House of Beauty is a small indie brand whose products I’ve drooled over on several occasions. I really would like to start buying more from small handmade cosmetics companies, so what better place to start than this? The brand offers discounts for bulk purchases, so I hooked up with two friends to split a 12-for-$100 order of their Lip Hybrids and get each one for more or less $8. I bought Vixen, Phoenix, Hazel, and Wisteria. (Sold alone, these cost $16 each.)
Also, this is a draft I wrote quite a while ago that I’m publishing now because I haven’t posted in 4 months, which is unfortunate.
According to the House of Beauty website, a Lip Hybrid is a “unique formula that’s a cross between a lipstick and a lip gloss.” The jars are tiny, like maybe about the size of a quarter in diameter, but they hold 0.17oz (5g) of product. For reference: a tube of OCC RTW Lip Tar is about 0.14oz (4g). A traditional bullet lipstick usually holds .10oz (3g) or .12oz (3.4g). A Colourpop Lippie Stix has 0.0352oz (1g). A liquid lipstick/lip gloss tube usually has 0.11oz (3.1g) of product. The only thing I can think of that holds more product than the jars is the original OCC Lip Tar squeeze tubes, which hold 0.33oz (9.4g). So it’s safe to say that you’re getting a pretty good amount of bang for your buck with these jars, despite all appearances. Much like the OCC lip tar squeeze tubes, you need a brush to apply the hybrids, but you only need a tiny amount to get full coverage, which helps stretch the already-large amount of product even further.
The hybrids are available in virtually every hue on the spectrum with new colors still being added. Currently there are about 150 colors (assuming I counted correctly!) They also come in three finishes: semi-matte, satin, and glossy. On top of that, there are a lot of metallics, glitters, and duochromes. In short, you’d be hard pressed not to find the color you’re looking for.
Hazel is a “toffee” that sets to a semi-matte finish. I despise most pink-based nudes, so I was happy to see there were no surprise pink undertones here. What it does have is a bit of a lavender “shift” to it, which is super unexpected but super cool. I use shift lightly because it’s nowhere near as strong as an actual duochrome, but it still adds a pop of weird to what I was expecting to be a safe plain brown. That’s not a bad thing.
Vixen is a “deep candy apple red” that sets to a semi-metallic satin finish. It reminds me of those Carousel lip glosses that Lime Crime discontinued a while back. Shame because the Candy Apple one was the object of all my desires at some point in my life, but also not shame because I have this now and it’s likely better than any of the LC glosses were. Anyways, I think I’ll definitely start wearing red more now that I have this, because it makes me look put together and I like looking put together.
Phoenix is a “fiery, metallic burnt copper with black undertones” that sets to what the website calls a “foiled satin finish.” Phoenix is the love of my life. You all know I love copper, but I still haven’t found the perfect true copper lip color because most pull orange on me… UNTIL NOW. This one in particular also ended up being surprisingly duochrome, as the brown base will show itself if light isn’t hitting it. But then you step into the sun and the copper comes back and everyone thinks you’re just the coolest.
Finally, we have Wisteria, which is a “rich metallic greyish lavender” that sets to a metallic satin finish. It definitely has a lot more glitter loaded up in it than my other two “semi-metallic” shades, so I’ll give it that. I found that it, like Hazel and Phoenix, also has surprising duochrome properties; the base is a taupey purple while the shift is an interesting lavender and silver mix. It looks almost, almost 90s frosted lipstick/gloss, but it manages to stop itself before crossing into the territory of the super tacky. I expect it’ll make a good topcoat.
The formula seemed more or less consistent on all of the colors I got, so everything I say refers to everything unless I say otherwise. The hybrids are similar to the OCC Lip Tars not only in concept but in application and overall performance. This isn’t a bad thing, as I love the Lip Tars so I was pleased that these didn’t deviate much from that formula.
The hybrids are extremely pigmented so you don’t need much at all to get them to full opacity, but they’re also buildable and capable of being sheered out (the darker/bolder colors especially). Unsurprisingly, the pigmentation means you don’t need a lip liner to get the most out of them, but it’s an option if you’re like me and have 0 lip brush skills whatsoever.
Immediately after application the product feels more or less like lip gloss and continues to feel like lip gloss for 20-30 minutes afterwards, at which point it begins to set. After about an hour it feels slightly tacky and it starts looking more like a satin. In Hazel’s case, it set to full semi-matte after about an hour and a half. The website admits they do transfer, and I don’t refute that, but it’s barely even a whisper of the actual color and you won’t notice it if you’re not squinting at whatever you put your mouth on. I drank from a clear plastic cup and didn’t see any awkward mouth prints on it, which certainly was impressive.
I’d also like to mention I’m very impressed that a one-woman job such as this was able to ship my order of 12 products within 2 days of me ordering them. I know some people are understandably skeptical of “less-established” indie brands but my experiences with House of Beauty have been great and I think the regular $16 price is absolutely worth the amount of product you’re getting, not to mention you’re also paying for something handmade and not mass-produced in a lab. On top of that, the bulk purchase discounts are phenomenal and more than worth it if you want to try a bunch. Highly, highly highly recommend.
You can shop House of Beauty here. In addition to the Lip Hybrid pots, there are also tube hybrids, eyeshadows, brushes, cheek products, and highlighting cream.