware that bright colors look absolutely horrid on me and I wanted to put them to use somehow so I wouldn’t feel like I wasted money. As someone who is obsessed with dark lipstick, the prospect of a magical lipstick goth-ifier was absolutely fascinating.
This is what the Nyx website advertises this stuff to be:
Cast a spell on your neutral lippies with a swipe of our wicked V’Amped Up! Lip Top Coat. Infused with shea butter and Vitamin E this glossy pencil moisturizes while transforming light lip colors to deep vampy shades.
And here are some pictures of its magical properties, also courtesy of Nyx:
So how do these claims hold up to reality? LET’S FIND OUT.
Before I really get into the mechanics of this, let me preface this by saying that this stuff isn’t a magical pH- or chemically-reactive balm. It is sheer black lipstick. Color theory, people – add black to something and it gets darker. That is the premise of this product. It reminds me of the Tarred lip balm that OCC has. That being said, if you have a badly-pigmented cheapo black lipstick lying around, you can pass on this. It’s also glossy, so if you put this on top of a matte lipstick and still want to retain the finish you have some blotting to do.
The second thing I have to say is that you can’t just put this on top of your lipstick and expect it to look good. A color with a thin layer of black on top is going to look horrendous. You have to blend it in with a brush or your finger for it to look decent. A bit misleading for something that’s called a “topcoat,” but whatever. I will also add that if you choose to apply this directly instead of with a lip brush you’ll have to wipe the lipstick residue off on something – your hand, a rag, a tissue, whatever – to keep the product clean.
Now that I’ve prefaced this with all the relevant information, I’ll actually get to the good part – the test run! I used 4 different colors of lipstick – a red, a nude, a pink, and a purple. All of them are bright colors, since it seems a touch redundant to use this on dark colors.
First on the table is a red. I picked Colourpop Bichette because it wears like a true red on me and the blue in it isn’t entirely my cup of tea.
With the topcoat blended into it, it turns into… dark red! Just as the picture advertised! But would I go through all this pain to do this when I already have a million dark reds to pick from? Probably not. Still, on red this stuff does what it says it will.
Next up we have a nude color. I grabbed Colourpop Brink because it was my go-to MLBB color for a while but turns out I tanned so much over the summer that it’s too light for my skintone now. Oops.
I will just say now that this stuff reacts… interestingly to lighter nude-type colors. It doesn’t really make them darker as much as it adds a lot of grey to the color. That being said, Brink + topcoat = surprisingly nice-looking taupe color? It’s definitely a lot less gross than I expected.
The other color used in the promo pictures was pink, so I grabbed my least favorite color in my entire collection to test this one out. The color in question is Colourpop Punky – dear God, this color is the most unflatteringly disgusting color I have ever purchased in my life. I expected this to be a subtle petal-pink color, but what I ended up getting was a fluorescent pink that sticks out like a sore thumb. I mean, I don’t like pink lip colors to begin with, but I was willing to put up with a moderately conservative one in case I might need it for some occasion. But this? This was never going to see the light of day. Nope. Never. Until now, but for review purposes. Immediately after I put this on I threw it back into the depths of
hell my makeup box.
Anyways, time to see if this topcoat can fix this problem. Did it improve the color? Yes. Did it turn deep purple like in the promo? Well… no. But like I said it’s an improvement. The topcoat turned this color into a mauve-ish purple thing. It’s weird, but if I had to pick between this and the original color I would wear this daily if I had to.
The last color I decided to test out was a purple: Colourpop Grind. This one is an electric violet and I can’t really decide if it’s flattering or unflattering on me. It sticks out but not as horrendously as Punky does.
For whatever reason this one was super hard to darken up – I had to put on loads of the topcoat to achieve any visual difference. In the end it finally got darker but not as dark as I would have liked. I have no idea why purple was so annoyingly hard to work with.
So now that we’ve looked at what this topcoat can do, let’s talk performance. Application straight from the tube isn’t precise at all but you should be blending it with your lipstick anyways so a small lip brush can easily fix this problem. The formula glides on nicely due to the glossy finish and it doesn’t smell or taste weird. The glossiness is a bit of a turn-off, but blottage is magic! Blot blot blot.
I had some patchiness problems with it – it takes a bit of work to get an even layer of the black, even with blending, which is a bit of a hassle since random dark patches aren’t cute. I’ll also add that reapplication will be a bit annoying; this is glossy so I doubt your wear time will be increased at all, and when you want to reapply you’ll have to put a little bit of work into it since you can’t just slap on a little more product as normal. You’ll have to do all the blending work when you reapply so this isn’t the thing to reapply in public.
All that considered, I still think this is a nice novelty to have if you like playing with your lipstick. It effectively doubles your lipstick collection which is nice and I’ll give it credit for making pretty interesting and unique colors that aren’t readily available as their own shades. For any lipstick-mixing afficionados, this might be especially helpful in making your combinations more interesting-looking. Happy goth-ing!
You can buy this for $6 on the Nyx website.