I had the utmost pleasure to be a judge for the final round of the lipstick category for the #cleanbeautyawards. A category I am very fond of, as most of you know.
Before I share with you swatches and info on the lipsticks that made it to the final round, a quick presentation on the Clean Beauty Awards. This year marks the fourth annual Clean Beauty Awards, organized by CertClean which is North America’s certification for safer skincare. 16 categories, products reviewed and judged by an independent panel of clean beauty experts.
Let’s meet the 6 finalists (in no particular order)
- LUK Beauty “Tea Rose”: dusty rose (vegan)
- LUK Beauty “Ruby Grapefruit”: watermelon pink (vegan)
- NUDE by NATURE “Dusty Nude 06”: warm nude with brown hues (carmine-free but has beeswax so not vegan)
- NEEK “Pash”: soft pink with mauve hues (vegan)
- NUDUS “27 Kisses”: a brick nude
- NUDUS “Amalia”: a delicate pink with subtle coral tones
I was already familiar with Nudus and Neek, both of which highly deserving of all the praises. Thus, I was eager to compare them to LUK and Nude by Nature. Fun fact: all of the brands are Australian! It is safe to say that they know how to make green lipstick down under.
I was initially surprised since the lot comprised a mix of sheer and opaque lipsticks. However, the sheer ones that made it to the final round are supremely pigmented (in the likes of Ilia’s tinted conditioners for reference) so it did not make me feel like certain ones had an advantage over others.
Pictures & swatches (true to color)
Lipsticks are my favorite makeup products and one of the ways I test out lipsticks is by wearing them on a makeup-free face. It helps me see if the color brightens up my complexion or makes me look more put together. Last month, I dealt with a couple of breakouts and it turned out to be a great opportunity to see the lip products work their magic. The colors selected go from neutrals to soft corals.
The arm swatches look more intense because I applied several coats so that you can see the color payoff. This also allows you to see the color variations.
Color-wise, I was very pleased with each of them because they are in my opinion, universally flattering shades. They all remain natural-looking and easy-breezy. Texture-wise, if you like more opaque, rich, creamy, waxy feel, NUDUS, and Neek stand out. For a more lightweight feel, closer to a lip balm, LUK and Nude by Nature are the way to go.
As previously mentioned, “27 Kisses” from Nudus is a shade I previously owned (reviewed here). Trying it again reminded me of how much of a staple it is. The shade “Amalia” is a soft pink that looks slightly coral on my lips. A perfect shade for those who are not usually fond of pinks. LUK’s Ruby Grapefruit is a perky watermelon pink that feels really summery.
A few years ago, vegan natural lipsticks had a tendency to be thicker in consistency and drying due to the use of plant-based waxes that were less emollient. Today, brands perfected their formulas with buttery smooth texture, due to being infused with nourishing oils and plant butters.
LUK’s “Tea Rose” is their #1 best-selling neutral and I totally see why. It instantly makes your lips smooth while leaving a gorgeous dusty pink tint. Very impressive is how smooth it applies while remaining featherlight. I realized what I had been missing before trying them.
“Pash” from NEEK is also amongst their bestsellers. Unlike other soft pinks with mauve hues, Pash does not wash you out, quite the opposite, it will compliment most complexions. It is creamier and thicker in consistency than LUK which applies like a tinted lip balm.
Nude by Nature moisture shine lipsticks seems like a cross between the two other formulas. They have the pigmentation and depth of a lipstick but with a shiny/satiny finish and a more lightweight feel. It is not as opaque as Nudus though. “Dusty Rose” is a warm rose and one of those fabulous colors that makes thin lips look bigger and plumper. So skip those injections and grab “Dusky Rose” – less painful and infused with good ingredients 😉 I am not sure you can see it properly on those pics though but every time I wear it, my lips look bigger.
Choosing the winner out of these outstanding products was not a walk in the park and it really came down to tiny details. For now, my lips are sealed (no pun intended) on the winner but feel free to guess which one got the highest score in my book.
Do you have a favorite?
Edit: My apologies for the typo mistakes in the pictures for Nude By Nature, it is “Dusty Nude 06″ not “Dusky Rose”. They have a shade called “Dusty Rose” 03 and I mixed up the two while creating the visuals. My apologies! xo