L'Oreal x Balmain

Sometimes I think I should just accept my fate and become a blog dedicated to lipstick as lets face it, it is all I talk about. For me a lipstick is like my perfume, I change it depending on my mood and to fit in with a look. For the most part, I most definitely have a defined style. I like classic pieces which can work together and create outfits that I do not have to think about too much. Even though I fundamentally stick to the same formula, there are certain pieces of clothing (mostly accessories) that I can swap and they change the appearance of an outfit. Take flats and heels for example, they aren't a drastic change but when I wear heels I instantly feel more confident and I think I look more polished. This same feeling is mimicked through lipstick. I'm not always in the mood to wear a red but when I do: I feel bold, confident and daring. That's why I think a lipstick wardrobe is just as important as your actual wardrobe. I have nude lipsticks which I wear pretty much everyday but then I have certain shades which are kept for special occasions to give me an extra boost of confidence when I need it the most. A brand that knows all about making you feel sexy and confident is Balmain who have recently collaborated with L'Oreal on 12 lipstick shades to give you that fearlessness that Balmain fashion radiates.

Balmain is actually a old couture fashion house however I only really heard of it after Olivier Rousteing became Creative Director. He has done an amazing job of bringing the brand to the forefront of fashion through the use of social media. They were one of the first big fashion houses to embrace the power of social media and it has definitely worked in their favour as they are now one of the biggest designer brands alongside classic brands such as Chanel and Dior. Personally I always look forward to the Balmain runway during fashion week as I know it is going to be a stunning show with some amazing styles. Now a days you do not need to be in Paris to watch the show, you can pretty much watch it all through Instagram, making it easier for the average person to fall in love with the designs. Not only is Olivier's social media presence huge but he has utilised those who have big followings such as the Kardashians who frequently wear his designs and who have featured in some of his campaigns. Balmain designs are what you would expect when you consider the Kardashians style: they are sexy, distinctive and structured. Not only has Olivier done amazing things to make the brand relevant through social media, he has also injected some youth into the brand. At 25 he became the creative director of Balmain which is incredible! I turn 25 next year and my life seems very far away from being at that level of success.

Working with L'Oreal is not the first time Balmain have worked with a brand to make their designs more available. Some of you might remember when Balmain collaborated with H&M, it was possibly one of the most hyped H&M collaborations ever with everyone taking to social media to express their admiration for the designs. I remember everyone going mad for it and even I dreamed of buying a piece. There is no way I could ever afford anything from Balmain but the H&M collaboration made it possible. I really wanted to buy the Velvet Mini Dress but I could not get on the website and I remember seeing coverage of genuine fights in H&M stores for products. So I did not get my dress and two years on I still think about it. Last week the Christmas party at my work was announced. It is a black tie event and when I thought about the sort of dress I wanted to wear my mind went straight to the Balmain x H&M dress. I am definitely still gutted I couldn't get one.

Anyway this time I was NOT missing out when Balmain announced their collaboration with L'Oreal. They created 12 different shades broken down into 3 different types; Safari, Rock and Couture which are inspired by 3 different facets of femininity. There are some incredible shades, a purple, blue, grungy green but they are for women much braver than I am. Of course I went for the most natural nude shade called Confession. It is a peachy pink coral shade from the Couture collection. For me this was the most wearable and it is a lipstick I can see myself getting a lot of use out of it. 

On the L'Oreal website they say "The formula is infused with pure pigments and Camelia oil, to give our richest colour and most moisturising matte finish." These lipsticks do feel lovely on the lips, very soft, not drying and super pigmented. However I would disagree with it being a matte. It is more of a comfort matte which has a bit of shine. This does make it softer on the lips and easier to wear which makes it feel more luxury. Plus it is very creamy so it looks lovely on the lips. Sometimes a matte can be too much and can make the lips look dry but as this has a little bit of a shine it doesn't highlight any texture. I have always liked L'Oreal lipsticks; Cheryl's Nude which has since become J Lo's Nude is one of the first lipsticks I ever used up, that's how much I loved it. Blake's Red was my Christmas lipstick for years but this is hands down the best formula I have used and it should be as it is more expensive at £12.99

Not only is the formula slightly better but so is the packaging. Of course it is the classic L'Oreal tube. However it has a striking black and gold structure around it. It kind of looks like the Tom Ford packaging but I do have to say not as luxe. It also says Balmain on the lid which reminds you of the collection this lipstick has come from. I have to say the Balmain lipsticks from the Couture collection with the classic black and gold packaging are my favourite. In my eyes they are hands down the most wearable shade. In comparison the other two collections contain much more adventurous shades. The Safari (or Glamazon) packaging is green and has a slight marble effect and the Rock collection has the same marble effect but it is blue. Not only does it have the traditional L'Oreal packaging but it also has the L'Oreal lipstick scent which some of you might not be happy about. 

The scent of these lipsticks is definitely a Marmite thing; you either love it or you don't. It isn't a strong scent but it does linger and much to a lot of people's disappointment it is quite a floral scent. It reminds me of Parma Violets as it has that soft, powdery, sickly sweet scent which I have to say is not my favourite. Why can't people just stick to Vanilla? I'm not a massive fan of the scent but at the same time it isn't the worst smelling lipstick I've ever used either.

L to R: Confesstion, MAC Kinda Sexy
If you do miss out on this lipstick then a good alternative is Kinda Sexy by MAC. They have a similar tone but the formula is very different. With Confession alongside Kinda Sexy which is a traditional matte lipstick you can see the sheen within Confession, it hardly looks like a matte formula. Confession is so much more comfortable on the lips and I find it wears just as well as a genuine matte shade would.

These lipsticks began as an exclusive to Harvey Nichols however they are now available in Boots and Superdrug so literally everyone can buy them. As Confession is one of the more wearable shades it seems to be quite hard to find as I had to go into a few store to find one. If you like the look of any of the shades I suggest you head to your local store now. If you are fan of Balmain these lipsticks really do emulate the brand and it makes the brand that little bit more accessible for those of us who do not yet earn the money to buy one of the beautiful blazers or the dress I currently have my eye on. I am excited to see what Olivier creates for the collaboration Balmain is doing with Victoria's Secret which was announced yesterday. Balmain are creating looks for the Victoria's Secret runway which is happening in Shanghai in November so keep your eye peeled for that if you are a Balmain fan. 

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