When I heard Zelens were launching a new lipstick range, I was delighted, for Zelens are one of my (if not the very pinnacle) favourite skincare brands of all time, and so I was incredibly excited at the thought of actual lipsticks from them. I already own several of the lip glosses that were launched a couple of years ago, and they're amongst my most-used lip products. Then, when I saw the actual Extreme Velvet Lipsticks in the flesh, I was even happier, for instead of releasing a range of crowd-pleasing insipid nudes and baby-pinks, like so many ranges these days, the colours (inspired by the favourite colours of the patients seen by Dr Marko Lens, the brand founder, in his surgery) are bold, and rich and deeply, deeply pigmented.
And they're beautiful.
Zelens Extreme Velvet Lipsticks have a soft and hydrating matte formula, which is full of lipids and waxes, and they also contain both hyaluronic acid and an ester of retinol (to encourage cell-turnover and collagen production), all of which are designed to treat the lips as well as colour them. These are a great, exceedingly comfortable and non-drying wear. Whilst not promoted as a long-wearing formula, I have found that they wear well without needing a touch-up for around six to eight hours. And without leaving a red ring of doom, too! They fade gently and evenly, even after eating or drinking.
|Swatches in natural light (l-r) Nude Plum, Red, Dark Red and Merlot|
Nude Plum is a great "nude" shade for people who (like me) don't really wear nudes, with plenty of pigment, and without that nasty "concealer lip" effect.
Red is a bright and slightly warmed orange-based red that colours beautifully in one swipe of the bullet.
Dark Red is a slightly warm deep red wine shade.
Merlot is an even deeper version of dark red, a little difficult for everyday wear for me, but just stunning with the right outfit.
I'll probably pick up Tea Rose at some point as it's a great everyday colour, and I have a feeling it'll be quite versatile with the depth of pigmentation on offer. If I have one criticism of the range (and it's a minor one, admittedly) it's that I'd like to see a brighter deep pink in here too because as it stands, the range is slightly skewed dark and warm, but actually that's not really a bad thing in the bland sea of nudes that tend to predominate these days.
The lipsticks cost £32, are housed in handsome silver tube with a screw-top lid and are available exclusively from the Zelens website
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