Friday 8 January 2016

Spotlight on Karen Murrel

I am not sure if you guys noticed yet that I like lipsticks, so to make it even more clear I wanted the first review of the year to be all about them. With so many brands on offer you would think it would be easy to find your holly grail, but when you take into account texture, colour and some thought to the ingredients in the formula you realise that the choices are a bit more limited. Yet time and time again natural lipsticks from Australia and New Zealand seem to be on top of things.

Karen Murrel lippies hail from that part of the world and are created by a cosmetic formulator with over 15 years of experience. From a purely aesthetic point of view the outer boxes are extremely attractive, with beautiful illustrations specific to each colour and are printed using soy ink (I inconveniently recycled mine to save on storage space). The lipsticks themselves are cased in a black plastic tube, which feels super light. If you are anything like me, and absolutely have to pack a range of cosmetics when you go on holidays, or just in your handbag, it soon adds up, so having lightweight packaging actually is a bonus. The tube seems to stand up well to the abuse of hanging around in my bag, after numerous outings there are no scratches and all the writing is still intact (that is very impressive). Yet all of this is no where near as outstanding as the choice of colours on offer. At present I have three, but I'm sure it won't be too long before I add a few more to my collection.

Sand storm is a nude with very slight brown peach tendency. All the colours are very pigmented and this one is no exception. Like with all fleshy nudes I prefer to have some eye makeup when using it, but it is pretty easy to wear and works well with a bronzed look.

Peony petal is a sort of apricot pink, gorgeous daytime colour. It is vibrant but not a shockingly bright shade, on my lips it looks like a soft petal pink. I do feel like I need a swipe of mascara or some eyebrow definition to make it work with my features. It works best with a fresh look though: just a touch of something, not a full face of makeup. A must colour for spring/summer this year.

Poppy passion is my favourite of the bunch, this would come as no surprise to my regular readers. It is a bright pink, matches Intensae nail varnish in Assam if you like to do that sort of thing. I absolutely love having a completely bare face and two swipes of Poppy passion on my lips, it works so beautifully.

The best thing is how well all of these work together to create slightly different and really flattering shades. If I want to take the edge of poppy passion, I use sand storm on top. To make peony petal a bit brighter a layer of poppy passion does the trick. Because they are so pigmented there is no need to use a lot of product, so my lips don't feel like I have tons of product sitting uncomfortably on top to get the desired impact. The texture is just the right kind of creamy that it glides on easily yet does not slide of or bleed. The pigments are a mixture of minerals and lakes, so you will get the effect of a stain after some of the colour comes off when you are eating or drinking with the brighter colours, the lighter colours don't seem to leave the stain behind (possibly because there are no lakes in those?). There is no carmine in these but they do have beeswax.

They do last really well through out the day, especially poppy passion (I often find that brighter colours last longer), I do only need to reapply after refreshments. The formula feels really moisturising and I don't use a lip balm under it most of the time. They all share a light cinnamon scent, every time I use this lipstick it makes me think of the Lana Del Rey Radio song.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a European stockist, I got my KM lipsticks from Epic Beauty bar, but you can also get them from Nuciya with reasonable shipping charges.

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